Program Officer; Walton Family Foundation

Job Title: 
Program Officer
Job Location: 
Washington DC
Duration: 
Full-Time
Description: 

The Walton Family Foundation is seeking a skilled, highly motivated and entrepreneurial individual to join the foundation as a Program Officer for the Environment Program to direct the work on Mexico within our Oceans Initiative. 

About the Position

The Program Officer would assist in the continued development and implementation of the Foundation’s Oceans strategy in Mexico, a country where the Walton Family Foundation has spent more than a decade working to protect some of the country’s most pristine and beautiful ocean and coastal areas. We recently completed a new strategic plan for our work between now and 2020. The goal of the Oceans Strategy is to create healthy, sustainable fisheries that provide greater social and economic security to coastal communities and contribute to healthy ocean ecosystems.   

We have chosen to focus on overfishing because it is one of the greatest, yet most tractable threats to our oceans. Overfishing has a direct impact on the health of fish populations and the overall health of the marine environment. Nearly two-thirds of all fish populations for which good information exists are over fished and need to be rebuilt, and all the other fisheries for which we have little information are suspected to be even worse. On the other hand, if properly managed, fisheries could provide increased income and stability for coastal communities and at the same time improve the health of the marine environment due to resurgent fish populations. 

Specific duties include the following

  • Oversee grant-making in Mexico including soliciting grant proposals, reviewing programs, developing internal grant documents and monitoring progress of grants. 
  • Engage with academics, NGO and industry partners from different parts of Mexico to hone strategy and solicit grant proposals. 
  • Conduct site visits to ongoing or potential project sites, attend public meetings and represent the foundation at conferences and other events. 
  • Identify potential new partnerships and opportunities, including identifying other funding partners to engage each country. 
  • Provide information and assistance as needed to Foundation board members. 
  • Work with WFF evaluation staff to implement and refine WFF’s monitoring and evaluation program. 
  • Execute special projects and other duties as assigned. 

Who we are looking for:

The position calls for an understanding of issues related to Mexican fisheries, fisheries management, fisheries policy, illegal fishing, and a familiarity with the use of market-based tools to ensure sustainable fishing and conservation goals. The role requires self-direction and decisiveness combined with flexibility and a capacity to give and receive feedback graciously. The Foundation seeks to recruit an individual with superior interpersonal skills, a respectful attitude for the work of grantees, and a demonstrated ability to work effectively as part of a team. 

Basic qualifications required for your success

  • Graduate degree in a related field 
  • At least 7 years of experience in natural resource management or fisheries, in either a policy or advocacy role, ideally with experience in grant-making or project management and evaluation 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills 
  • Fluency in Spanish and English 

Personal attributes that support your success

  • Demonstrable time-management experience and ability to manage multiple projects for deadlines 
  • Proven capacity to work in a team as well as independently 
  • Intellectual agility and the ability to analyze, think critically, and understanding emerging issues that are directly relevant to programmatic funding areas 
  • Unquestionable ethics and personal integrity 
  • Experience working in Mexico or Latin America is desired 
  • Willingness to travel frequently, particularly to Mexico
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