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Senior Program Officer, AI Innovations

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Software Engineering, Operations, Data Science
Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 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 foundation’s U.S. Program (USP) works to expand access to life-changing opportunities. The evidence is still clear that having an education after high school is critical for success in today’s economy and we are deeply committed to transforming postsecondary education to become a better and more equitable producer of credentials of value for all students. Critically important is that race, ethnicity, income, and wealth are not predictors of student success. To drive the change we believe is necessary, we invest in large-scale transformation of postsecondary policy and practice that results in increased attainment of credentials of value with special attention to addressing the systemic inequities that impact Black, Latino, and Indigenous students, and students from low-income backgrounds.

The Postsecondary Success strategy supports institutional transformation, the development of

technologies, and the sharing of those technologies and other tools, practices and policies that lead to increased attainment of credentials of value. Our aim is to help higher education evolve to more effectively deliver economic mobility for students and to more fully realize the public benefits that accrue when more adults earn meaningful credentials equitably across all races, ethnicities, and levels of income and wealth.

Your Role

The Senior Program Officer of Postsecondary AI Innovations will lead the foundation's efforts to invest in and develop research and development (R&D) initiatives related to AI in service of improving teaching and learning in first-year introductory courses in higher education, especially math. This individual will develop and manage a set of investments to advance our understanding of AI innovations and applications in the field, to accelerate development and testing of AI technologies and tools, and to document key learnings and insights that will inform and adjust our work. They will coordinate their investment strategy and learnings with other strategies across the US Program Division (e.g. K-12, Pathways, Data, etc) as well as other portfolios in the Postsecondary Success Strategy (notably our Digitally Holistic Student Supports portfolio) to ensure cohesion and maximize impact of our work. The Senior Program Officer of Postsecondary AI Innovations will report directly to the Deputy Director of Digitally Enabled Teaching & Learning.

What You’ll Do

  • Develop our AI Innovations strategy, within the context of our broader focus on developing and scaling high quality courseware

  • Develop, launch, and monitor high-impact investments related to AI innovations that support postsecondary teaching and learning (prioritizing STEM subject areas) aligned to the broader Digitally Enabled Teaching & Learning strategy

  • Manage relationships and projects with grantees / contractors to ensure project success. This may include site visits, providing operational guidance, and convening meetings of key partners.

  • Extract and communicate key portfolio learnings and strategic insights for the team and the broader PS strategy, contributing to leadership-facing communications as needed

  • Represent the foundation to key program-related external constituencies, as appropriate, on committees related to area of expertise and responsibilities of the position

  • Collaborate with Program Officers to construct and manage effective milestone-based performance objectives to achieve successful investment outcomes across a range of investments within the portfolio

  • Participate and contribute to knowledge sharing and learning across the portfolio and the broader Postsecondary Success strategy.

Your Experience

Education and Experiences:

  • BA/BS required

  • Advanced degree with at least 10+ years of relevant experience in postsecondary education, educational technology, or a closely related field. Experience should include a significant component of instructional design and the strategic integration of educational technologies.

  • Demonstrated strategic leadership with regards to developing and implementing technology solutions at scale, with a proven track record of innovation and thought leadership in the field

  • Demonstrated experience in the research and development of technology-enhanced educational interventions, with a preference for those targeting STEM subjects

  • Experience with AI applications and their implications in the educational sector. Ideal candidate will have experience applying AI technologies to solve educational challenges, enhance learning experiences, and improve educational outcomes. Experience with direct development of AI technologies is not required but a welcome bonus.

  • We seek individuals who can demonstrate practical experience with AI, showing a balance between theoretical knowledge and its application in educational settings.

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Deep understanding of unique opportunities and challenges presented by technology (specifically artificial intelligence) to historically marginalized students, and experience navigating equity within the technology sector, especially in relation to AI.

  • Demonstrated ability to make informed decisions that consider the impacts of technology on equity, particularly how technologies like AI can be developed and deployed to support and uplift Black, Latino, Indigenous students, and students from low-income backgrounds.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of AI innovations in postsecondary education, particularly in developing and implementing initiatives to advance teaching and learning outcomes.

  • In-depth understanding of the postsecondary education market, including familiarity with curricula, interventions, assessment tools, publishers, and professional learning providers, with a specific emphasis on AI-enabled solutions.

  • Thorough understanding of instructional materials and pedagogical approaches in postsecondary education, including how AI technologies can be integrated into teaching practices to improve student learning experiences.

  • Familiarity with inclusive design principles and equity-centered approaches to product development and investment, with a focus on ensuring that AI innovations in postsecondary education meet the needs of diverse learners.

  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to influence others positively and build collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including educators, researchers, and industry partners.

  • Recognized as an expert in the field of postsecondary innovations internally and externally, with a reputation for thought leadership and contributions to the professional community.

  • Demonstrated ability to engage with organizations and leaders closely connected to the work in postsecondary education, fostering partnerships and collaborations to drive innovation and impact.

  • Ability to develop and engage with frameworks to increase clarity and visibility of decisions, trade-offs, and impact on financial and organizational resources

*Accepting applications until April 26th COB, PT

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

The salary range for this role is $182,600 to $283,100 USD. We recognize high-wage market differences where our offices are located, in Seattle, Washington D.C., and Boston (Cambridge). The range for this role in these locations is $199,000 to $308,400 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 range between the minimum and the midpoint salary range. Actual placement in the range will depend on a candidate’s job-related skills, experience, and expertise, as evaluated during the interview process.

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.