Senior Strategy Officer

Senior Strategy Officer

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Westlake Village, CA   |   November 12, 2019

About The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is a family foundation established in 1944 by the man who started Hilton Hotels. The Foundation provides funds to nonprofit organizations working to improve the lives of individuals living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage throughout the world. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.8 billion in grants globally through grantmaking programs and Humanitarian Prize work. The Foundation’s assets are approximately $2.8 billion, with significant growth in the endowment expected in the next two years. The Foundation is located in the renovated former headquarters of Dole Food Company in the Westlake Village, California, a city in Los Angeles County on its northern border with Ventura.

The Hilton Foundation is guided by the last will of its founder. The Foundation works to improve the lives of individuals living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage throughout the world. Conrad N. Hilton’s humble beginnings in San Antonio, Territory of New Mexico, formed the fabric and foundation of his life. Grounded by the values and principles that embody the entrepreneurial spirit an ethic, Conrad dreamed big, thought big, and acted big – building a worldwide hotel empire. Today, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation seeks to exemplify the values and principles practiced by its founder:

Integrity, Thinking Big, Humility, Stewardship, Compassion

The Conrad. N Hilton Foundation incorporates these values not only into their workplace culture, but also into their philanthropic activities where they strive to fulfill Conrad’s directives. Every member of the team is expected to cultivate the work environment in a way that contributes to respectful, open, and engaging dialogue and connection that support meaningful innovation, learning and progress.

Guiding the grantmaking, workplace culture and values of the Foundation is an overarching Philanthropic Approach. The Foundation’s Philanthropic Approach employs four key pillars; grantmaking, communication and advocacy, collaboration, and learning. Together, these global and inter-related channels work to achieve impact by:

  • Supporting programmatic solutions to sustain and test recognized and exploratory approaches.
  • Investing in strengthening systems support efforts to scale solutions, improve public policy and infrastructure, and drive funders, providers and public leaders to invest resources and improve efficiencies toward shared goals.
  • Developing knowledge from both direct service and system strengthening programs, integrating this knowledge with what was known before, and disseminating the knowledge to create continuous learning and to support the application of knowledge in each area where they work.

The Foundation also has practiced a deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as core principles interwoven throughout the fabric of the organization. With an understanding that the most vulnerable communities are those disproportionately impacted by systemic barriers and forms of discrimination, the Foundation strives to elevate the voices of those impacted by systemic disparities across race, gender and class lines to support long-lasting social change.

For more information about the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, please visit

The Opportunity

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation (“The Foundation”) is seeking an experienced and skilled individual to join the foundation as a Senior Strategy Officer (SSO) supporting strategy and learning efforts across the Foundation’s grantmaking programs and other departments. This is a new position, and it is being added to support the Foundation’s growing strategic learning practice as well as its current 5-year strategic planning process. The Senior Strategy Officer will play a pivotal role at Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Working in close partnership with the Vice President of Strategy and Programs (VPSP); the Director of Strategy, Learning, Evaluation; the Senior Learning Officer; and the Senior Program Officers for Initiatives, and other leaders across the Foundation, you will provide strategic planning leadership and guidance, generate draft strategy memos and PowerPoint presentations, conduct landscapes, and design and facilitate strategy meetings.

Key Responsibilities

Internal Strategic Planning in Partnership with the Vice President of Strategy and Programs:

  • Supports implementation of program team goals by co-creating and implementing strategic planning processes for the 5-year plans for each Initiative
  • Serving as a thought partner to the VPSP and program leadership and staff (e.g., asking good strategic questions, identifying assumptions, testing theories of change)
  • Co-designing and facilitating working sessions among program staff and/or other participants (e.g., external experts, Committee members)
  • Generating and/or reviewing draft strategy documents (e.g., strategy memos, PowerPoint presentations)
  • Conducting targeted research and analysis in support of program planning (may involve collaboration for Sr. Learning and Evaluation Officer)
  • Guiding the selection process for and co-managing third-party strategic planning consultants
  • Co-designing and managing the annual planning process across Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Initiatives, including collaborating with SPOs to articulate goals and objectives that align with five-year strategic plans
  • Managing a direct report
  • Increasing the adaptive learning capacity of Foundation program staff and supporting a culture of learning and reflection
  • Collaborating with the VPSP, Foundation leadership, and the Sr. Learning and Evaluation Officer to continuously improve the Foundation’s approaches to strategy, learning, and evaluation.

Management and Program Team Relations

  • Builds collaborative and positive working relationships and effective communication channels with team members and staff
  • Effectively manages direct reports and provides mentorship to develop team members

Communications Department Coordination

  • Coordinates with Communications Department to advance Initiative strategies through strategic communications and advocacy

Collaborate with Senior Learning Officer/Learning Officer

  • Collaborates with Sr. Learning Officer/Learning Officer to help program staff incorporate evaluation and learning findings into strategy development, implementation and revision
  • Works in collaboration with Sr. Learning Officer and Director of Grants and Knowledge Management to ensure information infrastructure and data collection/reporting processes align with evaluation, learning, and strategic planning needs


  • Miscellaneous strategy and program department-related leadership (e.g. workflows planning and design)
Core Competencies

The Senior Strategy Officer at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation will possess the following attributes and competencies:

  • Strategic Mindset
  • Communicates Effectively
  • Manages Complexity
  • Interpersonal Savvy
  • Manages Conflict
  • Collaborates

In addition to the role specific competencies listed above, our Core Competencies are just as important as they identify the key values and strengths shared by everyone at the Foundation, regardless of the job they perform:

Drives Vision and Purpose, Collaborates, Instills Trust, Global Perspective and Strategic Mindset



  • 10 years + of experience in a professional setting, including five years of experience in a formal strategy consulting role and two years in a project management role
  • Experience at a leading strategy consulting firm
  • Experience in philanthropy, including past experience working with senior leadership
  • Experience working on and leading strategy teams
  • Intellectual agility, including the ability to quickly understand new issues, analyze qualitative and quantitative data, spot patterns, and make connections across topics/issues.
  • Proven ability to design and facilitate productive, engaging meetings
  • Strong Power-Point skills
  • A Graduate degree in public health, public policy, social welfare, or a related field. (e.g., MBA, MPP)


  • Experience supervising and developing staff
  • Experience or familiarity with strategic learning principles and practices
  • Experience and comfort working both independently and under close supervision, as required by the task

Michelle R.S. Bonoan and Navid Nakai of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. All expressions of interest and recommendations will be maintained in the strictest of confidence. To express your interest in this role please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here, or via email to Michelle and Navid at the following:

Michelle R.S. Bonoan
Managing Director 

Navid Nakai

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and we seek candidates from all backgrounds and experiences.

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