Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Interim Program Officer (Development Policy & Finance)

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 September/October. However, the start and end dates may change. Role Title: Interim Program Officer, Development Policy & Finance Division: Global Policy & Advocacy Group: Development Policy & Finance Location: Washington, D.C. or Seattle, Washington preferred Group Summary The Development Policy & Finance team (DPAF) is the foundation’s focal point for the worlds of development economics and finance: we are accountable for bringing trends and opportunities in to shape foundation work, and accountable for carrying foundation perspectives out to shape the broader context of Development Finance priorities in service of our goals. The team is responsible for executing on a range of issues and interventions to effect change at the global, regional, and country level. DPAF sits within the Global Policy & Advocacy division and works together with Gates Foundation programs to ensure global resources are raised and spent effectively to support the needs of the world’s poorest people.  DPAF aims to be a hub for creative Analysis and ideas to modernize aid and multilateral development Banking, and to support developing countries to raise and spend their own resources effectively to achieve their human development goals.  The team uses a combination of grant making, direct advocacy and partnership to achieve its goals. 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. Position Summary The Development Policy & Finance team has an opening for a Program Officer (PO), on our Country Finance team, which works to improve public finances in developing countries.  The program officer will have the ability to both situate public finance within the broader macro-fiscal context and the challenges faced by Finance Ministries / budget authorities, while also recognizing some of the specific concerns and interests of the foundation’s program teams – such as those passionate about health, Agriculture, or digital financial services. This position brings together three complementary needs: analytic and technical capacity to supervise and make significant use of global/country-level data and trends in development finance and fiscal policy; positive relationship leadership skills to work alongside foundation program teams and our external partners to improve our impact; and innovation in handling grants to help craft the field. We are currently looking for an PO with expertise, network and passion to advance practice in one and preferably more of the following areas:
  • Public finance, budget analysis and advocacy in developing countries, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa, especially macro-fiscal issues including revenue prospects, debt, Capital Markets development, and other salient issues related to fiscal space and public finance;

  • Applied economic policy analysis supporting foundation sector work, connecting the foundation’s micro work (in health, Agricultural Productivity, financial inclusion, sanitation) to macro policy and economic growth questions;

  • Evidence to policy and implementation in developing countries

This position will also work closely with our Africa and India government relations teams to cultivate and lead critical in-country relationships (Ministries of Finance, Planning, in-country influencers, etc.) as well as with our program strategy teams in Seattle to collaborate on how DPAF and its portfolio can contribute to overall foundation goals. Core Responsibilities
  • Manage a portfolio of grants to advance knowledge, test policy solutions and implement new practice in the areas described above

  • Serve as the internal subject matter specialist on the areas above, and collaborate with teams across the foundation on technical and operational intersections to advance program work

  • Produce research summaries and Data Analysis (in short papers and presentations) for foundation staff and external use, responding to development policy & finance data and trends, new research and political / economic developments.

  • Assist with the Administration of a portfolio of grants covering international development finance trends, multilateral development banking, domestic resource mobilization, and public financial management.  The work will include supporting grantees through managing monitoring and evaluation components, running internal processes, linking grantee research to advocacy opportunities, and supervising portfolio progress.

  • Serve as a resource for relevant teams across the foundation to ensure Coordination and alignment of our global, regional and country specific work. This will include representing DPAF at relevant country and thematic working groups and task teams, as well as ensuring that our work is relevant and useful for other teams at the Foundation including advocacy and government relations teams.

  • Advise grantees to achieve desired impact of grants; conducting site visits, providing technical mentorship, convening meetings, and applying and evaluating milestone-based performance objectives

  • Prepare and write briefs synthesizing current practice and knowledge and/or recommending course of action on key topics of relevance to foundation; continue to learn and maintain a comprehensive understanding of the trends and drivers of areas above

  • Participate in meetings, coordinate programmatic input and write and review briefs to prepare Foundation Leadership for high-profile events.

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

This position is based in Washington, D.C. Position Reports to: Deputy Director, Country Finance; Development Policy & Finance Core Knowledge and Skills Our ideal candidates will combine technical knowledge, political savvy, creativity, excellent project management and a good dose of self-motivation.  They may have:
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and implement exceptionally, translating research and ideas to ‘fundable’ proposals, advocacy and action

  • Flexible demeanor interested in connecting multiple disparate fields, adaptable to different contexts and audiences, and stimulated by that variety

  • Positive relationships with relevant authorities and policymakers around the world, including direct policy work with governments in Africa or South Asia

  • A sense of humor and a “campaign mentality” i.e. no job too big, small or hard

  • Demonstrated critical and creative thinking, and excellent writing and public presentation skills – all on sophisticated and deeply technical topics

  • Proven ability to move significant issues successfully across large institutions, various levels of staff and different cultural contexts

  • Proven ability as a great teammate defined as someone who shares ideas generously, adjusts flexibly to changes in context, and is motivated to act with some urgency

  • Ability to travel up to 1/3 time domestically and internationally

Education and Experience
  • Master’s degree in economics, finance, public policy, development, or a related field preferred.

  • 5+ years of experience in development policy, ideally with relevant exposure to country/field work.

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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