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Job Description

The 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 various work arrangements, generous PTO, 15% contribution to your retirement fund, a diverse and inclusive workplace backed by 12 Employee Resource Groups and embed DEI in everything we do!

The Team

In 2020, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced the creation of a new division, Gender Equality (GE), driven by our determined leadership and partnership to accelerate progress for women and girls globally. The past two years have seen an unprecedented confluence of energy on this issue, and we have a greater understanding than ever before on the centrality of gender to all development outcomes embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The GE division was created to capitalize on the belief that we are at a pivotal point in history for gender equality and this division signals our intent to fully maximize our voice and our co-chair’s commitment to accelerate impact.

Your Role

As a Senior Program Officer (SPO) on our team, you will lead a portfolio within our Policy, Advocacy and Communications team within Gender Equality and will focus on advancing gender equality program goals and support the gender equality community of advocates in our partner countries. You will support a portfolio of investments that work to support accountability efforts for progress on SDG 5, advances policy priorities that advance women’s economic empowerment, and provides support to our women in leadership programs on partnerships and policy.


Reporting to the Deputy Director, the SPO will focus on building relationships and partnerships across our advocacy and communications divisions and will work closely with all internal collaborators and key external partners and governments to support our women’s economic empowerment advocacy goals. You will be expected to lead the continued development and execution of a gender policy, advocacy, and communications strategy focused on women’s economic empowerment and, with special focus on the integration of those efforts into broader support for the Generation Equality Forum (as representative to the Economic Justice and Rights Action Coalition) and post-Covid-19 economic recovery efforts.

You will maintain and develop key grants that will help to implement our economic empowerment strategy and women in leadership strategy as well as to participate in direct advocacy to multilateral institutions, donors and priority countries. You will also support briefings, learning sessions, and advocacy activities by the foundation’s leadership. You will work to generate the awareness, resources, partnerships, and policy changes vital to achieve success in the following ways: galvanizing civil society in donor and developing nations to increase political commitment to women’s economic empowerment and gender data and to deliver on policy and resource outcomes; understanding and shaping international financing channels for global development issues and supporting the evidence base to drive sound decision-making; and influencing policymaker decision making through increased visibility and understanding of solutions to women’s economic empowerment and gender data.

In addition, you will serve as one of the foundation’s representative in the Economic Justice and Rights Action Coalition as part of the Generation Equality Forum. You will ensure that BMGF gender equality priorities are well-represented within the GEF EJR and assist in the design of significant commitments within this scope.


What You'll Do!

  • Manage current GE advocacy, communication and policy portfolio of grantees to support women's economic empowerment goals

  • Develop & implement policy, advocacy, and communication strategies to accelerate progress on gender equality program goals through investing in partnerships raise awareness, do resource mobilization, advance policy change, and hold commitment makers accountable.

  • Refine and implement a grantmaking strategy that complements programmatic team efforts to accelerate women's economic empowerment, specifically focused on access to capital, improving data, access to markets, digital and child care access.

  • Manage the tracking and analysis of key global policy developments and trends important to the team's policy goals.

  • Develop appropriate outreach plans for listening to outside voices, sharing our strategies, and thinking about how we communicate impact assessment.

  • Represent the foundation to key program-related external constituencies. This includes both formal and informal presentations such as making speeches, attending conferences and other meetings as necessary.

  • This role is responsible for high quality interactions and clear and consistent communications with grantees and partners in the field.

Your Experience

  • Advanced degree in public policy, or equivalent work experience, in international relations, development, communications or a related field.

  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience working in government, public affairs, multilateral institutions, civil society organizations, and/or corporate communications roles aimed at influencing policy change.

  • Expertise and proficiency in government relations, advocacy, and resource mobilization across both donor and LMIC markets and ability to drive and develop strategy in those areas.

  • Relationship management capabilities to work with multiple partners, including government, UN institutions, other donors, grantees to build a common vision and envision simple and effective but implementable solutions to complex problems.

  • Comfortable in a wide range of cultural, geographic, and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diverse range of people.

  • Knowledge of government policy and budget decision making processes in several countries plus experience building strategies for or implementing direct advocacy to government officials.

  • A breadth of knowledge and experience with the gender equality community and with a range of key gender policy issues related to women’s economic empowerment.

  • Experience developing and leading campaigns and sophisticated global strategies in support of policy initiatives, advocacy programs and events.

  • Ability to translate and communicate technical topics to diverse audiences.

  • A demonstrated ability to lead and manage others in a constructive, encouraging manner in order to build and sustain collaborative relationships and to influence a wide range of individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds and at different levels.

  • Experience in a dynamic environment with demonstrated ability to juggle multiple and competing demands and establish priorities, while providing continual attention to detail.

  • Calm under pressure with capability to lead and inspire confidence through ambiguity or change.

Other Attributes

  • Experience in either the public or non-profit sectors.

**We encourage qualified candidates outside the Seattle, WA and Washington, DC areas to apply.


Hiring Requirements

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 to

Inclusion Statement

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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