About the Foundation
The Heising-Simons Foundation is a family foundation based in Los Altos and San Francisco, California. The Foundation works with its many partners to advance sustainable solutions in climate and clean energy, enable groundbreaking research in science, enhance the education of our youngest learners, and support human rights for all people. In 2020, the Foundation awarded more than $127 million in grants. The Foundation’s grantmaking is guided by the values of humility, courage, justice, opportunity, sustainability, innovation, relationships, and integrity.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, all Heising-Simons Foundation staff are working remotely. The Foundation will re-evaluate workplace flexibility when offices reopen later in 2021.
About the Human Rights Program
The Foundation’s Human Rights program envisions a society where people are free to live whole, safe, and dignified lives. At present, we are far from this vision in the United States because structural racism pervades our society and manifests through systems of punishment — mass incarceration and immigrant detention. The result is the criminalization of poor Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC), and it is visible all around us: these communities are over-represented in our country’s jails, prisons, and detention centers, and are under-resourced in our economic, political, and social justice sectors.
To best challenge mass incarceration, immigrant detention, and the mass criminalization of BIPOC communities, the Human Rights program invests in 1) building the power and capacity of the grassroots; 2) creating healthy justice reform and immigrants’ rights ecosystems that center the grassroots in their work; and 3) advancing reimagined approaches to safety, justice, and accountability. Through these investments, the Human Rights program seeks to contribute to a country where grassroots movements have the power to lead and define change to dismantle the footprint of incarceration and immigrant detention systems and create new paradigms of safety, justice, and accountability not appended to the current punishment systems. This is described in the Foundation’s multi-year strategic plan, approved by the Board in 2020.
The Human Rights program is at the beginning of its multi-year strategic plan. The strategy involves national grantmaking, as well as grantmaking in four key states: California, Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina. While the Human Rights team works collaboratively across states and issues, program staff are organized as state leads, and have experience working in both the criminal legal and immigrant justice fields.
The program seeks a program officer to further shape and execute key components of the strategy through the Foundation and its affiliated 501(c)(4), the Heising-Simons Action Fund:
The Human Rights program is looking for a strategic relationship builder who is passionate about investing in and advocating on behalf of communities directly impacted by mass criminalization to lead and drive transformative and intersectional change, with an eye towards abolishing the prison industrial complex. An ideal candidate is either an experienced grassroots organizer who has supported the capacity building of other leaders, organizers, and/or organizations in the field and has had some proximate working relationship with philanthropy or a funder who has a demonstrated history of aligning with grassroots movements and supporting grassroots organizing, while organizing other funders to do the same. Candidates are not expected to have experience in all areas listed in the job posting.
The Human Rights team is currently staffed by two program associates (PAs), three program officers (POs), and the Program Director (PD). In 2020, the Foundation awarded $20M in grants and the Action Fund $2M in grants via the Human Rights program. In 2021, the team is projected to administer $23M in grants through the Foundation and $2M through the Action Fund. This full-time (37.5 hours per week), exempt position reports to the program director of the Human Rights team.
Compensation and Benefits
The target starting salary for this position is $119,000-170,000, depending on the candidate’s skills, experience, and geographic location. We offer a comprehensive employee benefits package that includes employer-paid medical, dental, and vision insurance for employees and dependents, long term disability, business travel and life insurance, flexible spending accounts for medical and child care expenses, a 401(k) plan (with a matching contribution of up to 16%), commuting assistance, an employee assistance program (EAP), tuition reimbursement and a generous professional development budget, matching gifts, fitness reimbursements, fertility assistance, mental health counseling, and identity theft protection. In addition, we allow some schedule flexibility.
Paid time off includes:
o Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
o President’s Day
o Memorial Day
o Independence Day
o Labor Day
o Veterans Day
o Thanksgiving Day (and the day after)
o Year-End Break (Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day)
Please note that the deadline for submitting applications for this position is June 25, 2021.
The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse pool of applicants. Foundation policy prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, military service, legally protected medical condition, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws. Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified applicants with disabilities may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.
Our success is dependent on our ability to build teams that include people with different experiences and expertise and who can challenge each other's assumptions with new viewpoints and bring different perspectives to the team. We encourage women, people of color, formerly incarcerated individuals, immigrants, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and others with diverse perspectives and experiences to apply.