Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Interim Senior Program Officer, Nutrition Advocacy and Communications in Seattle, Washington

This is an interim backfill role to cover for someone who will be out on parental leave. The duration of the assignment is targeted for 18 months starting in August, however the start and end dates may change.

Internal candidates are required to have a conversation with their manager to confirm support before applying to this position. Managers have the right to decline a request to apply for a backfill assignment, regardless of tenure in role.

Please apply to this posting to indicate your interest in the role, rather than contacting the hiring manager directly.

Group Summary

The over-arching goal of the Program Advocacy & Communications team is to identify and address alliance opportunities to tackle policy constraints, increase visibility, offer compelling evidence, boost political will and bring in new resources in support of foundation programmatic goals.The Program Advocacy & Communications team works in partnership with program teams to achieve their goals by:

  • Leveraging grants and leadership and foundation voice to implement advocacy and communications strategies

  • Developing, managing, convening, and coordinating partnerships with private donors, advocacy organizations, and opinion leaders to promote foundation priorities

  • Building advocacy communities to support foundation priorities

  • Directly engaging with governments and institutional partners to share best practices and evidence.

Position Summary & Responsibilities

The Senior Program Officer (SPO) is a leader in the implementation of these goals, with a specific focus on the foundation’s Nutrition strategy. The SPO will work closely with the full Global Policy and Advocacy team, the Nutrition team and with other program teams in the foundation to continually refine and execute an advocacy and communications strategy, forge new partnerships, and develop grants.

The SPO will play a critical role in managing high impact and complex partnerships, grants, coalitions, and advocacy campaigns. She or he will provide expertise in developing policy and advocacy strategies; drive investment decisions; and engage directly with foundation leadership. The SPO will bring a depth and breadth of experience in and knowledge of donor and developing country governments’ development activities and mechanisms, and technical expertise in evidence based, results oriented advocacy.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Develop, refine, and ensure the execution of the nutrition advocacy and communication strategy in partnership with the PST to generate attention, resources, and policy changes necessary to best achieve the Nutrition PST’s goals

  • Lead the core nutrition advocacy and communications team

  • Engage regularly with Nutrition Director and Nutrition Leadership Team

  • Lead high profile campaigns and events including managing partners and agencies to ensure successful execution

  • Form and sustain key partnerships with individuals and organizations – in the public and private sector and civil society – to drive towards the achievement of key program goals.

  • Ensure the delivery of key communications activities in support of and in partnership with the Nutrition advocacy team and the Nutrition program team.

  • Identify opportunities for the development of new strategic alliances and coalitions to further the objectives of the foundation’s and nutrition strategy.

  • Manage a portfolio of project grants. Partner with grantees to develop project objectives and define key outcomes and milestones, ensuring that appropriate monitoring and evaluation systems and processes are established to produce robust evaluation of outcomes.

  • Write, produce and deliver informative briefings, reports, email updates, and other materials on key nutrition and related issues related to program advocacy for other colleagues, the Nutrition team leadership and foundation leadership.

  • Manage and track the overall nutrition advocacy and communications grant portfolio and its progress

  • Manage 1-2 Nutrition Advocacy and Communications Program Officers

  • Represent the foundation to key program-related external constituencies. This could include both formal and informal presentations such as making speeches, attending conferences and other meetings as necessary.

Reports to: Deputy Director, Program Advocacy and Communications


  • 10-15 years of experience plus an advanced degree in public policy (or equivalent work experience) in international relations, development, communications or a related field preferred, (preferably with a mix of service in either the public or non-profit sectors)

  • Experience in the conception, design and management of advocacy and communications strategies, initiatives and programs

  • Experience working with policymakers and advocates for global and/or country level policy & advocacy, with preference for knowledge of Africa and/or India

  • Experience developing, managing and implementing projects, including partnering with grantees on the definition of objectives and deliverables and monitoring and evaluation of results.

  • Demonstrated understanding of the role of advocacy and communications efforts to increase awareness of health/ development issues and build political/financial support for health and development goals in the developing world with governmental and non-state organizations

  • Experience working with social, digital and media relations, preferably with agency background or variety of in-house roles. Experience managing communication agency contracts also preferred.

  • Ability to work with flexibility, entrepreneurship, and diplomacy both individually and as part of a complex team effort

  • A deep commitment to development issues

  • Ability to travel up to 25% domestically and internationally

  • High standards of personal integrity

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.

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

Guided by the belief that all lives have equal value, the Bill and 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 commitment 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.