Program Manager, US

Irvine, CA, USA
about 1 month ago
Full time role


Sequoia Climate Foundation is a new philanthropy that seeks to decarbonize the world economy at a speed and scale equal ...

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Job Description

About Us

Sequoia Climate Foundation is a new philanthropy that seeks to decarbonize the world economy at a speed and scale equal to the challenge. We support bold strategies and efforts that will have both near-term impact and the greatest probability of long-term success. We believe that solving climate change requires the adoption of ambitious, evidence-based policy solutions that transform markets, advance clean technology, and lead to large‐scale change. Our focus areas include power, transportation, buildings, industry, land use, agriculture and forestry, finance, communications, and public engagement. Sequoia Climate Foundation is active in major emitting geographies, including China, the United States, India, the European Union, among others. We are dedicated to building the political will and powerful coalitions needed to achieve these bold policy solutions. Our office and staff are based in Irvine, California.

About the Role

We actively seek a collaborative, bold, and innovative thinker who can help us identify and evaluate ambitious climate strategies capable of driving transformative change in the world.  The Program Manager, US, will report to and work closely with the US Program Director and collaborate with Sequoia Climate Foundation leadership to manage grantmaking portfolios and will manage productive relationships with grantees, communicating openly and engaging directly with them. The Program Manager works with leadership to both develop and execute strategies and plans aligned with the organizational mission and vision. They will develop, support, and execute strategies as needed, compile the research and evidence necessary to assess their potential impact and chances for success, and identify the organizations best positioned to execute them. They will support in leading a team and work with peer networks, government officials, thought leaders, and key stakeholders to assess emerging needs, gaps, and opportunities in the field.

Key Responsibilities

  • Advance strategy execution, including conducting research and analysis on climate sector trends, developing coherent theories of change and theories of action, and identifying, screening, and supporting grantee partners in developing robust projects aligned with the theory of action.  Write investment recommendations articulating the rationale for funding a cohort of projects and partners and present them to the Program Directors and Executive Team.
  • Consistent with Sequoia’s “learning and evidence approach,” keep in regular contact with funded partners, including through site visits, and support execution consistent with goals in mind, supporting adaptive management by partners as needed.
  • Work with the Program Directors to undertake or commission sector-relevant research and analysis to inform the effective development, delivery, and evaluation of programs and initiatives.
  • Engage peer networks, funders, government officials, opinion-formers within the climate change and sector-specific community, and other stakeholders to help develop strategies and identify organizations best positioned to execute those strategies.
  • Identify appropriate partners and collaborations to advance grant-making strategies, including, as appropriate, active participation in collaboratives, conferences, and workshops.
  • Monitor developments in the field to identify emerging needs, gaps, and opportunities for driving ambitious climate action.
  • Works with the Evidence and Learning team to build and implement robust evidence and learning agenda in our grantmaking.
  • Ensures adherence to internal grantmaking processes via appropriate documentation, grant budgeting, and reporting.
  • Represents Sequoia Climate Foundation at conferences and meetings with NGOs, funders, experts, and consultants, ensuring follow-up as needed.
  • Leads project and program management and handles simultaneous deadlines and assigned work.
  • Works integrally with staff in accomplishing tasks and managing junior staff as needed.

Who You Are

  • A Strategic Thinker. You’re a strong conceptual thinker who can easily grasp and navigate a range of abstract concepts, relate them to one another, and translate those concepts into strategies and practical actions.
  • A Details Person. Your favorite part of reading a research paper is deciding which of the citations in the bibliography to read next. You want to understand not just what someone says but what assumptions they used to get there.
  • An Analog and Digital Synthesizer. Once you have collected all the details, you can wrap them up in a concise written form and contribute to an engaging conversation, whether face-to-face, on the phone, or on Twitter.
  • An Effective Collaborator. You have worked across cultural lines on a dispersed team, and you have the ability to operate in complex situations. You can quickly gain trust from colleagues and are known for being supportive.
  • A Flexible Worker. You are not afraid to step outside your job description or comfort zone to help the team reach its goals. You are comfortable with shifting schedules and don’t expect every day to go “as planned.” You are happy to challenge someone’s assumptions and to have your assumptions challenged in return.
  • A Humble Teammate. Nothing is beneath or above you. You are quick to always lend a hand or two! You are able to earn influence without authority and naturally seek to support both small projects or large strategic goals.  You know what you know and what you don’t know, and don’t shy away from questions.
  • Mission-oriented. You believe in the mission of Sequoia Climate Foundation and are passionate about climate change and creating a more sustainable world.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced degree preferred.
  • A minimum of eight years of professional experience working in climate change or energy policy.
  • Strong quantitative skills are preferred.
  • Experience working in government, non-profit or philanthropic organizations is preferred.

Compensation & Location

Sequoia Climate Foundation offers a generous benefits package and a competitive salary commensurate with experience.  We provide competitive wages, health insurance, paid time off, and other perks to promote work/life harmony. We operate in a hybrid model, which means both workdays from home and in the office for our Irvine, California, or Washington, D.C., location.  The expectation is this role will be in our office at least three days a week (though never five, lots of opportunities to still work remotely a few days a week). We can be flexible on relocation timelines and offer a small amount of relocation assistance.

NOTE: At this time, our preference is that applicants have the authorization to work in the United States.

Covid-19 Hiring Update

Sequoia Climate Foundation requires its employees to be fully vaccinated and up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines unless they are approved for an exemption as allowed under federal and applicable state law. Unless approved for an exemption, new hires must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination at the time of hire, and offers of employment will be contingent on compliance with Sequoia Climate Foundation’s COVID-19 vaccination policy.  

To Apply

Please visit this job posting to apply for the role: Apply to Sequoia Climate Foundation.

If you need assistance or accommodation due to a disability, please reach out to the HR Team at


Sequoia Climate Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.

Sequoia Climate Foundation is a new philanthropy that seeks to decarbonize the world economy at a speed and scale equal ...

View Company Profile