Interim Senior Program Officer, Program Advocacy and Communications, Cross-Cutting

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Location
    Seattle, Washington
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Feb 27

Position description

The Senior Program Officer (SPO), Program Advocacy and Communications, will be a cross-cutting role that will lead the development and implementation of the communications strategy to support the portfolio for Financial Services for the Poor (FSP), Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WSH), Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) and Global Health Research & Development (R&D) teams. This support is essential to help generate necessary awareness, resources, partnerships, and policy changes across the portfolio.

The successful strategy will:

  • galvanize civil society in donor and developing nations to increase political commitment;
  • build the support of evidence base to drive sound decision-making;
  • influence policy decision-makers through increased visibility and understanding of solutions to development inequities.

This role will be critical to implementing a communications strategy that raises awareness for the importance of FSP, WSH, NTD and R&D and contributes to policy change in focus countries.

Key responsibilities of the SPO include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Work as the lead to implement communication strategies in partnership with the program strategy teams to generate attention to their issues, resources, and policy changes necessary to best achieve the FSP, WSH, NTD and R&D strategy goals;
  • Develop and manage investments both at the global and country level that will foster the FSP, WSH, NTD and R&D strategies;
  • Leverage the foundation's assets and build and manage partnerships and alliances to advance and refine communications strategies;
  • Manage the development of creative content and key moments to drive programmatic outcomes integrated with advocacy goals;
  • Develop and maintain relationships with media including print, broadcast and social and digital media while executing on the technical communications needs of the FSP, WSH, NTD and R&D strategies and working closely with foundation communications colleagues to appropriately place FSP, WSH, NTD and R&D’s narrative within the foundation narrative.


We are looking for a recognized expert in communications for global development issues. Specifically, the successful candidate will have:

  • Typically, at least 8 years of experience communicating for government, multinational organizations, and/or NGO/civil society organizations with proven success influencing policy change at the global and/or country level;
  • Leadership in designing and implementing a communications strategy for a new initiative - this will require a great deal of foresight and innovative thinking;
  • Hands-on experience with communications related advocacy efforts focused - this will include personal interaction with senior level policy makers and interaction with Civil Society Organization (CSO), coalitions, governments and the media;
  • Significant experience and comfort working internally with senior leadership;
  • Experience in a global firm/multinational;
  • An advanced degree in communications, marketing, media or a related field;
  • Experience in the conception, design and management of communications strategies, initiatives and programs;
  • Experience using and implementing web analytics and media measurement tools such as social media measurement, social network analysis, web analytics and syndicated sources;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the role of strategic communications to increase awareness of development issues and build political/financial support for development goals in the developing world with governmental and non-state organizations;
  • Experience working with social, digital and media relations preferred;
  • Demonstrated success in leadership roles developing and managing policy and advocacy related communications organizations, programs or initiatives requiring a combination of strong analytical, writing and management skills;
  • Prefer experience managing a grants portfolio; either as a grantee - receiving and reporting on a grant or as a grant manager - with direct responsibility for grant making and management;
  • Ability to work with flexibility, entrepreneurship, and diplomacy both individually and as part of a complex team effort;
  • A deep commitment to development issues;
  • Ability to travel up to 25% domestically and internationally;
  • High standards of personal integrity.

Application instructions

*Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on*

follow us on Twitter