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Associate General Counsel, Africa Country Office
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)
Grade: Unspecified
Occupations: Legal Affairs
Job Expired
Added 3 months ago
Job Description

Group Summary

"Guidance, Solutions, Integrity" describes the legal team's approach to providing responsive legal guidance supporting the foundation’s mission and strategy implementation. The legal team offers creative solutions that accomplish grantmaking objectives, develops and implements efficient legal processes to streamline our investment practices, and applies preventive legal strategies and policies to address risk and safeguard the foundation’s reputation.

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.

The Africa Team

The foundation’s Africa team seeks to enable the foundation’s ambitious goals of scaling evidence-based interventions that target a range of disease and socio-economic conditions which are endemic across sub-Saharan Africa. The Associate General Counsel will primarily provide legal support to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Africa Country Office location in Johannesburg, South Africa as well as the legal needs of the regional offices based in Abuja, Nigeria and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Role Summary

Provide legal assistance and carries out preventative legal compliance strategies including reviewing and advising on contracts, resolving areas of legal risk, training and recommending sound legal positions to internal clients. Collaborates with outside counsel. May specialize in one or more area(s) within the foundation’s operations or programmatic initiatives.



  • Understand and support the programmatic, operational and business objectives of internal client groups, develop creative solutions, and resolve issues using the appropriate legal framework and in consideration of the foundation's values.

  • Structure, negotiate, and draft legal documents related to the foundation’s investments, including equity investments, loans, and complex collaborations in furtherance of our charitable strategies.

  • Develop understanding of legal compliance best practices for foundation grants, investments and other foundation activities, including with respect to Global Access, data/privacy matters, charitability, intellectual property, for-profit engagement and advocacy.

  • Demonstrate generalist expertise to identify legal issues and collaborate, where appropriate, with other legal team members to lead the resolution of complex and strategic legal issues across Africa in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

  • Quickly establish a partnership of trust with key partners and participate as a strategic and daily advisor.

  • Serve as the legal team’s liaison to and primary point of contact for the foundation’s work in Africa, providing guidance and coordinating resources.

  • Facilitate compliance with regulatory requirements across Africa where the foundation maintains offices (Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa) and other focus countries on the continent.

  • Collaborate with the foundation’s Legal Leadership Team and broader legal team to ensure effective coverage, work allocation and communication regarding legal issues related to the foundation, all from a “one team” perspective.

  • Collaborate with outside counsel.

  • Support training and education of foundation personnel on legal issues.

Reports to: Director, Legal.


  • Maintain current understanding of new and emerging laws, policy developments and best practices, including those relating to tax-exempt organizations, private foundations and operational compliance across the African continent.

  • Attorney admitted to practice law in South Africa with LL.B, LL.M or equivalent. 10 years' post-admission legal experience; a combination of law firm and in-house counsel experience preferred; Active Bar or Law Society Membership is required.

  • History of effectively supporting a demanding client base, serving as counselor on ground-breaking, emerging legal issues in a complex, fast-paced and evolving legal and policy environment.

  • Direct experience guiding and generally advising clients on broad and multi-jurisdictional commercial legal and business matters, with knowledge of grant making and other investment vehicles within philanthropy a plus.

  • Expertise in leading, drafting and negotiating complex transactions and collaborative relationships.

  • Demonstrated ability to lead and build relationships to gain the respect and trust of others.

  • Ability to communicate complex legal concepts clearly and non-legalistically to clients in both writing and orally.

  • Ability to work with diplomacy, flexibility, efficiency, intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm both individually and collaboratively as part of a team effort in a highly matrixed organization.

  • Ability to prioritize work in context of our risk tolerance framework, priorities and objectives.

  • Demonstrated passion for our mission and values and legal team purpose statement.

  • Highest standards of ethics and integrity.

  • Sense of balance, humor and perspective.

*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 with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is 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 the mission of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 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

* Prior Protected Activity

This job is no longer available.