Senior Portfolio Officer, Strategy & Insights

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, United States

About the Bill and 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 and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
The 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.  
The Operating Team is composed of Legal, Finance, and Grants & Contracts Management support program teams to design, create & execute grant & investment agreements. The 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.
They strive to create a peak career experience. Knowing that by creating an environment for their employees to personally and professionally thrive and contribute at their highest potential, they will have maximum impact towards our missions.
Their mission is achieving outcomes that help achieve the BMGF 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
You can find further details on their website http://gatesfoundation.org
SRI Executive is exclusively retained by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to undertake this assignment.

Senior Portfolio Officer (‘SPO’) Role Profile

The SPO supports strategic and operational aspects of an integrated program area including oversight of strategic planning, annual planning and budgeting, ongoing pipeline and portfolio management, measurement and evaluation, business analysis and the coordination of business strategies across the foundation. He/ She acts as an accelerator for global delivery, providing support for strategic planning, monitoring, and reporting of portfolio of programmatic investments. The vital aspects of the role focus  will be on strategy articulation and execution planning,  financial and staff allocation analysis at the strategy and portfolio level, coordination of programmatic work, team alignment and supporting processes, team investment strategy development and ongoing strategic alignment and outcomes design of the investment portfolio and staff allocation.

Key Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Articulates strategy and progress narratives, including strategy review, initiative strategy development, annual plans, and execution planning against theory of action.
  • Clear execution of strategy while ensuring the use of resources to greatest effect by deploying the right talent/ team to deliver each project.
  • Provides critical support to program leadership in translating strategy goals into coherent portfolio level theory of action and plans that align staff time and investments to strategic goals.
  • Serves as consultative face of insights function, understanding program decisions and questions, translating those into consumer and health system insights needs, and providing critical linkages across.
  • Serves as a thought partner and advisor to program leadership.
  • In partnership with program leadership, leads the shaping of people processes and team dynamics to champion culture and incentives that best enable achieving program goals.
  • Leads processes to develop and oversee team investment, financial and operational processes which may include the full investment development process, annual planning, budget management and forecasting.
  • Guides deputy directors to ensure that portfolio investments are strategically aligned, and outcomes are defined that will lead to impact on key strategy goals. May advise program officers on the early stage development of program investments.
  • Monitors grant and contract portfolio to facilitate management decision-making.
  • Consults/strategizes with program leadership to improve impact of investment and financial processes and ensure optimal learning, decision making, and collaboration.
  • Promotes efficiency and productivity on the team by providing leadership and support in process development and improvement, implementation and improvement of tools, analysis, reporting and change management.
  • This role leads people, has six direct reports currently,  and is responsible for hiring the talent needed to achieve the BMGF goals, ensuring successful employee onboarding, communicating performance expectations, creating goal alignment, integrating project and change management, giving and seeking feedback, providing coaching, measuring progress and holding people accountable, supporting employee development, and recognizing achievement and lessons learned.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s or other advanced degree with 10+ years of experience, or equivalent experience.
  • Management experience with knowledge of creating and implementing good leadership practices and change management.
  • Experience in managing a complex and large portfolio.
  • Experience in public health or developing country contexts (where the foundation has strong presence like Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, India and China) is a plus.
  • Familiarity with large budget management.

Critical Skills

  • Creative thinker with ability to think outside the box and motivate team members.
  • Ability to work in ambiguous situations, while allowing the right strategy to be cultivated, non-directive style, who can engender a collaborative work culture in the team.

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.
"This role is based in Seattle, Washington, USA. To be considered you must have the right to work in the United States.”

How to Apply: 

If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form below on or before 31 March 2020. 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 & Melinda Gates Foundation to undertake this assignment.

Application form