Director, Program Advocacy & Communications - Global

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA, United States

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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 Mark Suzman and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill & Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
Our Program Teams are Global Health, Global Development, Global Policy, Advocacy & Communications, Global Growth and Opportunity, and US Programs. They research and make grant & investment proposals that are aligned with a program strategy. They are responsible for ongoing management of grants and investments.
Our Operating Teams composed of Legal, Finance, and Grants & Contracts Management support program teams to design, create & execute grant & investment agreements. Our Human Resources, Global Digital Technology (IT), and Global Facilities, Events, and Travel teams provide the staff, technology and logistics that enable program teams to run effectively and work smartly around the world.
We strive to create a peak career experience. We know that by creating an environment for our employees to personally and professionally thrive and contribute at their highest potential, we will have maximum impact towards our missions.
Our missions are the outcomes that help us achieve our vision of seeing a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life:
  • Ensure more children and young people survive and thrive
  • Empower the poorest, especially women and girls, to transform their lives
  • Combat infectious diseases that particularly affect the poorest
  • Inspire people to take action to change the world
Leadership & Culture
Our culture shapes our choices about what we do and how we do it. We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment can do extraordinary things. We expect foundation employees to intentionally and consistently embody our four agreements; show respect, offer trust, be transparent, and create energy.
We expect foundation leadership to demonstrate our leadership principles & management expectations. As a people leader, you are responsible for:
  • Creating a culture for impact by shaping an environment where your team thrives, and their unique perspectives and identities are valued
  • Strategy development, refinement and management to ensure your team goals align with overall foundation strategies
  • Nurturing people and building great teams by prioritizing collective success, team development, setting expectations and assessing performance
Global Policy and Advocacy
The mission of the Global Policy & Advocacy (GPA) division is to understand and shape the public policy debates affecting the foundation's work, build support for its major program and policy objectives, and develop partnerships and alliances that can advance the foundation's objectives nationally and globally. Because the foundation's resources alone are not enough to solve the challenges ahead, GPA also supports advocacy efforts to engage diverse stakeholders and promote innovative solutions that advance our program goals. We work in close partnership with grantees, our colleagues in the Global Health, Global Development, Global Growth & Opportunity, U.S. and Gender Equality programs and Foundation Communications to build the environment in which all people have the opportunity to lead healthy and productive lives.
Group Summary
The Program Advocacy and Communications (PAC) team works in partnership with other teams in the Global Policy and Advocacy (GPA) division and Program Strategy Teams (PSTs) to achieve policy and finance goals by:
  • Developing and coordinating the execution of advocacy and communications strategies
  • Leveraging leadership and foundation voice to implement advocacy strategies
  • Developing and managing a grant portfolio dedicated to achieving issue-specific policy and financing outcomes
  • Directly advocating with sector leaders, influencers, media and government officials
  • Leading issue-specific communications
  • Developing policy recommendations or proposals in partnership with program teams and regional offices
You can find further details on their website www.gatesfoundation.org.

Director, Program Advocacy and Communications Role Profile

The Global Director is the lead of the Program Advocacy and Communications organization responsible for crafting and implementing advocacy strategies (e.g., issue communications, coalition building, champion building, civil society partnerships, etc.) aligned with each of the Foundation’s international/global program strategies as well as setting global advocacy priorities.
Specifically, the Global PAC Director leader of leaders will be responsible for bringing together a matrixed team that includes director level reports in Seattle-based PAC teams focused on each program strategy, with indirect reports in regional PAC teams in Africa and South Asia, and working with peers and colleagues in GPA’s donor-facing and specialized teams to deliver coordinated BMGF program advocacy and policy strategies.
The Global Director will lead a team of outstanding staff and significant advocacy grantmaking, represent the foundation with senior level key partners and stakeholders within and outside of the foundation, advise foundation leadership on policy and advocacy efforts globally, and ensure the Foundation’s strategies are well crafted and executed to advance the foundation’s partnerships, programs, and goals at country and global levels. He/she will serve as a member of the foundation’s Global Policy & Advocacy leadership team.
The Global Director will ensure the PAC team operates with integrity and excellence, and a spirit of constructive partnership, in all aspects of its internal and external work. The Director is responsible for hiring, managing, and developing the talent needed to achieve the foundation’s goals. In the performance of these functions, the Global Director will at all times demonstrate the highest standards of integrity, outstanding diplomacy, and effective strategic, managerial, and negotiating skills to build alignment among diverse external and internal partners to achieve results.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Be responsible for all aspects of the foundation’s worldwide issue-specific advocacy work, from the design of strong program advocacy strategies to the coordination of their execution through a variety of functions (partnership building, issue communications, use of foundation voice, advocacy grantmaking, etc.) and in collaboration with multiple internal teams.
  • Lead a large team including building a strong leadership team (of direct reports and dotted lines) and 50+ person organization to ensure the highest advocacy expertise and smooth advocacy operations on behalf of the foundation’s mission and programs. Empower and grow highly skilled advocacy professionals.
  • Provide direct leadership for the PAC team’s Agricultural Development, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Tobacco and Financial Services for the Poor Deputy Directors and portfolios.
  • Lead all aspects of health advocacy via a specialized PAC Director for Health who reports to this position.
  • Provide guidance to other advocacy portfolios such as Gender and Global Education.
  • Serve as an advocacy leader in the organization by being a thought partner to program teams, regional offices and Foundation Communications.
  • Build strong cross organizational partnerships and influence by serving as the GPA representative on multiple foundation leadership teams (e.g. Global Growth & Opportunity leadership team) and as a member of the GPA leadership team.
  • Lead for impact by allocating the team’s headcount and complex budget resources effectively, crafting and implementing impact measures for advocacy work, and making tradeoffs across priority issues and geographies. Balance the needs of program teams and regional offices in the active prioritization of advocacy strategies, budget and staff as well as foundation voice.
  • In partnership with Foundation Communications, protect and strengthen the foundation’s reputation and brand through global program advocacy work, including handling risk relative to fiscal, legal, reputation and compliance issues.
  • Maintain a culture of integrity, respect, resilience and innovation at all times.
Position Reports to: President, Global Policy & Advocacy

Qualifications and Experience

  • Shown advocacy changemaker: Experience in the effective design and execution of advocacy strategies with donor and/or low and middle-income country government audiences, utilizing a wide range of advocacy tools from communications campaigns to evidence-rich policy discussions and creative partnership building and resulting in measurable finance and/or policy successes. Experience in public or private sector.
  • Effective matrixed leader: Demonstrated leader of leaders with experience organizing and motivating high performing teams. Experience managing in matrixed environments across HQ and regional organizations and across multiple organizational interests.
  • Passionate about foundation issues: Track record of work in the following issue areas preferred- agricultural development, financial inclusion, water/sanitation, global education or health (though a specialized PAC Director for Health will report to the PAC Global Director)
  • Motivated by great ideas and great execution: Demonstrated capacity to envision and analyze future opportunities and risks, collaboratively create and articulate a strategic plan, and execute the plan to materialize that vision. Must be equally able to think big and roll up sleeves to get the work done.
  • Culture leader: Establish and maintain a high integrity, collaborative culture, including the ability to handle conflicts and build consensus.
  • Ability to travel up to 30% domestically and internationally.

Education and Experience

  • Advanced degree in public policy, international relations, international development or relevant field with at least 15+ years of significant management experience in advocacy functions (or equivalent) in global organizations.
  • Global experience vital, Africa or South/SE Asia focus highly preferred.
  • Experience in multi-sector collaborations, including partnerships, government affairs, corporate affairs, and/or resource mobilization.

Terms of Appointment

This is a full-time position. As part of the standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

Key Step in the Selection Process

If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form below. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence as we pride ourselves on our professional service. 

If you have an initial query rather than an application, kindly email us at [email protected] 
SRI Executive is exclusively retained by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to undertake this assignment.

Application form