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Senior Strategy & Learning Officer, US Program

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Multiple locations
Posted on Thursday, November 2, 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 vision of the foundation’s U.S. Program (USP) is that all people navigating U.S. education systems and job markets can develop the knowledge, skills, and agency needed to thrive in their communities such that race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status are no longer predictors of educational attainment and economic mobility and security. We work with partners to improve education systems and pathways from early learning to K-12 to postsecondary education to prepare and empower all students to thrive in the labor market and their lives while employing targeted strategies for student groups who have been inequitably served by current systems – Black and Latino students, and students from low-income backgrounds. We also work with partners to improve systems in ways that increase equitable access to opportunities for adults experiencing poverty, especially those facing greater mobility barriers due to racism and sexism.

Our Economic Mobility and Opportunity (EMO) team works with local and state governments and policymakers, small and medium-sized businesses, community and advocacy organizations, funders, and researchers to help increase long-term economic security for people earning low incomes. Our target population is the 47 million people ages 16 to 64 whose annual incomes are below 200% of the federal poverty level, which translates to $27,180 for an individual and $55,500 for a family of four as of 2022.

The Economic Mobility & Opportunity strategy has three pillars:
• Making Lives Better Now: Work to address the immediate needs of our focus population by supporting the creation and use of tools that help individuals and families access safety net benefits and tax credits as well as connect employers with skilled workers.
• Public Good Creation and Dissemination: We provide tools, insights, and resources to local governments, businesses, and organizations to help them create more opportunities for people living in poverty to achieve economic success.
• Critical Enablers: We collaborate with government agencies, businesses, nonprofits, funders, and others to increase the flow of capital, facilitate learning, and advance shared goals in a way that builds momentum around efforts in our two other focus areas.

Your Role

As the Senior Strategy and Learning Officer (SSO), you will report to the Director, Economic Mobility & Opportunity, Ryan Rippel. The SSO will play a critical role in the Economic Mobility & Opportunity team in the current moment of growth and learning. Overall, the SSO will support the Economic Mobility & Opportunity team to advise decision-making regarding strategy hypotheses, investments, and budget with relevant evidence from investments, the broader evidence base, and other sources.

The SSO is responsible for designing, implementing, and supporting measurement learning and evaluation (MLE) across the bodies of work (BOWs) and the strategy-level for the Economic Mobility & Opportunity Team as well supporting the translation of findings into strategic implications. The SSO will also help to enable our operating model, particularly strengthening our collective muscle around using findings to guide our decision making. This will include strengthening performance management practices and routines, integrating measurement & learning into our rhythm of the business and our annual strategy refinement processes.

What You’ll Do

  • Finalize strategy level MLE framework for EMO strategy, including developing innovative approaches to measuring field influence, strengthened coalitions, and intentional partnership models.
  • Refine measurement and evaluation plans as needed, and ensuring activities are aligned in support of each strategy’s learning agenda and equitable evaluation approaches are taken into consideration and implemented.
  • Manage the team’s evaluation contractors and contracts to ensure the completion of key deliverables, and results, learning, and data are collected, analyzed, and reported in a timely and useful manner.
  • Lead the development of regular leadership reporting on the strategy’s impact and learnings.
  • Serve as subject matter expert on evaluation and effectiveness for the team and partners, including synthesizing and sharing data and evidence for team learning/execution, reviewing MLE grant and contract proposal, and supporting BOW MLE dashboard development.
  • Develop tools and processes to provide access to data, evidence, and analytics for the team; design and support data-driven learning opportunities for the team.
  • Analyze, synthesize, and report findings from funded and other research, to inform EMO strategy.
  • Serve as point of contact for the EMO team and participate in and/or lead select US Program MLE initiatives, to include, but not limited to the development of qualitative methods and associated experimentation with this approach.
  • Support portfolio management processes that consider evidence, investment progress, and strategic considerations to inform investment decision-making and budget.

Your Experience

  • An advanced degree or equivalent experience in program domain area or evaluation field. Deep experience in strategy development & refinement and organizational and program learning and improvement.
  • Experience related to economic mobility, community development, and or philanthropic impact measurement is preferred.
  • Proven track record of creative problem-solving strategy development, effective communication & collaboration skills, and rigorous analytically driven decision making.
  • Proven track record of working across teams to align on shared strategy priorities and goals.
  • In-depth knowledge of measurement design and implementation, logic models, quantitative and qualitative research methods, data collection and management, and data analysis and presentation to inform internal decision-making.
  • Expertise in developing and implementing complex and equity-minded measurement and evaluation plans, including ability to make sense of the findings and recommend changes to leadership.
  • Experience in designing processes that balance rigor, efficiency, inclusion, and accountability.
  • Ability to clearly synthesize and communicate complex information Exemplary written and verbal communication skills; ability to effectively facilitate, manage, and summarize divergent points of view to advance the thinking of the group, synthesize and effectively communicate key takeaways for diverse audiences.
  • Demonstrated program management skills of complex strategy development, execution planning, and business redesign projects and a successful track record of leading multiple projects at a time.
  • Ability to work flexibly across centralized (common practices, policies, approaches) and embedded (contextually specific practices, policies, approaches) and negotiate the best solutions that balance both perspectives.
  • Proven track record to lead and influence others in a constructive manner and to build and sustain collaborative relationships.
  • Demonstrated initiative solving unstructured problems with little oversight, high energy, and a positive attitude.

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

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.