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Assistant General Counsel, Enterprise Operations

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Legal, Operations
Multiple locations
Posted on Saturday, June 1, 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 our 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 mission-driven 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


This role is responsible for providing legal advice to the foundation and its affiliated entities with a particular focus on the foundation’s Enterprise Operations divisions, including the Global Policy and Advocacy and Communications Divisions. Supporting grant-making, contracting, and operational activities will require familiarity with laws applicable to U.S. tax-exempt private foundations as well as general in-house counsel responsibilities.


What You'll Do

  • Actively participate as a member of the foundation’s legal team and work cross-functionally and collaboratively with other team members to represent the entire foundation.

  • Understand and support the programmatic, operational, and business objectives of internal client groups, develop creative solutions, and resolve issues using the appropriate legal framework, consistent with our values and our risk philosophy,

  • Demonstrate generalist expertise to identify legal issues and collaborate, where appropriate, with other legal team members or foundation collaborators to own the resolution of sophisticated and strategic legal issues in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and foundation policy and process.

  • Review concept briefs, grant proposals, articles and other public communications, and advise on legal issues with a focus on government engagement, advocacy, and public awareness campaigns, including compliance with private foundation rules on lobbying, and electioneering, communications and media engagement issues, rights clearances, branded campaigns, digital media, website, and data privacy issues.

  • Structure, negotiate and draft legal documents related to government engagement, advocacy, and communication issues, including memoranda of understanding, media releases, license agreements, advertising services agreements, publication agreements, campaign, and trademark agreements.

  • Run applicable requirements and registrations (including charitable registration requirements).

  • Support the foundation in responding to third party Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and public records requests.

  • Respond to wide variety of questions posed by foundation staff, relating to self-dealing, engagement with affiliates and trustee-owned entities, conflicts of interest, handling events, communications and media-related issues, delegation of authority and related legal issues.

  • Communicate difficult legal concepts clearly and non-legalistically to foundation personal and business clients verbally and in writing.

  • Support all the above for the foundation’s affiliated entities.

  • Be responsible for high quality interactions and clear and consistent communications with foundation staff as well as grantees and partners in the field.

Your Experience

  • J.D. and U.S. bar membership (required) and 6 or more years of experience in a well-regarded law firm, in-house counsel at a global organization, with a government agency, or a combination.

  • Experience with law applicable to tax-exempt organizations and rules governing advocacy and political activity

  • Planning and project management skills

  • Excellent writing and editing skills

  • Experience developing and delivering training and education materials in a concise and consistent manner

  • Flexibility to multi-task and agility to advise internal clients at all levels in the organization

  • Excellent collaboration skills in an environment that requires tact, maturity, and good judgment

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

The salary range for this role is $229,100 to $355,200 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 $249,600 to $386,900 USD. As a mission-driven organization, we strive to balance competitive pay with our mission. New hires salaries are typically 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.

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.