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Senior Program Officer, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Product Development

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Product, Operations
Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Saturday, October 28, 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

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 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, 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, pneumonia, and maternal, newborn and child health. These strategies are supported by functional & cross cutting teams that focus on Discovery and Translational Sciences, Innovative Technology Solutions, Vaccine Development, Innovation Introduction, and Integrated Development.

The Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) team has two overarching impact goals that define success. Our first goal is to eradicate, eliminate, or control 8 of the 20 Neglected Tropical Diseases recognized by the WHO [lymphatic filariasis (LF), onchocerciasis (oncho), schistosomiasis (schisto), soil-transmitted helminths (STH), trachoma, Guinea worm (GW), visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in South Asia, and human African trypanosomiasis (HAT)]. Our second goal is to improve non-NTD health outcomes using the NTD delivery platform, through programs such as Resiliency through Azithromycin for Children (REACH).

This person will be a member of the Product Development Domain and report to the Deputy Director of PC Operations Research and Product Development

Your Role

As a key member of the Neglected Tropical Diseases team, the Senior Program Officer (SPO), Product Development, is accountable for designing, executing and managing a portfolio of grants and contracts to develop drugs, vaccines and diagnostics to accelerate elimination of eight priority NTDs. This will include new macrofilaricides to treat onchocerciasis, diagnostics to address schistosomiasis and lymphatic filariasis and a schistosomiasis vaccine. You will liaise with functional team experts from across the foundation to optimize these product development programs. You will also partner closely with the Deputy Director (DD), PC Operations and Product Development to contribute to the continued development of the team’s strategic vision including participating in the setting of the overall strategy and goals for the group.

What You’ll Do

  • Identify forward-leaning technologies, scientific innovations and other opportunities that can be leveraged to improve the products available to NTD control programs globally
  • Partner closely with team leadership, including the Director, DD PC Operations Research and Product Development, and Deputy Director of Strategy Planning and Management, to set the strategy for new product development within the overall NTD strategy; and to communicate these strategies internally and externally.
  • Design, negotiate, and manage a portfolio of grants or performance-based contracts in support of the NTD strategy; including alignment of internal and external stakeholders on priorities for funding, identification of new and relevant grantees, review of letters of inquiry and grant proposals, tracking of grant progress, active trouble-shooting, and clear and insightful written analyses and recommendations for funding.
  • Manage information related to grant portfolio and domain-level data, such as documenting key activities and decisions; inputting into key business processes and performance measurement tools; preparing materials for communication with foundation leadership
  • Consult, provide thought partnership, and support to grantees and other partners to maximize the impact of projects and the creation of well-integrated product development plans, clinical study designs, and statistical analysis plans
  • Appropriately liaise with drug development, vaccine development and diagnostic development experts both internal and external to the foundation to support grantees
  • Represent the foundation and program to the external world as relates to position responsibilities:
  • Forge collaborations with key global experts in product development for neglected tropical diseases.
  • Work with external advisors to maintain cutting edge approaches to addressing NTD tools.
  • Represent foundation interests in developing networks for the program
  • This role will require the ability to travel up to 30% domestically and internationally

Your Experience

We are looking for people who enjoy the opportunity of working on complex projects and collaboratively creating solutions that have the potential for transformational change. We seek a self-starter who can integrate a diverse set of perspectives to build consensus, structure and drive forward progress on complex topics, and provide both technical and operational capacity to the NTD Product Development portfolio. We are looking for individuals with:

  • PhD and/or MD with 15+ years of work experience
  • Experience in end-to-end drug development or vaccine development required, industry experience strongly preferred
  • Knowledge of and experience in neglected tropical diseases preferred
  • Experience working with and in LMIC settings preferred
  • Experience with WHO prequalification process preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to learn new disease areas and new drug development technologies quickly.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and affect data-driven strategy planning and implementation
  • Demonstrated excellence in scientific writing and data analysis, written and oral communication skills, and experience advocating and communicating with a broad and diverse audience.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, and enthusiasm in a fast-paced and complex internal and external environment
  • Proven program and stakeholder management skills: ability to coordinate inputs from many people; to track progress against targets and identify barriers to progress; to plan agendas and facilitate meetings; and to organize, evaluate, and communicate information
  • Sound judgment with a demonstrated ability to handle complex issues, multiple tasks, confidential information, and competing priorities with skill, discretion, a strong attention to detail, flexibility and diplomacy.
  • Tolerance for ambiguity and ability to apply structure to simplify complex problems
  • Intellectual quickness, curiosity, discipline, resourcefulness and resilience.
  • Exceptional listening, verbal, and written communication skills, able to effectively calibrate input and synthesize information to connect with diverse audiences
  • Excellent interpersonal and diplomatic skills. You must possess excellent relationship management skills to develop trusting and productive relationships with a wide range of colleagues, dignitaries, leaders, grantees, consultants and other partners.
  • Demonstrated passion for the Foundation’s values with a commitment to deliver results against our mission

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.


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.