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Program Officer, Pathways Technology & Data R&D

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

IT, Operations
Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Friday, June 7, 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 vision of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s U.S. Program (USP) works to ensure all students in the U.S. have access to educational opportunities, from Pre-K to postsecondary, that enable them to develop the knowledge, skills, and agency needed thrive as adults and contribute to their communities.

Our goal is to make sure more students are on track to obtain a postsecondary credential with labor market value such that race/ethnicity and income are no longer predictors of student success.
Within USP, the Pathways strategy works to support all students—particularly Black, Latino, and Indigenous students and students from low-income backgrounds—to access the learning opportunities, mentorship, and navigation supports to transition successfully from high school to postsecondary education, and then acquire credentials of value and gain professional skills, agency, and social capital needed to thrive in the workforce.

Our culture shapes our choices about what we do and how we do it. We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment can do extraordinary things. We expect foundation employees to intentionally embody our core values: optimism, collaboration, rigor, innovation, and inclusion.

Your Role

The Program Officer for Pathways Technology & Data R&D will work with internal and external partners to invest in development, refinement, and implementation of a technology and data strategy for pathways solutions (specifically related to College and Career Advising and Credit Mobility) and integration of those solutions. This includes supporting, making, and managing investments related to design and development of technical specifications, governance, implementation, and analytics. This role will support technology and data architecture Research & Development (R&D) for the portfolio to drive innovation and efficacy through structured approaches. This includes: supporting technical due diligence on technology and data needs for the Pathways portfolio; providing technical guidance to internal and external partners; conducting technical review of developer deliverables; designing interactive tools for translating R&D data into product improvement insights; supporting development and scale of necessary data model components; collaborating with teams across USP around issues of interoperability with other educational data systems; and promoting adoption of rigorous and ethical approaches to data collection, data analysis, and product improvement. This individual will also lead the Pathways team’s connectivity to broader division-wide AI working groups and will bring perspectives on ethical incorporation of AI opportunities into product development efforts.

What You'll Do

Collaborating with internal and external partners, you’ll:

Develop and Implement Technology and Data Strategy

· Make and manage investments to develop and implement the Pathways team’s technology and data strategy with an emphasis on solution integration, interoperability, privacy, and AI innovation

· Ensure that pathways solutions (particularly in Advising and Credit Mobility) are aligned to the Pathways team’s technology and data strategy

· Support data collection, analysis, synthesis, and application to refine design and implementation of the Pathways team’s technology and data strategy

Support R&D Activities

· Codify and facilitate R&D cycles for pathways solutions for improvement and learning

· Co-develop a formative research agenda and performance thresholds for pathways solutions, setting clear learning expectations and instrumentation in collaboration with the Pathways team’s Measurement, Learning and Evaluation (MLE) Officer and Body of Work owners

· Support data collection, analysis, synthesis, and application to track adoption and efficacy of pathways solutions

· Build capacity for internal and external partners to appropriately use data for improvement and learning

· Collaborate with cross-functional teams across USP to ensure a cohesive research agenda

· Monitor the rapidly changing AI landscape in order to incorporate key opportunities into Pathways solutions as they emerge

Facilitate Equitable Design

· Consult with internal and external partners on equitable design, particularly using student voice

· Promote equitable, rigorous, and useful measurement practices and work with internal and external teams to produce implementation frameworks and playbooks

· Develop and implement strategy for scaling adoption of pathway solutions, including addressing technical assistance needs of partners related to modernizing their technology and data infrastructure

Your Experience

Technology & Data Skills

· Technical expertise in designing technology and data strategies and architectures, for solutions that support all students—with a particular emphasis on Black, Latino, and Indigenous students and students from low-income backgrounds—to access the learning opportunities, mentorship, and navigation supports to transition successfully from high school to postsecondary education

· Demonstrated understanding of the market of technology-enabled solutions, including the necessary technology and data architecture across K12, postsecondary, and other sectors to integrate those solutions to support the student experience from high school to postsecondary education

· Demonstrated understanding of solution integration and necessary technology and data infrastructure

· Deep knowledge of and used AI tools in both personal and professional settings

· Familiarity with product development cycles

· Proficiency with data analysis, synthesis, and visualization for student success

· Expertise in data ethics, privacy and security, utility, and rigor

Communication & Influence

· Ability to guide technical teams on data architecture design decisions

· Ability to explain data insights to non-technical audiences

· Ability to design effective data visualizations for a non-technical audience

· Skilled at advising and consulting teams on data use

· Ability to promote adoption through compelling narrative and effective network building

Collaborative Leadership

· Experience aligning disparate teams, both internal and external, to data strategy

· Inclusive, consensus-building leadership style

· Strong partnering and collaborator engagement

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

· Demonstrated commitment to using data to expand opportunity and equitable outcomes for students—especially Black, Latino, and Indigenous students and students from low-income backgrounds. This may include experience working directly with districts, institutions, or organizations that work closely with these student populations.

· Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in data collection, analysis, interpretation, and usage

The salary range for this role is $151,200 to $226,800 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 $164,700 to $247,100 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.

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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.