California Program Director


San Francisco, CA, US

The Ceres’ California Program Director leads the organization’s California team and office, oversees programmatic strategy, builds key partnerships in California, develops new fundraising opportunities and maintains existing donor relationships, and represents Ceres externally in the Bay area and on the West Coast. Reporting jointly to the Chief Operating Officer and to the Chief Development Officer, the California Program Director provides overall direction to an office of six and manages two direct reports. The Director also serves on the 14-person Ceres Leadership Team, which provides overall strategic programmatic direction to the organization. The Program Director plays a key role across the organization, supporting Ceres’ development, program, external relations, and leadership activities, and serves as the primary ambassador for Ceres in California.


Program and Office Leadership

  • Oversee the Ceres San Francisco office, including operations and administration, liaising with the Human Resources and Operations team in Boston.
  • Provide leadership and direction to the California team; drive the strategic growth of the office, including personnel. Oversee a team of six; provide supervision and mentorship to two direct reports. This includes but is not limited to hiring and training new staff, conducting quarterly and annual reviews, providing guidance and support with professional development.
  • Oversee and manage budget for program and coordinate with Development and Finance Teams on financial reporting.
  • Assist with planning for the Ceres annual conference program and other events to showcase progress.
  • Regularly review programmatic work plans and provide strategic guidance and feedback, including input on tactics and strategies aimed at achieving organizational goals. Develop annual planning goals for the California program.
  • Lead program evaluation work, including tracking, monitoring and reporting on progress toward impact goals. Use evaluation data in decision-making.
  • Serve on the Ceres Leadership team and attend weekly meetings by phone; represent the California program in organization-level strategic discussions.
  • Facilitate collaboration between the California team and Ceres’ program, development, and communications teams across the organization.
  • Represent Ceres externally on the West Coast at conferences, meetings, events, and with the media. Cultivate new partnerships and relationships as needed.

Resource Development

  • In coordination with the Development Team, design and implement a cultivation plan for new California-based donors (individuals and foundations). Help map out the California philanthropic landscape, identify and build a pipeline of donor and funder prospects, and engage and cultivate prospects.
  • Steward current California-based foundation and individual donors to Ceres through in-person meetings and ongoing communication.
  • Partner with the Ceres’ Foundations team to recruit, steward and retain foundation funders that support Ceres’ work in California.
  • Provide management and supervision to California Development Associate.

President’s Council and Board Stewardship

  • Assist the Chief Development Officer and Ceres President in identifying and engaging individuals who could become members of the Ceres President’s Council.
  • Help steward and support current California-based Board and President’s Council members, particularly in helping them tap their networks for potential relationships with Ceres.

Climate and Water Program

  • Provide strategic guidance, management and supervision to two program staff in California to expand Ceres’ programs and policy advocacy in California, including the Connect the Drops network and climate and energy policy work.
  • Partner with Ceres-wide program staff in managing current relationships and, where needed, initiating relationships with corporate leaders, investors, legislators, issue experts, regulators, and NGO partners located in California.

Company Relationship Management

  • Help recruit new companies to Ceres’ corporate leadership networks and campaigns (the Ceres Company Network, the Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy, and Connect the Drops campaign in California).
  • Upon request of Corporate or Policy Program Directors, manage and steward existing relationships with current member companies in California; attend company events and meetings, participate in company stakeholder engagements, and serve as a local liaison to Ceres.

Investor Relationship Management

  • In partnership with California-based Investor team Director and Senior Associate, recruit California-based investors into Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk and steward investor partners.
  • In partnership with Policy and Investor teams, determine California policy priorities for investors.
  • Represent Ceres as needed in Investor/Capital Market events and gatherings in the Bay Area.

Position Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree, preferred.
  • Minimum 10 years professional work experience, in roles of progressive responsibility.
  • 3 years of management and strategy development experience, nonprofit sector leadership, a plus.
  • 3+ years of experience supervising staff, including ability to provide training and support staff development.
  • Motivational manager that can stimulate effective action by and collaboration among team members.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including public speaking experience.
  • Experience developing and managing progress against goals and budgets.
  • Knowledge of and experience with California funder and philanthropic communities strongly desired.
  • Experience in the sustainability and environment fields preferred.
  • Ability to work independently and institute new systems and processes to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of California office.
  • Experience managing strategic relationships with key constituents and partners.
  • A confident and poised demeanor; sense of humor; demonstrated ability to build strong relationships with high-level business leaders, investors, donors, and funders.
  • Passion for Ceres’ mission and ability to inspire others in that mission.
  • Ability to travel, at least quarterly to Boston.

How to Apply

We encourage all applicants to review our website to familiarize themselves with Ceres before applying:  Applicants should submit a resume, cover letter, two writing samples, and a list of three references, to [email protected].    Please include “California Program Director” in the subject line of your e-mail message.