Operations Officer


The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California. The Foundation’s vision is a California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically. Since 1937, the Foundation has provided more than $2.09 billion in grants to organizations throughout California. The Foundation ended 2021 with more than $3.8 billion in assets and provided $128 million in grants. We have about 80 staff across our San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. The Foundation is committed, internally and externally, to the values of accountability, curiosity, empathy, equity, nimbleness, partnership, and transparency.



The Operations Officer will serve as an important facilitator, collaborator, and project manager across the Foundation, working on a range of cross-departmental issues and efforts that strengthen and enhance key operational and administrative functions. Successful candidates for this role will possess the skills and abilities to comfortably work independently and across teams, leveraging clear communication and thoughtful relationship management to implement work in an organization that expects partnership and collaboration.

The Operations Officer will balance big-picture thinking with an eye for detail, leveraging their ability to conduct qualitative and quantitative research and analysis in support of planning, facilitating, and executing key projects; preparing clear planning agendas, drafting concise and compelling memos, reports, and presentation materials; and supporting the development and implementation of policies, procedures, and operational approaches that enable the Foundation to successfully achieve its mission.

This role will provide continuous opportunities for professional development and growth for someone interested in furthering their career in operations and is an ideal opportunity to gain first-hand experience in aligning the core operations of Irvine with its strategic vision.


Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Operations Officer will also work closely with the Chief of Staff and Planning, operational department leads (Communications, Facilities and Administration, Finance, Grants, Talent, and Technology), and staff across the Foundation. 

The Operations Officer:

  • Conducts qualitative and quantitative research and analysis. Takes responsibility for identifying information sources, gathering and interpreting data, and sharing findings with Executive and Leadership Teams, operational department leads, and colleagues across the organization. Examples could include developing and compiling staff feedback through surveys/focus groups, reviewing and synthesizing secondary research, engaging in primary interviews and summarizing results, or developing policies and procedures. Provides powerful facts and analyses to inform key questions and improve strategic decision-making.
  • Provides project management leadership by both leading and participating in the planning and execution of projects, including facilitating cross-functional teams. 
  • Prepares clear and compelling memos, reports, and presentation materials for the Executive and Leadership Teams, and for the board of directors and related committees. Presents findings in a concise and engaging manner to various internal and external constituents. 
  • Completes administrative and operational tasks across all operational functional areas as needed, including vendor research/selection, contract development/management, and invoice processing.
  • Maintains a thorough knowledge of the Foundation’s operations and strategic priorities, to support the planning, triage, and execution of projects.
  • Coordinates cross-departmental projects and initiatives to improve operational approaches, centering staff-engagement and feedback in support of strengthening culture and enabling a thoughtful hybrid work environment.


The ideal Operations Officer candidate will possess the following attributes:

  • Operations Mindset: a combination of experience and passion for operations, with the ability to think big picture while holding the details front and center. This person experiences joy from improving processes that further organizational impact, leveraging a design-thinking mindset that balances operational effectiveness with a positive user experience.
  • Relationship Builder: a credible and humble communicator with a sincere passion for collaboration  anchored by trusting relationships, the Operations Officer will excel at advancing work while navigating diverse and sometimes conflicting points of view. Drawing on deep project management experience with cross-functional teams and external partners, this individual will ensure thoughtful stakeholder engagement whether leading on their own or supporting others in an advisory capacity.
  • Gets Things Done: an innate desire to dig into the details to identify, triage, and align available resources and potential challenges with proposed activities and approaches. This person understands how to break down strategy into its component activities, isn’t afraid of getting in the weeds to accomplish tasks big and small, and brings a resilient, problem solver attitude when facing obstacles.
  • Strategic and Critical Thinker: a creative thought partner who is comfortable working with diverse stakeholders to develop, triage, and implement the Foundation’s operational strategies. Able to design, analyze, and evaluate projects for maximize impact and possess the ability to think long-term, while drawing on their operational management experience to fulfill day-to-day responsibilities.
  • Excellent Judgement: this individual will excel at resolving divergent opinions of various stakeholders through prioritization and savvy decision-making. The Operations Officer will function at the nexus of many stakeholders, with the ability to manage up, down, and across the organization to advance work as desired.


  • A strong desire to contribute to the mission of The James Irvine Foundation.
  • A personal style characterized by humility, flexibility, self-awareness, accessibility, curiosity, a sense of humor, and the ability to work with grace under pressure.
  • Demonstrated technical skills in data collection, synthesis, analysis, and interpretation, including expert facility with PowerPoint and Excel modeling.
  • Strong organizational skills; demonstrated history of being self-directed with excellent follow through and the ability to manage process, plan workflow, handle multiple tasks simultaneously, and meet deadlines; good attention to detail and follow-through are essential.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work collaboratively with individuals and teams at all levels of the organization, representing different interests and needs.
  • Good judgment with a high degree of attention to detail and accuracy.

Compensation and Benefits

The James Irvine Foundation’s compensation philosophy is reflected in its Talent Advancement Program, which was created to assure equity in staff compensation. While every staff member is assigned a Tier based on demonstration of competencies, the Foundation looks to outcomes as criteria for advancement through the program’s Tiers. The positions are benchmarked against relative industry and occupational groups and reviewed each year, with the goal to deliver compensation equitably throughout the organization. For more information, please review Compensation Practices at Irvine.

The James Irvine Foundation offers an attractive benefits package and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We encourage applicants who reflect the diversity of California, and qualified applicants with criminal histories will be considered pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance.


$77,000 - $89,000


Click here for more information or to apply. Work Location and Vaccine Policy

Foundation staff continue to work remotely during the pandemic but will shift, in 2022, to a hybrid in-person/remote work arrangement at our San Francisco and Los Angeles offices when deemed safe. All staff are required to be fully vaccinated with one of the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines.


Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and two writing samples through our website: https://www.irvine.org/about-us/careers/. If you need to submit via regular mail, that address is:

The James Irvine Foundation

Human Resources Department

One Bush Street, Suite 800

San Francisco, CA 94104

Application deadline: Open Until Filled

The Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we encourage applicants who reflect the diversity of California. Qualified applicants with criminal histories will be considered pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (“FCO”). The Foundation greatly appreciates all interest expressed in our openings.