Job Opening: Program Officer

The Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation seeks an experienced professional to join our Houston-based team as a Program Officer, advancing our mission to support those working boldly toward a healthy environment, reproductive justice and the nurture of nature

About the Foundation: Based in Houston, the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation that supports those working boldly toward a healthy environment, reproductive justice and the nurture of nature, largely within Texas. The Foundation primarily supports advocacy, organizing, legal strategies and on-the-ground conservation and community initiatives. The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, with a commitment to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.

Job Title: Program Officer

Reports to: Chief Executive Officer

Position Summary: The Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation seeks an experienced professional with a deep understanding of the importance of a healthy environment, reproductive justice and our interdependent relationship with the natural world to join our team as a Program Officer. The Program Officer will work to advance the Foundation’s vision of a healthy, harmonious world for people and nature through our grantmaking. We are looking for someone who understands the conditions necessary to effect systemic and community change within a challenging policy environment and will partner with those working on the front lines, centering the vision and voices of those most impacted by environmental harms and restrictions on reproductive rights.

Key Responsibilities: The Program Officer will:

  • Deepen the Foundation’s knowledge and understanding of issues and opportunities by cultivating relationships with those working within the Foundation’s focus areas and participating in relevant educational and research activities.
  • Coordinate with the Board of Directors and CEO to refine grantmaking strategies in keeping with the Foundation’s mission, focus areas, values and goals, as well as shifts in external context.
  • Proactively identify fundable initiatives that align with the Foundation’s grantmaking strategies and have the potential to advance the Foundation’s goals.
  • Conduct appropriate due diligence of grant applicants through discussion, site visits and research, as well as analysis of relevant programmatic, organizational and contextual information.
  • Prepare grant recommendations for review by the Foundation’s leadership and Board of Directors.
  • Coordinate with the Director of Operations and Grants Management and the Director of Finance to ensure that grants are processed in a timely manner and in keeping with applicable rules, regulations and internal protocols.
  • Maintain an appropriate level of engagement with grantee partners to stay abreast of their work and provide additional support as needed; synthesize learnings to inform future grantmaking.
  • Represent the Foundation in collaborative relationships with current and prospective grantee partners, other funders, philanthropy-serving organizations and community stakeholders.
  • When appropriate, assist grantee partners, funders and other community stakeholders with convenings and coordination around issues of mutual interest.
  • Advance the Foundation’s communications objectives, including developing content as needed for the website, e-newsletter and LinkedIn page.
  • Execute special projects and assignments for the CEO and Board of Directors as needed.

Desired Qualifications: We seek a team member with experience in a relevant professional capacity who is enthusiastic about the Foundation’s mission and shares our values. The candidate must be comfortable taking initiative, interacting with a range of constituents and operating with a high level of trust and responsibility.

Specifically, the successful candidate will possess:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, with a Master’s degree preferred.
  •  A minimum of seven years of related work experience in managing successful enterprises and working with multi-dimensional challenges in field(s) related to environmental and climate justice; land and water conservation; and/or reproductive health, rights and justice.
  • Experience working with a variety of stakeholders including community members, nonprofit leaders, subject matter experts, public officials and others with decision-making authority.
  • Knowledge of regional challenges and opportunities within Texas, particularly those within greater Houston and central Texas.
  • Familiarity with the nonprofit, philanthropic or foundation sector is a plus.
  • Familiarity with the policy landscape at the federal, state and local level is a plus.
  • Proficiency in language(s) other than English is a plus.

Key Attributes and Competencies: The successful candidate will demonstrate:

  • Prior success in developing new ideas and programs and building trust, collaboration and commitment among stakeholders.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to make complex issues understandable and relevant to various audiences.
  • A forward-looking mindset, deep curiosity and an ability to see the big picture, connect the dots, propose solutions and seek opportunities that will spur change.
  • Strong organizational skills and an ability to meet deadlines, take initiative and anticipate needs.
  • Ability to handle confidential information with discretion.
  • High emotional intelligence and self-awareness, seeking and acting on feedback.
  • Excellent judgement, integrity and commitment to learning and accountability.
  • Ability to thrive and adapt in an environment of growth and change.
  • Orientation as a team player and an ability to envision success.
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and justice.

Compensation: The salary range for this full-time position starts at $120,000 and will be set in accordance with the successful candidate’s experience. In addition to salary, the candidate will be eligible for the Foundation’s employee benefits program, including but not limited to medical, dental and vision insurance, generous paid time off and a matching 401(k) retirement plan.

Location: This position will be based out of the dog-friendly Foundation offices in Houston, with the schedule to be structured as a flexible hybrid of remote, field and in-person work. Some travel will be required.

To Apply: Send a resume and cover letter to We will contact those candidates who most closely match our requirements. Thank you for your interest.