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Senior Program Officer, Immunization system strengthening and reaching the unreached (3-year LTE)

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 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

Vaccines, a core priority of the Gates Foundation and the Global Development division, can save millions of lives a year when delivered effectively. The mission of our Immunization Program Strategy Team (PST) is to urgently reach children, adolescents, and adults -- no matter where they live -- with the vaccines they need. Our goal is a world free of vaccine-preventable diseases, and we do this by working with countries, development partners, and civil society organizations, to make sure that vaccines and immunization are effectively prioritized and delivered. Robust and resilient immunization programs are critical to achieving the promise of vaccination and are a cornerstone of primary health care, and we work to ensure that there are sufficient, affordable supplies to meet demand. We seek to bring new perspectives to challenging problems as we focus on results that can be delivered at scale. All our work on vaccines and immunization contributes to IA2030, which is a vision and commitment by the global community to extend the full benefits of immunization to all by 2030. This position reports to the Deputy Director, Vaccine Platforms.

This is a 36-month limited term position intended to be based in Seattle, WA. Relocation will be provided.

Your Role

Despite impressive progress in growing access and coverage with life-saving vaccines worldwide, there remain millions of children who are still left behind. It’s estimated that over 12 million children in lower-income countries did not receive a single vaccine, leaving them as the most vulnerable to some of the world’s deadliest diseases. These “zero dose” children often live in communities where many are not only missed for immunization, but also other important health services. As a Senior Program Officer on the Immunization Program Strategy team, you will report to the Deputy Director, Vaccine Platforms, to support implementation of the Foundation’s ‘zero dose’ strategy and support other efforts for routine immunization strengthening. You will manage and coordinate nuanced partnerships and manage a portfolio of investments to support countries and Gavi Alliance partners to successfully connect immunization and other health services with zero dose communities. To be effective, you will have demonstrated the ability to influence others, work with agility and diplomacy in a dynamic environment and link to other key PST priorities including efforts to improve routine immunization strengthening in polio risk countries. You are a creative, thoughtful, and curious leader that has a track record as a problem solver, trusted collaborator, and subject matter expert in health and immunization systems and pro-equity approaches in low-income countries, including fragile and conflict settings. You will have experience in implementing and measuring agile learning approaches.

What You’ll Do

  • You will be responsible for leading a portfolio of work using Foundation influence and investment leading a portfolio of work to advance the Immunization Program Strategy Team’s “zero-dose” agenda and other efforts to strengthen routine immunization systems in low-income countries. This will include exploring approaches and potential policies to reach unreached communities more effectively in fragile and conflict settings.
  • You will successfully engage, contribute to, and positively influence Gavi Alliance efforts towards achieving the goal of reducing zero dose children by 50% by 2030 and increasing full immunization coverage.
  • You will fully understand and positively support Gavi Alliance processes and programming in priority countries and seek opportunities to improve impact.
  • You will collaborate with the Gavi Alliance, regional bodies, Foundation country offices, grantees and national governments in support of country program implementation for reaching zero dose communities and increasing full immunization coverage. Priority focus countries likely to include Pakistan, DRC, Nigeria, India, and Ethiopia.
  • Partnering with BMGF country offices, Gavi Alliance, and priority country leads to identify and provide support to countries to complement the efforts of the Gavi Alliance.
  • You will manage a portfolio of investments in priority countries that are crafted to support local rapid, iterative learning approaches that understand root causes and in turn innovate and test strategies to address those causes and reach zero dose communities with durable solutions.
  • You will ensure measurement of investment portfolio impact to generate takeaways that feed into the Gavi zero dose learning agenda and other dissemination platforms that can influence similar efforts by other actors.
  • Working with other Foundation teams, including Program Advocacy and Communications, to ensure support is strategically aligned and seamless across teams and topic areas.
  • You will establish and maintain collaborative and healthy partnerships with priority country officials, Gavi staff, grantees, partners, and other Foundation teams supporting efforts to reach zero dose communities and strengthen routine immunization.
  • You will advise grantees to achieve the desired impact of grants; conduct site visits when appropriate, provide technical guidance, convene meetings and apply and evaluate milestone-based performance objectives.
  • Prepare and write briefs and synthesize existing literature. Provide written analysis of key topics for foundation management. Fulfill data requests from leadership.
  • This position involves travel of up to 25%.

Your Experience

  • Bachelor’s and/or other advanced degree required
  • 7+ years’ experience with strengthening health and/or immunization systems in LIC/LMICs
  • In depth understanding of global health across global, regional, and country levels with insight into intrinsic institutional motivations and incentives. Desirable candidates will also have experience with fragile and conflict settings and working with the humanitarian response system.
  • Experience with health system strengthening and pro-equity approaches in low-income countries with a preference for technical expertise in immunization/vaccine preventable diseases.
  • Demonstrated leadership with proven track record to work across multiple partners (e.g., government, donors, grantees, and other partners) to build and sustain collaborative relationships. Ability to influence and move large institutions and bureaucracies over time.
  • Able to apply strategic approaches that address root causes, define priorities, and create a clear vision leading to effective and implementable solutions to complex problems.
  • Ability to manage sophisticated projects and programs, including strong quantitative analytic and scenario planning skills.
  • Experience with research methodologies and deployment of data strategies, particularly pro-equity approaches
  • Ability to effectively synthesize information to build consensus.
  • Comfortable in a wide range of cultural, geographic and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diverse range of people.
  • Comfortable with making decisions in the absence of perfect data and adjusting an approach when new information is known to achieve maximum impact
  • French language skill desired

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.

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


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

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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.