Interim Senior Program Officer, Official Development Assistance & Development Assistance for Health

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

This is an interim backfill role to cover for an employee who will be out on parental leave.  The duration of the assignment is targeted for 18 months starting in December 2018. However, the start and end dates may change.

The Development Policy & Finance team has an opening for an Interim Senior Program Officer (SPO) to lead our work on increasing the volume and the effectiveness of Official Development Assistance (ODA) with an emphasis on Development Assistance for Health (DAH), complementing the work promoted by other parts of the foundation that focuses on specific sector development strategies.

The Development Policy & Finance team (DPAF) sits within the Global Policy & Advocacy team and works together with Gates Foundation program teams (PSTs) to ensure global resources are spent effectively to support the needs of the world’s poorest people. DPAF aims to be a hub for creative analysis and ideas to modernize aid and multilateral development banking, and to support developing countries in cultivating their own resources effectively to achieve their human development goals.

The Interim SPO will report directly to the Deputy Director, International Development Finance, in the Development Policy & Financing Team (DPAF). They will be responsible for a spectrum of program activities, including grant management, research and analytics, strategic planning, communication, and relationship management.

This position will work closely with our Africa and donor government relations, program advocacy and communications, as well as our health and delivery program strategy teams to cultivate and manage critical in-country relationships (donors, ministries of finance, planning, multilateral organizations, in-country influencers, etc.) and collaborate on how DPAF and its portfolio can contribute to overall Foundation goals.

The successful candidate will manage and build upon a portfolio of work that provides evidence and promotes action to increase the volume and impact of ODA and in particular DAH – with a primary audience being that of bilateral donors (established and emerging), multilateral health institutions, and developing country health/finance ministries and budget authorities.  The Interim SPO will have the ability to both situate ODA and DAH within the broader set of development financing sources, mechanisms and instruments, while also recognizing the main health sector-specific concerns and trends, both at the multilateral level (such as in Gavi, GFATM, GPEI, the WHO and the World Bank) and on the ground in developing countries, and to serve as both an internal and external resource to further shape the field.

Working with colleagues, the Interim Senior Program Officer will have the following core responsibilities:

  • Serve as the foundation’s in-house expert for ODA and DAH data & analytics
  • Contribute to strategy refinement and execution for the DPAF team and the wider foundation around quality and impact of ODA.
  • Work closely with DPAF and relevant foundation colleagues to inform the foundation’s policy position and guide the foundation’s direct advocacy on improving efficiency and impact of ODA and global health architecture.
  • Work closely with DPAF and relevant foundation colleagues to inform country health transition and sustainability plans with global partners such as Gavi, the GFF, GPEI, GFATM and the World Bank.
  • Inform the foundation’s work on specific issues related to DRM as it relates to health financing and ‘vertical’ health funds, public financial management, budget design and execution.
  • Support the participation of foundation members working on health financing and others as relevant, in global working groups/forums to align the Foundation’s work on domestic and global health financing with that of other institutions and donors.
  • Manage a grant and contract portfolio of think tank and advocacy organizations focused on improving the quality of financing for development, including grants that require close coordination with other teams in GPA.
  • Identify new opportunities for external partnerships and investments to advance DPAF strategy in the above areas of work.

This position reports to the Deputy Director, Development Policy & Finance and is based in Washington, D.C. or Seattle.


Our ideal candidate will combine the technical knowledge of a policy analyst, the political savvy of a seasoned official, the operational skill of an experienced project manager, and a good dose of entrepreneurship. Some proxy indicators might be:

  • Advanced academic or professional degree in Economics, Public Policy, Public Health, or a related field.
  • A minimum of 10 years of experience in development policy and/or financing, ideally rotating across various sub-specialties and in a mix of technical and advisory roles.
  • Experience with the financing and sustainability policies of major multilateral health institutions (such as WHO, GAVI, GF, GPEI and the WB).
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and execute exceptionally, translating research and ideas to ‘fundable’ proposals, advocacy and action.
  • Some experience as a funder of development projects or programs related to DAH architecture preferred.
  • Mindset and functional skills of a jack-of-all trades, adaptable to different contexts and audiences, and stimulated by that variety.
  • A sense of humor is required, as is a ‘campaign mentality’ (i.e. no job is too big or too small or too difficult).
  • Must be able to travel up to 35% domestically and internationally.

The mission of the Global Policy & Advocacy (GPA) program is to understand and shape the public policy debates affecting the Foundation’s work in developing countries, build support and resources for its major program and policy objectives, and develop partnerships and alliances that can advance the Foundation’s policy objectives nationally and globally. GPA is composed of our international programs in India, China and Africa, our Europe and Middle East team based in London and our US, Canada and Asia-Pacific team based in Washington, DC, a Program Advocacy team, a Charitable Sector Support team, and our Development Policy & Finance team.

About the Development Policy and Finance Team

The Development Policy & Finance team (DPAF) operates as an in-house policy shop analyzing the major development policy issues affecting the environment in which the Foundation works, proposing Foundation positions or projects on some of those issues, and ultimately working with partners to shape the external direction of some of those issues. Development Policy & Finance focuses on aid policy and multilateral financing as country/domestic public finance.

The employee transfer policy applies to internal backfill positions. An employee may apply for an open position after at least 12 months in their current position. If you meet this requirement and wish to pursue a backfill opportunity, you are required to have a conversation with your manager to confirm their support before you apply. In rare cases, the requirement of a minimum of 12 months in a position may be waived if a transfer is critical to the foundation’s goals and is approved by the current manager and their HR Consultant (HR Business Partner or Generalist).

All backfill positions are posted as LTE roles. With current manager support, if selected for the role, FTEs will retain their FTE status during the backfill assignment. Managers will have the option of backfilling for the individual moving to the interim position for a similar duration via the same hiring channels and options as this position. However, current managers may be unwilling or unable to hold headcount for the duration of an interim assignment and may deny the employee’s request. In such cases, the employee may apply for the open LTE position, but if selected, would effectively be resigning as an FTE and would be hired as an LTE for the duration of the interim assignment.  As an LTE, employment with the foundation is expected to end at the end of the assignment, and the employee would not be eligible for severance.

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve-in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs-and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.

All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve the mission of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 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
  • Prior Protected Activity

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