Program Assistant (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene)

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Seattle, WA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
Entry Level (0-2 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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Group Summary

The Global Growth & Opportunity (GGO) division works to catalyze sustainable transformative change in the face of inequities and market failures, to realize the potential of untapped markets, and to see the economic and social benefits of including everyone. We focus on the areas of Agricultural Development; Financial Services for the Poor; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; and Gender Equality. We seek solutions that are sustainable, transformative, and inclusive with an eye toward applying technology innovations as well as data evidence to drive change in the world’s developing countries.

In the countries where we work, women and girls face differential barriers to their health and development because of the ways that poverty and inequality are interconnected. Fundamentally, we believe that gender equality is a powerful means to lift poor households out of poverty. At the core of every problem the foundation is trying to solve, whether productivity or disease, the under-valued but powerful lives of women and girls are central to the solution. We recognize that our goals will be harder to achieve if half the world’s population is left behind, and unless we systematically address gender inequalities and meet the specific needs of women and girls.

Position Summary

The Program Assistant is a key member of the team. This role provides administrative and organizational support for Deputy Directors, Program Officers, and Strategy Officers. Program Assistants provide wide and varied administrative and organizational support for program or operations leaders and teams. Efficiency, attention to detail, flexibility, time management, and ability to handle multiple projects and tasks while using good judgment are critical in this role to ensure smooth operation of the team.

Core Responsibilities

  • Schedule a high volume of appointments and meetings, manage complex calendars for multiple people, and make multifaceted travel arrangements domestic and international.
  • Assist in scheduling and planning for events, such as meetings, conferences and presentations, which may include coordinating arrangements for participants, handling logistics, preparing and disseminating materials.
  • Coordinate arrangements and logistics for frequent domestic or international travel
  • Provide communications support and assistance to ensure timely responses to inquiries including answering and prioritizing calls, email and mail communications.
  • Maintain organized files and records and a system for tracking, monitoring and prioritizing tasks and projects.
  • Provide administrative support including document creation, expense reports, reimbursements, check requests, organization, and maintenance of files.
  • Work on special projects as needed. May include conducting basic research and analysis of data to respond to requests.
  • Interact and communicate clearly and consistently with grantees and partners in the field.

Core Knowledge & Skills

  • Sets priorities and meets deadlines while balancing needs of providing support for multiple individuals, including complex calendar, travel and event planning.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills.  Able to communicate effectively with internal and external contacts and ability to adjust to a wide variety of working styles.
  • Knowledge of foundation priorities and how they align with the goals of the department/division.
  • Proficient with MS Office Suite (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook), as well as, SharePoint.

Other Skills, Attributes and Abilities:

  • Experience with calendaring, travel arrangements, and event/meeting planning coordination
  • Adept at learning new software
  • Possesses good judgment, maturity, discretion, tact and a sense of humor
  • Positive, collaborative approach to work
  • Customer focus
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to solve problems in ambiguous situations
  • Proactive
  • Ability to move forward without all the piece

Education & Experience

  • 2+ years of executive support experience  
  • Bachelor’s degree

*Must be able to legally work in the country where this position is located without visa sponsorship.