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Director, Digital Public Infrastructure

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Other Engineering
Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Saturday, September 9, 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

The Global Growth & Opportunity (GGO) division works to catalyze sustainable and transformative socio-economic change. In the face of inequities and market failures, GGO seeks to realize the potential of untapped markets, and ensure that economic and social benefits reach everyone. We focus on the areas of Agricultural Development; Financial Services for the Poor; and Water, Sanitation & Hygiene. 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.

Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) is about enabling a technology-led model for growth that is collaborative, inclusive, equitable and democratizes opportunity at population scale that will help us achieve our program strategies goals. While DPI is an evolving concept, there is a growing consensus on it being a combination of (i) networked open technology standards built for public interest, (ii) enabling governance, and (iii) a community of innovative and competitive market players working to drive innovation, especially across public programs and policy goals, and break barriers for greater inclusion. The DPI approach is about moving from platforms to open networks powered by protocols. Several key foundational categories of digital public infrastructure include identifiers and registries; data sharing and AI/ML models; signatures and consent.

Your Role:

The Director, Digital Public Infrastructure will play a central role in building, designing, evaluating, and overseeing the development of cutting-edge digital public infrastructure initiatives, for impact in the foundation’s priority areas. Your primary responsibility will be to lead and manage global strategies and projects that aim to enhance and optimize digital public goods, provided through public and private stakeholders, in support of the foundation’s work to help all people lead healthy, productive lives, including improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. The role will require working with a diverse range of internal colleagues, technical and scientific partners, governments, multilateral institutions across a wide array of domains and expertise. International experience and deep technical expertise are crucial for success in this role.

What You’ll Do:

1. Strategy and Planning:

  • Develop a strategic vision for digital public infrastructure, aligning it with the organization's goals and objectives.

  • Identify and prioritize areas for improvement in digital public services, considering user needs, scalability, security, and emerging technologies.

  • Design and lead programs to leverage trends to create new capabilities for the foundation Create taxonomies and action plans for the implementation of digital infrastructure projects.

  • Scope, shape and manage a portfolio of investments to execute strategy, initiatives, and achieve specific objectives and outcomes.

2. Project Management:

  • Oversee investments—grants, contracts, and/or program-related—to execute activities that support strategic goals; solicit and review proposals and provide recommendations for funding.

  • Lead and coordinate cross-functional teams to ensure successful execution of digital infrastructure initiatives.

  • Define project scopes, objectives, and deliverables, and establish clear timelines and resource requirements.

  • Monitor project progress, identify potential risks, and develop mitigation strategies to ensure timely delivery.

3. Stakeholder Engagement:

  • Represent the foundation as a key voice in the digital development and infrastructure community.

  • Lead, manage, motivate, and develop a team of experts, including hiring and retaining top talent, and ensure that the team and the work represent the values of the foundation and its commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). Cultivate a culture that supports productive collaboration and communicate clear objectives and accountabilities.

  • Build & nurture relationships and partnerships with governments, industry, scientific and technical community, grantees, and vendors.

  • Identify and cultivate partners in support of program work; manage partnerships and outcomes to achieve impact.

  • Collaborate with internal and external stakeholders, including government agencies, public and private organizations, and technology partners.

  • Explore synergies with other foundation initiatives in areas like health, agriculture, nutrition, global education, gender empowerment and financial inclusion to achieve complementary outcomes in target geographies through program collaboration and integration.

4. Technological Expertise:

  • Demonstrate a deep understanding of digital technologies and public infrastructure applications, including system and network architecture and product development.

  • Stay abreast of emerging digital technologies, trends, and best practices related to public infrastructure and services.

  • Assess the feasibility and potential impact of adopting innovative technologies within the digital public infrastructure landscape.

  • Provide technical guidance and expertise to teams involved in the implementation and maintenance of digital infrastructure projects.

5. Performance Monitoring and Evaluation:

  • Establish metrics and key performance indicators to assess the effectiveness and impact of digital public infrastructure initiatives.

  • Regularly monitor and evaluate the performance of implemented projects, identify areas for improvement, and recommend necessary adjustments.

  • Prepare comprehensive reports and presentations to communicate project outcomes, achievements, and challenges to senior management and stakeholders.

Your Experience:

  • Master’s degree or higher in computer science, information technology, or a related field, and extensive experience (20+ years) in managing complex digital projects of large scale.

  • Deep background in some of the following areas: systems and network architecture, platform development, artificial intelligence, product development and infrastructure scalability.

  • Proven track record of driving innovation and successfully implementing and integrating digital solutions, leveraging agile methodologies and industry best practices.

  • Agile leader with excellent capabilities in influencing data-driven strategy planning and implementation.

  • Strong track record of identifying science and technology trends with the potential to disrupt fields of knowledge.

  • Demonstrated ability to lead and motivate cross-functional teams, fostering collaboration and delivering results.

  • Proven ability to lead, organize and prioritize multiple programs & projects. Meet deadlines within a fast-paced environment with multiple and competing demands.

  • Demonstrated ability to work and lead with efficiency, diplomacy, and flexibility particularly as part of a team effort to ensure collective success. Experience in working on teams with diverse cultural and professional backgrounds.

  • Knowledge of government regulations, standards and compliance requirements related to digital services and public infrastructure is highly desirable.

  • Experience in key geographies (including Sub-Saharan Africa and India) preferred.

  • Innovative and collaborative problem solver.

  • Demonstrated excellence in written and oral communication skills, and experience in advocating and communicating with a broad and diverse audience.

  • Ability to travel up to 30% domestically and internationally.

  • Demonstrated passion for the Foundation’s values with a commitment to deliver results against the Foundation’s mission.

The typical salary range for this role is $224,700 to $418,000 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.