Position Announcement: Vice President, Silicon Valley Programs

Mountain View, CA (Temporarily Remote)

About Us:

Sobrato Philanthropies creates social change by partnering with communities to build a world that is more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable. Guided by the business philosophy and personal values of the Sobrato family, three generations engage in grantmaking, advocacy, impact investing, and collaborative efforts designed to create impact in the communities they serve. Sobrato Philanthropies is part of The Sobrato Organization, a multi-generational, family-owned firm that has played a dynamic role in the emergence and growth of Silicon Valley for nearly 70 years. Sobrato Philanthropies leverages the combined power of multiple giving vehicles, including the Sobrato Family Foundation, which has focused on building opportunity in Silicon Valley since 1996. The Sobrato family is committed to building a strong and vibrant Silicon Valley community through business and philanthropic leadership.

Sobrato Philanthropies’ Silicon Valley strategy leverages grantmaking and in-kind office space to build a resilient and effective nonprofit community serving low-income Silicon Valley residents and increase stability and economic mobility for low-income individuals in the region. The Economic Mobility Program makes grants across three portfolios – Essential Human Services, Pathways for Success, and Bachelor’s Completion – toward a vision of expanded opportunity for low-income Silicon Valley residents. Sobrato Philanthropies also invests directly in the region’s nonprofit ecosystem by providing in-kind office and meeting space through its four Sobrato Centers for Nonprofits. Beyond these programs, Sobrato Philanthropies has expanded to new strategies including impacting systemic change on behalf of English Learners in the state and investing in ocean conservation and plastic reduction efforts globally.


About The Position

The Vice President, Silicon Valley Programs is a newly designed key Sobrato Philanthropies’ leadership team position, reporting directly to the President with responsibility for creating an overarching vision and strategy for local giving across the Silicon Valley region that inspires and unites key stakeholders toward collective community-centered action. Sobrato has been a committed funding partner in Silicon Valley for over twenty five years, developing long-term trusting relationships with nonprofits and working to expand economic mobility for low-income individuals in the region. The local work of the foundation remains paramount across our Economic Mobility Program as well as the four Sobrato Centers for Nonprofits properties housing 90 community-based organizations. The VP will be a community-oriented visionary holding us accountable to staying grounded in and being responsive to community needs, particularly the needs of the region’s low-income communities of color, with an equity and justice lens. The VP must bring a deep understanding of the local community, philanthropic practice, and nonprofit organizations in order to cultivate, build, and maintain strong and authentic relationships with community partners including nonprofit executives, government and elected leaders, and funders. As the core local external representative, the VP must lead with empathy and be a persuasive communicator leveraging public relations and coalition building skills.

Bringing fresh energy, knowledge and connections to bear, the VP will also be a core thought partner to the President, board and Sobrato family while overseeing a $30M portfolio of investments to expand opportunity for low-income Silicon Valley residents by using charitable tools beyond grantmaking inclusive of in-kind space; capacity building; Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (ME&L); and Program Related Investments (PRIs). The VP must fully understand, represent and balance the needs and perspectives of staff, board, family, and community in order to maximize the potential for integration of Sobrato Philanthropies’ work in Silicon Valley. The VP will be charged with guiding, engaging, and bringing the best out of the entire team and learning from and with community and funding partners to lift up and spearhead creative solutions. The VP will be encouraged to challenge the team and sector, leading both to the next level of community engagement and impact.

Key Responsibilities

Strategy Development and Portfolio Management

  • Develop and integrate the Silicon Valley strategy, working with program staff, the President, the board, and external partners to hone the strategies of the Economic Mobility and Sobrato Centers for Nonprofits portfolios
  • Lead a team of program staff to effectively allocate and manage a $30M portfolio of investments with the goal of expanding opportunity for low-income Silicon Valley residents by using charitable tools such as grantmaking, in-kind space, capacity building, ME&L, and PRIs
  • Develop and manage budgets and funding priorities driving sound financial management
  • Use rigorous analysis and thoughtful judgment to set research and programmatic priorities and assess performance
  • Set clear and challenging goals while committing to improved performance, transparent communication, and reflection on results
  • Keep abreast of issues, trends, exemplary programs, and best practices nationally as well as locally in the program areas supporting the Silicon Valley strategy
  • Take smart risks by seeking data and input from others to foresee possible threats or unintended consequences

Leadership and Management

  • Create a culture of strong management across the Sobrato Philanthropies team, working closely with the President and leadership team to attract, empower, and retain great talent with a focus on enhancing diversity and inclusion, performance management, professional growth, and mentoring and coaching
  • Serve on the organizational leadership team; ensure strong integration of program work with operations, develop organization-wide policies, contribute to board governance, and advance Sobrato Philanthropies’ culture
  • Commit to developing a culture of learning, encouraging curiosity, experimentation, and reflection on successes and missteps while modeling taking responsibility for and learning from mistakes

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

  • In partnership with the President and other leadership, advance Sobrato Philanthropies’ DEI work through program strategy, management practices, culture, and organization-wide leadership

