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Program Officer, Environment

Job Location

Eden Prairie, MN


Type of Job



starting at $145,000

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Mar 9, 2021

About the job

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About Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies

Founded by the late Margaret A. Cargill, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP) actively partners with capable organizations to make a lasting difference for individuals and communities, with particular attention to overlooked causes.


MACP develops and implements community-based grantmaking strategies across seven programmatic domains: Arts & Cultures, Disaster Relief & Recovery, Environment, Animal Welfare, Quality of Life, Teachers, and Legacy & Opportunity. MACP believes that the best way to make a lasting difference on issues they care about is by investing in long-term relationships with key grantees, strengthening their combined abilities to make a meaningful difference in the world.


Cultural values inspire MACP’s team to learn, create, and excel through strong relationships with one another, their grantee partners, and the communities where MACP funds programs. They are guided by a set of core values: making a difference, respect, excellence, learning, integrity, and humility. We strive in our engagement with one another and in our grantmaking to support equitable and inclusive approaches. The culture is one of engagement, thoughtfulness, and ongoing discovery. And they are constantly inspired by the good work carried out by their grantee partners. MACP is a team of diverse individuals inspired by a common mission, shared values, and a desire to make a difference by working together.


MACP is comprised of two grantmaking entities, Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and the Anne Ray Foundation, and their combined assets place them among the top ten foundations in the US. In 2019, their national and international grantmaking efforts consisted of 498 grants totaling more than $240M.

For more information on Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, please visit


The Opportunity

MACP is seeking an experienced Program Officer for the Environment Domain who brings deep expertise in global field conservation work, grantmaking, and personal alignment with MACP’s commitment to community-based capacity building and long-term partnerships with grantees. This is a unique opportunity to play a key role with a significant funder in the environment and conservation space and a team of caring, engaged and thoughtful colleagues based in Eden Prairie, MN.


The Program Officer is responsible for the development, implementation and management of one or more Ecosystem Programs of the MACP Environment Domain; likely to include the Tropical Forests Ecosystem Program. This position reports to the Environment Program Director and works in collaboration with the Managing Program Director, other Program Officers, and Program Associates. The Program Officer will work with Environment Domain team members and other Foundation staff in supporting and managing an effective grantmaking program to support the strategic content and desired impact for Environment Domain.


Under its existing and well-honed strategy, the Environment Domain at MACP supports grantees in a set of defined focal geographies to deliver effective, sustainable community-based conservation solutions to address the problem of degradation of the Earth’s freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems.


More detail about the role and candidate profile can be found below. MACP recognizes that this search is unfolding during a very challenging time, when people around the world are navigating the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak and social injustice issues. MACP’s mission of providing meaningful assistance and support to society, the arts, and the environment is more important than ever, and they need exceptionally talented leaders to help continue to advance this mission, especially in this critical moment. If you are such a leader, please review this job description and consider joining the MACP team.


Candidate Profile

The Program Officer, Environment’s core responsibilities are as follows:

  • Serve as the lead in the implementation of a strategically aligned grantmaking portfolio for one or more Environment Ecosystem Programs; likely to include the Tropical Forests Ecosystem Program.
  • Work with grantee applicants on all aspects of the MACP grantmaking process, including due diligence review of potential grantee organizations. Assist applicants in developing realistic proposals that are aligned with strategic funding priorities, within the scope of the budget of the Environment Domain, consistent with MACP grantmaking policies and practices, and within applicants’ capacity to deliver.
  • Oversee active grants, track grantee progress, provide clear guidance and assistance to grantees, review and analyze grantee reports.
  • In collaboration with the Program Director and Evaluation Team, and in consultation with the Managing Program Director, develop qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze program impact and effectiveness for the purposes of learning.
  • Manage grantee relationships diplomatically in a manner consistent with MACP’s values and Philosophy of Grantmaking.
  • Work collaboratively with MACP Legal, Finance, Grants Management, and Evaluation teams to conduct due diligence, assess institutional capacity, and monitor active grants.
  • Promote partnership and a culture of learning within MACP, among grantees, and with peer funders.
  • Organize and participate in site visits, at times with the Program Director and other MACP staff and leadership.
  • Prepare written materials for board and management review. Assist with board meeting preparations and participate and present information in board meetings as necessary.
  • Monitor the external environment; policy issues, market trends, broader funding landscape, and other factors impacting program objectives in assigned focus areas.
  • Represent MACP and the Program at meetings, forums, and public presentations, including with government leaders, community leaders, community-based organizations, and colleagues in the field of philanthropy.
  • Facilitate connections and partnerships across organizations and institutions working on shared issues, in coordination with the Program Director and Managing Program Director.
  • Hire and supervise contractors as assigned.
  • Research relevant topics as determined by the Program Director.


Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate is a seasoned professional with eight years or more of experience in ecosystem conservation. A solid understanding of community-based natural resource management is essential, as is a track record of successful collaboration with a wide range of key stakeholder groups in this field. International experience and demonstrated ability to work effectively in a wide range of cultural settings is critical.


