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Program Officer - Natural Carbon Capture

San Francisco, CA 

The Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA) is a philanthropic collaboration of the ClimateWorks Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. 

CLUA’s goal is to catalyze the potential of forested and agricultural landscapes to mitigate climate change, benefit people, and protect the environment. 

CLUA seeks a Program Officer to lead its Natural Carbon Capture Workstream. The Program Officer will update CLUA’s natural carbon capture (NCC) strategy and guide the future direction of its program of work on natural carbon capture by examining CLUA’s work to date and state of the art in the field to help scale up the contribution of natural carbon capture by forests to mitigate climate change, as well as promote healthy forest ecosystems that provide environmental and social co-benefits. The Program Officer will develop and implement grantmaking strategies, continue to promote analysis and learning, and conduct outreach to other donors, investors and practitioners in this rapidly growing field.


Strategies for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (‘carbon removals’ or ‘negative emissions’) will be needed to meet the Paris Climate Agreement target of limiting global warming to under 1.5 to 2.0 degrees C. Forests already remove around 30% of human- produced carbon emissions from the atmosphere and could remove more with efforts to maximize their role as a ‘carbon sink.’ Other natural and agro-ecosystems, ranging from wetlands to agroforests to monocultural plantations, also have potential to serve as carbon sinks – both above and belowground. Recent pledges of “net zero” emissions have focused attention and financing on natural carbon removals, but much work in the field remains to harness this potential to ensure benefits to forests, climate, and communities.

This program of work has engaged donors and experts to develop a shared vision and agenda for driving progress on natural carbon capture globally since 2018. As part of our strategy development beyond 2022, CLUA will evaluate our work to date on natural carbon capture, taking into account the rapid evolution of the field, the initiatives of its member and aligned foundations, as well as existing and potential collaborations with a growing set of partners. This work will also be informed by CLUA’s other strategic priorities at both global and regional scale and the potential complementarity with needs and opportunities for developing and scaling natural carbon capture.

The overall goal of the Workstream is to integrate NCC into broader landscape management, with a holistic approach that (a) integrates and preserves the multiple roles that forests play; (b) complements rather competes with other priorities, such as those related to food security, land rights, and renewable energy; and (c) promotes effective policy, regulatory, and finance innovations. It aims to do this in a way that promotes diversity, addresses structural inequality and advances equity and inclusion as it works toward greater environmental protections and equitable access to natural resources and healthy ecosystems.

Job Description

The Program Officer will plan and execute grantmaking, analyze and report on progress to date, and guide future strategy for CLUA’s work on natural carbon capture by reviewing and updating the existing strategy as-needed, liaise and collaborate with other donors and experts in the field, and work with the Natural Carbon Capture (NCC) Workstream advisory group and CLUA Initiative Leads to provide recommendations for CLUA’s specific contribution and continued engagement in the field.

The Program Officer will:


  • promote analysis and learning within CLUA and across the field
  • Contribute to examination of the effectiveness and impact of the NCC Workstream, including within the field of natural carbon capture and across CLUA initiatives and geographies.
  • conduct outreach to other donors, investors and practitioners in this rapidly expanding field and funding landscape.
  • undertake and support grantmaking and other activities to support scaling and high integrity in natural carbon capture from forest ecosystems that support environmental and social co-benefits


The Program Officer reports directly to the CLUA’s Acting Director of Programs and works closely with relevant staff of CLUA member and aligned foundations as well as other donors supporting natural carbon capture and related strategies.

