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Senior Program Officer, Translational Sciences, Global Health

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Operations
Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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 Discovery & Translational Sciences (DTS) is to catalyze innovation for the discovery and translation of transformative solutions to global health and development inequity. As such, the primary role of DTS is to enable the foundation to achieve its ambitious global health equity goals as articulated by the disease-specific strategy teams (Program Strategy Teams; PSTs). For this, we exploit an outstanding advantage of the foundation in general and DTS in particular: the ability to invest in high-risk and/or long-timeline initiatives with potential for truly disruptive change. We channel resources into creating more practical (affordable, scalable, deliverable) versions of existing tools, develop transformative new tools where none exist, and speed the translation of scientific discovery into implementable solutions, seeking better ways to evaluate and refine potential interventions before they enter costly and time-consuming late-stage clinical trials. Key functions in support of this R&D mission include identifying and filling gaps in scientific knowledge, creating or implementing new technology platforms that can accelerate research in support of our goals, investing in potentially transformative ideas, continuous surveying of an ever-changing scientific and technological innovation space, and the fostering of an effective ecosystem of global health innovation, funding and partnership to advance the foundation’s mission. Our areas of focus include vaccines, biologics, drugs, microbiome interventions, and reproductive and sexual health.

This position reports to the Deputy Director, Translational Sciences.

Your Role

We are currently seeking a Senior Program Officer (SPO) to join Translation Sciences (TS) team within D&TS to contribute to a productive and collaborative culture of innovation, to accelerate translation of research into practical health solutions, and to be passionate about solving problems and addressing questions relevant to our mission. Team members participate actively in the broader biomedical and clinical scientific community and are expected to maintain a cutting-edge understanding of the field, provide deep subject matter expertise, act as thought-partners both internally and externally, and serve as timely sensors of novel opportunities and unforeseen alignments that might be applied to our strategic priorities.

Translational Sciences expertise, bridging the gap between discovery and clinical development, is integral to DTS’ mission of driving innovation to impact. The effective development of preventive and therapeutic interventions (including drugs, vaccines, biologics, microbiome and other interventions) requires an ability to ‘translate’ information from cellular and animal models to human disease and back again. This translation includes the use of cellular and animal pharmacology to understand the mechanisms of action of therapeutics; the identification of pathway and pharmacodynamic biomarkers for use in human clinical trials; physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modeling; and clinical trial simulation to facilitate the design of informative human clinical trials. These activities are often lacking for interventions used in global health, whose development preceded the availability of modern translational tools. To be effective, a modern and innovative translational approach to intervention tool development should start early, during the discovery phase. For translational medicine to be effective in global health, such thinking needs to be embedded in the Discovery functions and PSTs that seek to deliver new interventions for Global Health.

What You’ll Do

Strategy Development:

  • Assist the Deputy Director in defining and driving clinical development strategies for global health product development initiatives in a data-driven, analytical manner.
  • Help to conceptualize, shape, drive initiatives and application of state-of-the-art approaches to the clinical development of preventive and therapeutic interventions.

Investment management:

  • Manage a substantial portfolio of sophisticated investments (grants, contracts, equity) requiring both relevant subject matter expertise and high-level leadership skills; including applying and evaluating milestone-based performance objectives and helping to make go/no-go decisions about specific projects and product candidates.
  • Identify and select partner institutions (e.g., academic, not-for-profit, biotech, pharma, PDP) as well as develop the scope and strategy for selected grants, investments, MoUs and contracts.
  • Serve as a thought partner and resource to grantees and partners to facilitate accomplishment of strategic objectives.
  • Contribute to review of proposals and write proposal summaries.
  • Keep Foundation colleagues advised of progress on individual grants and investments that may constitute solution sets for specific global health problems.

Provide Subject Matter Expertise:

  • Contribute to foundation knowledge capture, evaluation, learning, and dissemination; including developing reviews, summaries and informative reports that summarize key activities as well as supporting monitoring and evaluation activities.
  • Monitor and provide analysis on technology trends, innovations, and policy issues relevant to initiatives/portfolios.
  • Represent the Foundation externally and be recognized as a leader with vision through participation in public events and meetings related to area of expertise and position responsibilities, as well as through written work in relevant journals and publications.
  • Contribute to diligence teams and evaluate potential equity investments in biotechs
  • Assist in the preparation and presentation of reviews and information/reports to Directors, Presidents, Co-Chairs, and other Foundation leadership.

Partnerships:

  • Represent foundation interests in building external networks. Form key partnerships with our PDPs, academic, pharmaceutical, biotech and other key external partners to enhance implementation of program strategy and tactics.
  • Actively cultivate and nurture existing external partnerships across a diverse, international network.

Your Experience

  • MD scientist with deep experience in academic bench science, translational medicine, and early clinical development in Biotech/Pharma.
  • Clinician with proven experience in iterative design of phase 1, phase 2a, and experimental medicine clinical trials.
  • Experience in immunology and/or immuno-oncology strongly preferred.
  • Experience in establishing and leading collaborative programs integrating fundamental scientific research and clinical development in the academic, Pharma or Biotech sectors.
  • Proven ability to lead and influence others. Demonstrated ability to work with efficiency, diplomacy, and flexibility particularly as part of a team in a highly matrixed environment.
  • Experience working on teams with diverse cultural and professional backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated excellence in scientific writing and data analysis, written and oral communication skills, and experience advocating and communicating with a broad and diverse audience.

Other Attributes

  • Scientific curiosity and a high appetite for risk and innovation!
  • Experience in a role requiring collaboration in a complex organization and working with external organizations.
  • Dedication to our core values, mission and programs with an approach that is consistent with the foundation’s guiding principles while holding oneself to the highest ethical standards.
  • An ability to lead with a diversity, equity, and inclusion mindset and application.

The salary range for this role is $256,600 to $397,700 USD. We recognize high-wage market differences in Seattle and Washington D.C., where our offices are located. The range for this role in these locations is $279,600 to $433,300 USD. As a mission-driven organization, we strive to balance competitive pay with our mission and new hires are typically brought into the organization at a salary between the range minimum and the salary range midpoint. Actual placement in the range will depend on a candidate’s job-related skills, experience, and expertise, as evaluated during the interview process.

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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.