Program Officer, Yellowstone to Yukon

Program Officer, Yellowstone to Yukon

Hiring Organization Information

Organization Name: 
Wilburforce Foundation
United States

Position Information

Employment Type: 
Full time
Experience Level: 
Salary Range: 
Starting at $120,000
Job Category: 
Program Management
Organizational Overview: 

Wilburforce Foundation is a private, philanthropic foundation that empowers conservation leaders to protect the irreplaceable lands, waters, and wildlife of western North America. 

About our Yellowstone to Yukon Program: The Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) ecoregion is a worldwide model for large landscape conservation that encompasses Yellowstone National Park in the south, stretching 2000 miles north along the spine of the continent to the Yukon, where the mountainous corridor spills out onto the Arctic plains. The Foundation’s goal is to achieve landscape-scale connectivity and climate resilience by protecting and connecting wildlife and wildlands across the region. The Foundation supports collaborative community-based efforts that sustain biodiversity, landscape connectivity, climate resilience, and sustainable communities.

Role Responsibilities: 

Program Officers work closely with other staff and partners to advance the outcomes described in the Foundation’s Strategic Framework. Core responsibilities include: 1) Developing, implementing, and revising regional and/or cross-cutting conservation strategies; 2) leading and/or participating in grantmaking, capacity building, and other program activities to advance those strategies; 3) researching, preparing, and delivering reports or other presentations to the Foundation board and staff; 4) Managing a Program Associate; and 5) working with the Executive Director to create and maintain a collaborative, inclusive, team-oriented work environment.

Candidate Qualifications: 

Core Competencies: Conservation Outcomes, Relationships, and Capacity Building are cornerstones of Wilburforce Foundation’s strategy and theory of change. Ideal candidates will demonstrate practices and characteristics consistent with these fundamental tenets.

Conservation Outcomes- The Y2Y program helps advance the overall conservation mission and vision of Wilburforce Foundation, which includes efforts to decrease or mitigate threats to lands, waters, and wildlife, and improve the ecological resilience of the landscapes in which we work. An effective Program Officer is expected to: recognize the elements of effective strategy; deploy resources to support goals and outcomes; gather data to assess and improve performance.

Relationships- The Y2Y program staff and their grantees routinely work with First Nation and Tribal leaders, conservation advocates, government agencies, funding partners, scientists, ranchers, hunters and anglers, and other allies across the ecoregion. An effective Program Officer is expected to: communicate and collaborate strategically within and across a diversity of communities; demonstrate inclusive practices that increase the likelihood of building durable conservation solutions; mitigate the power dynamics inherent in grantmaker-grantseeker roles by building trust, asking questions, and acknowledging personal biases and beliefs.

Capacity Building-  An effective Program Officer is expected to understand the challenges that organizations and their leaders face, and in collaboration with our capacity building program, help identify the types of support and resources needed to strengthen their work.

Specific Duties:    

  • Create and implement the Foundation’s Yellowstone to Yukon strategy, consistent with the Foundation’s overall Strategic Framework.
  • Research issues, programs, and organizations, and make recommendations to the Foundation’s Board that support strategic outcomes.
  • Collaborate with relevant staff on issues and/or strategies that may affect the work of other programs and impact the goals and mission of the foundation as a whole.
  • Supervise the Program Associate for Yellowstone to Yukon.
  • Engage and manage consultants working on strategic initiatives.
  • Review and analyze materials submitted by grantees, and make recommendations about proposals for consideration by the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with grantees, funders, and other partners to communicate and advance foundation strategies.
  • Work closely with the Foundation’s capacity building program staff and service providers to assess, prioritize, and address the capacity needs of grantees.
  • In collaboration with the conservation science program, assess, prioritize, and support opportunities to address knowledge gaps in conservation science to advance strategic outcomes in the region.
  • Represent the foundation at conferences and meetings with grantees, foundations, government agencies, or community officials. Must be able to travel within the United States and Canada. 
  • Act as a liaison with, or convener of, grantees, funders, and other conservation partners to facilitate the exchange of information, ideas, and strategies.
  • Inform Foundation staff and Board of current conservation, philanthropic, economic, and political or other issues that may have an impact on the Foundation’s strategies or grantmaking practices.
  • Evaluate program activities, grants, and strategies.
  • Participate in the Foundation’s internal diversity, equity, and inclusion capacity building efforts.
  • Cooperate with Executive Director to create a positive, inclusive, engaged, and productive organizational culture.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

All Foundation employees are expected to perform with high standards of integrity; demonstrate maturity; show curiosity; listen actively; value self-understanding; exhibit deep commitment; use good humor; think creatively; and communicate effectively

The following factors are desirable in the candidates we hope to meet.

  • Lived and/or professional experience in the nonprofit sector, advocating for or organizing environmental, conservation, social justice, and/or other change efforts.
  • Lived or professional experience in conservation science, policy, law, and/or advocacy.
  • Experience supervising, mentoring, or coaching others.
  • Experience working with foundations and grants, from either the grantmaker or grantseeker perspectives.
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How to Apply

Application Contact: 
Paul Beaudet
Application Deadline: 
January 11, 2022, though later applications will be considered until the position is filled
Application Instructions: 
Candidates who submit an application by Tuesday, January 11, 2022 will be considered first, though applications will continue to be accepted after that date until the position is filled. Please submit a cover letter and resume, combined into one document either in PDF or Microsoft Word format. Email your application to Since our office is only staffed a limited number of days each week, please do not submit applications by mail or in person.