Program Associate, Prize Alumni Relations (GEF)

About the Organization

The Goldman Environmental Foundation was established by Richard & Rhoda Goldman in 1989 to honor and inspire grassroots environmental activism around the world. The Foundation administers the Goldman Environmental Prize, the world’s largest prize for grassroots environmental leaders. The Prize is awarded each year to environmental heroes from six geographic regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands & Island Nations, North America, and South & Central America. The Prize is presented at ceremonies each April in San Francisco and Washington, DC.

The Prize recognizes individuals for sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk. Each winner receives a significant and unrestricted cash award, international recognition that enhances their credibility, and worldwide visibility for the issues that they champion. The Goldman Prize views grassroots leaders as those creating positive change through community or citizen participation in the issues that affect them. By putting a spotlight on these individual leaders, the Prize seeks to inspire ordinary people to take extraordinary actions to protect the natural world.

For more information, please visit


Program Associate – Prize Alumni Relations

The Goldman Environmental Foundation (GEF) seeks a Program Associate to play a crucial role interacting with past Prize winners. GEF’s alumni relations programs provide guidance and assistance to the winners and the Program Associate will work at the heart of this effort to support this extraordinary group of grassroots activists.

The Program Associate will play a leading role in maintaining close relations with Goldman Prize winners to help ensure their safety and security, make them aware of networking opportunities supported by the Foundation, and offer them periodic opportunities to apply for grants in support of their work. This position requires an organized, outgoing, and highly personable individual who is capable of engaging comfortably in a variety of tasks—from logistics to external relations—with people from all walks of life and all corners of the globe.

Working in collaboration with the Executive Director, Deputy Director, and Program Officers, the Program Associate will focus in three areas:

  1. Defense of Prize Winners: The Program Associate will communicate regularly with Prize winners to maintain awareness about threats to their safety resulting from their environmental work and build stronger relationships with winners so they will alert GEF if new threats arise. After identifying Prize Winners at risk, the Program Associate will assist the Program Officers and senior staff in providing appropriate support to enhance winners’ safety and security.
  2. Networking Program: The Program Associate will work closely with the Deputy Director to develop, implement, and coordinate individual and group networking opportunities for Prize winners. In doing so, the Program Associate will coordinate with GEF’s communications staff to share Prize Winner updates for possible publication in the Foundation newsletter and on social media.
  3. Grantmaking Program: The Program Associate will oversee all aspects of the grants program, from soliciting proposals from Prize winners to managing grant disbursement through GEF’s Donor Advised Fund.

The Program Associate will report to the Deputy Director.


Primary Duties and Responsibilities

The Program Associate will perform the following and other duties as assigned:

Defense of Prize Winners

  • Solicit and respond to Prize winners’ assessment of risk or hardship, including physical, professional, and digital concerns.
  • Administratively support expert-conducted risk assessments and interventions for both past and current Prize winners.
  • With the program staff and the Deputy Director, work with security experts to continually develop and coordinate the risk assessment and intervention processes.

Alumni Engagement and Networking Support

  • Under the guidance of the Deputy Director, manage existing alumni network tools (including Google Listserv); develop and implement new tools for past Prize winners to share information, contacts, updates, etc.
  • Maintain Salesforce database with Prize winner communications, contact information, and status.  
  • As co-primary Salesforce administrator, train other staff in the use of Salesforce as needed.
  • In close collaboration with the communications team, actively solicit, share, and track Prize winner updates through social media and other tools.
  • Share pertinent and timely information with Prize winners regarding GEF initiatives and programs and external opportunities.
  • Assist in event planning and sponsorship activities; research and communicate new opportunities for group and individual Prize winner networking.
  • Stay informed on major domestic and international environmental issues and news.

Grants Management

  • Correspond with Prize winners about the grantmaking program; distribute program information, respond to questions, and request proposals.
  • Manage grant proposal review, including researching and writing proposal summaries.
  • Prepare grant recommendation dockets for review by the Next Generation Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors; facilitate grant proposal review and approval process.
  • Liaise with Donor Advised Fund personnel to vet, approve, and manage grant payments.
  • Coordinate and maintain annual internal timeline of grantmaking cycle and process.
  • With the Executive Director, review and update the grants process as needed.

Prize Winner Selection, Tour Planning, and Logistics

  • Participate in review and discussion of Prize nominees and selection of candidates.
  • With full staff, edit and format docket write-ups of candidates for clarity and consistency.
  • Support program officers to organize the Prize winner tour, including maintenance of the web-based itinerary for both tours (San Francisco, CA and Washington, DC), and contributing to the creation of pre-tour memoranda for Prize winners regarding tour events, itinerary, and logistics.
  • Coordinate and staff meetings for Prize winners with NGOs and other relevant stakeholders, as requested.
  • Staff hotel in San Francisco to provide Prize winners with on-site assistance.
  • Provide translation/interpretation assistance for Prize winners as necessary.


Skills and Experience

The desired applicant possesses the following:

  • 3+ years of professional experience, preferably in a nonprofit/environmental organization
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
  • Fluency in Spanish (written and verbal) required, additional language skills desirable
  • Experience with grantmaking, events management, and/or membership relations desirable
  • Strong research, writing, and editing skills
  • Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Effective, clear, and positive communication skills
  • Knowledge of current international environmental issues
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Google calendar, and Salesforce programs


Personal Attributes

The following personal attributes are desired:

  • Dedication to the mission of the Prize
  • Comfort working with individuals from diverse backgrounds and locations
  • A personable, flexible, tenacious, diplomatic, and respectful demeanor
  • A collaborative work style and desire to be a team player
  • High energy level, impeccable integrity, entrepreneurial spirit, and a sense of humor


Compensation and Location

Goldman Environmental Foundation offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. This position will be located in San Francisco, California.


To Apply

CEA Recruiting is assisting Goldman Environmental Foundation with this search. To be considered for this position, interested candidates must follow the link below to submit a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements through CEA’s job portal. Please direct all applications and inquiries to CEA Recruiting. This position will remain open until filled.

The Goldman Environmental Foundation is equal opportunity employer.

CEA Recruiting works with leading environmental nonprofits, foundations, and businesses to recruit top talent and design effective organizational staffing strategies. For more information, visit

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