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Senior Program Officer, Development Policy & Finance

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Accounting & Finance, Operations
Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Tuesday, October 31, 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 mission of the Global Policy & Advocacy (GPA) division is to understand and shape the public policy debates affecting the foundation's work, build support for its major program and policy objectives, and develop partnerships and alliances that can advance the foundation's objectives nationally and globally. Because the foundation's resources alone are not enough to solve the challenges ahead, GPA also supports advocacy efforts to engage diverse stakeholders and promote innovative solutions that advance our program goals. We work in close partnership with grantees, our colleagues in the Global Health, Global Development, Global Growth & Opportunity, U.S. and Gender Equality programs and Foundation Communications to build the environment in which all people have the opportunity to lead healthy and productive lives.

The Development Policy & Finance (DPAF) team is the foundation’s development economics and finance team, accountable for ensuring GPA’s work – and by extension the foundation’s work – is informed by strong economic and financial analysis and viewpoints, resonant with economic trends, and connected with key decision-makers at major multilateral development banks (MDBs), development finance institutions (DFIs) and think tanks focused on development economics and finance. This is not a research team but a group of economists, grant makers and development finance experts accountable for using economic analysis and perspectives to strengthen foundation policy and advocacy strategies, and for growing the community of economic policymakers engaged in foundation issues.

Your Role

DPAF has an opening for a Senior Program Officer (SPO), our most senior technical role. The SPO will be spearheading work within our international development finance team, whose primary locus of influence are MDBs, DFIs, private financial actors, think tanks, academia and CSOs, but with a strong connection to country-level partners.

Reporting to DPAF’s Deputy Director of International Development Finance, the SPO will have the ability to assess trends and solutions on both the development policy and the development financing side, recognizing the link between global and country policies, institutions, public and private financing flows, and instruments. The SPO will demonstrate deep subject matter expertise, contribute to the global debate, translate trends and insights for strategic decisions within the foundation through partnership and knowledge products. The SPO will also design and lead complex grants and partnerships to advance team goals. This is an exciting role shaping the global debate, and the practice of the foundation and our partners.

*This is a 24-month limited-term employment opportunity with the possiblity of extension, and foundation sponsored benefits and relocation assistance if needed.

We are currently looking for an SPO with expertise, network and passion to advance practice in one and preferably more of the following areas:

  • Private capital mobilization, financial markets and institutions, and financial instruments, with both a global and country perspective and an understanding of actors on both the (public and private) investment side and business side.

  • Inclusive, sustainable economic growth and transition and how it relates to available financing and the future or economic opportunities, keeping a country specific perspective in mind.

  • The future of official development aid and the global financial architecture: Global evidence to implications in developing countries and for different actors and financing flows, public and private, within the development cooperation space.

  • Strategic implications, advisory and capacity building through knowledge management initiatives.

  • Data and analytics within poverty and development economics.

What You’ll Do

  • Be up to date on relevant developments in the field and serving as the internal subject matter specialist and thought leader within areas mentioned above.

  • Collaborating with teams and senior leadership across the foundation, on technical, strategic and operational intersections to advance program work.

  • Writing briefs and preparing presentation or background material synthesizing current practice and knowledge and/or recommending course of action on key topics of relevance to foundation; continuing to learn and maintaining a comprehensive understanding of the trends and drivers of areas above.

  • Building out policy positions, standard methodologies and analysis for the team and the broader foundation, to ensure we are continuously learning from prior efforts, including those of our partners.

  • Representing the foundation externally on related matters.

  • Designing, planning, and leading a portfolio of grants to advance knowledge, test policy solutions and implement new practice in the areas described above.

  • Cultivating a set of external relationships, identifying new partners and building technical, political or advocacy collaborations to advance the work.

  • Creating and maintaining high quality, productive, collaborative, and coordinated interactions and clear and consistent communications with grantees and partners.

  • Reviewing submitted (or soliciting) concept notes and grant proposals; providing clear, concise and insightful written analyses and recommendations for funding; assessing progress of existing grants for review by foundation leadership.

  • Consulting with grantees to achieve desired impact of grants; conducting site visits, providing technical mentorship, convening meetings, and applying and evaluating milestone-based performance objectives.

  • Contribute to strategy development and overall priorities for the DPAF team and wider GPA division.

Your Experience

  • Advanced degree in economics, with 7+ years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Extensive experience working with key players in governments, research institutions, think tanks, advocates, International Finance Institutions (IFIs), multilaterals, and bilateral

  • Experience leading others in a direct reporting relationship and creating a coaching environment for people to test, learn, and grow.

  • Passion for and track record from the financing for development agenda and specifically mobilizing private capital, financial sector instruments and institutions, and partnerships between the public (including MDBs and DFIs) and private sector.

  • Passion for and track record in using economic policy to identify global development and finance dynamics, and the ability to translate those into country level implications and the future of finance, growth and economic transition.

  • Passion for and track record in analyzing dynamics within international development cooperation and implications for the future of ODA, other development finance flows and the public and private actors in this space.

  • Strong analytical skills, ability to see the bigger picture and key constraints, both in terms of the subject matter and in terms of creating change.

  • Knowledge management experience, ensuring advisory support, learning and capacity development is tailored to senior leadership and different teams within an organization.

  • Experience in developing and managing strong partnerships and relationships with senior decision makers inside and outside of an organization, managing conflicts, and building consensus.

  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and execute exceptionally, translating research to policy solutions, ‘fundable' ideas, advocacy, and action.

  • Demonstrated ability in portfolio management to create optimal investment mix to drive to a set of outcomes.

  • Proven ability to successfully shepherd issues across large institutions, various levels of staff and different cultural contexts.

  • Proven ability as a great teammate defined as someone who shares ideas generously, adjusts flexibly to changes in context, and is motivated to act with some urgency.

  • Strong project management experience with excellent planning, execution and analytic skills

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

  • Working experience in Africa and South Asia.

*This is a 24-month limited-term employment opportunity with the possiblity of extension, and foundation sponsored benefits and relocation assistance if needed.

*The typical salary range for this role is $149,800-$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 United States 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.