Program Officer (Andes-Amazon Initiative)

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Palo Alto, CA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 
Apply By: 

Share This Job:

The Andes-Amazon Initiative’s goal is to conserve the Amazonian natural ecosystems, which provide habitat for biodiversity and regulate the regional climate cycle. To achieve this goal, the foundation supports work that addresses the following elements:

  • Protected area national and sub-national systems,
  • Targeted individual protected areas and indigenous territories in selected countries,
  • Integration of selected clusters of protected areas (mosaics) into regional economies and land use planning.
  • Environmental and social impact of infrastructure projects, particularly roads and dams, in key targeted areas

The role of a healthy Amazonian forest is particularly significant for global climate change mitigation as well as regional hydrological function that support human livelihoods.  The Foundation began funding conservation in the Amazon basin in 2001, and has since invested over $490 million in a protected area approach to conserving forest cover and in associated supporting strategies. This approach has achieved the creation and improved management of approximately 150 million hectares, or around 29% of the original forest cover of the Amazon. The foundation recognizes that this approach is necessary but not sufficient to secure additional forest cover in the Amazon, and for this reason the foundation is also working on integrating protected areas into regional economies and land-use planning by addressing the drivers of deforestation to reduce external threats and exploring options for tailored and long-lasting sustainable development in selected mosaics. In 2017, the foundation expanded its work to address the impact of infrastructure (roads and dams) in targeted areas, and to incorporate an added emphasis on freshwater conservation.


The Initiative is currently active in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. The Initiative team also makes a small number of grants outside of these countries to support basin-wide research and key approaches that will benefit its target geographies.


For more information please visit: Andes-Amazon Initiative



The Position

The foundation is seeking a professional in social sciences, natural resources management, and/or environmental conservation science with substantial on-the-ground experience in the Amazon region to serve as a Program Officer for its Andes-Amazon Initiative.  Candidates must be bilingual in English and Spanish.


The Program Officer will contribute to strategy implementation and carry out grantmaking as needed focused on ensuring the management effectiveness of protected areas and indigenous territories in the Andean countries of the Amazon region.  Additionally, the successful candidate will collaborate with other program officers and the program director on strategies and grants supporting the protected areas work through the development of analysis and synthesis of our grantmaking work. A small part of the job will be to research on specific conservation topics.


This position is based in Palo Alto, CA with significant travel to the Amazon region*, and has a term limit of 14 months (December 2020 through January 2022).


* As of now, foundation offices are closed, staff are temporarily working remotely full time, and travel is restricted due to COVID-19.


Key Responsibilities
Specific responsibilities include:

  • Contribute to the implementation of the Initiative’s strategic framework on protected areas and indigenous lands, with a focus on grants management in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.
  • Carry out activities beyond grantmaking to help drive change in the Initiative’s problem space (e.g., convening, facilitating, networking).
  • Management of an effective monitoring and evaluation plans, and oversee ongoing adaptive management of grants, activities, and strategies in coordination with other Program Officers and Program Director.
  • Manage external relationships with grantees and other key partners in support of Initiative goals.
  • Coordinate with internal staff to complete grant-making, grant-management and monitoring processes.
  • Maintain solid knowledge of the field and key emerging trends. 
  • Contribute to strategy development for a potential new initiative in the Amazon through research, analysis and synthesis (20% of the time)


  • A Master’s or Doctorate degree or equivalent experience in a relevant field –preferably: natural resource economics, social sciences, environmental studies, or international policy.
  • A background in sustainable development and conservation (at least 5 years) in the Andes-Amazon, such as work in a non-governmental organization, corporation, government, or applied academic fields.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and/or experience in working on natural resource management with an economics and policy perspective in the Amazon region, using innovative and effective approaches.
  • A record of successfully promoting and working on complex partnership or multi-stakeholder projects to achieve tangible outcomes.
  • Prior grantmaking experience is preferred.


  • A sophisticated understanding of protected areas and forest conservation in the Amazon across the Basin.
  • Demonstrated passion for making improvements in sustainable use in the Andes-Amazon region.
  • Demonstrated strategic planning skills, with ability to identify and rigorously evaluate new opportunities.
  • Strong project management skills, with demonstrated ability to manage large projects and budgets, set realistic goals and objectives, and balance multiple priorities.
  • Strong individual contributor who can work well with a high-functioning team.
  • Demonstrated strong teamwork and interpersonal skills, with ability to develop productive relationships with colleagues, grantees, stakeholders, and others. Respectful, collaborative and energetic working style.
  • Demonstrated comfort with and experience in public speaking and meeting organization/facilitation.
  • Demonstrated ability and openness to quickly adapt and adjust strategy and approach to changing conditions.
  • Strong negotiation skills.
  • Personal motivation to support the foundation mission and goals.
  • Ability and interest in traveling to local and out-of-town grantee meetings, site visits, and national/international conferences.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English and Spanish.
  • Ability and interest in traveling to local and out-of-town grantee meetings, site visits, and national/international conferences.
  • Be an effective contributor on a variety of program- and foundation-wide issues beyond the Initiative as required.
  • Willingness to support and promote the foundation and your colleagues through commitment to enhancing the foundation’s considerations of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.


The ideal candidate will also demonstrate the following foundation attributes, which describe how we strive to do our work with each other and our partners:

  • Committed to Excellence
  • Passionate
  • Collegial
  • Open and Honest
  • Humble and Self-Aware

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation includes a competitive base salary and an excellent package of health, retirement savings and other benefits.


Application Process

Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States.  Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the ordinance.


The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse pool of candidates for this search.  We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and welcome individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply.


All correspondence will remain confidential.