Vice President, Programs

John Templeton Foundation | West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania


Established in 1987, The John Templeton Foundation (the Foundation) serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the deepest and most perplexing questions facing humankind, questions such as, “Do we inhabit a multiverse? Do we have free will? Is evolution directional? What is love?” The Foundation’s work is dedicated to accelerating discovery, inspiring dialogue, and fostering intellectual humility through academic research and public engagement. Since its founding, the Foundation has awarded around $1.5 billion dollars to research projects and causes that help motivate people to become curious about the universe and to help them pursue lives of meaning and purpose. With an endowment valued at approximately $3.7 billion dollars, the Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States. In 2019, the Foundation awarded roughly $115 million to grantees and anticipates increasing grant making to around $140 million annually in 2021.

Job Summary

The John Templeton Foundation – one of the leading private grantmaking foundations in the country – seeks an accomplished and strategic leader to serve as its next Vice President, Programs.


Reporting to the President, the Vice President, Programs (VP), will lead the Foundation’s Human SciencesCharacter Virtue Development (CVD) and Individual Freedom and Free Market (IFFM) portfolios. In this role, the VP will create and execute a strategic vision for grant programs, lead and manage a talented grant making staff, ensure effective communication across and between grant making departments and other functions at the Foundation, and serve as an important strategic partner to the President and other senior leaders. The VP is a member of the Program Leadership Team and the Foundation Leadership Team and will work with other senior leaders to implement the Foundation’s strategic plan and to encourage a productive working relationship among Foundation staff that is characterized by cooperation, mutual appreciation, and intellectual humility.


While no one person will embody them all, the successful candidate will possess many of the following experiences, skills, and attributes:

  • A deep intellectual curiosity and appreciation for the unique mission, vision, and impact of the John Templeton Foundation.
  • At least 10 years’ experience with program development and administration.
  • An ability to think strategically about philanthropic investment across a range of fields and disciplines.
  • A skilled manager with advanced communication skills to navigate internal team management, cross-functional team interactions, inter-team dynamics, and external grantee management.
  • High emotional intelligence and strong social and interpersonal skills.
  • A collaborative and collegial orientation, as well as the eagerness and ability to build strong professional relationships.
  • Strong personal integrity, work ethic, and good judgment, as well as a sense of humor and perspective.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills and attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated budgeting and planning skills, ideally in the grantmaking space.
  • Deep knowledge of the Foundation's program areas.
  • Strong personal interest in the Foundation's mission is essential.
  • Doctor of Philosophy Degree in related area or equivalent experience.

How to Apply

The Templeton Foundation has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this important recruitment. Please direct all nominations, inquiries, and expressions of interest in confidence and electronically to Andy Lee or Claire Hennessey:

John Templeton Foundation