Job Title: Program Development Manager

Schedule: Full-time, flexible. 

Location: Hybrid-remote, California. There is a strong preference for this position to be based out of the Newport Beach/Orange County/Los Angeles area. There is a secondary preference for the North Bay/Bay Area. Must be willing to travel.

Salary Range: $75,600-$97,200, dependent on experience (benefits listed below)

Start Date: As soon as possible

Please review the application instructions stated at the end of this posting. **Do not apply directly through this Trinet posting. Only applications emailed to Corey Evans will be reviewed**

About Walking Softer: 

Walking Softer is a young climate and environmental foundation founded in September 2020, on a mission to inspire, connect, and support changemakers to take bold and immediate action in the conservation and regeneration of our planet. 


Position Summary:

The Program Development Manager will manage R&D of select new programs and program areas, manage relationships with external stakeholders via action research processes, and support specific due diligence, program evaluation, and content production needs across the organization. This position reports to the Research and Innovation Director.


The Program Development Manager will have opportunities such as the following:

  • Manage key research projects in support of concept development for a global center on regenerative entrepreneurship, innovation and education linked to Kosmos Farm, a 1,000-acre property that Walking Softer owns in the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica

  • Manage business analyses, such as market studies for business opportunities

  • Manage research studies that will inform the development of Walking Softer’s scholarship programs

  • Develop evidence-based recommendations for new program design and implementation

  • Conduct due diligence on businesses, nonprofits, foundations, civic organizations, universities, and individuals as requested

  • Manage outreach efforts and coordination of meetings with prospective collaborators and research subjects

  • Engage with stakeholders to promote ideas, learn, build trust, and coordinate emergent and adaptive action research projects

  • Support the transition from concept development of new programs through initial stages of execution, including engagement with leaders and partner organizations 

  • Support the development of selection, due diligence, and evaluation practices with our award and grant recipients

  • Be a knowledgeable and respected representative of Walking Softer’s newer initiatives

  • Create content on environmental topics ranging from from air pollution to better food systems

  • Exposure to a diverse set of responsibilities and skill-building at a fast-moving organization

  • Play an integral role in the development of an ambitious, growing organization with a passionate and skilled team.



  • 3-5* years of experience in climate and environment, business, entrepreneurship, and/or social impact, including conducting independent research, analysis and publication on related topics. *We are open to candidates with less experience if you match the qualifications

  • Bachelors or Masters in sustainability, climate governance, agriculture, international development, innovation systems, biodiversity, or other related or relevant field (Masters preferred)

  • Working written and verbal proficiency in both English and Spanish;

  • Understanding of a range of social science methods; skilled at working at the nexus of practice and academic research

  • Exceptional analytical, written and verbal communication skills; can effectively summarize large amounts of information from various sources, and speak to multiple audiences, including academics, practitioners, business managers, and policymakers

  • Proactive, detail-oriented, and self-driven, able to perform well both independently and as part of a team with a can-do attitude

  • Open-minded and adaptive, with a learning and growth mindset

  • Flexible and comfortable with ambiguity;


Our Ideal Candidate:

  • 2+ years of experience in Central or South America;

  • 2+ years of entrepreneurship, business analysis and/or development, project management or organizational management experience;

  • Understanding of a range of social science methods;

  • Understanding and experience with applying systems change/systems transformation frameworks toward social and environmental challenges;

  • Understanding of the principles and application of regenerative design and development, and regenerative agriculture;

  • Previous experience with writing on complex topics at the nexus of climate, nature, agriculture and human development

  • Previous experience working with global organizations;

  • Excellent time management, administrative, and problem-solving skills;

  • Ability to work effectively with diverse and complex stakeholders, including managing up, sideways, and outside of the organization

  • Culturally sensitive, with experience working in multicultural environments;

  • Able to respond adeptly to rapidly changing priorities and dynamics, energized under tight deadlines and working under pressure; 

  • A demonstrated background and commitment to climate and environmental justice;

  • Cares deeply about sustainability and the health of the planet.


Optional nice-to-haves:

  • Understanding and experience with applying systems change/systems transformation frameworks toward social and environmental challenges;

  • Familiarity with alternative higher education and adult learning models; innovation frameworks or accelerator/incubator models; social impact assessment models.



  • Highly flexible work hours and location

  • Unlimited paid time off for team members to rest, relax and recharge

  • Paid company holidays

  • Parental leave

  • Generous healthcare packages, including medical, dental & vision coverage

  • Health FSA/HSA options

  • 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan contribution


Walking Softer is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to a diverse workforce representing the many voice affected by climate change. Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), immigrants, women, LGBTQ, and candidates with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Walking Softer is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities. Examples of reasonable accommodations might include providing a reader or interpreter for a blind or deaf applicant, closed captioning, advance copies of interview questions, and/or an interview scheduled during a time of day when the applicant is most focused or best able to communicate. To request reasonable accommodation, please contact Lauren Xie at



About Kosmos Farm: 

Kosmos Farm is a beautiful 1,000 acre property located in Guanacaste, Costa Rica with frontage on a cross street between Santa Cruz and the coast of Nicoya. It is uniquely positioned to support biodiversity by enhancing ecological connectivity within the Guanacaste Conservation Area, between Diria National Park and Ostional Wildlife Refuge. It has been largely unmanaged, with 445 acres (180 ha) of primary forest and 295 acres (120 ha) of timber plantations (58% teak, 42% melina and spiny cedar) and a small conventional cattle operation. Current and historical agricultural activities have contributed to soil erosion, drought and pollution through pesticide use.


The opportunity is to transform the property from tradition to regenerative and holistic land management, with an initial focus on:

  • Teak and melina removal and replacement with regenerative forestry

  • Restoring a biological corridor through restoring watershed connectivity and reforestation with native trees

  • Regenerative agriculture and cattle management including elimination of pesticides


Additionally, Kosmos will serve as the primary physical site for programs hosted through a Center for Regenerative Innovation and Education, a concept which will be undergoing an R&D phase in 2024. 



To apply for this position, please send a resume/CV and written statement of why you are interested in this position to Corey Evans at

**DO NOT apply directly through this Trinet posting. Only applications emailed to Corey Evans will be reviewed**

The initial submission period for applications will be 2/29/24-3/13/24, and after that on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

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