Program Associate, Climate Finance

Irvine, CA, USA
2 months 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, curious, and organized thinker who can help us implement and evaluate ambitious climate strategies capable of driving transformative change in the world. The Program Associate, Climate Finance, works with one or more Sequoia Program Managers and the Sequoia Program Director for Climate Finance to develop and execute strategies aligned with the organizational mission and vision. You will compile the research and evidence necessary to assess the potential impact of our strategies and their chances for success, including helping to assess the organization’s best positioned to execute them. Moreover, you will actively engage with grantees to execute grantmaking processes in line with Sequoia’s best practices and to ensure alignment with the mission. The successful candidate will support the Program Manager and Program Director with joining the dots internally across Sequoia and will have some creative license to improve external stakeholder management processes as they relate to our core grantmaking and evidence and learning functions. This role is an excellent opportunity for an individual who is passionate about the climate, mission-driven, and who is eager to learn continuously to help us achieve a net-zero carbon future. Sequoia Climate Foundation is a new, growing organization, making this an exciting place for personal and career growth and development, as well as this one a dynamic and fluid role.

Key Responsibilities

  • Support Sequoia’s efforts to determine strategic priorities and set operational plans by conducting research and analysis on specific programs and climate sector trends.
  • Monitor developments in the field to identify emerging needs, gaps, and opportunities for driving ambitious climate action.
  • Present the global and regional strategic analysis results verbally and in writing through memos, background papers, presentations, graphs, and charts both internally and externally.
  • Support all aspects of strategy execution and grantmaking, including initial screening of potential grantees, analyzing background information, soliciting, developing funding proposals, and preparing grant recommendations.
  • Maintain grants database, budget spreadsheets, and grant calendars, and coordinate grant processes for the team.
  • Assists with program and goals development, tracking, and keeping the leadership team apprised of the most critical internal deadlines and external areas of interest that impact Sequoia’s programs.
  • Serve as the point of contact for select grantees to learn from and steward the relationship, conduct site visits as needed, and monitor the impact of grants.
  • Support the forecasting of grant payments and serve as a compliance checkpoint to ensure grantmaking stays within annual budgets.
  • Assist team with planning and coordinating meetings, travel, workshops, and convenings; make logistical arrangements as needed; manage consultant contracts.
  • Handle simultaneous deadlines and complete assignments.

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 five years of professional experience working in a relevant role, ideally in or related to climate change, the financial sector (public or private), or a related field, for example, in the private sector or at a non-profit or philanthropic organization.
  • Strong project management skills: ability to handle simultaneous deadlines and complete assignments with minimal supervision in a fast-paced workplace.
  • Strong quantitative skills and the ability to translate analysis into clear and concise recommendations.

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, location.  The expectation is this role will be our beautiful 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