Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Associate Program Officer (Transformation)

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Job Description

Role Title: Associate Program Officer

Division: U.S. Program Group: Postsecondary Location: Seattle, WA Travel: 25% Posting Close Date:   7/31/20 Program Summary The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success (PS) strategy seeks to transform colleges and universities to ensure that many more students, particularly students of color and low-income students, obtain quality, affordable credentials that offer value and lead to economic mobility. This strategy will assist in meeting the nation’s workforce development needs by working to close attainment gaps by race/ethnicity and income. Team Summary The PS Transformation Team is accountable for a portfolio of investments designed to understand how colleges and universities transform themselves to dramatically improve their performance and eliminate student success gaps and translate that understanding into useful tools, methods, and resources. The Transformation Team works closely with other PS teams on integrated strategies that will help hundreds of colleges accelerate their progress and benefit millions more students by scaling institutional transformation through intermediaries and other partners. Role Summary We are seeking an exceptional candidate for Associate Program Officer to work across the PS strategy and provide strategic support to the Transformation Team in the Design and execution of the team’s work. The position will support the development, execution, and monitoring of grants and contracts in support of the PS strategy; provide Project Management Support and solutions to prioritize and execute the work; serve as a key communications agent internally and externally; and provide convening and other special project support to advance the work of the PS strategy. In addition, this individual will support strategy-wide efforts to mine insights from various sources of evidence of institutional transformation; create or help set up those sources where needed; and translate them into testable tools, methods, and resources to support institutional transformation at scale. While this individual reports to the Director" id="link" class="link">Deputy Director, Institutional Transformation, this skilled collaborator will partner with colleagues within the Transformation Team and across the PS strategy to leverage efforts. Core Responsibilities 
  • Manage a discrete grant portfolio and/or research and Analysis work in support of grant-making, strategy development, measurement and evaluation, donor Coordination, communications, and advocacy.

  • Provide ongoing research, background information, and analytical support for Program Management and to support direction of new and emerging projects in the Transformation Team, including helping draft proposals, scheduling meetings, and writing briefs and literature reviews.

  • Play an active role in the supporting the day-to-day operations of the Transformation Team by helping prepare, organize, lead, and facilitate team meetings and ad hoc working sessions.

  • Participate in meetings, coordinate programmatic input, and write and review briefs to prepare foundation leadership for high-profile events (e.g., Learning trips and speeches).

  • Support and take a lead role in knowledge-sharing within the Transformation Team, PS, and USP.

  • Manage special projects as needed. May manage a small number of grants under the guidance of senior program staff.

  • This role is responsible for high quality interactions and clear and consistent communications with grantees and partners in the field.

  • Acts as subject matter expert on processes, tools, systems and templates and provides training, ongoing coaching and process change support to the Transformation Team and external partners to ensure successful adoption and sustained use. This may include advising on investment structure, ensuring compliance with foundation processes, maintaining internal systems, initial investment due diligence, and timeline management.

Core Knowledge and Skills 
  • Proactivity: resourcefulness, grit and a positive “can do” attitude; acts without being told what to do

  • Analytical and strategic thinking: brings quantitative and qualitative reasoning to all tasks; agile learner

  • Flexibility/ adaptability: ability to work with and adjust to rapidly changing priorities and projects

  • Follow through: follows through on items without being micro-managed

  • Calm under pressure: ability to navigate and handle high priority last minute requests and other high stress situations; ability to work well under high-pressure timelines

  • Communications: draws on analytic and strategic skills in written and oral communications; able to summarize and synthesize complex ideas in a clear manner

Education and Experience 
  • Bachelor’s degree with 5+ years of related experience

  • Previous experience in U.S. higher education required

  • Preferred: Race-conscious design thinking, strategy execution, and/or project management experience

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve—in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs—and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.
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