Program Lead, Environment

Program Lead, Environment

Crown Family Philanthropies

Chicago, IL   |   May 11, 2020

About Crown Family Philanthropies

History and the Future

Crown Family Philanthropies, also known as CFP, is the philanthropic vehicle for a variety of Crown family grantmaking activities. Henry Crown, along with his brothers, started a building materials company called Material Service Corporation in 1919. In 1947, the Crown Family allocated a portion of the profits from the business to create a foundation that would allow them to give back to the country and communities that provided them with opportunities to prosper. In 2009, after more than 60 years of family philanthropy under the Arie and Ida Crown Memorial name, Crown Family Philanthropies was developed to support an array of family grantmaking practices.

Today the legacy lives on through the philanthropic work continued by the descendants of the first generation. Currently, more than 40 family members across multiple generations come together on Program Committees to discuss philanthropic initiatives and priorities, set strategy and make key grantmaking decisions. In 2017, Evan Hochberg joined CFP as President. Under Evan’s leadership, CFP has developed and begun implementing a new strategic direction focused on deepening its social impact, strengthening family member engagement, and creating a high-performing team and organizational culture.

Rooted in the legacy of Arie and Ida Crown, as well as the Jewish tradition of tikkun olam—a  concept defined by acts of kindness performed to perfect or repair the world—CFP funds vital projects and organizations in the areas of education; the environment; health and human services; global health; and Jewish giving. While CFP partners with communities across the country and around the world, its deep focus on Chicago has remained central across decades of family leadership and growth. The family is committed to a Chicago where all people have what they need to thrive: from high-quality public education, to shelter and safety, to beautiful, enriching and green public spaces.

The CFP model is based on a social contract of engagement, trust, and collective participation of family members to address aspirations for social impact. Family members work with staff to articulate a strategy and goals prior to proposals being submitted. Proposals are reviewed by CFP program staff, who make recommendations to their respective program Committees. Each Committee makes recommendations to the Board, which ultimately approves or declines the recommendations.

CFP’s Commitment to the Environment

Through the Environment Committee, CFP supports efforts to value, preserve and restore natural ecosystems, including air, land and water, which are essential to the well-being of humanity and life on earth. The Environment Committee believes that intensifying environmental challenges demand immediate and creative strategies to address them. CFP’s grantmaking portfolio builds on the family’s long-standing commitment to the vitality of the Midwest’s human and natural communities and has expanded that commitment to other regions across the U.S.

The Midwest is home to one-fifth of the world’s surface freshwater and is one of the most intensely farmed regions in the world. As an international hub for industry and agriculture, the Midwest is also a critical player in the transition to a clean and efficient global energy system. Given this, CFP’s environmental grantmaking focuses on opportunities to improve practices related to freshwater, land, agriculture and energy. While CFP primarily supports work in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions, it also supports forest health work in the Western United States related to wildfire prevention and water quality.

Recognizing that local communities are already experiencing the impacts of climate change, CFP funds projects that:

  • Employ science-based approaches in innovative ways;
  • Harness the power of collaboration; and
  • Deliver measurable, on-the-ground results.

Goals for CFP’s Environment portfolio include:


Establish energy efficiency and conservation as standard practices in the Chicago region, accelerate clean energy innovation, and assist communities to successfully recover from the environmental legacy of declining energy industries.


Improve the ecological health of key watersheds in the Great Lakes region and reduce wildfire impacts on water quality in the Western United States.

Land and Agriculture

Restore and protect the health and resiliency of natural habitats and support food system changes that reduce pressure on ecological systems.

For more information about Crown Family Philanthropies, please visit

The Opportunity

The Program Lead, Environment is a key member of CFP’s senior management team and is the lead staff liaison to the Environment Committee. This role reports to the President of CFP.

