Director, Grantmaking, Learning, and Operations

Department: Grantmaking Learning & Ops
Location: Menlo Park, CA

Director, Grantmaking, Learning, and Operations

About the Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is a nonpartisan, private charitable foundation that advances ideas and supports institutions to promote a better world. For more than 50 years, the foundation has supported efforts to advance education for all, preserve the environment, support vibrant performing arts, strengthen Bay Area communities, make the philanthropy sector more effective, and foster gender equity and responsive governance around the world.

Today, it is one of the largest philanthropic institutions in the United States, awarding over $465 million in grants in 2020 to organizations across the globe to help people build better lives. A fourteen-member board of directors provides overall direction for the foundation.

The Hewlett Foundation has approximately 120 employees in programmatic, operational, and investment roles located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Across the organization, our employees are challenged with meaningful work, have the resources for ongoing professional development and learning, and contribute to a collegial and engaging environment where they can thrive.

For more information about the Hewlett Foundation, please visit its website at

About Grantmaking, Learning, and Operations at the Hewlett Foundation

The Grantmaking, Learning, and Operations (GLO) team focuses on maximizing the impact and effectiveness of, and learning from, grantmaking at the Hewlett Foundation. The department has a unique vantage point across the organization: it partners with program teams and collaborates closely across administrative functions to facilitate the grantmaking process and achieve foundation goals. They also engage across the foundation by leading cross-organization trainings, committees, and initiatives, effectively engaging at all levels in the organization.

From developing tools and processes to implementing systems and advancing best practices through training, the GLO team plays a pivotal role in all grantmaking activities and has a valued voice in all aspects of the foundationís work. The team designs systems to interact with grantees, manages the grant lifecycle, aggregates information, analyzes data, and shares learning and best practices. Working on every program and on every grant, the GLO team is a critical partner and respected resource in the management and implementation of program strategies, serving as thought partners and catalysts for innovation.

The Hewlett Foundation plays a leading role in the field of grants management. Its model is unique in its approach, uniting grant operations with insights and organizational learning. The teamís cross foundation view gives it a distinct understanding of the interconnectedness of roles, goals, organizations, systems, and people. They prioritize and value authenticity, equity, growth, and learning as core pillars of their work together and with others. The structure allows for alignment of values with grant practices and contributes to greater collaboration and sharing of insights, knowledge, reflection, and learning at all levels of the organization.  

The Grantmaking, Learning, and Operations team is currently led by a Director with five grants officers deployed towards specific program, administrative, and project assignments. Also on the team is an Organizational Learning Officer who facilitates opportunities for learning across the foundation and supports programs in monitoring their strategies.

About the Director Position

The Director of Grantmaking, Learning, and Operations serves as a key organizational leader, reporting to the President and as a member of the foundationís senior staff.  The role is extremely collaborative and offers the opportunity to stimulate creative and innovative capacity within a mission- and value-driven organization. The Director will work closely with key internal partners:

As the leader of the GLO department, the Director:

Key Priorities and Responsibilities


Grant Operations, Systems, and Processes

Data and Insights

Organizational Learning

Staff Development and Management

Ideal Candidate 

The ideal candidate is recognized in the field for their commitment and expertise in grants administration. They are inspired by the reach and impact of the foundationís work and driven to contribute their skills to a team at the forefront of philanthropic grants management practices. Their systems orientation and high-level understanding of grants processes allow them to improve and enhance tools and processes, develop new solutions, and stay well-informed of new and emerging options. They are knowledgeable regarding best practices, current issues, and trends in the philanthropic sector.

Known for a collaborative approach, the ideal candidate has an established track record of straightforward, productive relationships grounded in respect for different perspectives and opinions. Working across all levels of the organization and in close partnership with other senior leaders on learning and cross cutting initiatives, the Director needs to bring diplomacy, professionalism, and a desire to listen to and learn from their interactions, be a consensus builder and excellent communicator, and be able to explain complex concepts in a way that generates clarity and inspires action. Candidates for the role should be comfortable managing change and skilled as facilitators.

The role requires effective navigation in a decentralized and matrixed organization. The Director will need to gather broad and balanced input, analyze issues and problems systematically, draw sound conclusions, and translate those into timely decisions and actions. The ability to make decisions despite ambiguity, synthesize large amounts of information (technical, legal, financial, and anecdotal) and determine the most important issues and themes of any project or problem is essential.

We are looking for candidates who have proven themselves as effective team managers, supporting prioritization and goal setting, planning, time-management skills, and professional development. Personally, candidates should be self-motivated and proactive, with the confidence to express their expertise and point of view.


While staff are currently working remotely, the Director role will be based in Menlo Park, CA at the foundationís office when it reopens in what will be a hybrid work environment.

Effective September 13, 2021, the foundation will require all staff, vendors, and visitors accessing our office to be fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Compensation and Benefits

The Hewlett Foundation is committed to providing compensation that is competitive within the philanthropic sector. We offer a generous total compensation package that emphasizes both base salary and comprehensive benefits. The salary range for this role starts at $208,250.  Offers are based on the candidate's years of experience and our practice of maintaining salary equity within the foundation.

To Be Considered

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation embraces the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion both internally, in our hiring process and organizational culture, and externally, in our grantmaking and related practices. We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, cultures, and experiences.

Please submit your resume and cover letter expressing your interest and experience for the position here.

This search is being assisted by GoodCitizen:

Melissa Merritt, Managing Director

Mollie Smith, Associate

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