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Program Officer

Job Location

Denver, CO


Type of Job



80,000 - 100,000

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Feb 28, 2022

About the job

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The Gates Family Foundation is seeking to hire a new staff member as a Program Officer. The position will be part of the Foundation’s program staff and will support and report to the Senior Program Officer for Natural Resources. Job responsibilities include working on all aspects of grantmaking, as well as in the Foundation’s capital grantmaking work (which is supported by all program staff), and supporting due diligence on Program and Mission Related Investments. Work will include:

  • Responding to inquiries, meeting with potential grantees and partners, and following up on communications and convenings
  • Undertaking due diligence and analysis for potential grants
  • Refining and tracking grant reporting and program evaluation metrics
  • Developing material for our website and external communications
  • Working collaboratively with other Foundation staff, partners, and grantees, including participating in intensive research, writing, and editing to prepare our formal grant docket for quarterly Board of Trustees meetings.

This position is part of a team of 12 staff who manage Foundation activities. As such, the Program Officer works closely with other team members and routinely shares and coordinates 📷activities with other staff members. These interactions include other program staff, the finance/administration and impact investing team, strategic communications, the grants management team, and the Foundation’s president. Typically, this position requires a moderate level of travel throughout the state (on average approximately 2-3 days per month), as well as occasional out-of-state travel, although the COVID-19 pandemic has largely restricted staff travel at this point. Currently staff is largely working from home, but will transition back to the office when it is deemed safe.

Desired Qualifications

  • Familiarity with Colorado, particularly the state’s natural resources challenges and opportunities
  • A degree and/or three+ years of work in one or more of the priority funding areas of the Natural Resources program (water resources, forest health, watershed restoration, landscape scale conservation, land trusts, climate change)
  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission of the Foundation
  • Experience working in an environment that requires generating new ideas and approaches, handling shifting priorities, and adapting to rapid change
  • Working knowledge, interest, and/or experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion and particularly in the natural resources field

Desired Skill Sets

  • Never-ending curiosity regarding the challenges and opportunities facing Colorado’s extraordinary natural resources
  • A team player who loves learning, seeks feedback, collaborates, and supports other teammates
  • Brings new and varied perspectives and experiences to the team that are reflective of Colorado’s diverse communities
  • Visionary who can see potential in people, projects, and partners and develop strategic initiatives to advance Foundation and program goals

Working at Gates Family Foundation

  • Comprehensive benefits package
  • Flexible work environment, based in downtown Denver
  • Paid parental leave
  • A culture of collaboration among staff members and the Gates Family Foundation Board of Trustees
  • A commitment to continuous learning among the staff and board
  • An inclusive work environment that values diversity and empowers staff to bring their unique perspectives and skills to the work

To Apply and Timeline

The application requires a resume and in place of a cover letter, brief responses to the following questions (150 words or less per question). The application can be submitted using this link:

  1. Why are you compelled by Gates Family Foundation’s work? And why do you want to work in the Natural Resources position?
  2. Describe your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through past job or personal experience. What unique perspectives on diversity, equity, and inclusion would you hope to bring to Gates natural resources work?
  3. What are some of your favorite places in Colorado and why? Are there places in Colorado you would love to visit, but have not had a chance to travel to yet?

Please submit your application via this form no later than March 27th, 2022. If you have additional questions, please reach out to Whitney Johnson at

The Gates Family Foundation believes that diverse teams lead to better solutions, creative thinking, and greater depth in experiences and perspectives. We strive in our hiring to ensure that our candidate pool is diverse in terms of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, lived experience, socioeconomic background, physical or mental ability, origin, and religion.

Research suggests that women and BIPOC individuals may self-select out of opportunities if they don't meet 100% of the job requirements. We encourage anyone who believes they have the skills and the drive necessary to succeed here to apply for this role.

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