Our Global Health Program harnesses advances in science and technology to save lives in poor countries. We focus on the health problems that have a major impact in developing countries but get too little attention and funding. Where proven tools exist, we support sustainable ways to improve their delivery. Where they don’t, we invest in research and development of new interventions, such as vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics. Our work in infectious diseases focuses on strategies to fight and prevent HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases, enteric and diarrheal diseases, pneumonia and polio. We support innovative research in Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health and Family Planning. These strategies are supported by functional teams Discovery & Translational Sciences, Vaccine Development & Surveillance, and Integrated Development & Regulatory. The Discovery & Translational Sciences program aims to create and improve preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic interventions that affect mothers, infants, and children. We do this by identifying and filling gaps in scientific knowledge, creating or implementing new technology platforms that can accelerate research in support of our goals, and investing in potentially transformative ideas. This may include: channeling resources into creating more practical (affordable, scalable, deliverable) versions of existing tools and developing transformative new tools where none exist, as well as speeding the translation of scientific discovery into implementable solutions, seeking better ways to evaluate and refine potential interventions before they enter costly and time-consuming late-stage clinical trials. Our areas of focus include vaccines, drugs, maternal & child health, contraception and control of disease-transmitting vectors.
Position Summary & Responsibilities
We are in the search of an exceptionally talented Senior Program Officer (SPO) to join the Therapeutics team, with primary responsibility for contraceptive drug discovery. Development of innovative new contraceptive technology is a growing priority within the Foundation’s Family Planning team, with the ambitious goal of developing a portfolio of transformative, cost-effective contraceptive technologies established to better respond to user needs and preferences, reduce side-effects, and improve continuation and increase adoption. The SPO will work closely with the Therapeutics Deputy Director, other team members and with members of the Family Planning team in Global Development, to shape and execute launch of a new contraceptive drug discovery programs. These programs will identify and evaluate new contraceptives with significantly improved side-effect profiles to existing products. Non-hormonal approaches will be a critical focus of the work. You will have depth and breadth of experience and knowledge in the field of reproductive biology and physiology and preferably demonstrated ability to translate this understanding into the development of product concepts. You will help to create a productive and collaborative culture of innovation and translation of basic research into practical health solutions. Preferences of contraceptive products is diverse for different user-groups within our priority markets. You will work with Family Planning team to understand the needs and preference of individuals in low and middle incomes countries.
Specifically, the SPO will be responsible for the following activities:
Conceptualize, articulate and shape priorities in specific drug discovery areas:
Monitor and track science and technology trends relevant to contraceptive drug discovery with a focus on non-hormonal methods to improve side-effects. Provide analysis of opportunities based on the latest and most innovative thinking in the field and related fields which could be translated into the contraceptive space.
Collaborate with Deputy Director of the Family Planning team in strategic planning and initiation of projects/programs, within the foundation’s overall Family Planning goals and objectives, including understanding critical attributes needed for new contraceptives technologies for low and middle-income countries.
Provide technical expertise for the drug discovery program area and have ability to represent the foundation both internally and externally.
Develop and manage grants and contracts portfolio to meet strategic objectives:
Identify and select partner institutions and shape scope and strategy for selected grants and contracts to meet selected strategic objectives.
Develop strategies and contribute to review of grant proposals and write proposal summaries.
Apply and evaluate milestone-based performance objectives and help to make go/no-go decisions about specific projects and product candidates.
Review interim and final reports; write final evaluation.
Work with product development partnerships and other key external partners to enhance implementation of program strategy and tactics.
Serve as a partner and resource to grantees to facilitate accomplishment of objectives.
Contribute to foundation knowledge capture, evaluation, learning, and dissemination:
Keep manager and colleagues informed of progress of grant portfolio.
Synthesize and document learnings across related grants and contracts.
Develop reviews, summaries and informative reports for team, program and foundation leadership (e.g. Presidents, CEO, Co-Chairs and other foundation leadership) that summarize key activities, progress and issues, around grant portfolio.
Partner with various programs to share learnings and expertise.
Support monitoring and evaluation activities as defined within Therapeutics, the Global Health division and the Foundation.
Represent the foundation and program to the external world related to position responsibilities:
Speak and participate in public events, forums and meetings.
Serve on boards and working groups.
Leverage opportunities to disseminate the knowledge and products developed by grantees to extend their impact.
Represent foundation interests in building networks for the program.
The role will report to the Deputy Director, Discovery Therapeutics, and will work closely with dotted line management with the Deputy Director, Family Planning.
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 & Skills
We are looking for people who enjoy the challenge of working on complex projects, problem solving and collaboratively creating solutions that have the potential for transformational change. We seek an experienced professional with a deep understanding of reproductive biology and familiarity with the principles of drug discovery.
Education and Experience
The ideal candidate should have an M.D., and / or PhD with deep knowledge, expertise and experience in:
Reproductive biology, reproductive physiology or fertility
Minimum 10 years of basic research experience in this above field.
Strong record of scientific achievement as evidenced by publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Coupled with experience in one or more of the following areas preferred:
Strong research, analytical, critical thinking skills as well as the ability to organize and synthesize information are required. Proactive and flexible nature with reliable follow-through and great attention to detail.
Demonstrated outstanding written and oral communication skills in positions requiring communications to a broad and diverse audience on a range of complex technical issues.
Experience in establishing and leading collaborative programs of fundamental scientific research linked to reproductive biology in the Academic, Pharma or Biotech sector.
Product development, preferably gained in the Pharma or Biotech sector.
Experience in women’s health programs preferred
Additionally, you will have:
Experience in a role requiring collaboration as well as a demonstrated ability to work with flexibility, efficiency and diplomacy both individually and as part of a team effort; ability to work in a cooperative and collegial fashion.
Demonstrated ability to successfully assemble, coordinate, and manage inter-group collaborations and partnerships, guiding such programs to meet programmatic and strategic goals. This is particularly important as the role will interface between Global Health and Global Development’s Family Planning team.
Experience in the execution, conduct and/or management of performance-based contracts or cooperative agreements.
Excellent interpersonal and negotiation skills with the ability to solve problems with energy and positive attitude.
Ability to organize/prioritize work and meet deadlines within a fast-paced environment with multiple and competing demands.
Demonstrated ability to lead and build relationships to gain the respect and trust of others.
Solid understanding of the realities and complexities of matrix-based organizations.
Ability and willingness to travel up to 30% domestically and internationally.
A sense of humor.
Demonstrated passion for the foundation’s values with a commitment to deliver results against the foundation’s mission and the contraceptive technology goals
Scope of work will require primary residency in the Seattle, Washington area.
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:
From poverty to health, to education, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation focuses on improving the lives of billions of people worldwide. There are four problem areas the organization focuses on; the Global Development Division, Global Health Division, United States Division, and Global Policy & Advocacy Division. In developing countries the foundation focuses on improving the health and wellness of people as well as helping children and families escape from extreme hunger and poverty. In the United States, the foundation focuses on low-income families and makes sure that everyone has opportunities to receive an education that will help them succeed. The foundation works with numerous organizations around the world to tackle critical problems and addresses challenging inequalities. The headquarters of this organization is based in Seattle, Washington, one of the most proactive global health and non-profit cities in the world.