External Representation and Communications

  • Build new and catalyze existing partnerships to support a strong Silicon Valley for low-income residents
  • Develop and maintain strong synergistic relationships with nonprofits, community leaders, philanthropic partners, consulting partners, and other key stakeholders throughout the region to understand and articulate evolving needs in the Silicon Valley region
  • Be a respected leader representing Sobrato Philanthropies locally, at public and private events, grantee events, public hearings, panels, and various other engagements in the region
  • Work cross-functionally to set communications strategy for the Silicon Valley work; using the Sobrato’s leadership and voice to drive awareness on the issues within the portfolio and enhance Sobrato’s brand and reputation

Family Engagement

  • Embrace working in a family-directed foundation including fostering and building upon the family’s intent
  • Assist family members and coordinate their grantmaking that intersects with the Silicon Valley strategy
  • Keep family members apprised of programs and results of the Silicon Valley strategy
  • Be a responsive strategic partner with family members as they explore areas of giving within the local portfolio

Qualifications and Competencies


  • Demonstrated commitment to Sobrato Philanthropies’ mission, values and vision of expanded opportunity for low-income Silicon Valley residents
  • Ideally at least 12 to 15 years of relevant experience plus an advanced degree or equivalent combination of lived, educational, and/or professional experience
  • A history of strong collaboration and actively seeking strategic partnerships with a deep understanding of Silicon Valley’s nonprofit landscape and community needs
  • A background in philanthropy, government, education, the nonprofit sector, or community engagement work that demonstrates an understanding of what it takes to develop and expand programs that seek to make meaningful, direct impact on lives
  • Evidence of developing and implementing strategy by being a strategic thinker, planner, and executor with an inclusive operating style that encourages engagement; a sound strategist and consensus-builder, comfortable receiving input from many sources and able to bring others together, building consensus, and creating cohesive and well-supported plans
  • Experienced people, team, culture and financial leader
  • A good listener and consultative leader with well-developed interpersonal skills; strong oral and written communication skills; and the ability to listen and present ideas clearly and persuasively to diverse audiences
  • Excellent analytical ability including summarizing complex issues clearly and concisely; developing and conveying cogent recommendations; and investing funds strategically with a high degree of accountability


  • Strong desire and unparalleled ability to listen to and empathize with community challenges
  • A commitment to represent voices of lived experience, including those of low-income residents and residents of color
  • Adept at leading, inspiring and bringing together diverse and talented cross-functional teams in pursuit of a collective vision
  • Ability to anticipate and prepare for change; set, translate and hold vision; inspire others around vision; and align and mobilize a broad array of stakeholders in a mission-oriented direction
  • Unflinching dedication to ethical standards and genuine commitment to the family and organization
  • Sound judgment, tact, and discretion to work effectively with the family, board, other funders, thought-leaders, grant applicants and current grantees with authenticity and empathy
  • Sets the highest of expectations for personal and organizational standards and achievement
  • Collaborative relationship-builder with an ability to motivate and transform leaders, teams and communities
  • Effective decision-maker who can quickly digest complex data and ideas; gather additional critical insight; and lead the team in a direction grounded in the mission and community needs
  • High tolerance for ambiguity with an ability to thrive in and support others in thriving in an environment of organizational change and growth
  • Views change and challenge as exciting opportunities to identify solutions, test new approaches, respond to feedback, and make course corrections
  • Humility to recognize and flag relevant personal and organizational challenges and ask for or make available relevant partnership and resources when needed

What We Offer

Sobrato Philanthropies promotes equitable and rewarding compensation for its team. Salary is commensurate with experience, plus a competitive benefits package with perks including medical, dental and vision coverage; life insurance; 401(k) plan with generous employer match; paid time off; vacation and holidays; access to professional development resources; matching gift contributions; an Employee Assistance Program (EAP); cell phone reimbursement; public transportation passes; dedicated parking; stocked kitchen snacks and beverages; and many employee events and lunches!

Beyond competitive salaries, benefits and perks, joining Sobrato Philanthropies is an opportunity to build upon the Sobrato family legacy of strong values, deep commitment and large-scale community impact. Sobrato Philanthropies is dynamic, growing, encourages collaboration and continuous learning, and is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion. Our team appreciates the chance to contribute immediately taking on meaningful work alongside caring, talented colleagues.

How To Apply

Sobrato Philanthropies is partnering with Walker and Associates Consulting – a values-aligned, Bay Area-based, people of color- and women-owned and -led strategic consultancy. To apply, email a cover letter, resume and list of three references (candidates will be notified in advance of any outreach to references) by 5:00 pm PT on Monday, April 5, 2021 to sobrato@walkeraac.com. Use the subject line “VP, Silicon Valley Programs.” One combined PDF file is preferred. Candidate review begins immediately. Questions or Nominations? Email Jeannine N. Walker, President and CEO, at jwalker@walkeraac.com.


In alignment with our values, Sobrato Philanthropies is an equal opportunity employer committed to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are dedicated to building a team that represents a diversity of backgrounds, cultures, experiences, perspectives, and skills and to creating an environment of inclusion and belonging welcoming to all regardless of race, skin color, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, military status, pregnancy, or parenthood. People of diverse backgrounds with lived experience in our communities and focus areas are strongly encouraged to apply. The team is currently working remotely, with the plan to return to the office when it is deemed safe to do so.