Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Interim Communications Officer (Digital & Exhibit Content Writer)

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Job Description

This is an interim backfill role to cover for an employee who will be out on parental leave.  The duration of the assignment is targeted for 9 months starting in August. However, the start and end dates may change. Communications Officer: Digital and Exhibit Content Writer At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation we believe that by creating an environment for our employees to personally and professionally thrive, we will have maximum impact toward our missions to achieve our vision. To learn more about our vision and missions, please visit our website at www.gatesfoundation.org. To learn more about career opportunities at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, please visit our Careers site at www.gatesfoundation.org/careers. Group Summary The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center is located at the global headquarters of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle. It is a free public space (open five days a week) where all are welcomed to experience the vision and work of the Gates Foundation and the individuals and organizations we partner with. The Discovery Center’s interactive exhibits, programs, and digital platforms focus on sharing the stories of the foundation, its partners, and inspiring people to make a difference on a cause they care about. In this space and associated programs visitors discover how the Gates Foundation works with partners to develop innovative solutions that can affect change locally and globally, and how everyone can make a difference on a cause they care about. The Center’s target audience is middle school, high school and Young Adults (19-35) and has several platforms for engaging audiences. They include; permanent exhibits, temporary exhibits, school tours, general tours, engagement activities in the galleries, public programs/events, Youth Ambassador Program, youth workshops, website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels. We work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation regional offices and program staff as well as local partners to collaborate on programs and in-gallery experiences. Our guiding belief is that all individuals have the capacity to create positive change and contribute to improving lives. To that end, our overarching objectives are:
  • Provide opportunities for individuals to experience a progression of engagement from awareness to action.

  • Maximize awareness for building opportunities through diverse experiences and programs that educate, inspire, and motivate audiences.

  • Ensure high quality engagement experiences across all channels – physical and virtual to educate, inspire, and motivate audiences.

  • Our target audience, although not exclusively is middle school, high school and young adults.

Job Description The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center is seeking a content writer to research, develop and write media content for different formats and platforms such as exhibits, audio tours, and interactive media in a variety of engagement platforms. The writer will collaborate closely with the Discovery Center team to build engaging, and interpretive content for visitors, both on-site and online, to support the Discovery Center’s exhibitions, engagement activities, tours, community management and related activities. Assignments typically involve: consulting with communications, curatorial, education, program, and interpretive staff, conducting background research, developing scripts and stories from a variety of materials, and working closely with staff to review drafts and edits. We are looking for a strong conceptual problem solver and an accomplished writer with experience developing effective educational and engaging content for digital and print media. This position is responsible for the production and management of content for digital learning platforms, particularly via the Discovery Center’s website, and other digital platforms. This position will  translate information into compelling public-facing content and will be a vital team member in the growth and engagement of the Center’s online audience. Digital content writing includes the process of planning, crafting, publishing and promoting digital content of all forms. It is a multi-layered process that requires a number of diverse skills to produce digital content that is engaging, and relevant. Primary Responsibilities and Duties
  • Actively participate in Discovery Center meetings and content planning sessions with all Discovery Center staff.

  • Conduct background research on subject areas, produce project documentation including discovery reports and develop content plans.

  • Conduct interviews and write compelling scripts for storytelling experiences.

  • Act as a story lead within projects to provide content with other writers, project managers, and the internal team.

  • Work closely with the Project Manager, creative lead, and technical lead to ensure the content, creative, and media combine for an engaging user experience.

  • Archive final scripts and media into digital assets Management Systems.

  • Work closely with Senior Communications/Public Partnerships staff to create website content with specific attention to educational resources.

  • Work with heads of senior staff of Visitor Engagement and Communications to improve and implement digital content strategy.

  • Coordinate digital exhibition and other digital interpretive material development with Director" id="link" class="link">Deputy Director of the Discovery Center
    • Creating new online interpretive content for the Discovery Center’s website and social media including:

    • Facilitate new content features

    • Assess areas for growth and new audience outreach across Digital Media platforms

    • Coordinate assignments for any external contractors


  • Create engaging, timely and easily accessible content for online audiences.

Experience and Skills
  • At least five years of experience writing, researching, and editing in a Journalism, academic, film, or cultural institution environment.

  • Portfolio of writing samples for museums, news organization, science centers, exhibitions, film, or cultural publications.

  • Experience writing and developing creative content for a variety of media, including audio, video, web, social print, and interactive.

  • Ability to quickly distill and succinctly convey relevant points of information from a variety of resources.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to interact effectively and respectfully with a variety of people within and outside the Center and foundation.

  • Exceptional organizational skills; ability to set priorities and adapt as these priorities shift, handle multiple assignments and deadlines.

  • Strong time Project Management skills, including: the capacity to resolve priorities, a clear view of what is and isn’t practical within the constraints of time and resources, and the ability to anticipate challenges and settle how to best resolve them.

 Knowledge and Education
  • Bachelor’s degree in the liberal arts, English literature, creative writing, education technology, communications, journalism or similar field preferred.

  • Minimum five years of professional-level experience, ideally at a museum, academic institution or similar organization in communications, journalism or informative capacity.

  • Experience in content writing for a variety of audiences and engagement platforms.

  • Proven interest or background in working at museums/cultural institutions.

  • Able to work in a fast-paced environment with proven track record to lead multiple contending tasks and demands

  • Excellent communication skills to reach a variety of audiences and learners.

The employee transfer policy applies to internal backfill positions. An employee may apply for an open position after at least 12 months in their current position. If you meet this requirement and wish to pursue a backfill opportunity, you are required to have a conversation with your manager to confirm their support before you apply. In rare cases, the requirement of a minimum of 12 months in a position may be waived if a transfer is critical to the foundation’s goals and is approved by the current manager and their HR Consultant (HR Business Partner or Generalist). All backfill positions are posted as LTE roles. With current manager support, if selected for the role, FTEs will retain their FTE status during the backfill assignment. Managers will have the option of backfilling for the individual moving to the interim position for a similar duration via the same hiring channels and options as this position. However, current managers may be unwilling or unable to hold headcount for the duration of an interim assignment and may deny the employee’s request. In such cases, the employee may apply for the open LTE position, but if selected, would effectively be resigning as an FTE and would be hired as an LTE for the duration of the interim assignment. As an LTE, employment with the foundation is expected to end at the end of the assignment, and the employee would not be eligible for severance.”

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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