Program Officer - United States
Sequoia Climate Fund is a new philanthropy that seeks to decarbonize the world economy at a speed and scale equal to the challenge. We support bold strategies and efforts that will have both near-term impact and the greatest probability of long-term success. We believe that solving climate change requires the adoption of ambitious, evidence-based policy solutions that transform markets, advance clean technology, and lead to large-scale change. Our focus areas include power, transportation, buildings, industry, land use, agriculture and forestry, finance, communications, movement building and public engagement. Sequoia Climate Fund is active in major emitting geographies, including China, the United States, India, the European Union, among others. We are dedicated to building the political will and powerful coalitions needed to achieve these bold policy solutions. Our office and staff are based in Irvine, California.
About the Role
Sequoia Climate Fund is seeking collaborative, bold, and innovative thinkers that can help identify and evaluate ambitious climate strategies capable of driving transformative change in the world. This position will report to the United States Program Director, working with government officials, thought leaders, key stakeholders, and peer networks to assess emerging needs, gaps, and opportunities to drive ambitious climate action at the federal and state level. This position will also help the team prioritize potential grants, compiling the research and evidence necessary to assess the robustness of proposed strategies and their potential impact on the climate. Depending on the skills and interests of the successful candidate, a portion of their time (up to 1/3) may also support Sequoia’s Communications and Movement building Directorate as they work to build and support grassroots mobilization efforts and high-impact communications campaigns across the globe. Key responsibilities are likely to include, but are not limited to, the following:
Program development, delivery, and performance
- Support Sequoia’s efforts to determine strategic priorities and set operational plans by conducting research and analysis on specific programs and climate sector trends.
- Monitor developments in the field to identify emerging needs, gaps, and opportunities for driving ambitious climate action.
- Engage peer networks, funders, government officials, and other stakeholders to help develop strategies and identify organizations best positioned to execute those strategies.
- Assess the potential emissions reductions of individual grants and broader strategies.
- Present the results of global and regional strategic analysis verbally and in writing, through internal memos, background papers, presentations, graphs, and charts both internally and externally as required.
- Support all aspects of strategy execution and grant-making, including initial screening of potential grantees, analyzing background information, soliciting, developing funding proposals, and preparing grant recommendations.
- Serve as the point of contact for select grantees to learn from and steward the relationship, conduct site visits as needed, and monitor the impact of grants.
Financial stewardship and administrative responsibilities
- Support the maintenance of annual administrative budgets for programmatic expenses.
- Support the forecasting of grant payments and serve as a compliance checkpoint to ensure grantmaking stays within yearly budgets.
- Maintain grants database, budget spreadsheets and grant calendars, and coordinate grant processes for the team.
- Perform other duties and responsibilities as requested.
- Minimum five to seven years’ experience working in climate change or a related field, with at least three years of dedicated experience in at least one specific area within climate mitigation.
- Demonstrated ability to think strategically about how to drive ambitious climate action.
- Strong quantitative skills. Working familiarity with prominent energy, climate and/or systems dynamics models; ability to gather input data and think creatively in developing and evaluating model scenarios.
- Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues and grantees of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
- Willingness to learn, take initiative, be resourceful, and flexible.
- A mentality that no task is too small or big, to get what is needed done.
- Ability to handle confidential information with complete discretion.
- Excellent English language writing, synthesizing, editing and proofreading skills.
- Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
- Understanding and embodiment of Sequoia Climate Fund values, including humility and teamwork.
- Willingness to work in our Irvine, CA office.
- Advanced degree in a relevant field, or equivalent by experience.
- Understanding of grantmaking.
Sequoia Climate Fund’s Institutional Culture of Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion
Climate change is a global crisis that requires leadership and contribution from communities around the world. Sequoia is committed to reflecting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging in the workplace as this will strengthen our ability to achieve our global mission. This commitment stems from the belief that a diversity of perspectives and approaches is key to driving strong climate action and ultimately preventing human suffering and injustice wrought by unmitigated climate change. For these reasons, we are committed to recruiting staff of diverse backgrounds and perspectives to leverage our collective knowledge of the circumstances, people, and environments in the countries in which we work.
Covid-19 Hiring Update
We have temporarily transitioned to a work-from-home model, and this role is expected to begin as a remote position. To ensure the safety and well-being of our employees, we will continue to monitor the situation and follow the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as local advisories from the California Department of Public Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency. Once circumstances allow, staff will be required to work full-time from our office in Irvine, California. We are flexible and willing to discuss the logistics and financial considerations raised by relocation, if needed.
Compensation & Location
Sequoia Climate Fund offers a generous benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. Our benefits include payment of 100% of the health insurance premiums for employees (and 80% of the premiums for spouses, domestic partners, and qualified family members). Sequoia Climate Fund also offers other benefits including life insurance, long-term disability protection, a group 401(k) retirement plan (with an employer match), support for continuing education, up to $5,250 in annual student loan repayment OR college savings assistance for qualified dependents and is committed to providing transgender-inclusive healthcare.
NOTE: At this time, our preference is that applicants have authorization to work in the United States.
CEA Recruiting is assisting Sequoia Climate Fund with this search. To be considered for this position, interested candidates should follow the link below to submit the following: (1) resume, (2) cover letter, and (3) salary requirements (specifying salary amount or range) through CEA’s job portal. Please direct all applications and inquiries to CEA Recruiting. This position will remain open until filled.
Sequoia Climate Fund is an equal opportunity employer.
CEA Recruiting works with leading environmental nonprofits, foundations, and businesses to recruit top talent and design effective organizational staffing strategies. For more information, visit www.cearecruiting.com.