Director, Development Policy & Finance

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Washington, DC, 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 Development Policy & Finance (DPAF) team is the foundation’s development economics team, accountable for ensuring GPA’s work – and by extension the foundation’s work – is informed by strong economic analysis and viewpoints, resonant with economic trends, and connected with key economic decision-makers. This is not a research team but a group of advisory economists and development finance experts accountable for using economic analysis and perspectives to strengthen foundation policy and advocacy strategies, and for growing the community of economic policymakers engaged in foundation issues such as global health, human capital and gender equity.
You can find further details on their website www.gatesfoundation.org.

Director, Development Policy and Finance Role Profile

The DPAF Director will lead a team of 15, providing a mix of analytic and advisory services, grantmaking and partnership development in three areas:
  • Global Economics & Finance. Lead on cross-cutting economics/finance issues & sector-wide analysis and perspectives relevant to the foundation’s mission (e.g. COVID response and recovery, health, gender, poverty).
  • Country Economics & Finance. Advise on country-level macroeconomic issues, nurture relationships with economic advisors and ministries of finance, and serve as a technical advisor on initiatives that support domestic resource mobilization (DRM) and public financial management (PFM) in partnership with country/regional offices.
  • Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) Partnerships. Lead foundation engagement with MDBs – World Bank / regional development banks / development finance institutions – to coordinate and align policy, channel resources, and improve collaborative impact between organizational leadership.
The Director will be responsible for staffing, budgeting, and the strategic direction of the team. The team also maintains a grantmaking budget to support analysis and to build a growing community of human capital-oriented economic advisors and policymakers. The Director will lead in strategy development, performance metrics and in making resource tradeoffs as needed.
In the performance of these functions, the Director must 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.
Position reports to: President, Global Policy & Advocacy (GPA)

Duties and Responsibilities

The Director, Development Policy and Finance will have the following key responsibilities:
  • Serve as the foundation’s “group chief economist”, overseeing global intelligence gathering functions on emerging issues in development economics/finance and providing regular analysis and timely actionable advice on critical topics, geographic interests and MDB relationships central to the foundation’s mission.
  • Serve as a pro-active and applied thought leader – and support a strong team to do the same – to improve the economic/financial underpinnings of foundation strategies, especially policy and advocacy strategies.
  • “Productize” the chief economist function so the work of the team has well-defined accountabilities, a clear process for engaging, knowable outputs/endpoints valued by the organization, and measurable impact.
  • Responsible for the strategy and execution of annual grantmaking to support the advancement of knowledge and communities relevant to the foundation’s mission and DPAF’s work.
  • Responsible for partnership strategy with multilateral and regional development banks and IFIs.
  • Ensure strong people management, including both the direct management of the country leadership team as well as holding managers accountable for effective management of their teams.
  • Lead select ministerial/senior relationships in country ministries of finance and serve as a key interlocutor with senior leadership at the World Bank and other MDBs.
  • Build relationships across GPA and divisional leadership to ensure relevance and engagement with DPAF work. Strengthen linkages with key partners (Donor Government Relations [DGR], North America Team [NAT], Program Advocacy & Communications [PAC], country/regional offices) to deliver on programmatic goals.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Experienced and creative leader of an applied economics function in a global organization, with particular focus on Sub-Saharan Africa or South/Southeast Asia.
  • Seasoned economic advisor to governments and/or private sector – ideally in low- and middle-income economies – on issues relevant to BMGF’s work.
  • Recognized technical expert in development economics, global development finance or development policy relevant to BMGF’s work with according senior relationships.
  • Solutions-oriented innovative thinker motivated by real-world results.
  • Strong collaborator, experience navigating internal dynamics in matrixed and sophisticated environments, and bridge builder.
  • Demonstrated leader, effective at inspiring and directing staff (including cross-functional teams) and delivering on results-oriented policy and advocacy strategies.
  • Proficient in the vital tools of the trade – economic analysis, policy writing, capacity strengthening and complex multinational negotiations.
  • Ability to travel 30% time domestically and internationally.

Education and Experience

  • Advanced degree in international development, public policy, economics, international relations, finance, business or relevant field and at least 15+ years of experience building similar functions in public or private sector.
  • Global experience vital, Africa or South/SE Asia focus highly preferred.

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