Five or more years’ experience in grantmaking, preferably in the conservation arena, and a demonstrated track record of effective relationships with grantees and fellow funders will be vitally important. An undergraduate degree is required with a graduate degree in a related field preferred or significant related experience working in the conservation sector.


Candidates should have an active curiosity and passion for MACP's program interests and values, including making a difference in communities, forming deep partnerships with grantees, providing support to low-attention needs, and working with humility. Successful candidates will be collaborative, positive, and able to deal well with ambiguity and change. They will be adept at building collegial relationships and able to respond to issues with clarity and diplomacy. They will inspire and foster trust and confidence in staff, management, and their colleagues. And they will be aligned with MACP’s grantmaking philosophy, which is grounded in the Foundation’s values and history.


Other desired skills and experience include:

  • An understanding of the emerging trends, concepts, and technical and practical issues involved in philanthropy
  • Solid understanding of the technical and practical issues in one or more of the interest areas of the Environment Program (especially marine, terrestrial, or freshwater ecosystem conservation, and community-based natural resource management).
  • Fluency in one or more languages commonly used in international conservation, in addition to English, preferred; overall cultural competence and the ability to be an effective communicator and partner in a wide range of settings is essential
  • Demonstrated, strong skills in strategy development, grant management, and evaluation.
  • Strong project management skills including the ability to effectively manage time, meet multiple competing deadlines, quickly develop written materials, maintain a positive attitude under pressure, and manage budgets.
  • Experience as a user of grant-management software and tracking systems (e.g., GIFTS, Fluxx) preferred.
  • Strong interpersonal skills. Professional demeanor with proven ability to build collaborative relationships. Self-motivated and able to work independently.
  • Strong communication skills, including making verbal presentations and producing clear and concise written documents.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a highly collaborative organization with consultative relationships vertically and horizontally and a strong service orientation both internally and externally.
  • Capability of reading balance sheets and organizational budgets associated with grant applications and can understand and manipulate complex internal program budgets.
  • Demonstrated capacity to determine appropriateness of applying a relevant and successful intervention or model from one geographic area to another.
  • Demonstrated record of success working with a diverse constituency of partners and stakeholders to achieve specific programmatic outcomes.


25%, including extended international travel once it is safe to do so, which MACP recognizes may be for some time. During field visits, the employee may occasionally be required to travel and live in wilderness or remote rural conditions for a few days at a time, or to travel by boat or small aircraft in order to access points or people of interest.


The above statements are not intended to encompass all functions and qualifications of the position; rather, they are intended to provide a general framework of the requirements of the position. Job incumbents may be required to perform other functions not specifically addressed in this description.


About the Twin Cities and MACP’s Office

MACP’s office in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, known as The Preserve, strongly reflects the organization’s culture and identity. Expanded in 2016, The Preserve is testament to MACP’s environmental values and commitment. The building is LEED Platinum certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and is a space that promotes collaboration and a connection to nature while reflecting MACP’s values.

Eden Prairie is part of the Twin Cities metro area, including Minneapolis and St. Paul, which have over 3 million residents and together make up the 14th largest metropolitan area in the country. A unique blend of small town and major cosmopolitan hub, both urban cores boast a thriving business atmosphere. Saint Paul, as the state capital, is home to state government and has a more historical vibe. Minneapolis is the larger and more commercial of the two cities. Both cities share a common root of being river towns - and the great outdoors are still a major attraction for residents and visitors alike, with over 100,000 acres of parks, walking and bike paths, and other outdoor spaces.


The Twin Cities offer something for everyone, from national sports teams to a robust theater and arts scene, to a thriving “foodie” culture. The area also has a diverse range of neighborhoods and homes, with an atmosphere of a small town feeling with the conveniences and cultural hallmarks of a big city.


MACP recognizes that the COVID-19 outbreak has made relocating a challenging option and may require a longer transition period than usual. But for candidates seeking a welcoming, highly livable community with a strong focus on access to arts, culture, and the outdoors, the Twin Cities offers all of this and more.



Compensation & Benefits

MACP is invested in the health and well-being of their staff and offers a comprehensive and valuable benefits package, including but not limited to:

  • Relocation support available
  • Strong medical, dental, and vision benefits for individuals and their eligible dependents
  • Retirement programs, including 401(k) matching and access to employer-paid financial planning resources
  • A broad range of insurance programs, including employer-paid life, short and long-term disability, and business travel accident insurance
  • Access to legal insurance plan and identity theft protection program
  • A generous matching gift program
  • Paid holidays and personal time off
  • An employee assistance plan
  • Healthcare and dependent care flexible spending accounts
  • An onsite fitness room
  • Domestic and international travel resources
  • Paid parental leave
  • Tuition reimbursement

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.



Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Molly Brennan and Meghan Franklin are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role, please visit this link here. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies is an equal opportunity employer and encourages candidates of all identities, experiences, orientations, and communities to apply.


About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.


At Koya, we don’t just accept difference—we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve.


Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone. Koya does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.


For more information about Koya Partners, visit

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