Senior Program Officer, Neglected Tropical Diseases
The Neglected Tropical Diseases program strategy team (NTD PST) plays a lead role in advancing the Global Health Division’s goal of addressing diseases that have a major impact on people in the developing world but get little attention and funding. Where proven tools exist, we support sustainable ways to improve their delivery. Where they don’t, we invest in research, development, and deployment of new interventions, such as vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, and vector control. We also support efforts to accelerate progress through coordinated, mass drug administration (MDA) interventions, public-health surveillance, screen and treat programs and vector control.
The London Declaration is one of the largest ever public-private initiatives, and it includes the donation by major pharmaceutical companies of $2-3 billion per annum in medications targeting five preventive chemotherapy (PC) NTDs (lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, trachoma, schistosomiasis, and the soil-transmitted helminths). The Gates Foundation NTD team focuses on supporting sustainable approaches to improve and expand the implementation of NTD programs, assisting countries in taking full advantage of the extraordinary opportunity of the 2012 London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases. We are actively engaged in implementing a strategy that increases the efficiency of accessing and delivering the donated medicines committed to accelerate impact for the control and/or elimination of the five PC-NTDs.
This role will be responsible for leading / managing our soil-transmitted helminths (STH), schistosomiasis (schisto) and onchocerciasis (oncho) initiatives. The successful candidate will work in close collaboration with the NTD Director and team, as well as the broader global LF and oncho communities of WHO, USAID, DFID, and other key partners to evolve the vision for the most impactful way for BMGF to serve endemic countries’ ambitions for control and elimination of STH, schisto and oncho. You will decide what investments can most effectively reach these ambitions and which partners are the right partners in whom to invest. You will subsequently partner, develop, and manage a portfolio of grants and contracts to accomplish the global goals for these diseases in an end-to-end way, from project conception to implementation, and from basic research to development to operations research and ultimately implementation. This position requires expertise in NTDs and global health challenges, high-level strategic vision skills, grant-making and management skills, as well as expertise in program and project monitoring and evaluation. As a key member of the NTD leadership team, you will contribute to the continued development of the team’s vision, team culture, and team structure, while partnering closely with team leadership to contribute and set the overall strategy and goals for the Gates Foundation’s strategy on NTDs.
The successful candidate will utilize a unique blend of rigorous technical expertise, global strategic visioning, keen skill in partnership at all levels, and detailed attention to execution.
The SPO will be expected to:
Act as an expert resource within the NTD program and as a consultative expert for other teams across the foundation a needed
Lead the NTD team’s strategy for STH, schisto and Oncho, including developing goal(s) for each of the initiatives, articulating how the foundation’s goals support the global community’s elimination efforts, gaps in achieving goals and how the foundation is using its strategic advantage to close these gaps
Work in close collaboration with internal and external partners to design, negotiate, execute, and manage a complex portfolio of investments including performance-based grants and contracts against specific and measurable strategic goals related to improving delivery and implementation of NTD programs in-country.
Review letters of inquiry and grant proposals and provide clear, concise and insightful written analyses and recommendations for funding. S/he will also serve in a technical advisory role bringing project management and in-country expertise to other grants in the team’s overall portfolio.
Work with the World Health Organization (WHO), other funders, national and state/local governments, private companies and NGO service providers in our priority countries in sub-Saharan Africa to co-create catalytic investments aligned with the NTD team’s strategy and goals.
Consult with grantees and partners in public and private sectors to maximize the impact of projects and investments and to ensure optimal learning. This may include participating in site visits, providing operational guidance, working with companies, and convening meetings of key stakeholders.
Contribute to the evolution of the NTD program’s vision, strategic objectives, priorities, processes, and organizational structure, including integration and coordination with the overall NTD strategy.
Directly or indirectly lead a matrixed team internally and externally to the Foundation to develop, manage and implement initiative strategies.
Contribute to the design of new initiatives, cross-program, and cross-foundation strategies, including collaborating and/or implementing plans to ensure long-term sustainability and increased impact.
Collaborate with foundation colleagues in related program areas to take advantage of cross-sector grant making opportunities.
Represent the foundation to key program-related external constituencies, as appropriate, on committees related to area of expertise and responsibilities of the position.
Manage and mentor staff supporting the STH, schisto and oncho initiatives. This may include hiring the talent needed to achieve our goals, communicating performance expectations, creating goal alignment, giving and seeking feedback, providing coaching, measuring progress and holding people accountable, supporting employee development and recognizing achievement and lessons learned.
Reports to: Director, Neglected Tropical Diseases
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.
Core Knowledge and Skills
We are looking for people who enjoy the challenge of working on complex projects and collaboratively creating solutions that have the potential for transformational change. We seek leader with deep knowledge of NTDs, preferably with experience in public health and familiarity with the development and deployment of various products/interventions to achieve impact on the burden of infectious diseases.
Education and Experience
The ideal candidate should have:
Successfully worked in developing countries for a significant period; gaining an appreciation for the complexities of implementing and managing field-based programs. Preference for experience in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and/or India.
Experience working with governments, Ministries of Health, NGOs and Academic Institutions, as well as with regional, multi-country institutions such as WHO.
In depth knowledge of NTDs; preference for STH, schisto and/or Oncho.
Proven ability to lead and influence others in a constructive manner and to build and sustain collaborative relationships.
Experience as a technical resource to teams and leadership on impact, cost effectiveness and decision analysis.
Experience in strategic planning and strategy implementation.
Program and/or project management experience; from work plan concept development to implementation.
Strong competence working within a highly matrix environment where impact is achieved through collaboration with diverse colleagues/teams as well as externally within a network of grantees and partners.
Comfortable dealing with ambiguity, and with turning ambiguity into clarity and impact.
Demonstrated ability to work with a wide variety of partners (e.g. government, development, etc.) from a diverse range of geographies, cultures, across sectors and expertise.
Ability to work in a complex team environment delivering on multiple outcomes; “leading from behind”.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills, able to effectively synthesize information to reach diverse audiences, build consensus and be the voice/represent the foundation, including in high-level meetings.
Knowledge in methods of impact evaluation, operational research and modeling.
Strong quantitative analytical skills.
Advanced degree with 10 plus years of experience; or equivalent experience.
Ability to travel up to 30% domestically and internationally. Anticipate higher initial travel needs, especially to Africa, during the first 12 to 18 months of employment.
As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill and 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:
From poverty to health, to education, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation focuses on improving the lives of billions of people worldwide. There are four problem areas the organization focuses on; the Global Development Division, Global Health Division, United States Division, and Global Policy & Advocacy Division. In developing countries the foundation focuses on improving the health and wellness of people as well as helping children and families escape from extreme hunger and poverty. In the United States, the foundation focuses on low-income families and makes sure that everyone has opportunities to receive an education that will help them succeed. The foundation works with numerous organizations around the world to tackle critical problems and addresses challenging inequalities. The headquarters of this organization is based in Seattle, Washington, one of the most proactive global health and non-profit cities in the world.