Key Responsibilities

The Program Lead, Environment will drive CFP’s environmental grantmaking efforts, including:

  • Developing strategies, goals and objectives in collaboration with the Committee to advance the Committee’s priorities for the environment;
  • Acting as a leader on the management team helping set the overall strategic direction and progress of CFP;
  • Serving as CFP’s content area expert and representing the institution in environmental arenas, as well as taking a leadership role in initiating convenings among funders and practitioners in the field;
  • Identifying, establishing and cultivating partnerships to fund and operationalize Committee strategies;
  • Developing metrics for clusters of related grants and working with grantees to build evaluation indicators into both grants and portfolios;
  • Informing Committee members of scientific, economic and social impacts of key environmental issues through engagement with leading experts in the field and circulating relevant information;
  • Planning and managing Committee meetings and supporting the Committee Chair;
  • Researching and presenting environmental grants;
  • Effectively managing and mentoring the Environment Senior Program Analyst;
  • Engaging all generations of family on environmental goals and priorities, including the 4th Generation as it becomes increasingly involved with CFP; and
  • Advising family members making personal gifts related to environmental issues.

In addition to a close partnership with the Committee, the Environment Program Lead will be regarded as a convener and trusted advisor, partnering with other organizations and governmental entities to help shape the environmental landscape well beyond the scope of the Foundation’s grantmaking.

Candidate Profile

The Program Lead, Environment will be a focused, smart, self-motivated individual who is deeply invested in environmental issues and in partnering closely with the Crown Family to develop and advance CFP’s strategic priorities. The Program Lead will be a natural collaborator who will have the skills to be a leader within CFP as well as in the broad environmental arena.

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills and characteristics:

Strategic Thinking and Intellectual Curiosity

This leader will have a proven record of prioritizing objectives and converting strategy into effective execution. The Program Lead, Environment will have the ability to engage diverse stakeholders to build specific strategies focused on the achievement of outcomes and long-term strategic goals and skillfully lead change in pursuit of these goals. This leader will be an enthusiastic self-starter who can position the Environmental Program for the future. Possessing a high level of intelligence and thoughtfulness, the Program Lead will bring together initiatives into a broader strategy in alignment with the family’s environmental priorities and CFP’s status as a leader in the space. The Program Lead, Environment will exhibit intellectual curiosity, be approachable and open to input. This leader will have experience developing and implementing evaluation frameworks and an ability to help set strategic objectives and balance multiple priorities. This leader will naturally inspire, enlighten and inform individuals, the collective team, the family, peers and partners.

A Collaborator and Relationship Builder

The Program Lead, Environment will have a deep appreciation for the nuances of multigenerational family foundations and philanthropy and will be deeply invested in generating interest and excitement about the Environment Program across generations, with a particular focus on increasing engagement from family members in their 20s and 30s who are beginning and deepening their engagement with the family’s philanthropy. This leader will possess strong interpersonal skills and be able to articulate and convey CFP’s Environment priorities to a range of constituents, internally and externally. This leader will be a good listener and have the humility and agility to navigate the Environment Committee’s multiple priorities. The Program Lead will be seen as an expert and will express opinions thoughtfully, helping to guide the Committee to consensus.  This leader will have strength of character to work effectively with other strong leaders in positive partnership. A natural collaborator, the Program Lead will be a demonstrated team player and will be seen as trusted advisor to grantees and partner organizations. This leader will successfully develop partnerships outside CFP to advance the Committee’s strategic priorities.

Subject Matter Expertise

The Program Lead, Environment will have an understanding of environmental issues and will be a strong voice in environmental arenas. This leader will be a partner to the Committee as it defines and advances its strategic priorities regarding the environment. The Program Lead will have an understanding of the policy-making process and political dynamics and a demonstrated ability to navigate issues diplomatically. A focus on the Midwest and the Great Lakes region would be desirable but is not required. Experience as a grantmaker or grantseeker would also be a plus but is not required.

A Passion for the Mission

Fully embracing the mission of Crown Family Philanthropies, the Program Lead, Environment will be a strategic thinker and will have a laser focus and unwavering commitment to achieve the goals of the foundation. A leader with strong experience in and deep to commitment to environmental issues, the Program Lead’s eye will consistently focus on the future and how to best impact the issue areas important to the family. With a deep appreciation for CFP’s work, the Crown Family, and its commitment to philanthropy, this is an empathic and diplomatic leader who treats others with respect and is known for collegiality, integrity and ethics.

Crown Family Philanthropies is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages interest from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, LGBTQ+ individuals and other underrepresented groups.


Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Cheryl Stevens, Alison Salisbury, Domino Gehred-O’Connell and Alison Ranney are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please email [email protected]. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit