Senior/Program Officer, Program Advocacy and Communications, Family Planning

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Location
    Seattle, Washington
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jul 19

Position description

The Program Officer (PO) or Senior Program Officer (SPO), Program Advocacy and Communications (PAC), Family Planning (FP), will work across specific Family Planning global priority(ies) to help generate the awareness, resources, partnerships and policy changes necessary to achieve results in the following ways: ensuring policies and funding supports women’s ability to access to a range of contraceptive options; galvanizing civil society in donor and developing nations to increase political commitment to health and development issues, specifically family planning; understanding and shaping international financing channels for health and development issues and supporting the evidence-base to encourage sound decision-making; and influencing policymaker decisions making through increased visibility and understanding of solutions to health and development inequities. Family Planning is one of the foundation’s priority strategies.

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.

Core Responsibilities

Key responsibilities of the PO/SPO include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Contribute to the development and implementation of policy, advocacy, and communication strategies in partnership with the program strategy teams to generate the attention to their issues, resources, and policy changes necessary to best achieve their goals.
  • Develop and lead a self-injection / subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA-SC, brand name Sayana Press) policy and advocacy strategy in close coordination with the Family Planning program team and in alignment with the overall self-injection / DMPA-SC product introduction and scale up strategy.
  • Particular focus within the FP portfolio on expanding the range of contraception methods available to women in priority countries.
  • Track and analyze key global policy developments and trends relevant to a specific set of programs, specifically related to new method introduction.
  • Responsible for the management of a portfolio of grants, particularly in support of accelerating introduction and access to DMPA-SC in priority countries.
  • Develop and manage partnerships and alliances to advance and refine policy, advocacy, and communications strategies based on field and financial data, particularly related to method mix expansion.
  • Work with in-country health ministries and donors to advance product introduction and trouble shoot as needed
  • Create, orchestrate and participate in advocacy and policy activities including convenings, campaigns, leadership activities, external partner management and participation in policy and advocacy networks. Represent the foundation to key program-related external constituencies. This includes both formal and informal presentations such as making speeches, attending conferences and other meetings as necessary.
  • Serve as a liaison and partner to the Family Planning team and as a point of contact on FP policy and advocacy issues with a wide range of key stakeholders, both internal and external.
  • Prepare and synthesize existing literature for strategy development and for leadership needs. Provide written analysis of key topics for foundation management and leadership and for leadership participation in events and meetings with policymakers and partners.
  • Work on complex problems. Exercise judgment within broadly defined practices and policies in selecting methods, techniques and evaluation criteria for obtaining results.
  • This role is responsible for high quality interactions and clear and consistent communications with grantees and partners in the field.

Leadership and Culture

  • We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment in which they thrive, will do phenomenal things.


We are looking for a recognized authority in family planning advocacy and communications with a depth of experience and deep roots in the field and experience in developing policy, advocacy and communications strategies. Experience in family planning advocacy in developing countries is a plus.

Specifically, the effective candidate will have:

  • Deep understanding, experience and expertise in family planning policy issues and advocacy efforts, working with CSOs, donors, coalitions, and governments.
  • Experience in the development and execution of family planning strategies, initiatives and programs.
  • Experience with new product introduction preferred.
  • Experience working with policymakers, donors, health ministries and advocates at the global and country levels.
  • Experience developing, managing and implementing projects, including partnering with grantees on the definition of goals and deliverables and monitoring and evaluation of results.
  • Excellent analytical, writing and verbal skills for communicating with a diverse audience, including internal leadership and external high-level stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the role of advocacy and communications efforts to increase awareness of development issues and build political/financial support for development goals in the developing and developed world with governmental and non-state organizations.
  • Demonstrated results in leadership roles shaping and managing policy and advocacy organizations, programs or initiatives requiring a combination of excellent problem-solving, writing and project management skills.
  • Ability to work with flexibility, entrepreneurship, efficiency and diplomacy both individually and as part of a complex team effort.
  • Flexibility and comfort working in a rapidly changing environment.
  • A deep commitment to development issues.
  • French speaker a plus.
  • Ability to travel up to 25% domestically and internationally.
  • High standards of personal integrity.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s or other advanced degree with 5-7+ years of experience, or equivalent experience.

Application instructions

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