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Program Officer Sub-Saharan Africa, Population & Reproductive Health



Date Posted: 1/12/2017
Organization: The David & Lucile Packard Foundation
Location: Los Altos, California

Description of Organization:
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is a family foundation that is guided by the enduring business philosophy and personal values of Lucile and David Packard, who helped found one of the world’s leading technology companies. Their approach to business and community participation has guided the philanthropy for more than 50 years. Today, their children and grandchildren continue to help guide the work of the Foundation. The Foundation works on the issues their founders cared about most, which are improving the lives of children; enabling the creative pursuit of science; advancing reproductive health; conserving and restoring the earth’s natural systems; and supporting and strengthening an array of local nonprofit organizations.

For 2016, the Foundation expects to make grantmaking awards of approximately $300M. A staff of 120 conducts the day-to-day operations of the Foundation and a Board of Trustees oversees the work of the Foundation. David and Lucile Packard passed onto the Foundation the following core set of values: integrity, respect for all people, belief in individual leadership, commitment to effectiveness, and the capacity to think big.

The Population and Reproductive Health (PRH) program funds innovative work that addresses population growth and promotes positive reproductive health and rights. Funding priorities for the PRH program are based on the belief that every woman and girl—no matter where she lives in the world—has the right to live with dignity and have a voice in decisions that affect her life. The program currently focuses its work at the global level, regionally in South Asia (India, Pakistan, and targeted work in Myanmar) and Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Kenya), and nationally in the U.S. with a state-level emphasis on Louisiana and Mississippi.

The program places a special emphasis on quality of services and serving and engaging young people, who constitute the population with the greatest need and the highest potential for building a movement that can sustain change. The PRH program is committed to standing by grantees for the long haul—and supporting a new generation of champions who are standing up for everyone’s right to live healthier lives.

Position Responsibilities:
The PRH team is seeking a Program Officer to promote and support systems-changing initiatives to address issues of reproductive health and rights for its Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) subprogram. The lack of access to quality reproductive health education and services has led to early childbearing, early marriage, an average of five children per family, and a large number of maternal deaths.

The ongoing program work in Sub-Saharan Africa aims to:

Increase access to comprehensive sexuality education in schools and communities and improve access to youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services. Increase access to family planning, contraception, and reproductive health services, including safe abortion and post-abortion care. Build local and regional movements to advance political and financial support for family planning, contraception, sexuality education, and abortion care.

The Program Officer will be the subject matter expert on population and reproductive health in the region. A key function of the role will be to nurture and strengthen relationships, collaborate with and exchange information across nonprofit organizations, community leaders, and funders who support reproductive health programs in the SSA region. As the face of the PRH program, the Program Officer will facilitate meetings with current and potential grantees, give presentations when needed, and attend public fora and conferences. In this high visibility role, the Program Officer will also prepare materials for the Program Director and present relevant information to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees at quarterly meetings.

The Program Officer will be a strategic partner and play a key role in planning and budgeting for the work in the region. Reporting to the Program Director, the Program Officer will work collaboratively with the PRH team in the U.S. and with a team of regional advisors based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The position will continually track trends, literature, research, and best practices in order to maintain content expertise that supports both internal staff and external partners. The Program Officer will also monitor and measure the progress and impact of a diverse portfolio of current grantees, as well as evaluate new opportunities and potential grantees to grow and develop the PRH program throughout the region.

Qualifications:
The Foundation is seeking a Program Officer who is a thought leader in the reproductive health and rights field. Candidates must have a firm commitment to the mission of the PRH program and a strong knowledge of local and regional realities related to women’s and girl’s rights, reproductive rights, abortion rights, and reproductive health. The role requires someone with success leading sustainable work in local communities in Africa with healthcare systems and service delivery in a nonprofit, philanthropic, or government context; experience in Sub-Saharan countries is highly desirable.

The Program Officer will have a proven track record of designing strategies that galvanize, convene, and organize partners and community leaders around initiatives that produce measurable results. Candidates must have a high level of emotional intelligence, an exceptional ability to inspire and motivate a team, and a proven ability to build trust and maintain relationships with diverse internal and external partners across myriad geographies and time zones.

The Program Officer will have excellent communication skills and the ability to keep stakeholders well-informed while wearing multiple hats and juggling competing priorities. Candidates must have confidence mixed with a sense of humor, humility, intellectual curiosity, and a deep appreciation and respect for the role that philanthropy can play in addressing complex, politically sensitive global issues. The Program Officer will be knowledgeable about the evolving landscape in Africa as it relates to these issue areas and be able to use a positive perspective to inspire others and advance PRH program objectives. The Program Officer must also have the ability to thrive in a dynamic environment while being a decisive leader in a setting of change and ambiguity.

The successful candidate will be an innovative and resourceful thinker adept at championing new ideas that can propel the PRH program’s work forward. Excellent program management skills and successful oversight of budgets of $5 million or more using evidence-based analytics are essential.

Candidates must have a minimum of seven to ten years of relevant experience, preferably with organizations in the social or public sectors and/or with bilateral or multilateral agencies in developing countries. Direct work experience in Africa is necessary.

Additional qualifications include:

  • An advanced degree in public health, policy, or related field is required.
  • Experience with evidence-based practices in grantmaking.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills in English; basic or advanced proficiency in French is highly desirable.
  • Active listening skills and the sensitivity to truly understand the challenges each grantee encounters in order to help them overcome issues as they occur.
  • The gravitas and comfort to represent the Foundation with grantees and in public fora.
  • The ability travel domestically and internationally at least 8 to 10 times per year.


  • Apply To:
    The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. This role will be based in Los Altos, California. No Visa sponsorship will be provided for this position.

    To be considered, please visit candidateportal.waldronhr.com to submit your resume and a cover letter expressing your passion for the mission and fit for the role.

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