Program Officer, Performing Arts (HP)

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is a nonpartisan, private charitable foundation that advances ideas and supports institutions to promote a better world. For more than 50 years, we have supported efforts to advance education for all, preserve the environment, improve lives and livelihoods in developing countries, promote the health and economic well-being of women, support vibrant performing arts, strengthen Bay Area communities and make the philanthropy sector more effective. In addition, we make grants for special projects and address other timely problems, such as challenges related to cybersecurity and U.S. democracy. The foundation’s assets are nearly $9 billion, with annual awards of grants and gifts totaling over $400 million. We have approximately 120 employees, all located in the Bay Area, working together to advance the foundation’s mission and support our grantees. A 13-member board of directors provides overall direction for the foundation. For more information about the Hewlett Foundation, please visit

About the Performing Arts Program

The Performing Arts Program makes grants to sustain artistic expression and encourage public engagement in the arts in the San Francisco Bay area. Our grantmaking embraces a wide range of aesthetic and artistic practices in the areas of dance, media, music and theatre. In addition, the program focuses on providing California students with equal access to an education rich in the arts and fosters a thriving arts ecosystem with grants that address needs shared by the performing arts field. The program currently funds about 240 arts organizations with an annual grantmaking budget of approximately $20 million. Both the scale of the Hewlett Foundation’s funding and its commitment to offering ongoing, multiyear, general operating support make it a key investor in Bay Area cultural life.

Between 2017 and 2021, the program is also supporting the creation and premiere of 50 exceptional works of art to honor the Hewlett Foundation’s 50th anniversary through the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions. For more information, please visit

About the Opportunity

The Program Officer reports to the Director of the Performing Arts Program and will collaborate with the Performing Arts team as well as relevant foundation staff. Program Officer responsibilities fall into three categories:

  • Grantmaking – provide ongoing support and assessment of current and potential grantees, including providing guidance to and serving as the primary point of contact for approximately a third of the program’s grant portfolio.
  • Program Planning and Strategy – support projects of importance to the program, foundation, and the regional arts ecosystem, including developing approaches and implementing plans; identifying and managing consultants; and organizing and coordinating foundation-sponsored meetings.
  • Foundation Support – participate fully as a member of the Performing Arts Program and the broader foundation, collaborating with the program team and other foundation staff, including designing and leading meetings and representing the foundation at external meetings and conferences.

This position requires frequent local travel (20 percent), including attendance at performing arts events in the evenings and on weekends. Occasional travel to national conferences is required (5 percent).



  • Manage a diverse portfolio of approximately 80 grants; assess grantee progress; analyze fiscal health, policies, and plans; review financial and programmatic reports; and assess grantee progress.
  • Learn from and provide feedback to staff and board leaders of organizations representing a wide range of backgrounds and identities, aesthetics, and organizational structures and approaches.
  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with current and prospective grantees and other funders and partners in the field.
  • Ensure that sound financial controls are in place for each grant and that funds are spent wisely and according to grant agreements.
  • Manage evaluation of grants and participate in assessments of program strategies. Develop guidelines for measuring the success of grants and program strategies.
  • Draft summaries of grant applications for board review or approval. Review, write, proofread, and edit grant recommendation materials.

Planning and Strategy

  • Collaborate with the program director and program team to plan and implement strategies that will have a strong impact on achieving program goals.
  • Invite, review, and respond to inquiries and proposals. Offer professional advice and field expertise to applicants, researchers, and others in the field.
  • Provide guidance to grantees, as appropriate, to help refine their strategies and approaches, and effectively use available resources while fulfilling program goals.
  • Engage with consultants to develop briefing papers and program-related reports that broaden the foundation’s understanding of new approaches, best practices, and issues relating to the performing arts.
  • Organize and coordinate foundation-sponsored meetings of grantees and field experts.
  • Represent the foundation at appropriate external meetings, conferences, and site visits.

Foundation Support

  • Actively engage with foundation peers to participate on internal committees and share lessons that will strengthen the program’s practices.
  • Contribute to advancing the foundation’s culture, values and plans, including foundation-wide and program-specific diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
  • Participate fully as a member of the Performing Arts Program, collaborating with other team members and supporting team-wide activities.


  • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated cultural competency to effectively work with diverse constituents, including rural communities, people with disabilities, LGBTQI communities, low-income people, and communities of color.
  • Experience in the nonprofit arts and/or philanthropic sector (private or public).
  • Demonstrated exceptional analytical skills necessary for evaluating grants and proposals.
  • Excellent computer skills and technological ability.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. Ability to synthesize ideas into coherent material for presentation to multiple audiences.
  • Knowledge of the San Francisco Bay Area arts sector strongly preferred.
  • Excellent time management and project management skills; adept at planning, prioritizing assignments, handling multiple complex assignments, and setting and meeting deadlines.
  • Ability to participate as part of a team and contribute to a collegial work environment.
  • Minimum of seven years of related work experience with some management experience.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, relevant master’s degree a plus.

Compensation & benefits

Salary and benefits are competitive and commensurate with experience.


The Hewlett Foundation has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Erin Reedy here.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse pool of candidates in this search.

About koya leadership partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit

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