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Nu Advisory Partners

Director of Strategy, Planning, and Management and Chief of Staff

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

People & HR, Operations
Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Sunday, May 19, 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 ensure that people navigating US 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.

Our mission is to work with partners to:
1. Generate insights by using data, research, and evidence to illuminate inequities in education, workforce, and social systems and evaluate potential solutions;
2. Accelerate innovation of digitally enabled solutions and high-impact practices and supports that help educators and community leaders eliminate disparities;
3. Strengthen capacity of institutions, intermediaries, and leaders to implement these solutions, practices, and supports in their contexts to further test and prove their effectiveness and impact;
4. Improve enabling conditions including data infrastructure, policy, and funding, so that proven solutions, practices, and supports can scale to ensure equitable outcomes; and
5. Engage partners to ensure that community voices, student voices, and other key stakeholder voices are included, heard, and incorporated into our work.

Our mission reflects our belief in the power of evidence, data, technology, and innovation as essential and high potential inputs to support educators and system leaders to deliver equitable impact for students and communities.
USP works on five goals:
1. increased kindergarten readiness and school and life success;
2. increased academic and socio-emotional outcomes for K-12 students, with a focus on mathematics, to ensure they are on-track for high-school graduation and college preparedness;
3. increased successful transitions for K-12 students between high school and postsecondary systems;
4. increased completions of quality, affordable postsecondary credentials that offer value through economic mobility and security; and
5. increased outcomes for adults experiencing poverty with regards to economic success, power and autonomy, and being valued in their communities.

Your Role

The Director of Strategy, Planning, and Management and Chief of Staff (Dir SPM/CoS), United States Program (USP) will serve as an extension of the USP President defining and supporting the implementation of leadership and division priorities.

As a critical leader on the US Leadership Team (USLT), you will support the division and President to operate with strategic and operational excellence and efficiency by providing critical support across a range of work – including internal management and alignment of leadership to goals and priorities, strategy development, and performance management, allocation of financial & human resources, implementation of cross-cutting change, project management, and oversight of division-wide business processes and external relations.

The Dir SPM/CoS will manage the Office of President which includes Deputy Directors of OoP, Program Managers, Data, Strategy & Program Officers responsible programs, operations, and priorities that support and amplify the impact of US Programs.

This position will be based in our Seattle, WA headquarters. Foundation-sponsored relocation support will be offered.

What You'll Do

There are three key areas of responsibility:

1. Serve as a key strategic advisor and thought partner to USP President and the USP leadership team; engage across the USP to align strategy, planning, and management functions including:

  • Support USP President in setting and executing strategic priorities — factoring in division capacity in order to right-size the number and depth of priorities — and helping to ensure priorities are successfully met and desired impact is reached.

  • Lead strategic programmatic projects for which the President is taking direct ownership/co-ownership.

  • Lead & orchestrate initiatives & projects; contribute strategic content and where appropriate, oversee the appropriate analysis & decision support.

  • Work with the President to manage critical grantee and partner relationships, as needed.

  • Support the workload of the President and prioritization of time by managing information flow, resolving issues, providing analysis and advice on key issues.

  • Partner with USP Directors to lead & orchestrate initiatives; contribute strategic content and oversee selected analysis & decision support.

  • Lead the division’s rhythm of business; specifically, manage cadence, preparation, and actions following strategy and performance review meetings, USP leadership team meetings, all staff meetings, retreats, and regular tactical meetings.

  • Partner with centralized Finance, Human Resources, and Enterprise Business Management to manage division-wide headcount, workforce planning, professional development, while continuously improving our approach.

  • Serves as a member of the Chief of Staff Community of Practice, contributing to cross-foundation culture shaping, change initiatives, and discrete projects and ensuring streamlined communication and prompt-interdivisional problem solving.

  • Partner with Deputy Directors of Strategy, Planning and Management (DDSPMs) across the division to ensure coordination of divisional norms and operational efficiencies.

2. Lead and manage USP Office of the President (OoP) Team (15 team members in size) across the three major functions of Strategy Planning, and Management, USP Strategic Priorities, and Program Learning and Culture adding value through cost-cutting programmatic and business supports to program/functional teams.

  • Directly supervise Deputy Directors and Advisors who are collective responsible for:

    • Program learning, strategic meeting management, business process and, and change management.

    • Strategic/opportunistic grants and investments including the scholarships portfolio and other special initiatives.

    • Data analytics and research in collaboration with program strategy teams.

    • Measurement and evaluation support of identified cross program work.

  • Foster enabling conditions for talent to thrive and be accountable for inclusive team culture.

3. Partner in Leadership, Culture and Management Functions

  • Accountable for integration and driving progress against organizational goals and divisional diversity, equity and inclusion commitments.

  • Model and coach equitable decision-making, inclusive behaviors, and actions.

  • Support a strong USP leadership team culture, effectiveness of the USP leadership team, and effective management of US Program —including overseeing team effectiveness and team building efforts.

  • Serve as a key, trusted advisor to USP leadership on challenges and opportunities facing their respective areas including strategy, implementation, culture, leadership, and management – as a community builder, thought partner, trouble shooter.

Your Experience

  • Advanced degree (Master’s or MBA strongly preferred) with minimum 15 years of successful people leadership / management experience OR equivalent combination of both.

  • Experience in US education (K-12 and/or higher education) strongly preferred. Experience in education technology is a plus.

  • You will bring a combination of experience in strategy development and implementation, business operations/performance management.

  • Prior experience as a Chief of Staff, Advisor, DDSPM or Special Assistant with deep exposure to philanthropy is highly preferred.

  • Management and relationship management:

    • Excellent people leadership skills with demonstrated experience of mentoring and developing talent.

    • Ability to form trust-based partnerships and work well with a wide range of internal and external partners.

    • Comfortable in a wide range of cultural, geographic, and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diverse range of people.

    • Experience in a role requiring advanced collaboration skills, as well as a demonstrated ability to work with efficiency and diplomacy, particularly as part of a team effort.

  • Demonstrate excellent leadership, intellectual quickness, creativity, curiosity, discipline and resourcefulness:

    • Must be highly organized and efficient and possess excellent judgment with a demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks, complex issues, and competing priorities with strong attention to detail.

    • Adaptability to engage with program teams to understand critical issues and facilitate ELT’s engagement.

    • Knowledge of strategy development and implementation, performance management systems of goals and targets.

  • Organization, communication, and execution:

    • Must possess excellent oral and written communication skills to represent the OoP optimally and accurately to a variety of audiences as well as draft and proof-read written documents.

    • Ability to navigate a wide range of operational issues with solid experience and understanding of core business/organizational teams – strategy, operations, legal, HR, financial analysis, planning, and budgeting.

    • Innovative and empathetic approach to all aspects of work.

    • Ability to travel up to 25% of time as needed.

*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 to $485,300 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 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.