Program Officer (RPDFF)

Mission: We invest in innovative solutions and community leaders to build a more just, equitable, and sustainable world in which all people thrive.

The Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation (RPDFF), formerly the Roy Disney Family Foundation, was established in 1969 by Roy and Edna Disney. It operated as a small family foundation without formal structure or professional staff until the Foundation received a large bequest following the passing of Patricia Disney in 2012. With a current endowment approaching $130 million, the Foundation grants up to $6 million each year through an invitation only process. While the Foundation primarily makes grants to nonprofit organizations in the Los Angeles region, we have a special initiative in Nairobi Kenya and at times we make grants to groups in New Orleans, LA and Tacoma, WA two cities where we have family presence.

The Roy & Patricia Disney Family Foundation is governed by two bodies, Qualified Members (Member Board), most of whom are direct descendants of Roy and Patricia Disney, and Directors who are elected by the Member Board to serve on the Board of Directors. In general, the Member Board is responsible for approving grants and setting the mission and strategic direction of the Foundation, while the Board of Directors is responsible for oversight of daily operations, finances, and policies of the Foundation. Currently, there are 19 Qualified Members and 7 Board Members. The number of active Members changes from year to year based on each individual's availability. The Foundation office is located in the Miracle Mile area of Los Angeles.

Program Priorities

Equity, justice, and sustainability serve as an overall framework for the Foundation's grant making. Taken together, they help integrate program areas so the Foundation can provide more holistic investments to support vulnerable populations who face a myriad of social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental inequities in their lives and communities. The Foundation aims to invest in solutions that can address the underlying conditions that perpetuate inequality, as well as solutions that support new paradigms to old problems. RPDFF believes that complex social challenges must be addressed as part of an interdisciplinary, collaborative effort; partnerships, peer networks, and leveraging of resources are essential to achieving the Foundation's mission. The Foundation's impact as a grant maker correlates with the strength of the organizations and leaders it invests in. Therefore, if needed or requested, the Foundation will provide flexible funding, general operating support grants, as well as other capacity building investments for organization to amplify their impact and reach.

RPDFF is currently undergoing strategy refinement and we are actively developing a grants portfolio centered on Criminal Justice Reform, Affordable Housing, Environmental Justice and Civic Empowerment.


The Foundation has a small staff. Each person works independently, but all need to coordinate closely and, although this position has primarily programmatic responsibilities, all staff contribute to the administrative operations as well. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Program Officer has the primary responsibility for grant making and support of the grassroots organizations that comprise the majority of the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation’s grant portfolio. Specifically, the Program Officer is expected to:

  • Contribute to the continued refinement of Foundation’s grant making objectives and approaches.
  • Identify grant opportunities and strategic partnerships in line with the Foundation’s core funding priorities and objectives.
  • Review grant proposals, conduct site visits, prepare written summaries and analysis of grant request.
  • Monitor and capture grantee progress and learning, and identifying new opportunities for grantee and field growth, and capacity building.
  • Engage with grantee partners to review opportunities, challenges and provide thought partnership as needed.
  • Establish relationships that improve the Foundation’s knowledge, partnerships and standing within the field of philanthropy and the spaces in which we fund.
  • Develop and maintain collaborations and partnerships with local, regional, and national funders.
  • Take leadership roles in spaces related to our grant making priorities such as funder affinity groups, regional and national collaboratives, local community planning groups and others.
  • Prepare written materials for internal use and to share/publish externally. Represent the Foundation at conferences, gatherings and community events.
  • Keep abreast of developments in the fields of philanthropy, social and environmental justice, urban planning, criminal justice and community development.
  • Serve as a mentor and coach to junior staff members.


  • BA/BS plus at least 5 years of field experience in community development, urban planning, environmental justice, economic development or advocacy/organizing; MS or JD preferred.
  • Deep understanding of root cause issues related to poverty, environmental degradation, urban decay and criminal injustice.
  • Mission oriented with a proven commitment to social justice.
  • First-hand experience advancing policy whether through a role in government, nonprofits, philanthropy or business.
  • Ability to articulate a deep understanding and critique of strategies for increasing organizational power, base building, leadership development and narrative change.
  • Knowledge of social movements, environmental justice, community economic development, criminal justice reform and other issues impacting lower income populations and communities of color.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop strategies and prioritize resources to maximize impact. Solid sector knowledge, including strategy, theory of change, program design, evaluation/performance management, capacity building, etc.
  • Experience with philanthropy, as either a grantmaker or grantseeker, preferably in social change philanthropy, and a sensitivity to the power dynamics inherent in those structures.
  • Understanding of public policy and methods that lead to policy change, including knowledge of nuanced advocacy and organizing methods. 
  • Ability to communicate clearly and compellingly.  Excellent oral and written communications in a variety of settings and among diverse audiences. Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Integrity, solid judgement and strong strategic thinking skills.

Compensation and Benefits

The Foundation offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. This position is based in Los Angeles, CA and will require some travel mostly in the U.S. to visit grantees and present the Foundation at key events and convenings.

To Apply

Please submit a resume, cover letter and salary requirements to [email protected]. The deadline to apply for this position is May 31, 2019.

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