Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Senior Communications Officer

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Job Description


Role Title: Senior Communications Officer (LTE)

Division: Global Policy & Advocacy

Group: External Communications Team

Location: Seattle

Term: 18-Month LTE

Travel 10-25% (after travel restrictions are lifted)

Application Deadline: 6/21/20

Group Summary

The External Communications team helps advance the foundation’s global advocacy priorities through strategic communications while strengthening and protecting the foundation’s reputation. The team is responsible for driving the foundation’s overarching communications strategy through targeted issue-specific and cross-cutting campaigns designed to reach and engage influencers and select segments of the engaged public. We oversee editorial planning and develop strategies to optimize leadership voice, brand, and creative content through the foundation’s owned channels and earned media.

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 Senior Communication Officer (SCO) will be a key member of the foundation’s PowerOf initiative, led by the Philanthropic Partnerships Team (PPT), to increase the quantity and quality of the giving in response to COVID-19. They will bring a critical perspective to the project team, which consists of philanthropy sector specialists and platform developers. The SCO will serve as a project workstream lead, as part of the External Communications team, developing the PowerOf public comms and campaign strategy, branding, channel plan, and measurement reporting and framework. They will work with a Sr Digital Project Manager on the External Communications team and the agencies hired to support PowerOf to coordinate timelines and dependencies for implementing the campaign strategy – ensuring it delivers on the strategy as well as aligns with the foundation’s overall COVID-19 messaging.  In addition to the PowerOf work this SCO will work on a limited set of other projects and campaigns as part of the External Communications team.

Core Responsibilities

Working with the PPT team the SCO will:

  •  Oversee the ongoing development of visual identity, branding, messaging etc. for use across all digital properties (owned and paid) and offline placements where needed – and ensuring reviews with the other members of the External Communications team are completed as needed.

  • Develop communications and campaign strategy for public campaign. This strategy should be based on audience and sector insights and would be developed in close collaboration with the Measurement and Insights team and the North America Team.

  • Outline channel and content strategy as well as the related editorial calendar for this initiative in close coordination with their External Comms colleagues and co-chair comms teams
    • The strategy would consider how to best leverage owned, paid, earned and both co-chair and foundation voice.

    • The strategy should also consider how the campaign and the foundation brand and reputation impact one another.

    • This includes building an Editorial Calendar specific to the PPT project but integrated with the larger foundation Editorial Calendar

  • Develop creative briefs as required, brief the agencies and act as their primary point of contact, manage content creation and execution. Ensure the work is on brand, on strategy and reviewed by the correct internal and partner stakeholders.

  • Develop paid media strategy and plan including audience segmentation, media spend, KPIs and learning plan. Manage media agency partner(s), working in close concert with External Comms on audience segmentation to avoid driving up bidding on shared audiences, etc.

  • Develop overarching campaign learning agenda and KPIs in partnership with Measurement and Insights team.

  • Working with External Comms Sr Digital PM focused on this work, ensure successful internal stakeholder integration and management throughout the process.

Core Knowledge and Skills

  • Proven ability to lead and collaborate in a constructive manner and to build and sustain cross-functional relationships.

  • Understanding of current digital media / social platform landscape and related user behavior and/or audiences

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, able to effectively synthesize information to reach diverse audiences and build consensus.

  • Knowledge of the non-profit sector and successful campaigns (previous experience with the foundation is preferred but not required)

Education and Experience

  • Advanced degree with 7+ years of experience, or equivalent experience

  • Experience launching campaigns that leverage paid and earned, digital and traditional channels.

  • Website development experience is also preferred but not required.

*Must be able to legally work in the country where this position is located without visa sponsorship.


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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