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Senior Program Officer, Country Support Team Lead (Polio)
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)
Grade: Unspecified
Job Expired
Added 4 months ago
Job Description

Group Summary

The Global Development Program (GD) includes a diverse range of program areas focused on finding creative ways to ensure solutions and products get into the hands of people in low-income countries. We focus on areas with the potential for high-impact, sustainable solutions that can reach millions of people. Our strategies include Emergency Response; Family Planning; Maternal Newborn & Child Health; Nutrition and Polio Eradication. A common theme across these programs is focus on innovative delivery, including an emphasis on strengthening primary health care systems. GD also encompasses our India Country Office and Africa Team. Our teams work in close partnership with these Country Office Teams to align the foundation’s health and development equity agenda with the government’s broader priorities.

Position Summary

As a member of the polio outbreaks non-endemics team, the Senior Program Officer, Country Support Team Lead is responsible for the execution of the foundation’s efforts to ensure that circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPVs) are stopped within 6 months of onset.

The Senior Program Officer is responsible for leading the country support team (3 technical experts) which provides direct support to countries to prevent, detect and respond to cVDPV outbreaks in non-WPV-endemic countries. This work is implemented in close collaboration with national authorities, Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) partners at the global, regional and country levels, and NGOs.


Responsibilities include guiding team members in the management of portfolios of foundation investments (grants and contracts), and work with external partners to drive progress in responding to polio outbreaks in non-endemic countries. The SPO will coordinate briefings and updates to foundation leadership on outbreak response, and represent the foundation in meetings with external partners, including senior government officials and global health officials.

Core Duties and Responsibilities

Facilitate the development of annual investment plans and budgets in support of the 2022-2026 GPEI Strategy to end cVDPVs, and develop, modify and implement that strategy under the leadership of the Deputy Director.

Provide strategic guidance in crafting annual grants and contracts in surveillance, outbreak response, vaccination, routine immunisation and community engagement with the goal of stopping all circulation of cVDPV2 by end of 2023 and validating the absence of cVDPV2 globally by 2026.

Mentor and support colleagues from the country support team in the design and execution of projects and engagements at global, regional and country levels.

Lead a team of program specialists and hire the talent needed to achieve our goals, ensuring successful employee onboarding, communicating performance expectations, giving and seeking feedback, measuring progress and holding people accountable, and supporting employee development.


Manage partnerships and grantee relationships to drive positive change and achieve impact, for example, through regular engagement with global, regional and country programs of key GPEI implementing partners, i.e., WHO and UNICEF.

Engage with national authorities to advocate, advise and support the implementation of preventive and response activities aiming at ending cVDPVs circulation in all non-endemic countries.

Serve as one of the foundation focal points for GPEI cVDPV outbreaks prevention and response working groups at global, regional and country levels.

Core Knowledge and Skills

  • Experience in strategic planning and strategy implementation, particularly as it relates to polio eradication and immunisation.

  • Proven track record to lead and influence others, work with efficiency, diplomacy, and flexibility particularly as part of a team.

  • Experience working on teams with diverse cultural and professional backgrounds.

  • Strong written and oral communication skills, and experience advocating and communicating with a broad and diverse audience.

  • Experience in a role requiring collaboration in a complex organisation and working with external organisations (WHO, UNICEF, US-CDC, National Authorities)

  • Ability and willingness to travel up to 50%, largely internationally.

Education & Experience

  • M.D. or advanced degree in health, public health, epidemiology or vaccinology required.

  • Significant senior-level experience managing and directing polio activities or outbreak responses or health emergencies in low-and middle-income country context, especially in countries of the African region or the Eastern Mediterranean regions of WHO.


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.