Program Officer, Climate Solutions

Organization Name: 
MacArthur Foundation
Date Posted: 
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Closing Date: 
Friday, May 31, 2019

The overall goal of the Climate Solutions program is to ensure that global temperature rise stays well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. To achieve that goal, the Climate Solutions team has developed a strategy premised on the idea that if the United States, India and China exert global leadership on climate change, other nations will be compelled to act. Leadership can come from multiple sectors – government, private sector and civil society – and will be demonstrated through policies, actions, and investments in these three countries that decrease the carbon-intensity of their economies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and build political will and public demand for climate solutions.


The Program Officer, Climate Solutions, works with the team’s Director and colleagues on all aspects of the strategy’s grantmaking in the United States, China, and India. The Program Officer applies his/her expertise in climate change and energy policy to the development and implementation of grantmaking strategies.  In this role, the Program Officer is called upon to deliver under pressure, and consistently produce high-quality work; build effective peer relationships throughout the Foundation; work with other departments proactively; anticipate potential issues and propose solutions; offer assistance and service to team members; and present ideas for improvement and be able to create a project plan to execute these improvements.


 Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Participate in the design, implementation, refinement and adaptation of grantmaking strategies and in planning future program strategies
  • Assist in the design of new initiatives
  • Identify prospective grant recipients and work with prospective grantees to develop proposals that advance grantmaking strategies
  • Review and evaluate proposals
  • Conduct background research and due diligence, prepare grant recommendations for administrative and Board consideration, and respond to unsuccessful proposals
  • Monitor the performance of grants and the implementation of grant strategies
  • Manage a caseload of active grants, review periodic reports and maintain accurate records and constructive contact with grantees
  • Organize meetings of prospective grantees, grantees, program advisors, and others in relevant fields
  • Keep abreast of current events, developments and issues in the field to maintain a balanced and objective perspective and approach to grantmaking.
  • Write extensively for internal purposes
  • Conduct research projects and monitor the performance of research grants
  • Build and sustain relationships with colleagues across the Foundation, and with leaders, actors and organizations in relevant fields, including the public and commercial sectors
  • Represent the Foundation at conferences and other public events, including as speaker or panel participant

Other Duties and Responsibilities

  • Serve on internal Foundation committees as appropriate
  • Perform other duties as assigned

The Program Officer must be willing to travel domestically and internationally.

The position is based in Chicago, Illinois.

Physical Requirements and Work Environment:

The work environment is an office setting.  Intermittent physical activities will include bending, reaching, sitting, and walking during working hours.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable a person with physical disabilities to perform the job.

The Foundation is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

  • Graduate training and at least five years of experience working as a policy professional, researcher or practitioner in climate change and energy policy; previous grantmaking or grant seeking experience is desirable
  • Expertise in climate science, low carbon growth/green growth, carbon markets and finance, mitigation strategies and options, energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport, technology transfer, green infrastructure or other climate change mitigation
  • Solid grounding in the theory, history and trends in climate change and energy policy; a strong grasp of relevant empirical research and theoretical literature; and a good understanding of the substance and dynamics of public policies relevant to the work of the team
  • Able to make effective connections among research, policy and practice and to work productively with government, community-based organizations, and academic institutions, and working knowledge of relevant government policies and programs
  • Excellent analytical and communications skills, including writing and public speaking
  • Experience in strategic communications and project management
  • Self-confident, collegial, and diplomatic, with an appreciation of the role of a grantmaking institution
  • Computer literate, with a high level of comfort with new applications
  • Other essential skills include: effectiveness in interpersonal relations with a proven ability to work as part of a team; the ability to organize and convey problems and issues clearly and succinctly; ease with and openness to people who hold diverse views; and a talent for managing multiple tasks with significant initiative


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