Program Officer (Andes-Amazon Initiative)

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Palo Alto, CA, United States 🇺🇸


Program Officer, Andes-Amazon Initiative
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 $400 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 natural resource economics and environmental conservation 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 or Portuguese.
The Program Officer will contribute to strategy development, and carry out grantmaking on the new work on addressing the impacts of infrastructure in the Amazon region.  Additionally, the successful candidate will collaborate with other program officers on strategies and grants supporting the protected area work, and integrated land use planning in the Amazon through the development of summary documents to deepen our grantmaking work.
This position is based in Palo Alto, CA with significant travel to the Amazon region.
Key Responsibilities
Specific responsibilities include:
  • Contribute to the implementation of the Initiative’s overall strategic framework, with a focus on the new work on infrastructure and natural resource management.
  • Identify, develop, source and manage a portfolio of grants that advance specific Initiative strategies.
  • Carry out activities beyond grantmaking to help drive change in the Initiative’s problem space (e.g., convening, facilitating, networking).
  • Develop effective monitoring and evaluation plans, and oversee ongoing adaptive management of grants, activities, and strategies.
  • Manage external relationships with grantees and other key partners in support of Initiative goals.
  • Coordinate with internal staff to complete grant-making and monitoring processes.
  • Participate in periodic presentations on Initiative strategy and progress to the Board, senior management, and other Foundation staff.
  • Maintain solid knowledge of the field and key emerging trends.
  • Be an effective contributor on a variety of Program- and Foundation-wide issues beyond the Initiative as required.
Experience and Education
  • A Master’s or Doctorate degree or equivalent experience in a relevant field –preferably: natural resource economics, economics, environmental conservation, or international policy.
  • A background in sustainable development and conservation (at least six to ten 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 in a philanthropic or public sector organization is preferred.
  • Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States.
  • A sophisticated understanding of forest and freshwater conservation in the Amazon across the Basin, and the impacts of external drivers of habitat change.
  • 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 business acumen.
  • 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 or Portuguese.
  • Able to travel to the Amazon region four to six times a year for one to two-week periods of time.
The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following attributes that describe how we at the Foundation 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.

How To Apply

Martha Montag Brown & Associates, LLC has been retained for this search. Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to apply by sending a cover letter, resume and salary information by email to [email protected]. All correspondence will remain confidential.
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. All correspondence will remain confidential.