Country Lead - Health Policy/Senior Program Officer, Policy & Strategic Partnership

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Location
    New Delhi, India
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Feb 20

Position description

Foundation Summary

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

 Group Summary

The goal of the Global Development Program (GDP) is to increase opportunities for people in the developing world to lift themselves out of hunger and poverty and to help deliver targeted healthcare solutions in these regions. Our strategies focus on Agriculture Development; Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene; Financial Services for the Poor; and Family Health which includes Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Family Planning, and Nutrition. These strategies are supported by functional teams that focus on Vaccine Delivery and Integrated Delivery. GDP also has Special Initiatives that focus Urban Poverty, Emergency Relief, Global Libraries and Value for the Money.

The India Country Office (ICO) plays a leading role advancing the foundation’s goals of reducing inequities in global health and development in India supporting the Government of India. Effective advocacy efforts are critical to understanding and shaping important public policy debates around issues affecting our work, building public support for our major program and policy objectives, and building partnerships and alliances with other influential actors who can advance shared objectives.

Our New Delhi office oversees the foundation’s work in India, which includes partnerships with India’s central and state governments, nonprofit organizations, community groups, academic institutions, and the private sector. We began our work in India more than a decade ago with an initiative to curtail the spread of HIV. Since then, the scope of our work in India has expanded tremendously to include maternal and child health, health and nutrition services, vaccines and routine immunization, family planning, agricultural development, sanitation, and the control of infectious diseases. Because our mission and India’s strategy for the future are closely aligned, we have formed fruitful partnerships with government devoted to our shared goals. Given our focus on improving conditions for the poorest populations, we are making significant investments in two states, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Given our vantage point across programs, our technical experts look for holistic, integrated or cross-cutting solutions that overcome system impediments effectively and efficiently. We encourage staff and partners to put the user at the center of our program solutions, and design integrated and efficient program models that best meet human needs - breaking the silos. We proactively identify delivery challenges across program strategy teams and develop and manage strategies and investment portfolios to advance foundation outcomes. The Integrated Delivery team is accountable for contributions to program strategy outcomes, and also indicators related to primary care system performance, improved integration, and demonstrating performance in designing, introducing, and scaling high impact interventions.

Position Summary & Responsibilities:

The India Country office is focused on playing a strategic and catalytic role in India, supporting the Government in achieving desired health outcomes (with a focus on RMNCH, nutrition and infectious diseases) by (i) supporting the strengthening of the health system and (ii) working with communities to improve health related behaviors.

The foundation’s policy efforts are aligned with advancing programmatic priorities for India at the national and state level, as well as on cross cutting issues which go beyond specific disease priorities. In the short term – we are focused on creating an enabling environment for evidence based policies, adequate financing, and improved performance of delivery systems, in support of specific programmatic goals. In the long term – there is a focus on creating strategic partnerships and field building to ensure sustainability of efforts through continued prioritization of health, implementation of policies and enhanced systems performance.

The position will lead on public health policy issues at the national level and in specific Indian states to help generate the awareness, prioritization, resources, partnerships and policy thinking necessary to achieve national and state goals in these sectors. A specific focus of the position will be on Vaccines, Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health, and Infectious Diseases. Additionally, the position will focus on system level issues such as human resources for health, procurement and supply in the health system, and regulation.

The position will engage with key stakeholders in government, civil society, donors and private sector, directly as well as through other India Country Office (ICO) team members, to advance the case for health. This role reports directly to the Deputy Director, Policy & Strategic Partnerships, and will also work closely with relevant teams in Seattle

The position requires an advanced degree with 15+ years of experience in the policy or development space.  An understanding of the public health systems is necessary.

Specific responsibilities include: 

Leading the development and implementation of strategies aimed at evidence based analysis of health policy at national and state level.  Carried out in partnership with the state and other stakeholders, these would aim to generate attention to the issues, resources, and policy necessary to best achieve health goals. Specifically, responsibilities would include

  • Tracking legislative and key policy developments and trends relevant to health care at the center and state level.
  • Monitoring the external environment for trends related to healthcare policy; advise on strategy updates based on this intelligence
  • Conducting/managing research and analysis in support of evidence based policy and communications strategies
  • Developing and managing a portfolio of policy grants for achieving agreed upon goals at national and state level.
  • Developing alliances with appropriate external stakeholders.


  • Deep knowledge of national/state health delivery ecosystem, and the broader development context in India
  • Strong understanding of national and state government policy and budget decision making  
  • Ability to use communications to stimulate policy relevant discussions 
  • Strong understanding of the state legislative and administrative processes and structures in India pertinent to public health and development research, funding, or policymaking.
  • Experience in developing, managing and implementing project and grant-making strategies.
  • Excellent relationship management.
  • Ability to travel up to 30% domestically and internationally.

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

Application instructions

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