Senior Program Officer (Program Advocacy and Communications - WASH)

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Seattle, WA, US

Summary of Position

Strategically and collaboratively develop, guide and resource global policy, finance and advocacy annual plans that are essential to the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WSH) strategies, and are operationally integrated with other foundation teams including Global Policy and Advocacy (GPA), Program Advocacy and Communications (PAC), and Global Growth and Opportunity (GGO). As a key partner to multiple WSH and PAC initiative teams beyond policy and finance, contribute to the continued development of these teams’ strategic visions, while partnering with them through planning and implementation phases.

Core Responsibilities

This Senior Program Officer (SPO) position is centered around management and implementation of one or more portfolios of grants and contracts requiring high-level grant management, internal and external relations, and monitoring and evaluation skills. 

  • Contribute to the design of new strategies, which include market-specific approaches and assessments of political economies, to ensure long-term sustainability and impact throughout priority regions and countries.
  • Implement strategies while managing multiple stakeholders and development agendas across the organization including regional offices, and government relations, program, and communications teams.
  • Lead landscaping of WSH policy progress at country, regional and global level.
  • Negotiate, implement, and manage complex portfolio of grants or performance-based contracts. Provide clear, concise and insightful written and verbal analyses and recommendations for funding.
  • Enhance impact of investments and adjust to meet strategic goals. This will include: site visits, providing strategic and operational guidance to partners, convening meetings of key stakeholders, making challenging trade-offs.
  • Favorably represent the foundation to key external constituencies including governments, private sector leaders, key funding institutions and committees/events related to area of expertise and responsibilities of the position.
  • Directly or indirectly project-lead and support external organizations to develop, manage and implement global, regional or national networks that will prioritize sanitation policy and advocacy.
  • Represent the WSH strategy to all global internal stakeholders from foundation leadership and country directors (Africa, China, India, Europe), to internal policy, finance and communications teams.
  • Prepare high level briefs and literature reviews; present at highest leadership levels.
  • This role may at some point manage employees and may be responsible for hiring the team members needed to achieve our goals, ensuring effective employee on-boarding, communicating performance expectations, creating goal alignment, and integrating project and change management.

The Program Advocacy and Communications team works in partnership with technical program teams and other functional teams in Global Policy and Advocacy (GPA) to achieve policy and finance goals by:

  • Developing and coordinating the execution of policy, advocacy and communications strategies.
  • Leveraging leadership and foundation voices to implement advocacy strategies.
  • Developing and managing a grant portfolio dedicated to achieving high impact. 
  • Directly advocating with private and public-sector leaders, influencers and media to achieve advocacy outcomes.
  • Leading issue-specific communications, in service of advocacy goals.
  • Developing policy recommendations or proposals in partnership with programmatic and regional offices.

Leadership and Culture

We believe that energized people, working well together in an inclusive environment in which they thrive, will do phenomenal things and achieve highest impact.

Core Knowledge and Skills

  • Recognized by the global professional community as an authority within policy, advocacy, sanitation, water, poverty, gender or a related field.
  • Demonstrated ability to move from the strategy development phase of policy campaigns, to the implementation phase.
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills, able to effectively synthesize information to reach diverse audiences and create consensus among multiple sector leaders.
  • Leadership experience in national policy or advocacy programs in developing countries, especially African and Asian regions. This could include NGO, government, private sector.
  • Understanding of bi-lateral and multi-lateral finance institutions and mechanisms including how they fund development programs at national and regional level.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide vision and influence others in a constructive, optimistic manner, while building and sustaining collaborative relationships.
  • Exceptional autonomous and collaborative analytic skills.
  • Technical resource to teams and leadership regarding impact, cost effectiveness and resolution analyses.
  • Knowledge of methods of impact evaluation, operational research, and modeling.
  • Demonstrated budget management.

Education and Experience

  • Advanced degree with 7+ years of relevant experience.

Reports to: Deputy Director, Program Advocacy and Communications

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve—in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs—and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.

All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve the mission of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to:

* Race

* Color

* Age

* Religion

* Pregnancy

* Sex

* Sexual Orientation

* Disability

* Gender Identity

* Gender Expression

* National Origin

* Genetic Information

* Veteran Status

* Marital Status

* Prior Protected Activity