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Deputy Director, Legal

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Legal
Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 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

"Guidance, Solutions, Integrity" describes the Legal division’s approach to providing responsive legal guidance supporting pursuit of the foundation’s mission and implementation of the foundation's programmatic and operational strategies. The Legal division delivers comprehensive legal services by providing efficient and reliable legal guidance, managing legal risk, and supporting the development of solutions to achieve the mission of the foundation and its affiliated entities.

The Legal division partners with our colleagues across the foundation to enable purposeful work by maintaining an efficient, well-run global organization where employees can thrive and make their best contributions! Doing this well requires effective collaboration, strong alignment, and thoughtful planning across both operational and programmatic teams – as well as shared accountability for mitigating risk and optimizing the foundation’s operational resources.

Your Role

The individual we are seeking will be responsible for providing sophisticated yet practical legal advice regarding the laws applicable to U.S. tax-exempt organizations and on technical tax issues including all aspects of Chapter 42 of the Internal Revenue Code and other state, federal and foreign tax laws applicable to private foundations operating globally. This position also includes advising on how to properly structure and manage complex grants, contracts, program related investments and other collaborations (collectively, “Transactions”), and advising on other foundation operations and activities in compliance with laws that apply to the foundation’s work globally. This individual will provide support across the foundation, its regional offices and its affiliated entities (collectively, the “Foundation”), and will manage a team of tax lawyers embedded in the Foundation’s programs and operations.

What You’ll Do

Core responsibilities include:

  • Proactively engaging with foundation divisions and teams to incorporate strategies and goals into legal advice and compliance strategies that are calibrated appropriately for the foundation’s risk tolerance.

  • Identifying and advising on legal issues across a wide range of subject areas, while specializing in the laws applicable to tax-exempt organizations.

  • Identifying, mitigating and/or resolving areas of legal risk, working closely with the Chief Legal Officer and Chief Financial Officer to ensure the foundation is “audit ready” and following practices of good governance.

  • Developing cross-foundation policies and practices regarding tax and regulatory compliance and helping to ensure consistent foundation-wide application.

  • Managing a team of subject-matter expert direct reports and serving in a consultative role to the Legal Leadership Team (LLT), in collaboration with other Managing Deputy Directors within Legal.

  • Understanding and supporting the objectives of internal client groups, developing creative solutions, and resolving issues in compliance with applicable law and the foundation's values and risk philosophy.

  • Structuring, negotiating, and drafting complex Transaction agreements, and providing guidance in developing and implementing guidelines for Transaction terms and conditions, policies and practices and management.

  • Advising on tax and other legal issues associated with the foundation’s regional offices.

  • Demonstrating generalist expertise to identify legal issues and collaborate, where appropriate, with other legal team members or foundation stakeholders to lead the resolution of complex and strategic legal issues in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and Foundation policies and processes.

  • Demonstrating subject matter expertise and leadership on projects and activities where such expertise is required.

  • Quickly establishing a relationship of trust with key partners and participating as a primary point of contact and strategic advisor to diverse program and/or operations client groups.

  • Facilitating compliance with, and ensuring current knowledge regarding, applicable domestic and foreign tax laws, policy, and regulatory requirements in countries where the foundation maintains a legal presence or is otherwise active.

  • Collaborating with the LLT and broader legal team to ensure effective coverage, work allocation and communication regarding legal issues related to the foundation, all from a “one team” perspective; collaborate to ensure legal advice is consistent across divisions and teams.

  • Managing outside counsel as needed.

  • Supporting training and education of foundation staff on legal and compliance issues.

  • Some travel may be required.

Your Experience

  • Juris Doctor degree and current bar membership in good standing are required.

  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience in the practice of law with proven subject matter expertise in the laws applicable to tax-exempt organizations.

  • Substantial law firm experience, and in-house experience with a private foundation or tax-exempt organization, preferred.

  • Outstanding drafting and negotiating abilities are required.

  • Experience successfully managing a team of other legal professionals.

  • Strong business sense and client focus.

  • Ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, enthusiasm, and diplomacy both individually and collaboratively as part of a team effort.

  • Strong interpersonal skills, maturity, sound judgment, and ability to communicate in a clear and compelling manner with internal and external audiences.

  • Intellectual curiosity, discipline, resourcefulness, and resilience.

  • Self-motivated and a passion for the mission of the foundation.

  • Highest standards of ethics and integrity.

  • Sense of balance, humor, and perspective.

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 $313,000.00 to $485,300.00 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.