The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is a private family foundation created in 1964 by David Packard, co-founder of the Hewlett-Packard Company, and his wife, Lucile Salter Packard. The Packard Foundation is first and foremost a family foundation, still very much guided by the philosophy and values of its founders. It represents the confluence of deeply-held family values, a belief in the overarching importance of science, a lasting commitment to communities, and an openness to opportunity. Today, the tradition is continued in the active participation and leadership roles played by the children and grandchildren of David and Lucile on the governing Board. The governing Board of the Foundation consists of sixteen members: eight Family Trustees, seven General Trustees, and the CEO.
David and Lucile Packard passed on to the Board and staff of the Foundation the following core set of values: Integrity, Respect for All People, Belief in Individual Leadership, Commitment to Effectiveness, and the Capacity to Think Big.
The Foundation’s grantmaking programs reflect a focus on the issues David and Lucile Packard cared about most: improving the lives of children, enabling the creative pursuit of science, advancing reproductive health, and restoring the Earth’s natural systems. As a philanthropic approach, the Foundation invests in strong leaders and organizations, collaborates with them to identify the most effective solutions, and gives them the freedom and support they need to take risks on approaches that have the greatest potential to create lasting change.
The Packard Foundation makes grants in a wide variety of areas around the globe:
Conservation and Science
Climate: Through 2020, the Foundation will have awarded or committed nearly $1 billion in grants to reduce carbon emissions. Additionally, in partnership with other funders, the Foundation has invested in the ClimateWorks Foundation, a network of global nonprofits focused on proven and emerging mitigation strategies. The Foundation aims to:
Promote clean power alternatives that reduce reliance on coal.
Increase the availability of low carbon transportation options to minimize global oil consumption.
Increase energy efficiency across all sectors.
Minimize emissions from land use practices around the world by stopping deforestation and improving agricultural practices.
Reduce emissions of potent greenhouse gases beyond carbon dioxide alone, including black carbon, methane, and hydrofluorocarbons.
Identify breakthrough strategies that will change the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions.
Oceans: The Foundation has focused on expanding global understanding of the ocean and improving its long-term health. This includes investing in countries and global strategies that ensure the ocean’s sustainability as well as funding ocean research through support of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and other relevant scientific research. The Foundation aims to:
Help the United States, Mexico, Chile, Indonesia, China, and Japan to ensure that fishing and marine aquaculture are sustainable, and to protect places that are vital to maintaining biodiversity and wild fish stocks.
Promote global markets for sustainable seafood.
Eliminate illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing around the world.
Protect seabirds and shorebirds and their habitats.
Understand and proactively address the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions on the ocean.
Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering: The Packard Foundation supports creative, timely research to spark fresh thinking and produce effective, innovative solutions. For the past thirty years, the Foundation has invited the presidents of fifty universities to nominate two early-career professors each from their institutions with the goal of providing the nation’s most promising early-career scientists and engineers with flexible funding and the freedom to take risks and explore new frontiers in their fields of study. Twenty Fellows are selected on an annual basis.
Population and Reproductive Health: The Foundation promotes reproductive health and rights with a focus globally and in the U.S. on high-quality information and services, and a special emphasis on engaging and serving youth. Through its grantmaking, the Foundation aims to:
Improve the quality of comprehensive sexuality education, voluntary contraception, and abortion care.
Strengthen service delivery, build leadership and advocacy capacity, and shift social and cultural norms to allow women and youth to make their own reproductive health care decisions.
Forge partnerships with global research advocacy organizations, and to create positive and effective messages about reproductive health and rights at the regional and global levels.
Additionally, the Foundation has played a leadership role in launching, shaping, and guiding a donor collaborative focused on Reproductive Health and Women’s Rights, comprised of key national funders.
Children, Families, and Communities: The Foundation works to ensure that all children have access to healthcare and early learning opportunities that help them be healthy, ready for school, and on-track to reach their full potential. Its current grantmaking aims to:
Improve training and professional development for child care providers and educators so they can support children’s learning and growth.
Provide parents, family, and friends that care for children with the skills and support they need to create nurturing environments for children.
Ensure all children and their families have access to and can afford quality health care and health insurance coverage.
