Senior Program Officer (Safe Water)

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Los Angeles, CA, USA 🇺🇸

Westlake Village, CA, USA 🇺🇸


Position at Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

International hotelier Conrad N. Hilton established the grantmaking foundation that bears his name in 1944 to help people living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage worldwide. Today, the work continues, concentrating on efforts to ensure healthy early childhood development and sustainable livelihoods for youth, support young people transitioning out of foster care, improve access to housing and support services for people experiencing homelessness, identify solutions to safe water access, and lift the work of Catholic sisters. Additionally, following selection by an independent, international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to an organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. The Foundation is one of the world’s largest, with approximately $8.5 billion in assets. It has awarded grants to date totaling more than $2.4 billion, $339 million worldwide in 2021. Please visit for more information.

**Cover letter required for consideration**

Job Summary

The Senior Program Officer will provide strategic leadership in the Safe Water Initiative grantmaking activities and projects and will have primary responsibility for the Foundation’s Safe Water Initiative.  This individual is a thought leader within the Safe Water sector and a key member of the program team. This position reports to the Director, Legacy Initiatives.


Strategic Initiative Planning and Implementation

  • Leads strategy planning and implementation of the Foundation’s Safe Water strategic initiative.
  • Collaborates with the Director of Legacy Initiatives to present strategy updates to the Board of Directors.
  • Works collaboratively with the Director of Legacy Initiatives, Learning, and Evaluation Division (SLED) to set and adapt strategy.
  • Works collaboratively with SLED and the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) partners to provide guidance and input into MEL approaches, including efforts to share learnings.
  • Provides vision and collaborates on periodic grantee convenings.

Grantmaking and Grantee Relations

  • Identifies potential grantees and projects in partnership with Initiative team.
  • Investigates and evaluates grant proposals and drafts grant writeups in collaboration with Initiative team.
  • Monitors and evaluates strategic initiatives and grantee performance.
  • Conducts site visits.
  • Conducts due diligence to assess grantee work.
  • Provides advice/area expertise assistance to and maintains an open, ongoing relationship with grantees.
  • Nurtures partnerships among grantees.

Issues/Trend Analysis and Communications

  • Remains informed of current research, policy, activities, and trends in the issues related to safe water philanthropy, non-profits, and government efforts
  • Responds effectively to the broader knowledge in the field by aligning grantmaking with emerging learning and opportunities in the field.
  • Pursues and promotes learning throughout the field.
  • Works with the communications team to develop communications and advocacy strategy for the Safe Water Initiative.
  • Writes blogs/articles for the website and supervises website content and updates.

Thought Leader and Coalition Building

  • Engages and develops relations to strengthen strategic coalition-building within the sector.
  • Convenes meetings of key government, philanthropic, and nonprofit leaders to mobilize coordinated efforts and funding in strategic initiatives.
  • Represents the Foundation to various constituencies through verbal and written communications (annual reports, brochures, correspondence) and through participating in outside conferences and meetings.
  • Works with other leaders in the field to strengthen and further build the field.

Management and Program Team Relations

  • Builds collaborative and positive working relationships and effective communication channels with team members and staff.
  • Effectively manages direct reports and provides mentorship in developing professionally.
  • Participates in team meetings to review grant recommendations, provide updates on grantee progress, determine technical assistance needs of grantees, plan convening, evaluation and communications activities, and share and reflect on experiences in the field and related program activity.
  • Identifies the need and scope of work for consultants within the safe water area, makes recommendations to the Director of Legacy Initiatives, and monitors work as required.



  • Graduate degree in public health, public policy, social welfare, or a related field.
  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience in grantmaking and/or program development/management.
  • Experience leading and managing a team, and the ability to professionally develop team members.
  • Demonstrated expertise and work experience in safe water related issues at program, research, and public policy levels.
  • Knowledgeable of international safe water policy at global, national, regional and local levels; leadership experience within the sector.
  • Experience, or relevant experience, in strategic planning and implementation and in coordinating public/private efforts for long-term, systemic social impact.
  • A passion for and a commitment to the Foundation’s mission and safe water.
  • Excellent written/oral communication, presentation and public speaking skills.
  • Ability to develop effective and professional relationships with internal and external colleagues and partners.
  • Extensive strategic, conceptual and critical thinking abilities; capacity to navigate through ambiguity.
  • Outstanding organizational, analytical, and time management skills with high attention to priority and detail.
  • Works well independently and within a team and demonstrates a high degree of initiative, flexibility, collaboration and cultural sensitivity.
  • The personal presence to represent the Foundation in diverse forums and organizational relationships.
  • Aptitude for adopting and handling immediate priorities and multiple projects while anticipating and planning for future needs.
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally.


  • Experience living and working in sub-Saharan Africa.

About our Benefits

We value the health and well-being of our employees, some of the benefits we offer include:

  • Comprehensive and generous health and life insurance options
  • Relocation Pay
  • Fitness benefits
  • Paid holidays, time off, and parental leave
  • Flexible work schedules and technology benefits
  • Foundation funded retirement savings plan
  • Professional learning and development and educational assistance
  • Employee matching gifts to qualified non-profit organizations

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is an equal opportunity employer with values grounded in promoting equality and inclusion and embracing diversity. We welcome qualified applicants of all races, colors, gender identities, sexual orientations, economic classes, ages, religions, national origins, and ability/disability statuses. Veterans and individuals with lived expertise are encouraged to apply. We respect and seek to empower every member of our Foundation community. We support and celebrate our collective array of cultures, backgrounds, perspectives, skills and experiences; fully realizing that such diversity is what makes our organization flourish and better enables us to fulfill our mission in the world.