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Senior Program Officer, Clinical Vaccine Development and Impact

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Saturday, November 5, 2022

The Foundation

We are the largest nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world. Founded on a simple premise: people everywhere, regardless of identity or circumstances, should have the chance to live healthy, productive lives. We believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve. We provide an exceptional benefits package to employees and their families which include comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage with no premiums, generous paid time off, paid family leave, foundation-paid retirement contribution, regional holidays, and opportunities to engage in several employee communities. As a workplace, we’re committed to creating an environment for you to thrive both personally and professionally.

The Team

The Team
Our Global Health Program (GHP) harnesses advances in science and technology to save lives in poor countries. We focus on the health problems that have a major impact in developing countries but get too little attention and funding. Where proven tools exist, we support sustainable ways to improve their delivery. Where they don’t, we invest in research and development of new interventions, such as vaccines, drugs, biologics, and diagnostics. Our priorities in infectious diseases focus on strategies to fight and prevent HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases, enteric and diarrheal diseases, and pneumonia. Our work in maternal, neonatal and child health focuses on ensuring that women and newborns survive and remain healthy before, during and after childbirth, and ensuring optimal growth, neurodevelopment, and resistance to disease, by identifying and addressing underlying biological vulnerabilities. We also support innovative research in reproductive health. These strategies are supported by functional teams that focus on Discovery & Translational Sciences, Vaccine Development, Surveillance, Integrated Development, and Innovation Introduction.

The goal of the Pneumonia Team is to accelerate the reduction in childhood deaths from pneumonia, meningitis, and neonatal sepsis in low- and middle-income countries. We also aim to minimize mortality and prevent transmission during viral respiratory pandemics. Guided by burden of disease, we develop novel and/or lower-cost vaccines and monoclonal antibodies for delivery to our target populations. Our prevention efforts target the following pathogens: pneumococcus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), group B streptococcus (GBS), meningococcus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, as well as pandemic influenza and coronaviruses. Given that a growing portion of deaths in young children happen before a child can be vaccinated, we are developing vaccines that can be delivered safely during pregnancy (maternal immunization) to protect vulnerable infants during the first months of life through antibodies transferred from their mothers. We are also focused on antimicrobial resistance as an increasing global health threat that disproportionately contributes to neonatal sepsis deaths.

This person will report directly to the Deputy Director, Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Programs but also have a dotted line to the Pneumonia Director.

Leadership and Culture
• We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment in which they thrive, will do phenomenal things.

Your Role

As a core member of the Pneumonia Strategy Team (PST), the Senior Program Officer, Clinical Vaccine Development will have primary responsibility for the development and management of a grant portfolio that supports clinical vaccine development and impact assessment, with an emphasis on vaccines or prophylactic monoclonal antibodies for respiratory syncytial virus as well as for AMR priority pathogens and group B streptococcus. Areas of focus may also include epidemiology, immunology, infectious disease surveillance as well as some other initiative areas (e.g., universal influenza and coronavirus). This role will lead projects, which will require not only the willingness to dive into the details, but also the ability to see the "big picture". Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are required to build strong, positive relationships across internal teams, external partners, and grantees.

We are looking for people who enjoy the challenge of working on complex problems and collaboratively creating solutions that have the potential for ground-breaking change in the lives of people around the world. The applicant must be prepared to work across a diverse set of subject areas, bridging a wide range of expertise all the while being a standout colleague, with a demonstrated ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, and diplomacy in a fast-paced, challenging environment.

What You’ll Do

  • Use of scientific and technical expertise to identify, develop, and manage a portfolio of strategic investments related to our PST strategy
  • Develop and implement strategy under the leadership of the Director and Deputy Directors
  • Manage and implement program strategies as well as negotiate, execute, and manage complex, performance-based contracts/grants
  • Serve as an internal expert on clinical vaccine development and impact assessment, working independently and collaboratively to shape strategy and document progress against programmatic priorities
  • Provide strategy updates to foundation leadership, as requested
  • Contribute to development of annual investment plans and budgets
  • Collaborate with, provide guidance to and/or mentor other program officers and functional team members to develop and handle related investments and sub-initiatives
  • Review submitted concept notes and grant proposals; provide clear, concise and insightful written analyses and recommendations for funding, including drafting and editing proposal summaries and progress reports for existing grants for review by foundation leadership
  • Build and manage highly collaborative grantee and partner relationships to maximize impact of projects and ensure optional learning. This may include identifying and cultivating partner relationships; conducting site visits; providing technical expertise and guidance; and convening meetings of key partners
  • Represent the foundation and influence global, regional, and country agendas in line with global objectives

Your Experience

  • MD or PhD in life sciences with 10 years of experience, or equivalent experience
  • Proven understanding and experience in clinical vaccine development and/or vaccine impact evaluation
  • Experience in pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries desirable
  • In addition, MPH or public health experience conducting epidemiological studies or surveillance desirable
  • Experience managing relationships with global partners, including academic, research, industry, government, other donors, grantees to build a common vision for effective solutions to complex problems
  • Ability to collaborate effectively in a matrixed environment - manage, organize and prioritize multiple projects and meet deadlines within a fast-paced environment with multiple and competing demands
  • Experience in working on teams with diverse cultural and professional backgrounds

Other Attributes

  • Experience working in low- and middle-income countries preferred
  • Understanding of the complexities of clinical research and regulatory requirements, as well as a proven ability to translate research findings into highly effective programs
  • Proven track record to think through a product development lens and/or collaborate effectively with clinical development partners
  • Excellence in scientific writing and data analysis, written and oral communication skills, and experience synthesizing technical information toward strategic decision making

The typical salary range for this role is $149,800 to $278,700 USD. The exact offer will be determined by a variety of factors such as the candidate’s individual skills, qualifications, and experience relative to the requirements of the role.


Hiring Requirements

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

Candidate Accommodations

If you require assistance due to a disability in the application or recruitment process, please submit a request here.

Inclusion Statement

We are dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We strive for a global and cultural workplace that supports ever greater diversity, equity, and inclusion — of voices, ideas, and approaches — and we support this diversity through all our employment practices.

All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve our mission 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, and prior protected activity.