MacArthur Foundation — Associate General Counsel

About the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including advancing global climate solutions, promoting local justice reform in the U.S., and reducing corruption in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program and the global 100&Change competition, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsive democracy as well as the vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago.

Visit these pages to learn more about the Foundation’s work, the people who lead that work, key financial data, and the Foundation’s rich history.

Reports To

Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary (VP/GC)

Job Summary

The Office of the General Counsel provides insight, advice and counsel to the Foundation’s President, staff and Board on a wide variety of legal, policy, and governance matters. The Associate General Counsel provides legal advice and services to the Foundation on a variety of matters regarding programmatic, corporate, investment,  policy and general legal matters. Matters may include the following areas:

  • Compliance with non-profit tax laws and regulations
  • Grants and impact investments
  • Contracts
  • Real estate and leases
  • Advice to program staff globally as requested on legal issues relating to grants, tax and OFAC compliance
  • Intellectual property matters
  • Corporate governance matters
  • Investments for investment portfolio and impact investments
  • Development of Policies across a range of issues 
  • Employment/benefit matters
  • Ethics


  • Juris Doctor from an accredited institution is required with a record of strong academic and professional achievement.
  • Current admission to the Illinois State Bar, an ability and willingness to sit for the bar exam, or eligibility for immediate admission as registered in-house counsel is required. Knowledge of tax-exempt law preferred.
  • At least five years of experience as a practicing lawyer in a firm, organization (including not for profit organizations) or with government. 
  • Knowledge of tax-exempt law preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and be solution oriented.
  • Effective research and analytical skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a heavy workload and complete transactions quickly and effectively.
  • Able to write and speak clearly and concisely to identify, assess, and resolve legal and business problem.
  • Experience managing a wide range of multiple projects, clients, and issues simultaneously in a role requiring a broad base of knowledge,  being able to respond timely to multiple requests with different priorities and reacting to new ideas and changing strategies.
  • Experience  negotiating and drafting contracts, legal memoranda, and other agreements.
  • Proven ability and willingness to exercise sound, informed judgment, build and maintain positive relationships internally, and work independently as a productive member of a team.
  • Must be able to summarize complex information both orally and written.
  • Critical thinker who enjoys working with passionate and innovative colleagues.
  • High level of integrity and discretion.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Keep up-to-date with private foundation tax laws and other laws (including international laws related to the Foundation’s work) affecting grantmaking and the philanthropic sector generally, contracts, intellectual property, and related issues.
  • Review, draft, and negotiate agreements and related documents on a variety of transactions, including grants and impact investments, investments, leases, and technology agreements; prepare opinions of counsel as appropriate and required.
  • Work cooperatively and strategically with program and department teams to help solve problems and advise on grants, grantmaking strategies, impact investments, and investments in the investment portfolio, tax returns, internal and external polices, data and data security  and othermatters consistent with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Assist with training staff on legal matters as needed.
  • Conduct legal research and prepare memoranda on grantmaking and legal matters as necessary.
  • Work with the VP/GC and other members of the legal team to review and analyze legal, businessand tax implications, draft documents and/or negotiate terms of investment transactions, including partnership/management agreements, side letters, amendments, and terminations.
  • Draft/review/negotiate/terms and conditions for contracts and other documents pertaining to real property leases, purchases, financing, and other matters.
  • May prepare Committee minutes, resolutions, annual reports, out-of-state qualifications, etc. inconnection with corporate governance matters of the Foundation and/or its affiliates.
  • May assist with litigation matters, document requests, etc.
  • Assist on other matters as assigned.

To Apply

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws. 

Interested, qualified attorneys should submit an electronic copy of their letter of interest and their resume to the following search consultants: 

Steve John
John and Snyder, LLC
(415) 505-6685
Jason Snyder
John and Snyder, LLC
(415) 505-6687

All inquiries and/or application materials sent directly to the Foundation will be redirected to John and Snyder, LLC for review, which may cause significant delay in evaluation and response.

On behalf of the MacArthur Foundation, we thank you for your interest in the Associate General Counsel opportunity!


Posted on

April 8, 2024

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