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Senior Program Officer, Infectious Diseases Communications

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Marketing & Communications, Operations
Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 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 mission of the Global Policy & Advocacy (GPA) division is to understand and shape the public policy debates affecting the foundation's work, build support for its major program and policy objectives, and develop partnerships and alliances that can advance the foundation's objectives nationally and globally. Because the foundation's resources alone are not enough to solve the challenges ahead, GPA also supports advocacy efforts to engage diverse stakeholders and promote innovative solutions that advance our program goals. We work in close partnership with grantees, our colleagues in the Global Health, Global Development, Global Growth & Opportunity, U.S. and Gender Equality programs and Foundation Communications to build the environment in which all people have the opportunity to lead healthy and productive lives.

The Program Advocacy and Communications team works in partnership with program teams and other teams in Global Policy and Advocacy (GPA) to achieve their policy and finance goals by:
• Developing and coordinating the execution of advocacy and communications strategies.
• Leveraging leadership and foundation voice to implement advocacy strategies.
• Developing and managing a grant portfolio dedicated to achieving advocacy outcomes.
• Directly advocating with sector leaders, influencers, media, and government officials in order to achieve advocacy outcomes.
• Leading issue-specific communications in service of advocacy goals.
• Developing policy recommendations or proposals in partnership with programmatic and regional offices.

Your Role

The Senior Program Officer (SPO) will serve as PAC Infectious Diseases Communications lead. You develop and implement communications with an emphasis on Infectious Diseases. This role will support our program goals and strategies, as well as leading a discrete grant portfolio and providing support to grant making and strategy development. You will work within the PAC Infectious Diseases team that also covers advocacy for Malaria, NTDs, HIV and TB and their related financing entities. This role reports to the Deputy Director, Infectious Diseases with a dotted line to the Senior Communications Lead, PAC Health. You will also be accountable for participating in both individual and group learning and work to increase the diversity, equity and inclusion of the foundation and our work.

What You’ll Do

  • Plan, lead, and carry out the implementation of multiple advocacy communications strategies to generate attention, resources, and policy changes specifically related to infectious diseases.
  • Develop a broad array of evidence-based materials inclusive of messages, fact sheets, press releases, FAQ documents, data visualizations, and other creative writing materials)
  • Support and collaborate with teams in developing and implementing communications strategies.
  • Lead a diverse and inclusive global portfolio of grants and contracts, including reviewing letters of inquiry and grant proposals and crafting written analyses and recommendations for funding.
  • Lead all aspects of agency and consultant support to help implement advocacy, communications, and champion building objectives.
  • Build and maintain relationships with key communications leads of grantees, donors, and civil society organizations—in coordination with the foundation’s Communications division.
  • Proactively identify potential platforms to elevate messages that address the foundation’s infectious disease (HIV, TB, Malaria and NTD) priorities.
  • Lead a portfolio of grants and contracts to advance the advocacy communications outcomes in support of program strategies, including reviewing letters of inquiry and grant proposals and providing clear, concise, and insightful written analyses and recommendations for funding.
  • Counsel advocacy and PST colleagues on potential inclusion of communications elements into grant proposals.
  • Collaborate with grantees and other partners to improve the impact of projects and ensure communications grants are meeting strategy goals. This may include site visits, providing operational guidance and convening meetings of key partners.
  • Collaborate with external partners to identify opportunities where foundation grantees can engage and represent the foundation to key program-related external constituencies, as appropriate.
  • Identify and assess key communications risks at the portfolio level; develop and manage mitigation and contingency plans.
  • Collaborate with country and regional communications staff from our Europe Middle East and Asia, and North America teams, communications staff in the broader PAC health team to align strategies, develop joint investments and communications content, as well as our central communications to develop world-class issue communications approaches that includes internal and external voices.
  • Proactively work with peers/fellow SPOs to ensure a consistent approach as well as application of appropriate rigor to portfolio management across PAC Infectious Diseases.
  • Consult with partners regularly to maximize the impact of projects and ensure optimal learning to inform our work. This may include site visits, providing operational guidance and convening meetings of key stakeholders.
  • Write and produce clear, concise, and insightful briefings, reports, email updates, and other materials on key Malaria and other relevant issues for foundation leadership.
  • Participate in and learn from the program strategy team, and GPA and PAC Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) efforts to ensure that we are continuing to make progress towards realizing our commitments.
  • Participate in cross PAC efforts to enhance our integration, accelerate impact, and maintain a cohesive and dynamic culture.

Your Experience

  • Advanced degree required with 10yr+ experience or equivalent progressively senior experience.
  • Deep experience in developing policy, advocacy, and communications strategies, with an emphasis on strategic communications.
  • Experience working on Global Health and/or Development issues and communications in a developing country context is a plus.
  • Extensive experience leading the conception, design and management of communications strategies, creative content management, excellent writing and editing skills, ability to strategically assess opportunities, and a proven capacity to translate sophisticated health and development issues into compelling, persuasive writing.
  • Comprehensive experience working in the public, non-profit or private sectors, and linking communications with advocacy work, ideally in global health and development issues.
  • Knowledge of global health and development issues as well as a deep dedication to the sector.
  • Ability to learn new concepts quickly and communicate effectively with different audiences.
  • Experience developing and using communications tools and working with partners to achieve advocacy goals and policy change at the global and/or country level.
  • Expertise in health and development policy issues and advocacy efforts across donor and lower-middle-income countries, working with civil society organizations, coalitions, governments, influencers, and the media.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and influence others in a constructive manner and to build and sustain collaborative relationships.
  • Ability to present publicly in meetings, defend different strategies or approaches and keep various parties abreast of the work in play and the ultimate results/impact.
  • Proven ability to provide vision and influence others in a constructive, optimistic manner, while building and sustaining collaborative relationships.
  • Ability to work with flexibility and entrepreneurship, individually and as part of a complex team effort.
  • High standards of personal integrity; and comfortable in a wide range of cultural, geographic, and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diversity of people.
  • Outstanding project and team leadership skills including ability to lead strategy development through execution, develop shared goals and execution plans, prioritize, facilitate meetings, manage budgets, developing consensus, and work both autonomously and collaboratively.

Other Attributes

  • Experience managing a grants portfolio either as a grantee, receiving and reporting on a grant or as a grant manager, with direct responsibility for grant making and management.
  • Ability to work with flexibility and a high level of rigor, collaboration, and diplomacy, both individually and as part of a complex team effort.
  • High standards of personal integrity.
  • Willingness to travel up to 20% of the time when health and safety protocols allow.

The salary range for this role is $166,300 to $249,500 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 $181,200 to $271,800 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.