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Program Assistant, EMEEA

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

London, UK
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

Global Policy & Advocacy (GPA) is composed of our Regional Offices in India, China, and Africa; our Europe, Middle East, and East Asia (EMEEA) teams, one for Europe and the Middle East, based in London, and another for the United States, Canada, and Asia-Pacific region, based in Washington, DC; a Program Advocacy & Communications (PAC) team; a Development Policy & Finance (DPAF) team; and our Philanthropic Partnerships (PPT) team. We work in close partnership with grantees, our colleagues across the foundation, the Executive office, and foundation Communications to build the environment in which all people have the opportunity to lead healthy and productive lives.

The EMEEA team, and the wider GPA team in the foundation, achieve their policy and advocacy goals by:
• Developing and coordinating the execution of advocacy and communications strategies.
• Leveraging foundation voice to implement advocacy strategies.
• Developing and managing a grant portfolio dedicated to achieving advocacy outcomes.
• Partnering and advocating with civil society partners, sector leaders, United Nations institutions, and government officials to achieve advocacy outcomes.
• Developing policy recommendations or proposals in partnership with programmatic and regional offices.

Application Deadline: 22 September, 2023.

Your Role

The Program Assistant (PA) is an integral member of the EMEEA team and works with principals to prioritize scheduling needs for the team, acting as a thought partner to look at the overall needs for meeting requests and alignment with team strategic priorities. The postholder provides wide and varied administrative and organizational support for the program and operations leaders and teams.

We are looking for an individual who brings strong calendar management experience, has outstanding organizational skills and can proactively troubleshoot and solve matters independently. The ideal candidate is a decision maker with good judgment, who can effectively manage relationships and is confident in their own ability to contribute to the EMEEA team, but also to our wider team culture across the GPA division and across the S/PA community. Efficiency, attention to detail, flexibility, good interpersonal and problem-solving skills are essential in this role.

The postholder will be based at the foundation’s London office, and report to the Senior Program Assistant.

What You’ll Do

  • Responsibilities include a wide range of administrative support such as:

  • Manage complex calendars, including meetings with participants in multiple time zones, both internal and external to the foundation. This includes navigating the global matrix and cross foundation operations in order to gather information, effectively address complex needs, proactively identify conflicts and have the relationships required to negotiate schedules, time, materials, deadlines, etc.

  • Proactively review upcoming weeks/months and support principals with planning, recognizing potential bottlenecks and making recommendations for how to best allocate time/make trade-offs when scheduling issues arise.

  • Schedule and plan events, such as meetings, conferences and presentations, which may include coordinating arrangements for participants, handling logistics, preparing and disseminating materials.

  • Maintain organized files and records and a system for tracking, monitoring and prioritizing tasks and projects.

  • Compile and process expense reports, reimbursement, and check requests. Work on special projects as needed. May include conducting basic research and analysis of data to respond to requests.

  • Establish and manage relationships with grantees in the field as well as internal and external partners.

  • Coordinate visas, travel arrangements and logistics for frequent international travel.

  • Handle confidential and non-routine information with sensitivity.

  • Engage in ad hoc division specific projects as needed.

Your Experience

  • A Bachelor's degree or equivalent demonstrated experience in an demanding administrative role, for a complex and fast-paced organization, meeting goals while balancing needs of supporting multiple senior leadership, including complex calendar, travel and event planning, and interacting extensively with internal and external contacts.

  • Solid interpersonal skills, including the ability to build relationships to gain the respect and trust of staff and external partners, and provide clear and effective direction and counsel, while maintaining efficiency and timeliness.

  • Excellent time and project management skills, using clear systems and composure to deal with multiple tasks at once, often under competing deadlines. Able to stay calm under pressure, and problem solve and address issues in an open, constructive, and professional manner.

  • Ability to take initiative, handle high workloads, competing demands, vague assignments, interruptions, and distractions with poise and ease. Ability to track rhythm of business while also dealing with ambiguity and change.

  • Proven positive, collaborative approach to work. Ability to find solutions that are fitting for diverse groups with differing interests and needs by providing high-quality interactions, and clear and consistent communication.

  • Ability to work independently and as part of an integrated, diverse team and be comfortable in multiple, highly varied settings, and with different work styles.

  • Experience establishing organizational systems to improve efficiency and functioning in a changing environment.

  • Excellent attention to detail in composing, typing, and proofing materials.

  • Experience of learning organizational priorities and how they align with the goals of a specific department/division.

  • High level of flexibility, approachability, resourcefulness, and confidentiality.

  • Experience working with teams with diverse cultural and professional backgrounds.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English. French skills are desirable.

  • Proficient with MS Office Suite including Outlook, Teams, PowerPoint, and Excel.

Other Attributes

  • Commitment to the foundation's core values, mission, and programs with an approach that is consistent with the foundation's guiding principles and holding self to the highest ethical standards.

*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

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.