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Program Strategist

Program Strategist
Application Deadline: 
Sunday, December 18, 2022
Job Description: 



Tempest Advisors

Status: Full Time, Exempt

Reports To: Executive Director

Location: San Francisco, CA

Tempest Advisors

Based in downtown San Francisco, Tempest Advisors provides professional philanthropic consulting services to Sea Change Foundation and Sea Change Foundation International – the climate-focused philanthropies of Nat Simons and Laura Baxter Simons. Consulting support is focused on the serious threat posed by climate change and the role of philanthropy in climate change mitigation. The Tempest team is high performing, collaborative, and mission driven. We foster a pragmatic, solution-oriented culture and a willingness to develop creative approaches to addressing climate change.

The Opportunity

As a Program Strategist at Tempest Advisors, you will work with a small team helping to advise our clients to develop and assess grants focused at the forefront of mitigating climate change. Although this Program Strategist position will be a generalist with respect to our climate mitigation strategies, this position will likely focus more heavily on clean transportation and reducing fossil fuel dependence domestically and internationally. Program Strategists report to the Executive Director and must be able to work effectively with colleagues across multiple disciplines (both internally and throughout the philanthropic community), balancing the need for immediate action with our clients’ desire to maximize impact through philanthropic investments.

Key Responsibilities

■ Proactively cultivate, review, and assess climate grantmaking opportunities; conduct rigorous due diligence, including site visits to meet with current and potential grant recipients, and view active and pending projects across an array of climate and clean energy philanthropic strategies.

■ Lead development and assessment of grantmaking strategies by identifying promising grant concepts, providing critical analysis of project strengths, weaknesses, and risks, presenting grant ideas for review by Tempest Advisors’ staff members, partners, and clients (including principals), and working with potential grant recipients to improve the clarity and quality of their grant proposals and documentation.

■ In addition to other strategy areas to be assigned, lead development and assessment of strategies on clean transportation and reducing fossil fuel dependence.

■ Attend and present at certain client grant decision-making meetings.

■ Stay current on emerging issues, trends, interventions, and innovations related to climate change and clean energy in order to advise Tempest Advisors’ clients on effective strategies to advance climate mitigation.

■ Provide peer feedback to other Program Strategists and other funders on projects and grant proposals and solicit peer reviews of your work from others. 

■ Help to plan and implement learning opportunities for grant recipients, Tempest Advisors’ employees and clients, and other partner organizations.

■ Work with and manage external consultants.

■ Develop progress indicators with grant recipients; monitor ongoing grants and initiatives; evaluate progress and report to Tempest Advisors’ employees and clients.

■ Collaborate with other funders, advisors, and grant recipients to facilitate the exchange of information and maximize lessons learned.

■ Convene meetings of stakeholders, including grant recipients, subject matter experts, community representatives, governmental representatives, funders, and others, to learn from each other, and compare and coordinate strategies where appropriate.

■ Ensure compliance with IRS regulations and any other legal requirements, as well as client reporting requirements for all grants.

■ Respond to additional client requests as needed, including research requests.

■ Complete other projects as assigned, including some related to Tempest Advisors’ internal operations and planning.


■ Outstanding strategic thinking and planning skills; ability to think creatively about developing and implementing philanthropic solutions to complex problems.

■ An understanding of key issues in the climate change field, especially transportation policy, as well as international, national, and state/provincial policy-making processes.

■ Experience designing, executing, and evaluating issue-focused and advocacy programs required. Direct experience in climate advocacy, including clean transportation and reducing fossil fuel dependence, is a plus.

■ Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

■ Experience in private, public, or nonprofit sectors.

■ Strong analytic and decision-making experience. A minimum of 10 years of relevant work experience with interdisciplinary experience favored.

■ Undergraduate degree required, an advanced degree in a relevant field preferred.

■ Experience in project management.

■ Energetic, flexible, team player with a direct, honest, and respectful approach to problem solving; able to foster collaboration and contribute to a strong sense of community among Tempest Advisors’ employees, partners, and clients.

■ Ability to work independently and as a team member in a collegial atmosphere where differing viewpoints and give-and-take are expected and encouraged.

■ Ability to analyze, synthesize and effectively communicate complex information, and develop strategic and operational plans based on that analysis.

■ Willingness to travel, as needed, to conduct research, meet with grant recipients and other partners, and represent Tempest Advisors.

■ Poise, professionalism, and discretion. Ability to effectively represent Tempest Advisors, its clients, and its work in public settings, while protecting confidentiality. 

Compensation, Benefits & Work Requirements

Compensation is competitive and commensurate with expertise and previous experience. Excellent employer-paid benefits, including medical, dental and vision and a 2:1 matching retirement plan. This is an exempt position and requires presence in the San Francisco office on a full-time basis. Additionally, domestic and international travel a few times per year is likely. A background check, full COVID-19 vaccination, and acceptance of a non-disclosure agreement will be required.

The Application Process

Tempest Advisors is partnering with Walker and Associates Consulting – a Bay Area-based Black- and woman-owned strategic management consulting and search firm – to facilitate this search. To apply, email a cover letter, resume, and list of three references (references will not be contacted without your advanced notice) to Use the subject line: Program Strategist. Please submit PDF or Microsoft Word files only, preferably with all materials in one combined file. Resume review begins immediately.

Questions or Nominations? Contact Jeannine N. Walker at


Tempest Advisors is an equal opportunity employer who encourages leaders with unique perspectives and backgrounds that are underrepresented in the climate space to apply and considers all applications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status