Local Grantmaking: David and Lucile Packard made a long-term commitment to invest in the region where they started their company and raised their family. Today, Local Grantmaking continues this commitment and is dedicated to achieving deep and meaningful impact in the five contiguous counties of San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey. Annual investments are made to organizations that work to strengthen families, help youth thrive, and make our communities vibrant places to live and work. Local Grantmaking also works to encourage greater community giving working in partnership with area funders, community foundations, and other entities.
Organizational Effectiveness: Through its OE grantmaking, the Foundation aims to increase the effectiveness of grantee leaders, organizations, and networks by enhancing their capacity to achieve their mission through helping them build core strengths in areas like strategic and business planning, financial management, board and executive leadership, and communications.
Mission Investing: The Packard Foundation has dedicated up to $180 million of its endowment for mission investments, including loans and equity investments, which serve as a flexible tool for non-profit and for-profit organizations to tackle the world’s most pressing problems, sometimes on a much larger scale than is possible to do with grants alone.
Headquartered in Los Altos, CA, the Foundation has assets of approximately $7.5 billion, and in 2018, awarded over $330 million in grants to further its mission. It has a talented staff of over 130 and a 15-member Board of Trustees that governs the activities of the Foundation. The Board is currently comprised of 8 family members, spanning the second and third generation, as well as 7 general Trustees.
After 15 years of successful leadership, Carol Larson is stepping down as President & CEO. Even as the Foundation expanded its global and national reach during Larson’s tenure, it also maintained the Packard family’s commitment to the local region, supporting the capacity of hundreds of community-based nonprofits and prominent regional institutions, such as the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. In 2012, the Foundation opened new headquarters in Los Altos, CA. The headquarters serve as an inspiring example of a certified net zero energy building that relies on the sun to power its operations, a manifestation of the organization’s commitment to sustainability.
In close collaboration with the Board and Foundation staff, the President & CEO provides the overall leadership of the Foundation and fosters an environment of respect, humility, inclusiveness, and innovation in all aspects of its work. The President will be based in Los Altos, CA and report to the Board of Trustees. The President will have overall responsibility for managing the day-to-day activities of the Foundation, including the programmatic, human capital, fiscal, and grantmaking operations of the organization. In addition, this individual will play an important external role as the primary representative of the Foundation.
Broadly speaking, this individual will bring exceptional leadership skills combined with a genuine commitment to the Foundation’s mission and values, and will:
Partner with the Board to develop the direction and strategic priorities of the Foundation. Bring an intellectual curiosity and a commitment to continuous learning to the work of the Foundation. Facilitate ongoing Board and staff discussions on how to best evolve programmatic strategies and organizational practices to respond to current societal realities, conditions, or issues.
Build a strong, respectful, and productive relationships with all Trustees and staff.
With the Board and staff, develop a strategy for ensuring the Foundation’s culture, programmatic work, and strategies uphold and reflect its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
In collaboration with senior management, provide guidance and perspective, and help set priorities for program strategies and implementation. Ensure accountability for effectiveness of programs and maintain high standards for excellence.
Attract, develop, empower, and retain top, diverse talent to ensure that the staff, not just the programs, bring transformational leadership to the sector.
Actively engage with the full range of the Foundation’s stakeholders, including grantees, staff, thought leaders, industry peers, governmental entities, and partner organizations.
Develop strong relationships with and be a collaborative partner to other peer foundations and programmatic partners at the state, national, and international level. Proactively advance and strengthen the Foundation’s collaborative engagement with other funders and identify future opportunities to advance the Foundation’s goals through collective action.
Serve as a role model for the Foundation’s mission, values, and organizational culture. Effectively communicate the Foundation’s collective philanthropic interests and values to a broad diversity of stakeholders.
Provide financial oversight for the Foundation’s overall budget and grantmaking activities. In partnership with the Investment Committee of the Board, ensure proper stewardship of the Foundation’s financial assets, including its endowment.
Make certain all activities and programs meet the highest standards of ethics and are aligned with the Foundation and family’s values.
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation seeks an accomplished, inspiring, and strategic leader who is genuinely passionate about the Foundation’s work and the opportunity to make a lasting impact on society. This individual will display a genuine intellectual curiosity, an exceptional degree of interpersonal effectiveness, experience leading complex organizations, and a wisdom borne of experience. The next President will lead with humility and understated self-confidence.
The President will:
Be a skilled communicator and a natural relationship builder. This individual will balance the ability to listen and build consensus with decisiveness and a bias towards action. The successful candidate must exemplify the Foundation’s core values of Integrity, Respect for All People, Belief in Individual Leadership, Commitment to Effectiveness, and the Capacity to Think Big.
