Deputy Director, Strategy, Planning and Management, Global Health

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Location
    Seattle, Washington
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Mar 12

Position description

Our Global Health Program (GHP) harnesses advances in science and technology to save lives in poor countries. We focus on the health problems that have a major impact in developing countries but get too little attention and funding. Where tools exist, we support sustainable ways to improve their delivery. Where they don’t, we invest in research and development of new interventions, such as vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics. Our work in infectious diseases focuses on strategies to fight and prevent HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases, enteric and diarrheal diseases, pneumonia, and maternal, newborn and child health – Discovery and Tools. These strategies are supported by functional teams that focus on Discovery and Translational Sciences, Innovative Technology Solutions, Vaccine Development, and Integrated Development.

Position Summary & Responsibilities:

The DDSPM provides the link between a team’s strategy and the team’s business operations. You will be responsible for leading the strategic, financial, operational and human resource aspects of an integrated program or functional area, bringing to bear senior business, investment, and management expertise on portfolio, initiative, and investment-level decision-making. You will also lead the planning for the team’s annual strategy reviews with the Co-Chairs, annual planning and reporting cycle processes, including framing and analysis on issues and investments central to strategy and execution, ongoing investment pipeline and portfolio management, business analysis and the coordination of business strategies across the Foundation. The DDSPM will lead a team of business and operations professionals.

The Deputy Director, Strategy Planning and Management (DDSPM) will support one or more Global Health program strategy and/or functional teams and be responsible for:

Strategy development, refinement and management:

  • Lead the process, set the direction and execute the process for strategic planning; including articulation of annual strategic priorities.
  • Serve as a strategic partner and thought partner with the Director and program staff to provide ongoing strategy development, process monitoring, and evaluation of function and core processes.
  • Drive alignment of team’s work to strategy and implementation plans. Design analytical model to define strategy metrics, progress metrics and setting of targets and goals. Continuously refine data, metrics and models.
  • Lead or co-lead complex strategic projects that are often cross-functional in nature.
  • Cultivate insights and story to communicate portfolio allocation and progress.

Team development and people management:

  • Partner with support functions (including Human Resources) and program/functional team management to lead, recruit, develop and train staff who support the activities needed to plan, execute and achieve the strategic plan.
  • Responsible for overall Rhythm of the Business and meeting structure across the team.
  • Promote culture, values, and team effectiveness, including regular team health checks. May design organization structure, facilitate retreats and cross-organization collaboration.
  • Monitor succession planning, team performance and development.
  • Support Director with workforce planning.

Portfolio and financial management and advising on investments:

  • Develop and lead budgets and forecasts. Partner with Finance on the development and maintenance of Division's grant and contracts pipeline.
  • Core team member and critical advisor in making data-driven investment decisions (provide complementary strategic and investment acumen to the scientific/technical expertise of the Program Officers).
  • Develop and execute portfolio and advisory support to program team(s) on development and management of major grants; including identifying success metrics for strategy, portfolio, and individual grants and developing processes/tools to ensure alignment of activities with strategy success.

Serving as a trusted advisor to Directors:

  • Act as “sounding board” and thought partner to Directors on broad set of topics impacting the overall management of the Programs and Functions (e.g., team effectiveness, management issues, addressing broader Foundation requests, relationships with other Functions/Programs, alignment with leadership, etc).

Cross-foundation/cross-division improvement initiatives:

  • Contribute to continuous improvement efforts as part of cross-foundation and cross-GH DDSPM community of practice.
  • Support implementation of new processes.
  • Support continuous improvement and change management initiatives including contribution to the design of processes, policies, and organization to improve efficiency and impact of team’s activities.

Reports to: Director(s) of respective Global Health program(s) and/or Functions.

Leadership & Culture:

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


We seek a senior leader with a minimum of 10+ years’ experience in business strategy, business development, life sciences, and/or general management. Experience might be gained within premier management/strategy consulting firms, in-house strategy professionals or from senior business operations and strategy leadership roles in global organizations such as those within the life sciences, medical device, diagnostics, healthcare, pharmaceutical and/or biotech industries. You will have deep knowledge of strategy development and implementation and the design of performance management system(s) of goals, targets and monitoring processes. You enjoy the challenge of working on complex problems and collaboratively crafting solutions that have the potential for transformational change in the lives of people around the world. The ideal DDSPM is a forward-thinking, passionate leader who has an excellent track record of achievement and leadership in roles of increasing responsibility. They are prepared to work across a diverse set of disciplines, bridging a wide range of expertise all the while being a solid teammate, with a demonstrated ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, and diplomacy in a fast-paced, challenging environment.

Additional skills/experience:

  • Demonstrated ability to lead people and teams to effectively achieve clear, yet complex goals and objectives.
  • Strong experience in working effectively with senior decision makers as it pertains to strategy development and operations.
  • Demonstrated ability in portfolio design and management to create optimal investment mix to work towards a set of outcomes.
  • Experience developing and handling strong partnerships and relationships both inside and outside the organization, handling conflicts, and building consensus.
  • Ability to lead and influence data-driven strategy planning and implementation.
  • Effective collaborator and experience working in a matrix environment (i.e., ability to influence without formal authority)..
  • Shown strength in structured problem solving and strategic business planning, with the ability to easily identify and communicate frameworks to analyze issues and synthesize disparate information.
  • Adept at project management; including critical path thinking, detail orientation, setting priorities, and planning.
  • Broad knowledge of global health issues, product development processes and regulatory requirements and procedures; at both global and national levels is helpful.
  • Strong technical and financial knowledge; including the ability to communicate data and results to inform sound strategic and tactical decisions. Experience developing, evaluating, managing, and monitoring business plans, budgets and financial reports.
  • Intellectual quickness, curiosity, discipline, resourcefulness and resilience.
  • High level of cultural competence.
  • MBA and/or other advanced degree in Business, Engineering, Life Sciences, Planning or equivalent required.
  • Ability to travel up to 30% domestically and internationally.
  • Passion for the Foundation’s values with a commitment to deliver results against the Foundation’s mission.

Application instructions

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