Interim Senior Program Officer, Program Advocacy And Communications, Financial Services For The Poor

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Washington , DC 20319

Posted 3 weeks ago

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 January. However, the start and end dates may change.

Role Title: Senior Program Officer, Program Advocacy and Communications, Financial Services for the Poor

Division: Global Policy & Advocacy (GPA)

Group: Program Advocacy and Communication (PAC)

Location: Seattle or Washington, DC

Duration: 9 months; ideally starting in January 2020

Foundation Summary

Guided by the belief that all lives have equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pride ourselves in being 'impatient optimists' whose purpose is to work to reduce inequity. Our vision is to ensure a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. We have four missions to:

  • 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; and

  • Inspire people to take action to change the world.

Key to enabling these missions is our dedication to science and innovation, collaboration and partnership, measurement and rigor, as well as optimism and risk taking. Based in Seattle, the foundation has a worldwide staff of 1,500 people and is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. We have offices in the United States, Europe, India, China and Africa. To learn more about job opportunities at the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, please visit our Careers site at

Team Summary:
Program Advocacy & Communications

The Program Advocacy and Communications (PAC) team works in partnership with program teams and other teams in Global Policy and Advocacy (GPA) to achieve their policy and finance goals by:

  • Developing and coordinating the execution of advocacy and communications strategies

  • Leveraging leadership and foundation voice to implement advocacy strategies

  • Developing and managing a grant portfolio dedicated to achieving advocacy outcomes

  • Directly advocating with sector leaders, influencers, media and government officials in order to achieve advocacy outcomes

  • Leading issue-specific communications in service of advocacy goals

  • Developing policy recommendations or proposals in partnership with programmatic and regional offices

Team Summary:
Financial Services for the Poor

The SPO will sit on the PAC team and advance the PAC strategy for the Financial Services for the Poor (FSP) team. FSP is focused on helping people in the world's poorest regions improve their lives and build sustainable futures by connecting them with digitally-based financial tools and services. In the past seven years, 700 million people worldwide have gained access to bank and mobile money accounts. This revolution in financial inclusion has the potential to offer a pathway out of poverty for millions of people, and to spur inclusive economic growth. FSP focuses its effort on:

  • Developing and promoting the adoption of an enabling policy and regulatory environment for digital financial services

  • Developing and advancing the implementation of open and inclusive digital payments systems

  • Advancing the role of new technologies to improve usage of digital financial services

  • Reducing the gender gap in financial inclusion

FSP works at the global level through partners such as the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, the Center for Global Development, the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, Innovation for Poverty Action, and UN Agencies such as the UN Capital Development Fund (including the Better than Cash Alliance) and the UN Secretary General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. In addition to these global efforts, FSP also works in eight focus countries (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda) to scale implementation of digital financial services.

Position Summary

Global efforts to expand digital financial inclusion hinge on whether governments, donors, and commercial providers adopt evidence-based interventions which have been proven to expand the poor's access to digital financial tools. The PAC-FSP SPO will advance FSP's efforts to accelerate adoption of evidence-based interventions among these partner groups. (S)he will advance this objective by: clearly articulating how digital financial inclusion can benefit governments, the private sector and, most importantly, poor households; clearly articulating the policies, regulations, and infrastructure investments required to catalyze digital financial inclusion; influencing policymaker decision-making by elevating these solutions in global and national dialogues; understanding and shaping international financing channels for digital financial inclusion; and building the evidence-base to facilitate sound decision-making. This role will report to the Deputy Director for FSP's Policy, Global Scale, and Research initiative, and will work closely with the broader FSP team and with PAC strategy leads from across the foundation. This is a limited term position, with an expected duration of 9-months with ideal start in Jan 2020.

Core Responsibilities

  • Together with the Deputy Director and other members of the PAC-FSP team, develop, implement, and refine FSP's advocacy and communications strategies

  • Partner with the GPA PAC team, FSP program teams, and other GPA divisions to identify alignments and potential opportunities for FSP advocacy and communications using the foundation's voice and platforms

  • Negotiate, implement, and manage advocacy portfolio of investments

  • Provide clear, concise and insightful written analyses and recommendations for investments

  • Conceptualize and manage high impact and complex partnerships, coalitions, and advocacy campaigns

  • Represent the foundation to external constituencies. This could include formal and informal presentations, attending conferences, sitting on working groups, and holding board seats

  • Write and produce briefings, reports, email updates, and other materials on key global FSP policy and funding and other relevant issues for foundation leadership

  • Serve as a point of contact on FSP policy advocacy-related issues for internal and external partners, working within the complex matrix-style organization across GPA and FSP

Leadership and Culture

We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment in which they thrive, will do phenomenal things.

Core Knowledge and Skills

We are looking for a recognized global professional with deep sector, advocacy and communications expertise. Additional knowledge and skills include:

  • Understanding of the key issues driving the growth of financial inclusion, as well as barriers for funding alignment.

  • Understanding of supply side and demand side barriers and opportunities for women's financial inclusion and economic empowerment.

  • Understanding of risks and opportunities taxation policy and tax administration and digital payments and digital ID.

  • Experience developing and implementing advocacy and communications strategies to influence policymakers, NGOs and other external partners, including personal interactions with senior policy makers, civil society organizations, coalitions, governments, the media and other key external constituencies, especially in Africa.

  • Understanding of the role of the US government in advancing global financial inclusion.

  • Understanding of how investments in shared payment and identity infrastructure can drive access to digital financial services.

  • Understanding of the critical policy and regulatory enablers for digital financial inclusion, including the licensing requirements, KYC policies, and agent regulations which encourage DFS innovation and competition while also protecting consumers and the financial system.

  • Excellent strategic thinker and strategy development experience.

  • Demonstrated ability to organize/prioritize work and meet deadlines within a fast-paced environment with multiple and contending demands.

  • Innovative thinker who is hands-on and willing to go as deep or broad as necessary to achieve outcomes.

  • Demonstrated ability to question and challenge colleagues, including managers, in a constructive manner.

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

  • A deep commitment to development issues.

  • Ability to travel up to 30% domestically and internationally.

  • High standards of personal integrity.

Education and Experience

Advanced degree preferred in public policy, business, international relations, development or a related field with 15+ years leading teams and advocacy initiatives in financial inclusion or development (preferably with a mix of service in either the public or non-profit sectors).

Reports to: Deputy Director, FSP, Policy, Global Scale, and Research

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 servein race, gender, age, cultures and beliefsand we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.

All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve the mission of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to:

  • Race

  • Color

  • Age

  • Religion

  • Pregnancy

  • Sex

  • Sexual Orientation

  • Disability

  • Gender Identity

  • Gender Expression

  • National Origin

  • Genetic Information

  • Veteran Status

  • Marital Status

  • Prior Protected Activity

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Interim Senior Program Officer, Program Advocacy And Communications, Financial Services For The Poor

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation