Associate Program Officer, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Discovery & Tools

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Location
    Seattle, Washington
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Posted
    May 08

Position description

Situated within the foundation’s Global Health Program, the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Discovery & Tools (MNCH D&T) strategy focuses on the development, optimization and application of transformative technologies and interventions with the goal of accelerating declines in mortality and reducing long-term disability in low resource settings. Despite impressive declines in the rates of under-five and maternal mortality over the past 15-25 years, there is a critical need for innovative tools designed to address the residual mortality burden, which is disproportionately comprised of hard-to-reach, difficult-to-treat, and higher-risk mothers, newborns and children. New tools are also needed to detect risk and promote resilience by targeting the factors that underlie vulnerability during pregnancy, early infancy and childhood. The MNCH D&T team operates through four strategic initiatives:

  • Optimize birth outcomes for mothers and newborns – aims to identify tools that reduce adverse birth outcomes through early identification of risk, preventive interventions and peripartum management of high risk pregnancies.
  • Support thriving in the community – aims to identify interventions and tools that improve growth and accurately assess and optimize neurodevelopment in children.
  • Optimize prevention and treatment of acute illness – aims to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of acute illness in order to reduce mortality and hospital readmissions, especially among undernourished children.
  • Strategic Data Analytics and Synthesis (SDAS) – aims to inform strategic priorities and track progress across the entire MNCH D&T portfolio through improved burden estimation, analysis of cross-cutting questions, and models assessing the potential impact and cost-effectiveness of new tools. The SDAS initiative achieves these goals through an established data feedback loop that generates new evidence and facilitates evidence translation and dissemination between data scientists, members of the MNCH D&T team, and internal MNCH D&T partners.

Position Summary & Responsibilities

Located in Seattle, WA, the Associate Program Officer (APO) will report to the lead for the MNCH D&T SDAS initiative. The APO will support critical programmatic and strategy projects within this initiative as described above.

Detailed responsibilities will include:

  • Scope and manage internal data analysis efforts through (a) engagement with MNCH D&T team members and data scientists; (b) assessing analytical needs and drawing linkages across the portfolio; (c) conceptualizing analysis plans; and (d) scrutinizing methodology and analytical results. Interpret and translate data, analytical methods and results. Generate materials for consumers of data with various levels of data comfort.
  • Innovate on continuous improvements to the SDAS process of collecting, synthesizing, tracking, analyzing, visualizing and measuring the impact of data from grants and key external resources across the MNCH D&T portfolio.
  • Conceptualize, execute and manage 3-5 investments across the SDAS portfolio and support management of larger, more complicated investments owned by the initiative lead.
  • Interface with a diverse set of internal and external stakeholders, including multiple BMGF program strategy teams and partners at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and the Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM).
  • Provide SDAS initiative meeting support, including agenda and slide development and synthesis of incoming data and analytical results.
  • Support annual planning process for the SDAS initiative through assessment progress against prior year’s goals and refinement of next year’s goals within the context of the overarching goals of the MNCH D&T portfolio.
  • Track and analyze global and regional burden estimates through (a) synthesis and compilation of morbidity and mortality burden data across multiple sources; (b) basic secondary data analyses to improve internal understanding and/or visualization of data; (c) creation and maintenance of a burden reference deck for internal use; (d) creation and maintenance of a burden reference deck for external presentations (redacting confidential or unpublished data); (e) implementation of periodic updates of materials with newly available analytical results and/or newly published data.
  • Generate and maintain an ArcGIS map of ongoing MNCH D&T clinical trials and surveillance studies.
  • Support the sharing of SDAS best practices for ‘data analysis and synthesis to inform decision making’ with the broader foundation.


We are looking for people who enjoy the challenge of working on complex problems and collaboratively creating solutions that have the potential for transformational change in the lives of people around the world. S/he must be prepared to work across a diverse set of disciplines, bridging a wide range of expertise all the while being a solid team player, with a demonstrated ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, and diplomacy in a fast-paced, challenging environment.

Desired knowledge and skills include:

  • Master’s degree in a relevant quantitative discipline required (e.g. epidemiology, engineering, statistics). Candidates with an MPH and a strong quantitative background (e.g. a BS in a quantitative discipline or experience in a quantitative field) will also be considered.
  • Broad understanding of global health/development issues and some global health/development experience is preferable.
  • Ability to learn new content quickly, identify connections and second-order implications and demonstrate competence with internal/external teams.
  • Strong quantitative knowledge and comfort working with data, including a demonstrated ability extracting appropriate data to convey complex information through the use of supporting tables, graphs and other visual representations.
  • Experience and comfort interpreting and communicating analytical methods and results for lay audiences.
  • Excellent software skills with Microsoft Office applications. Ability to quickly learn new software modules. Knowledge and fluency in Stata or other statistical program, Tableau and ArcGIS is highly desirable.
  • Ability to work independently, manage multiple priorities and to demanding timelines.
  • Experience in a role requiring collaboration (both internal and external) as well as a solid understanding of the realities and complexities of working within and effectively managing projects within a complex matrixed environment.
  • Ability to question and challenge colleagues including managers and partners in constructive manner.
  • Comfortable with highly unstructured and ambiguous situations; ability to proactively resolve.
  • Excellent organizational, facilitation, oral, and written communication skills.
  • Ability to function successfully in a politically demanding environment.
  • Ability to work effectively and with sensitivity across barriers such as language, culture and distance. Excellent listening skills and empathy.
  • Ability to travel up to 20% domestically and internationally.
  • A sense of humor.
  • Commitment to the foundation’s core values, mission, and programs with an approach that is consistent with the foundation’s guiding principles and holding self to the highest ethical standards.

Application instructions

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