Senior Program Officer, South/SE Asia Advocacy

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Location
    Seattle, Washington
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Apr 28

Position description

The South/SE Asia Advocacy Senior Program Officer (SPO) will support a growing area in PAC’s country advocacy portfolio. This role will work across the Program Advocacy and Communications (PAC) issue advocacy teams, and the Middle East and India Country Office teams to develop advocacy strategies and invest in partners across several countries in South and Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal) to advance foundation objectives as identified in the South/SE Asia country plans. This role will also deepen our network of relationships and partnerships with government and partners in these countries, and strengthen our internal intelligence and strategies by bringing real world and real time knowledge to foundation teams.

The role will report to the Global PAC Director with a dotted line to the ICO Country Director/S/SE Asia Lead and will be based in Seattle.

The role will primarily support the following bodies of work:

  • Development and execution of SE Asia government relations strategy;
  • Lead the Pakistan country engagement plan and ensure coherence of other regional country engagement plans across the region;
  • Support strengthened policy engagement with moderate engagement country governments, in service of PST and/or GPA goals and aligned to government strategic plans.
  • Increase the capacity for local advocacy partners to support governments—and where necessary hold them accountable—for policy implementation in BMGF moderate engagement countries.

Core Responsibilities

  • Advocacy strategy: Work in partnership with PAC and the Middle East and India Country Office teams to develop and execute country advocacy strategies for several countries in South/SE Asia - Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Singapore, Nepal;
  • Government relations: In partnership with the Middle East team and India Country office, develop and lead all aspects of government relations investments in these markets:
    • Establish and strengthen critical relationships with governments and regional institutions, and other key foundation partners, including funders, media, NGOs, multilateral organizations, and the private sector to strengthen political will and funding for global and development priorities;
    • Support foundation leadership trips, learning, engagement opportunities, and other appropriate activities for foundation staff visiting these countries.
  • Pakistan leadership: Act as GPA country lead for Pakistan, co-leading the Pakistan working group (with Global Development), be responsible for the foundation’s overall engagement with governments and partners;
  • Investment portfolio: In partnership with PAC Program Officers develop and lead investments that support political intelligence, government relations, and communications (if needed) in these countries:
    • Provide internal review of program and or functional team grants/investments, contributing expert knowledge of local context in crafting grants/investments. Source, develop, and manage own portfolio of grants/investments.
  • Relationship building: Identify and develop relationships with advocacy partners in these countries (and across the region) that will support the achievement of the foundation’s policy and funding priorities in South/SE Asia;
  • Build and maintain high quality, productive, collaborative and coordinated interactions and clear and consistent communications with grantees and partners in the region;
  • Attend meetings to represent the foundation and advocate/help craft global, regional and country agendas in line with foundation priorities.

Core Knowledge and Skills


  • In-country experience with building partnerships with a wide range of organizations – civil society, academia, governments, philanthropic foundations, private sector, multilateral/ bi-lateral donors, think tanks, etc.;
  • Experience in advocacy strategy development and execution in areas of global health and development;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with strong ability to efficiently synthesize information;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a proven track record to build and sustain collaborative relationships, particularly across geographies;
  • Proven ability to work with flexibility, entrepreneurship, and diplomacy both individually and as part of a complex team effort.

Education and Experience

  • Advanced degree preferred, bachelor degree required in public policy, international relations, international development or relevant field;
  • At least 7+ years of progressive experience in government relations, advocacy, public policy in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Singapore or Indonesia.

Application instructions

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