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Alaska and British Columbia Program Officer

Website Wilburforce Foundation

Job Announcement

Program Officer, Alaska and British Columbia

Wilburforce Foundation is a private, philanthropic foundation that empowers conservation leaders to protect the irreplaceable lands, waters, and wildlife of western North America.  We are seeking a full-time Program Officer. The Foundation offers a strong benefits package and competitive salary. Details about the position are found below.


Application Open Until Filled. This position will remain open for candidates to apply until an applicant is offered the position and has accepted the offer. Applications are screened beginning May 24 and then evaluated until the position is filled.

Please submit a cover letter and resume combined into one document, either in PDF or Microsoft Word format. Email your application to, and use “Program Officer” in the subject line.

Anticipated process:

  • First-round interviews by Zoom or phone for selected applicants
  • Second-round interviews for those who advance.
  • Reference checks and hiring decision.
  • We hope to have a new employee start as soon as possible upon decision.

We maintain a hybrid work environment for both in-office and remote work. All Employees are expected to reside in the Puget Sound region within reasonable commuting distance of Wilburforce’s office in north Seattle.

Wilburforce Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Foundation does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, or any other classification protected by local, state or federal law.

For more information about the Foundation and its priorities, please visit the Foundation’s website at

Thank you!

Wendy Vanasselt, Program Director

Wilburforce Foundation

Position Opening

Program Officer for Alaska and British Columbia

Hours: Full-time

Reports to: Program Director

Classification: Exempt

Salary Range: $140,000 – $190,000

Benefits: We offer generous benefits, including health, dental, and long-term disability insurance, retirement, a minimum of 120 hours paid vacation, wellness leave, and paid Federally recognized holidays, plus the Friday following Thanksgiving and year-end (December 25-31), professional development budget, and more.

Location: This position is located at in the dog-friendly Wilburforce offices in the Greenfire Campus in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.  Positions at Wilburforce Foundation are hybrid, with all employees required to reside within a reasonable commute of Wilburforce’s office.

About the Alaska and British Columbia Program: Wilburforce’s Alaska and British Columbia Program (AKBC) includes five geographic regions: Arctic (Alaska/Yukon), Tongass National Forest, Great Bear Rainforest, transboundary AK/BC watersheds, and BC’s Central Interior. The Foundation’s goal is to achieve landscape-scale connectivity and climate resilience by protecting and connecting wildlife and healthy ecosystems across the region. The Foundation supports collaborative efforts that sustain biodiversity, landscape connectivity, climate resilience, and communities.

Core Competencies: Conservation Outcomes, Relationships, and Capacity Building are cornerstones of Wilburforce Foundation’s strategy and theory of change. Ideal candidates will demonstrate practices and characteristics consistent with these fundamental tenets.

Conservation Outcomes: The AKBC program helps advance the overall conservation mission and vision of Wilburforce Foundation, which includes efforts to decrease or mitigate threats to lands, waters, and wildlife, and improve the ecological resilience of the landscapes in which we work. An effective Program Officer is expected to: recognize the elements of effective strategy; deploy resources to support goals and outcomes; and regularly assess and improve program effectiveness.

Relationships: The AKBC program staff and their grantees routinely work with First Nation and Tribal leaders, conservation advocates, government agencies, funding partners, scientists, ranchers, hunters and anglers, and other allies across the ecoregion. An effective Program Officer is expected to: communicate and collaborate strategically within and across a diversity of communities; demonstrate inclusive practices that increase the likelihood of building durable conservation solutions; mitigate the power dynamics inherent in grantmaker-grantseeker roles by building trust, asking questions, and acknowledging personal biases and beliefs.

Capacity Building: An effective Program Officer is expected to understand the challenges that organizations and their leaders face, and in collaboration with our capacity building service providers, help identify the types of support and resources needed to strengthen their work.

Responsibilities: Program Officers work closely with Program Director, other staff, and partners to advance the outcomes described in the Foundation’s Strategic Framework. Core responsibilities include: 1) Developing, implementing, and revising regional and/or cross-cutting conservation strategies; 2) Leading and/or participating in grantmaking, capacity building, and other program activities to advance those strategies; 3) Researching, preparing, and delivering reports or other presentations to the Foundation Board and staff; and 4) Working with the Program Director and Foundation staff to create and maintain a collaborative, inclusive, team-oriented work environment.

Specific Duties:

  • With oversight and input from the Program Director, recommend and implement the Foundation’s AKBC strategy, consistent with the Foundation’s overall Strategic Framework. Prepare strategy update memos for the board for each priority region.
  • Research issues, programs, and organizations, and in consultation with the Program Director make recommendations to the Foundation’s Board that support strategic outcomes.
  • Collaborate with relevant staff on issues and/or strategies that may affect the work of other programs and impact the goals and mission of the foundation as a whole.
  • Engage and manage consultants working on special initiatives as appropriate.
  • Interface with grants management staff to provide direction on proposals to invite and set grant reporting requirements and ensure compliance with relevant regulations and laws that guide grantmaking practices.
  • Review and analyze materials submitted by grantees and make recommendations about proposals for consideration by the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
  • In collaboration with the Program Director, develop and maintain budget for grantmaking and all other programmatic activities.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with grantees, funders, and other partners to communicate and advance foundation strategies.
  • Work closely with capacity building service providers to assess, prioritize, and address the capacity needs of grantees.
  • Coordinate travel and logistics for AKBC program site visits, events, and meetings; draft meeting agendas.
  • In collaboration with the Program Director, assess, prioritize, and support opportunities to address knowledge gaps in conservation science and policy to advance strategic outcomes in the region.
  • Represent the foundation at conferences and meetings with grantees, foundations, government agencies, or community officials. Must be able to travel within the United States and Canada.
  • Act as a liaison with, or convener of, grantees, funders, and other conservation partners to facilitate the exchange of information, ideas, and strategies.
  • Inform Foundation staff and Board of current conservation, philanthropic, economic, and political or other issues that may have an impact on the Foundation’s strategies or grantmaking practices.
  • Evaluate program activities, grants, and strategies.
  • Participate in the Foundation’s internal diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
  • Work with the entire Foundation team to create a positive, inclusive, engaged, and productive organizational culture.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Program Director.

All Foundation employees are expected to perform with high standards of integrity; demonstrate maturity; show curiosity; listen actively; value self-awareness; exhibit deep commitment; use good humor; think creatively; and communicate effectively.

The following factors are desirable in the candidates we hope to meet.

  • Lived and/or professional experience in the nonprofit sector, advocating for or organizing environmental, conservation, social justice, and/or other change efforts.
  • Lived or professional experience in conservation science, policy, law, and/or advocacy.
  • Experience working with foundations and grants, from either the grantmaker or grantseeker perspectives.

To apply for this job email your details to

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