The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is seeking a Cyber Initiative and Special Projects Fellow, a three-year fixed term position, to be based in Menlo Park, California. 

About the foundation

The Hewlett Foundation is a nonpartisan, private charitable foundation that advances ideas and supports institutions to promote a better world. For 50 years, the foundation has supported efforts to advance education for all, preserve the environment, improve lives and livelihoods in developing countries, promote the health and economic well-being of women, support vibrant performing arts, strengthen Bay Area communities, and make the philanthropy sector more effective. In addition, we also make grants for special projects and to address other timely problems, such as challenges related to cybersecurity and U.S. democracy. In 2020, the foundation announced a new grantmaking commitment focused on racial justice. The Hewlett Foundation’s assets are more than $9 billion with annual awards of grants totaling more than $400 million. More information about the Hewlett Foundation is available at:

About the position

The Cyber Initiative and Special Projects Program Fellow will play an integral role in two distinct grantmaking efforts housed in the foundation president’s office. The fellow will be a member of the Cyber Initiative team, working closely with and reporting to the Director of the Cyber Initiative, who will provide the fellow with direction on the initiative’s strategy, activities, and ongoing annual events. Launched in March 2014, the goal of the initiative (and its $130 million grantmaking budget) is to build a more capable and diverse field of cyber policy experts and expertise. The Cyber Initiative takes a broad view of cyber policy to include issues ranging from encryption to net neutrality to internet governance to cyber conflict. The Initiative will sunset in 2023 (coterminous with the fellow’s term), so the fellow will play an integral role helping to make the Initiative’s final grants, help promote and organize collaborations, and ensure its lasting impact. 

Simultaneously, the fellow will work directly with Foundation President Larry Kramer, helping to shape and implement grantmaking for the Special Projects portfolio. Special Projects grants are diverse and ad hoc – ranging from support for public broadcasting to confronting systemic racism – and require nimble and thoughtful attention to detail and execution. The fellow must work to promote internal collaboration between different foundation programs and administrative departments, external collaboration with other funders and partners, and/or unanticipated opportunities outside of the foundation’s core interest areas.

Skills and responsibilities

This position presents a unique opportunity to engage in both the strategic and tactical aspects of philanthropic grantmaking under the Cyber Initiative and Special Projects program. As such, the fellow must be flexible, comfortable working across a changing and evolving landscape of internal and external work, and able to effectively juggle multiple projects at the same time. We prioritize diverse candidates who bring a range of views, experiences, and backgrounds to the role and the responsibilities described below.

The broad goals and responsibilities for the fellow are:
  • Help drive implementation of the Cyber Initiative’s field-building strategy, including by sharing their unique and diverse perspective during team discussions and planning sessions. 
  • Conduct grantee due diligence, evaluate and recommend potential grantee organizations, including suggesting new grant awards to be made and manage a portion of the initiative’s grants portfolio.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of its grantmaking, monitor its progress, and recommend strategy improvements.
  • Work directly with the foundation president to plan and execute Special Projects grants.
  • Manage the Special Projects budget and grant portfolio, tracking all active and planned grants and other funding commitments with other foundation programs or outside funders.
  • Manage relationships and communications with grantees and serve as their primary point of contact. 
  • Develop and manage relationships with vendors and consultants.
  • Represent the foundation at meetings with key stakeholders from civil society, government, the private sector, and academia.
  • Attend and represent the foundation at external events, including speaking on panels, writing blog posts/articles, etc.
  • Follow the cyber policy debate globally, stay abreast of trends and developments, and identify new opportunities for the foundation’s grantmaking.
  • Travel domestically and internationally (not likely to exceed 10%) to conduct site visits and attend conferences, as appropriate under foundation policies and best sensible public health practices. 
  • Work collaboratively in a multidisciplinary environment with cross-functional partners in the grants management, legal, and communications teams to process and keep track of grants.


  • Location:
    Menlo Park
  • Deadline: n/a


Minimum qualifications

Professional qualifications and personal attributes

Candidates should exhibit the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Professional experience:
  • An undergraduate degree required or advanced degree (preferred) as appropriate in law, policy, business, computer science, engineering, or related disciplines.
  • Demonstrated interest required and two to five years work experience (preferred) in areas relevant to the Cyber Initiative.
  • Excellent research and critical thinking skills and ability to conceptualize, think creatively, and thoughtfully approach assigned projects.
  • Ability to regularly “context shift” and toggle between two distinct portfolios.
  • Capability to process and present complex information (both quantitative and qualitative) in a compelling manner both orally and in writing.
  • Proficiency with technology tools and applications including MS Office, Zoom, etc., as well as a willingness to learn new systems and/or experience with Salesforce, a plus.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills.
  • Willingness and interest in domestic and international work travel (not likely to exceed 10% time) to conduct site visits and participate in relevant conferences and meetings.

Personal attributes:
  • Possess an open-minded curiosity and willingness to carry out both substantive and administrative tasks.
  • Comfort with ambiguity and an eagerness to explore and learn about new topics and issues. 
  • Passionate about the guiding principles and mission of the Hewlett Foundation.
  • Comfort representing the foundation externally and engaging a diverse array of partner organizations.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail, along with a demonstrated track record of consistently meeting deadlines.
  • Ability to work well on a team and independently, including independent initiative, a sense of humor, and a collegial spirit in sharing ideas and receiving feedback. Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively.
  • Personal integrity, excellent judgment, and flexibility.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.