Interim Senior Program Officer, Gender Equality Communications

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Location
    Seattle, WA or Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Nov 03

Position description

This Senior Program Officer serves as the daily lead for global policy and advocacy efforts for Gender Equality communications. As part of this, you will strategically develop and manage one or more portfolio of grants and contracts requiring high-level grant management skills, monitoring and evaluation. As a key advisor on the gender equality strategy, contribute to the continued development of the team’s strategic vision, while partnering closely with team leadership to set the overall strategy and goals for the team.

The Advocacy and Communications team within the Gender Equality Division works in partnership with program teams and other teams in Global Policy and Advocacy (GPA), External Communications 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

  • Develop, manage and implement a communications strategy in support of the Gender Equality program and advocacy strategy. As the foundation’s new Gender Equality Division, you will advise on how communications can most effectively be used to support the division’s goals;
  • Negotiate, execute, and manage a complex portfolio of grants and performance-based contracts to advance the communications strategy. Review letters of inquiry and grant proposals and provide clear, concise and insightful written analyses and recommendations for funding;
  • Consult with grantees and other partners to maximize impact of projects and ensure grants are meeting strategy goals. This may include: site visits, providing operational guidance and convening meetings of key stakeholders;
  • Develop, manage, resource, and implement a program that aligns with foundation strategy and is operationally integrated with other foundation programs. Contribute to the design of new strategies, collaborations and implementation plans to ensure long-term sustainability and impact;
  • Develop and implement a proactive media strategy that advances the foundation’s gender equality strategy, managing external vendors to assist in execution;
  • Represent the foundation to key program-related external constituencies, as appropriate, on committees related to area of expertise and responsibilities of the position;
  • This role will manage one Program Officer, Communications, Gender Equality, ensuring successful employee onboarding, communicating performance expectations, creating goal alignment, integrating project and change management, giving and seeking feedback, providing coaching, measuring progress and holding people accountable, supporting employee development, and recognizing achievement and lessons learned;
  • Collaborate across teams to gender equality is integrated throughout the foundation’s public communications efforts;
  • You will advise Executive Leadership use of voice in support of the Division’s Gender Equality goals.


  • Knowledge of international global health, development, and gender issues;
  • Proven ability to lead and influence others in a constructive manner and to build and sustain collaborative relationships;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, able to effectively synthesize information to reach diverse audiences and build consensus. Clear and coherent writing style;
  • Experience developing and managing communications campaigns and complex global strategies in support of policy initiatives, advocacy programs and events;
  • Knowledge of how to use and experience using communications to achieve advocacy goals and policy change;
  • Experience and demonstrated maturity in working with executives and global leaders as demonstrated by grace, poise, respect, and discretion. Experience in reputation management, building and maintaining the brand of executives and global leaders, together with experience staffing media interviews and other communications engagements;
  • Ability to balance the needs of the foundation, in particular of GPA, with the needs and priorities of the Co-Chair, bringing an empathetic and balanced point of view to both sides;
  • Strategic and problem-solving thinker with ability to parse and distill complex information;
  • Excellent negotiating and diplomacy skills with an emphasis on collaboration and strong internal communication. Ability to remain objective when both absorbing and presenting information. Able to be an honest broker of all ideas and information without bias or over interpretation. Ability to work informally as well as formally to collaborate with others to achieve results; ability to remain credible and impartial while maintaining a personable and favorable disposition;
  • Ability to understand and anticipate priorities and closely care for time-sensitive tasks in response;
  • Humble, dedicated, authoritative calm and credible. Able to work under pressure and prioritize effectively.

Education and Experience

  • Advanced degree with 7+ years of experience, or equivalent experience.

Reports to: Deputy Director | Gender Equality Advocacy and Communications.

Application instructions

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