Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
We are the largest nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world. Founded on a simple premise: that people everywhere, regardless of identity or circumstances, should have the chance to live healthy, productive lives. By building a global and cultural workplace that supports greater diversity, equity, and inclusion — of voices, ideas, and approaches — together with our employees and partners, we can help all people improve their lives from poverty and health to education. As an organization we offer full healthcare premiums coverage, generous paid time off, contribution to your retirement fund, several employee communities, and a commitment to embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion into everything we do.
The Gender Equality division (GE) is focused on accelerating the trajectory that many countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are already on when it comes to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals that disproportionately affect women and girls — such as ending poverty and improving health. Women and girls are not a monolith: A woman’s experience and the barriers she faces are different depending on factors like where she lives, how old she is, and how much money her family has — alongside other factors including her race, caste, and education level. For some, the primary barrier is access to basic health services or the ability to make choices about their bodies and futures. For others, it’s a lack of leadership opportunity or the ability to control and invest money as they choose.
We seek to address these compounding barriers through deep partnership with our grantees. As a philanthropy, our role is to listen to and learn from these experts. We take risks in new areas, prove concepts, and bring these ideas to governments, partner organizations, and private sector companies to scale. And we build off our existing strengths as a foundation in areas like global health, digital tools, and data.
The GE Gender Impact Accelerators team has launched a Digital Connectivity initiative with a central mission: accelerate gender equality through sustained closure of the gender digital divide. Launched in 2022, this four-year learning agenda focuses on investments in research, innovative tools and partnerships, and advocacy, in order to answer a central question: how might we best advance meaningful digital connectivity that improves the lives and livelihoods of women and girls in the geographies and contexts where we work?
Multiple foundation teams are working on the development and deployment of digital tools and services with a desire to advance their sector-specific outcomes. Within the GE division, digitizing women’s empowerment collectives in India was a core part of the strategy approved by the co-chairs in 2019. There is growing recognition on the importance of digital access in enabling sectoral outcomes for women and girls and persistent gender digital divides in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa despite cost and coverage improvements. The GE division is interested in experimenting with philanthropic models to address fundamental barriers to meaningful digital connectivity, such as affordability, accessibility, literacy, relevance of content, safety and security, and norms.
Working closely with GE leadership and directly with Deputy Director, Digital Connectivity, we are looking for a Senior Program Officer to join our uniquely-positioned, dynamic team to help drive forward the learning agenda. As the Senior Program Officer, you will support the definition and execution of the management of a strategic portfolio of foundation investments (grants and contracts). You will work with internal and external key partners and collaborators to drive impact and generate takeaways and evidence on strategic barriers and opportunities to advance meaningful digital connectivity of women and girls. You will provide project briefings and updates to foundation leadership and represent the foundation in meetings with internal and external partners, as well as at conferences and workshops. You will also contribute to activities related to portfolio management, launch, execution, and enablement of an effective portfolio.
This position reports to the Deputy Director, Digital Connectivity.
*This role is a limited-term position for 18 months, up to 3 years.
What You’ll Do
- Support the development and execution of a vision and framework for how the foundation can do more to advance gender-intentional digital inclusion, participation, growth, and resilience.
- Construct, lead, and conduct analysis to support portfolio management, learning and evaluation of the foundation’s approach to gender intentional digital investment-making, and influence and shape the work of partners.
- Implement investment and partnership engagements around gender equal-digital connectivity.
- Shape a catalytic and collaboration-forward portfolio of investments from a two-pronged partnership strategy both internal (e.g., teams across health, economic opportunity, livelihoods, etc.) and external (e.g., multilateral institutions, Big Tech companies, tech advocacy institutions, academic consortia) to the Gates Foundation.
- Establish and maintain relationships with internal colleagues and partners on high impact opportunities to integrate learning agenda questions and digital connectivity innovations into programmatic investments, strategies, and partnerships.
- Help develop and implement a roadmap for the foundation’s Gender x Digital Community of Practice’s cross-foundation vision and prioritization framework and recommendations for the learning agenda.
- Architect and synthesize findings from a cross-foundation MLE framework to evaluate progress against the digital connectivity learning agenda.
- Manage interdependencies, communicate program requirements, track progress, make decisions, identify, and mitigate risks.
- Partner with the Gender Equality program Policy Advocacy and Communications team to turn programming insights into advocacy and communications opportunities.
- Represent the foundation, the GE division, and the Digital Connectivity team in public events, meetings, and other fora across a variety of audiences.
- Support the implementation of creative solutions to guide inclusive processes (e.g., crafting and facilitating matrixed conversation, handling conflict, encouraging alignment).
- Balance competing priorities and be an engine to keep the collective work of a dispersed team moving forward.
We are looking for a team member who enjoys working on sophisticated problems and collaboratively crafting strategies that have the potential to transform the lives of people around the world. You are capable of structuring quantitative and qualitative inputs across a variety of sources to generate custom analytics to inform and influence decision-makers toward more and better-allocated resources to close the gender digital gap. You are an agile standout colleague who is prepared to work across a diverse set of fields and issue areas, bringing gender expertise to a wide range of issues. You are a sophisticated relationship manager, able to know when and how to support and influence partners. You have demonstrated an ability to navigate matrixed organizations, see opportunity in ambiguity, and communicate effectively with tact. You are prepared to work across a diverse set of subject areas, bridging a wide range of expertise all the while being a great teammate, with an ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, and diplomacy in an exciting, challenging environment.
Additionally, we seek:
- Advanced degree or coupled with a minimum of eight plus years of work experience in analytically driven gender-equal digital inclusion or relevant equivalent experience.
- Field-based or delivery experience understanding the practical challenges of program implementation.
- Knowledge of strategy development and implementation, and accountability mechanisms.
- Ability to work in a self-guided manner, balance multiple priorities and to demanding timelines.
- Excellent organizational, facilitation, oral, and written communication skills.
- Understanding of how to bring intersectional problem-solving approaches to strategies.
- Demonstrated capacity to analyze and use data and evidence as a driving tool for problem solving.
- Demonstrated ability to work with diverse stakeholders across a highly matrixed work environment. Excellent partnership building and relationship management skills and judgment. Ability to define connections across different teams and parlay those into key measures of progress.
- Ability to define a plan and implement against established goals; results-oriented with an ability to prioritize and focus and get things done within a complex organizational structure.
- A commitment to and orientation towards a diversity, equity, and inclusion mentality and application.
- Demonstrated initiative to solve unstructured problems with creativity, high energy, and a positive outlook.
- A highly cultivated sense of resilience. Can accept and recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and drive forward in the face of adversity.
- A sense of humor and a penchant for fun.
- Commitment to the foundation’s core values, mission, and programs with an approach that is consistent with the foundation’s guiding principles while holding oneself to the highest ethical standards.
- Must be able to legally work in the country where this position is located without visa sponsorship.
- Up to 30% domestic and international travel.
- Preferred location is Seattle, WA; Remote is negotiable.
*Must be able to legally work in the country where this position is located without visa sponsorship.
As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.
Depending upon your work location, we may require proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and any recommended booster doses. All employees based in the United States are to provide proof of full vaccination upon hire and any recommended boosters, subject to applicable laws.
If you require assistance due to a disability in the application or recruitment process, please submit a request here.
We are dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve—in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs—and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.
All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve our mission will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to race, color, age, religion, pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and prior protected activity.
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