Responsibilities Include


  • Coordination of CLUA’s Natural Carbon Capture program design and continued development, including outreach to and collaboration with other donors and leading experts, and analysis of CLUA’s “value-add” within this dynamic and rapidly growing field;
  • Examination of CLUA’s work to date, including review and synthesis of NCC grantmaking and impacts, as well as external evaluations, assessments, and recommendations to inform future grantmaking, strategy, and program structure;
  • Recommending updates to CLUA’s natural carbon capture (NCC) strategy to guide the future direction of its program of work on natural carbon capture;
  • Management of grants and contracts within CLUA’s Natural Carbon Capture Workstream, including: Mapping the field and identifying prospective grantees and contractors; Liaising with CLUA regional Initiative leads and Program Officers;
  • Undertaking and supporting grantmaking, which includes: working with grantees and contractors to develop proposals; managing CLUA internal proposal review process; monitoring grants and contractors including advising on project implementation, review of draft reports/publications and sharing lessons learned; convening and connecting grantees and contractors and identifying new potential partners; and managing portfolio budgets;
  • Close collaboration with CLUA’s member and aligned foundations, including through collaborative grantmaking activities through ClimateWorks Foundation’s Carbon Dioxide Removal program, as well as leveraging opportunities for co-funding with CLUA members and other donors.
  • Engaging directly in priority governmental, NGO, and/or private sector processes to promote analysis, learning and information exchange with thought leaders/practitioners, stimulate meaningful debate and innovative solutions, and contribute to a broadly shared vision/agenda on strategies for natural carbon capture;
  • Undertaking annual monitoring and planning for the NCC Workstream within CLUA;
  • Active engagement with the NCC Advisory Group;
  • Active participation and leadership on NCC issues within CLUA-wide strategy and planning beyond 2022;
  • Coordinating/collaborating with other CLUA partners and learning and strategy forums, including: Preparing internal program planning/reporting documents; Interacting with CLUA knowledge management and monitoring and evaluation systems; Participating in CLUA Board meetings, retreats and other meetings as required by the CLUA Director of Programs;
  • Contributing to and aligning with other CLUA priority program areas as appropriate, including Global/Regional Initiatives (Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico & Central America, Colombia & Peru, Global) and CLUA’s Strategic Communications Initiative;
  • Cultivating relationships and developing a thorough analysis of the field of stakeholders with an interest in the NCC field and the outcomes of the NCC Workstream;
  • Identifying and facilitating opportunities to engage stakeholders, strengthen collaboration, and learn.



CLUA seeks a strategic leader with field experience implementing programs/projects relevant to natural carbon capture as well as broad networks and knowledge of this emerging field globally. Specifically:


  • Minimum 10 years of proven experience on land use and related topics, particularly in one or more areas of natural carbon capture - such as restoration, reforestation, or forest management.
  • Degree in a field relevant to natural carbon capture, land use, or land use change. Additional years of relevant experience/expertise may substitute for advanced degree.
  • A track record convening and working effectively with a diversity of actors—government, NGOs, private sector and donor partners—to develop and implement common agendas and engage with and inform private sector and public policy processes nationally/globally.
  • Field experience implementing programs/projects relevant to natural carbon capture.
  • Excellent management, coordination, and organizational skills, including experience effectively planning and managing complex projects and processes involving multiple institutions and individuals in a team arrangement.
  • Experience applying analytical skills to identify opportunities and partners and address emergent challenges.
  • Track record of making decisions in complex environments with multiple and diverse stakeholders.
  • Experience working effectively and inclusively with diverse and geographically distributed (or international) teams.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Experience engaging with and communicating with diverse communities and stakeholders.
  • Willingness to travel internationally


Highly Desirable Additional Qualifications


  • Experience living and/or working in one of the program’s focal geographies, including CLUA Initiative geographies (Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Indonesia) and/or other tropical forest countries.
  • Language skills and cultural competencies relevant outside of the U.S. and Europe preferred.
  • Track record of designing and facilitating inclusive and culturally sensitive processes that consider power dynamics, time zone equity, and language inclusion.
  • Experience in a combination of research, policy making, academic, private sector and community settings.
  • Demonstrated commitment to putting equity and inclusion into practice by partnering with historically marginalized people and people who are often left out of conversations around Natural Carbon Capture and related fields.


Location: Preferred locations include San Francisco Area or remote U.S. location. Other locations will be considered.

The Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA) is housed within the ClimateWorks Foundation, which will employ this Program Officer [Program Officer]. The ClimateWorks Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse candidate pool. We recognize diversity as an asset essential to accomplishing our work and view diversity as encompassing differences in race and gender, as well as age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, job skills, education, and geographic location.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.


Closing date is 28 September, 2021.

To be considered, please submit your resume and a cover letter expressing your interest in and fit for the role to:

Tell the employer you found this job at ENVIRONMENTALJOBS.COM!

Posted August 26, 2021

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