Has the ability to assess challenges of a changing world and, in partnership with the staff and the Board, contribute to ongoing discussions on how the Foundation can have continued, significant impact on the issues that matter to the family and the Board. The successful candidate will bring a vision that, at its core, is aligned with the values of David and Lucile, including a belief in science, and builds on the 55-year history of the Foundation and the work of the Board and staff. This individual will be adept at listening, informing, and contributing to a strategic vision, coupled with a willingness to be accountable for the oversight of implementation.
Possesses the leadership and management skills necessary to guide the organization through a time of evolution and change, including the transition of a long-serving leader, the active participation of the third generation of family members on the Board, and a shifting philanthropic landscape.
Has a track record of success leading a philanthropic, nonprofit, academic, private, or public enterprise with a diverse constituency and broad scope. This individual will have a proven ability to hire, inspire, guide, and retain an exceptional, diverse team with deep content and functional expertise. This individual will have the capacity to foster an environment of inclusiveness, innovation, and well-reasoned programmatic risk taking.
In terms of the performance and personal competencies required for the position, we would highlight the following for this candidate:
Serve as Steward of the Foundation
Able to effectively build credibility and relationships with family members and Trustees; proactively serve as a thought partner to help think through options in order to promote informed decision-making.
Possesses self-confidence and integrity with the maturity and wisdom to set personal agendas aside and focus on the philanthropic values and aspirations of the Foundation.
Respects the Foundation’s traditions and processes yet is willing to propose fresh approaches, new areas of concentration, and continuous improvement.
Acts as a clear proponent of the Foundation’s commitment to evidence-based and science-based approaches to problem solving and grantmaking.
Capacity to be a strategic thought partner with the Board and to guide and facilitate deeply-considered discussions about the fundamental work and operating assumptions of the Foundation now and in the future.
Ability to lead the execution and coordination of the overall grant strategies of the Foundation and recommend strategic and tactical changes and new/innovative approaches as needed to achieve overall goals.
Capacity to facilitate strategic collaboration with and amongst other funders in order to leverage shared strategies and grants where appropriate.
Ability to productively challenge existing operating assumptions; possesses an entrepreneurial mindset with experience in taking and managing associated risks and making well-reasoned decisions.
Understanding of or a willingness to learn the policy and emerging political and legislative issues at the local, state, and federal levels, which will affect the Foundation’s philanthropic activities.
Proven Leadership and Managerial Skills
Capacity for applying rigorous analysis and thoughtful judgment to the range of the Foundation’s activities; take a data-driven approach to decision making.
Demonstrates a track record of hiring, retaining, and nurturing a high-performing team, and of motivating diverse groups of people to work together to achieve a common mission or goal.
Expresses genuine concern for the welfare of employees at all levels and enthusiasm for developing talent.
Demonstrated commitment to and active participation in efforts to ensure a diverse, equitable, and inclusive internal culture.
Communications and Building Relationships
Communicates with a clear, articulate, and persuasive style both orally and in writing.
Credibility to represent the Foundation as a philanthropic leader in overall philanthropy, as well as in each of its strategic areas of interest.
Highly networked with a demonstrated record of success initiating and fostering strategic partnerships with key external audiences, including public officials, nonprofit and private sector leaders, and academic and community leaders.
An engaging presence, possessing political savvy and a demonstrated track record of success communicating effectively with people from different sectors of society.
A humble and consultative leader who will continue to foster and build upon the family’s intent and ensure the viability of that legacy for generations to come.
Demonstrated capacity to be a good listener, to give and receive feedback graciously and candidly, and to operate with high integrity and transparency.
Unquestionable personal and professional integrity, an unflinching commitment to ethical standards, and genuine loyalty to the family.
Personable and approachable in managing staff and is sensitive, respectful, and empathetic in understanding grantees’ needs and in appreciating the challenges faced by those whom the Foundation supports.
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation offers an excellent benefits package and a salary commensurate with experience.
Russell Reynolds Associates has been exclusively retained for this search and prospective candidates are invited to contact Russell Reynolds Associates directly. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential. To apply for the role or submit a nomination, please reach out to PackardPresident@russellreynolds.com.
Russell Reynolds Associates
101 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94111-5867
Russell Reynolds Associates
101 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94111-5867
Russell Reynolds Associates
1700 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20006-5208