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Deputy Director, Discovery, Products & Surveillance (IDM)

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, October 3, 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 Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM) is an embedded research institute within the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, supporting global efforts to eradicate infectious diseases and achieve permanent improvements in health. We develop, use, and share computational modeling tools, and promote quantitative decision-making through robust mathematical and statistical modeling. The IDM team comprises both research scientists and software engineers. IDM has a bold and important vision, and you will play a key role in realizing that vision through the impact you have as a research leader, as a team manager, strategic thinker, and thought partner.

Your Role

We are seeking an outstanding individual to join the Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM) at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as the Deputy Director for Discovery, Products & Surveillance (DD, DPS). This newly defined role will lead and advance modeling & research efforts in our upstream and cross-disease global health portfolios with a focus on product development & discovery; translational sciences; enteric and environmental surveillance; and transmission dynamics, including rapid analytics on population impact and phylogenetics.

The goals of this portfolio are to apply a rigorous lens on these upstream research portfolios and cross-disease capabilities in surveillance as well as translation to program strategy partners and direct engagement with in-country partners. The Deputy Director will play a pivotal role in driving forward IDM's mission to enhance our understanding of disease dynamics and inform effective interventions. This position will be instrumental in shaping research strategies, enabling quantitative research in model development, product and platform design, and a specific focus on surveillance systems. In this position you’ll also play a role in fostering collaborations, and addressing health disparities through innovative quantitative, data-centric, and multidisciplinary approaches.

This role will collaborate closely with internal and external partners to drive meaningful change in addressing health disparities.

What You’ll Do:

Research Leadership:

  • Lead the design and execution of a research portfolio that investigates questions of upstream product development & design; engagement with multi-pathogen surveillance systems with an attention to broader use cases; and engagement with modeling and data analytics for translational science, particularly in the infectious disease space.

  • Develop and implement research strategies that explore key questions in relation to pandemic preparedness, data strategies for vaccine and product development, and illuminate new areas of engagement in the upstream discovery space.

Collaboration & Partnership:

  • Collaborate with DDs within IDM, across research and software teams, as well as broader foundation partner teams, external organizations, and experts in the field.

    • Articulating modeling, software, computational infrastructure, and visualization tooling needs and expectations for this portfolio of work

    • Developing and maintaining connections across upstream and downstream themes, building a network of experts

  • Foster partnerships with researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders to ensure research findings have a meaningful impact on product development and scale, as well as global health policies and practices

    • Curating specific opportunities for IDM to contribute to this space as programs evolve in the product, platform & surveillance spaces

    • Advocating for IDM’s engagement within disease verticals and discovery-oriented teams, including embedded partnerships, rapid re-use analytics, and informing data strategies

  • Contribute to capacity-building initiatives to enhance IDM's expertise in upstream GH-related research within IDM, the foundation, and the broader modeling & research ecosystem

Strategic Planning:

  • Develop a strategic vision for IDM's research efforts in this space and integrate with IDM’s broader strategy across research and software domains

  • Identify emerging trends, gaps, and opportunities in the field and recommend innovative approaches to address them.

  • Engage strategically with co-chairs and foundation leadership to inform thinking on data and modeling

Research Team Management & Mentorship:

  • Lead the conceptualization of research portfolios, ensuring high-quality data collection, analysis, and interpretation to drive strategic decisions for programmatic and external partners

  • Mentor and advise research managers and individual contributors within the team, fostering professional growth, leadership, and development, as well as in strategy development and engagement with programmatic counterparts

  • Provide guidance to direct reports on research methodologies, study design, and data management to ensure robust and reliable results with foundation partners

  • Fostering a collaborative and healthy internal team culture that emphasizes listening and cultural humility in our engagements with partners

Communication, Advocacy & Engagement:

  • Support dissemination of research findings through peer-reviewed publications, conferences, and other knowledge-sharing platforms.

  • Engage in the strategic development of global public goods in the upstream global health research space in collaboration with the IDM software team and broader foundation stakeholders

Your Experience:

  • Ph.D. or equivalent advanced degree in a relevant field (e.g., public health, epidemiology, social sciences).

  • Extensive experience (10+ years) in leading research and modeling initiatives informing the product or vaccine development space, with experience at the intersections of policy makers, funders, academia, and industry

  • Strong background in global public health research, mathematical or disease modeling, epidemiology, and health disparities.

  • Demonstrated experience in designing and implementing multidisciplinary research projects, with a quantitative focus

  • Familiarity with advanced statistical methods, dynamic modeling, and targeted data analytics

  • Proven track record of developing and fostering collaborations and partnerships with internal and external stakeholders.

  • Experience building and managing a team, cultivating an effective team culture, and leading performance and impact

  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to present complex strategy, both within IDM and within the broader foundation, translating research approaches & findings to diverse audiences.

The typical salary range for this role is $193,078 to $358,573 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.

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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.