Senior Program Officer Health Systems, Country Primary Health Care (Ethiopia)

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Location
    Seattle, Washington
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Apr 06

Position description

The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation is currently seeking an experienced candidate to lead the development and implementation of an integrated portfolio supporting primary health care systems and health care financing with significant focus on Ethiopia. The Senior Program Officer (SPO) will provide technical, complex program design, operational and project management oversight and leadership for foundation-funded activities in Ethiopia, and potentially additional countries in the future.

Technical duties include:

  • Advising internal teams on how to build effective approaches for health systems strengthening within their respective portfolios; & how to integrate horizontally and vertically across different systems and disease/condition areas
  • Originating, managing, and evaluating grant investments related to strengthening health systems
  • Working with governments, donors, and implementers to develop, implement, and sustain health system interventions and systems thinking in the broader development space
  • Coordinate, manage, and align BMGF priorities and strengths to those of other actors in the health system
  • Leveraging proven interventions to improve performance of individual and organizational factors related to a viable PHC system (i.e., promoting and maintaining a motivated and adequate workforce, tools for managing mixed health systems, processes and tools needed for a strong PHC)
  • Good understanding of country level pharmaceutical reforms and supply chain
  • Leading complex program design in different area of health system strengthening

Operational duties include:

  • Leading strategy development for primary health care system strengthening – complex program design; serving as the primary liaison between Seattle-based teams and the Ethiopia country office on all HSS related issues
  • Designing and managing portfolio of HSS investments and relationships
  • Facilitating learning and technical exchange across internal and external stakeholders on PHC
  • Managing requests from country governments and other partners for information; and serving as a senior member of the Country Primary Health Care (CPHC) team in its activities with other teams on Integrated Delivery and the foundation broadly
  • Serving as a core member of the Ethiopia Integrated Health team

In addition to the above, duties may include:

  • Technical writing and contributions to foundation-wide learning and knowledge exchange on primary health care systems
  • Representing the foundation in international forums and advancing the foundation’s strategy on primary health care systems and systems improvement


  • 10+ years of proven experience in health systems strengthening, management and accountability in the health system, health policy (health economics/ financing will be a plus). Similar disciplines would include public policy or even US domestic health care; however, experience and training in global health policy and administration is preferred. The candidate should also have an understanding of the global health and international development environment; and have experience working in and living in a developing country on HSS related work.
  • Advanced degree in public health, health economics, public policy or similar disciplines (e.g. MSPH, MHA, MPH, MD, PhD)
  • Experience working in multiple countries is preferred; Ethiopia experience as well as fluency in Amharic will be helpful but not required.
  • Technical skills: Strong technical assistance and interpersonal skills, and ability to support internal and external partners to achieve their objectives.
  • Strategic Mindset: Seeing ahead to future possibilities and translating them into strategies, concrete theories of change and actions. Ability to think/act like an investor; creative and generative thinker. Innovative and open-minded approach; ability to question and challenge colleagues including managers and partners in a constructive manner.
  • Collaborates: Building partnerships and working collaboratively with others to meet shared objectives, both internally and externally. Ability to orchestrate effective decisions across a broad range of issues and stakeholders, assess progress, analyze gaps, and make necessary changes.
  • Builds Networks: Effectively building formal and informal relationship networks inside the foundation, at country level and laterally with partners working in/outside of our countries of interest. Strong partnership network of organizations and professionals in health policy, financing and delivery.
  • Drives Results through HSS investments: Consistently looking at how to drive improvement in programmatic results through building Health system components.
  • Ensures Accountability: Holding self and others accountable to track and meet commitments
  • Manages Complexity and effectively manage ambiguity: Making sense of complex, high quantity and sometimes-contradictory information to effectively solve problems – especially in the integration and HSS field. Demonstrated ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, and diplomacy in a complex, fast-paced environment.
  • Communicates Effectively: Developing and delivering communications that convey complex situations in a clear and concise manner with a broad and diverse audience.
  • Being resilient: Rebounding from setbacks and adversity when facing difficult situations both internally and externally. Self-motivated and self-managing.
  • Comfortable in a wide range of cultural, geographic and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diverse range of people.
  • Ability to travel up to 40% domestically and internationally.

Application instructions

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