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Program Officer, Vaccines & Biologics, Discovery & Translational Sciences

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Sunday, July 23, 2023

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

Group Summary
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 work in infectious diseases focuses 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, and Integrated Development.

The mission of Discovery & Translational Sciences (D&TS) is to catalyze innovation for the discovery and translation of transformative solutions to global health and development inequity. As such, the primary role of D&TS is to enable the foundation to achieve its ambitious global health equity goals as articulated in the objectives of the program strategies in Global Health and the Women’s Health Innovations program in Gender Equality. For this, we exploit a unique advantage of the foundation in general and D&TS in particular: the ability to invest in high-risk and/or long-timeline initiatives with potential for truly disruptive change. We channel resources into creating more practical (affordable, scalable, deliverable) versions of existing tools, develop transformative new tools where none exist, and speed the translation of scientific discovery into implementable solutions, seeking better ways to evaluate and refine potential interventions before they enter costly and time-consuming late-stage clinical trials. Key functions in support of this R&D mission include identifying and filling gaps in scientific knowledge, creating or implementing new technology platforms that can accelerate research in support of our goals, investing in potentially transformative ideas, continuous surveying of an ever-changing scientific and technological innovation space, and the fostering of an effective ecosystem of global health innovation, funding and partnership to advance the foundation’s mission. Our areas of focus include vaccines, biologics, drugs, microbiome interventions, and reproductive and sexual health.

Your Role

As a Program Officer (PO) in the Vaccines and Biologics Domain within Discovery &Translational Sciences, you will work closely with the Senior Program Officers to develop and execute on strategies for the discovery and development of innovative biologics and enabling technologies to meet critical global health needs in alignment with the Program Strategy Teams. This work will require subject matter expertise in infectious disease, biologics and immunology.

Your main responsibilities will be to:

  • Manage a complex portfolio of investments focused on diverse global health needs to make biologics affordable in low- and middle-income countries. This would include innovative alternative biologics and novel technologies to make them more affordable to manufacture or deliver. The portfolio would consist of investments for different infectious diseases which may include malaria, HIV, RSV, neonatal sepsis and other pathogens and include investments over a wide range of the pipeline, from discovery through early development.
  • Coordinate advancement of the work among multiple internal and external partners, frequently review progress against milestones, manage internal grant-making processes.
  • Identify new technologies, opportunities, and promising grantees/partners within a given focal area; plan and develop larger initiatives and sub-portfolios when advantageous or vital and integrate new investments into your portfolio.
  • Assist in grant proposal development, including definitions of milestones and go/no go criteria; provide reviews of proposals in your own and other’s portfolios, and provide decisions on whether milestones have been met, whether supplemental funding is needed, etc.
  • Regularly assist grantees/partners to increase the likelihood of success. This may include facilitating partnerships, modifying scope or direction, and serving as a thought partner.
  • Regularly share with internal foundation colleagues the progress made by grantees and partners, working together to identify and act on opportunities to accelerate and increase the chance of success in any one program or investment and troubleshoot obstacles as they arise.
  • Communicate advances and discoveries within the field, initiative, or specific investments to colleagues and leaders, along with ideas for progressing the work more efficiently and effectively considering new information or changing landscape.
  • Represent the foundation externally; attend informative and strategic meetings; organize and run convenings, present at meetings internally and externally when appropriate.
  • Form and facilitate a variety of partnerships with organizations including pharma and biotech companies, CROs, CDMOs, academic institutions, and other funders.
  • Be flexible and adaptable as the work evolves and priorities change, work well in a team environment and have a sense of humor.

Your Experience

The PO will have deep expertise in the discovery and/or development of biologics and related technologies. We seek—

  • Scientists and/or physician scientists with an established track record of success in industry (biotech or pharma), academics, or the equivalent. Minimum 5+ years of experience and PhD or MD.
  • Experience working in infectious disease or related field.
  • Significant technical depth in related areas such as human immunology, cellular immunology, immunopathology.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and manage complex programs with diverse partners.
  • Demonstrated ability to rapidly acquire and utilize new skills and knowledge.
  • Excellent communication, analytical, and critical thinking skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to execute complex negotiations and contracts.
  • Ability to travel frequently to meet with partners across the globe and meet remotely with partners in several different time zones (outside of normal working hours).
  • Experience working for a highly matrixed organization.
  • Experience continually prioritizing different projects within a dynamic and fast-paced work environment with multiple demands and deadlines.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with, convene, and coordinate diverse teams comprised of individuals coming from many different professional and cultural backgrounds.

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

The typical salary range for this role is $114,600 to $213,200 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.