Senior Program Officer, USP, Policy and Advocacy Job
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Washington, DC

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US Program

Policy and Advocacy

Washington D.C.

Foundation Overview
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people-especially those with the fewest resources-have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

Group Summary
The foundation's U.S. Program works with a range of partners toward greater opportunity for all Americans, largely through the attainment of secondary and postsecondary education. By making college and other forms of education both accessible to and successful for all, we hope to help break the intergenerational cycle of poverty that prevents families and communities from opportunities to reach their full potential. Within the U.S. Program, the Policy and Advocacy Team works to advance these goals, with a particular focus on developing policy, finance, and advocacy strategies and grants to support the scaling and sustainability of the Foundation's work. The team also manages a range of large, visible, and inter-related policy grantees working on complementary issues, requiring considerable political and policy sophistication.

The Senior Program Officer will lead and execute the foundation's investments to support policy development and advocacy work to empower effective teaching. In this capacity, the Senior Program Officer will develop and drive a set of strategies that support the high quality implementation of policies and strengthening of organizations that support teacher development, effectiveness, and voice. This position reports to the Deputy Director, Policy Development, U.S. Policy and Advocacy and works closely with a range of team members across both the foundation's Policy and Advocacy (USPA) and College Ready programs.

His/her responsibilities will include the following:

Develop, Manage, and Support a Grant Portfolio.
- Review, refine, and align an existing portfolio of relationships, grants and approaches to optimize resources and results.
- Prospect for potential new grant opportunities, analyzing their feasibility, shaping specific opportunities, presenting recommendations internally, and negotiating grant agreements.
- Develop actionable milestones and metrics for individual grants and for portfolio in line with dashboards established by the USPA and College Ready teams and considering the role of research and evaluation in the development of investments.
- Independently, and in consultation with colleagues, work collaboratively to develop and execute grant portfolio.
- Provide strategic thought partnership and support to grantees and non-grantee partners.

Advise and Support US Leadership in key topics.

Provide intellectual leadership and guidance to continually refine and develop our theory of action and the strategy behind our policy and advocacy work. Write informational briefings and other materials on key issues for the UPSA leadership team and foundation leadership, in consultation with USPA and College Ready Deputy Directors as appropriate.

Represent the Foundation to the public.

Bring together disparate and influential individuals and groups; mobilize them to take action on complex and highly visible problems; navigate and negotiate in highly charged situations.

The successful candidate will bring not only deep knowledge of issues and policies around effective teaching, but also demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the multiple perspectives around these issues. She/he brings at least ten years prior experience from both the policy and advocacy worlds, along with respect for and expertise around issues of implementation and practice. We also seek a demonstrated ability to reason through complex issues and contribute to our ongoing strategy development.
- A minimum of 10 years of experience preferred
- An advanced degree in a relevant discipline or equivalent work experience required.
- Demonstrated expertise in managing complex projects involving multiple stakeholders, completing in a timely manner with outstanding attention to detail.
- The ability to be a quick learner, flexible, highly organized, with ability to manage multiple projects with a strong orientation to detail/quality work.
- Exceptional analytical, organizational, writing and communication skills including interpersonal and small group interactions and public speaking to a range of diverse audiences.
- Must be skilled in group problem solving and working to resolve problems with complex concepts in a dynamic setting.
- Must possess strong judgment with a demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks with competing priorities. Ability to manage confidential information and situations with efficiency, flexibility, diplomacy, while cultivating trust within the team.
- Sincere commitment to equity, accountability, and results in the American educational system.
- Positive attitude and sense of humor a must.

Requires up to 40% travel and residency in or relocation to Washington, DC or Seattle, Washington

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 comprehensive background check.

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You don't have to be one of the world's richest men or know one to make a difference with your charitable gifts -- but it helps....