Program Director, Bhutan

Karuna Foundation | Portland, Oregon


Eric Lemelson started the Karuna Foundation in 2010 to support visionary organizations in developing nations working to both mitigate carbon emissions and help human populations and the ecosystems they rely on adapt to climate change. The Karuna Foundation has focused initial funding efforts in Bhutan, a small country in the Himalaya region that has made a major long-term commitment to preserving its environment.

Job Summary

The opportunity for the new program director will be to maintain the positive momentum underway and ensure that Karuna’s work on the ground in Bhutan continues to move forward. This will require traveling to Bhutan four to six times each year to actively engage with grantees and maintaining dialogue with dignitaries, government officials, and NGO leaders to advance critical projects. The program director will also represent Karuna at conferences, in meetings with donors who share an interest in the work, and with senior leaders in climate policy nationally and globally.

Reports To

Eric Lemelson, President and Founder


Working in close partnership with the foundation’s president, the program director will manage an existing grant portfolio, help to identify and analyze new funding opportunities, and represent Karuna with government officials, NGO partners, and other leaders in the field. This is a new position that has been created to help the president advance Karuna’s initiatives in Bhutan with greater urgency and efficiency to have a transformative impact on the people and environments being most profoundly affected by climate change. 


Desired Qualifications

  • A minimum of 5 to 7 years of experience in progressively responsible, hands-on program management roles in climate policy and sustainable development with a focus on the developing world.
  • Deep knowledge of current climate policy, including mitigation and adaptation strategies, as well as an understanding of the intersection of policy with sustainable development theory and practice.
  • Experience living and working in the developing world; some knowledge of the Himalayan region is an asset.
  • An aptitude for handling business operations and comfort working with attorneys and accountants on compliance and fiscal matters.
  • Past experience in business, philanthropy or the social sector, or some combination thereof.
  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience; an advanced degree in climate policy, sustainable development, or a related field is preferred.

The position is based in Portland, Oregon and will require travel to Bhutan 4 to 6 times each year.

How to Apply

Cover letters expressing your passion for the mission and fit for the role should be addressed to Sarah Meyer. You can find a complete position profile and submit your resume and cover letter online at:

Karuna Foundation