Our Client Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, the foundation 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.
The Foundation’s programs focus on areas with the potential for high-impact, sustainable solutions that can reach hundreds of millions of people. Rather than look at the challenges that people face by region, the Foundation identifies challenges that can be tackled on a global level. They identify and work with partners that can help to affect change globally, and then scale solutions to a local level.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works with partner organizations worldwide to tackle critical problems in four program areas. The Global Development Program works to help the world’s poorest people lift themselves out of hunger and poverty. The Global Health Program aims to harness advances in science and technology to save lives in developing countries. The United States Program works to improve U.S. high school and postsecondary education and support vulnerable children and families in Washington State. And the Global Policy & Advocacy Program seeks to build strategic relationships and promote policies that will help advance our work. Lastly, the Global Growth and Opportunity program works to catalyze sustainable transformative change in the face of inequities and market failures, to realize the potential of untapped markets, and to see the economic and social benefits of including everyone. The Foundation’s approach to grantmaking in all five areas emphasizes collaboration, innovation, risk-taking, and, most importantly, results.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization headquartered in Seattle, Washington with additional offices in Washington, DC; New Delhi, India; Beijing, China; London, UK; Berlin, German; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Abuja, Nigeria; and Johannesburg, South Africa. The Foundation has a staff of 1,541 and an endowment of $50.7B. In 2017, it made grants totaling approximately $4.7 billion, making it the largest, private philanthropic foundation in the world.
The Role At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Human Resources function and Global Facilities, Events and Travel function have recently come together to form People and Place. The purpose of People and Place is to create an environment that unleashes the potential in people to accelerate our missions. The Foundation activates people and place global solutions in service of the belief that all lives have equal value. We do this by integrating our work to maximize our support of the programmatic, mission-driven work of the foundation. The People and Place organization touches every foundation employee every day and plays a critical role in creating and delivering a positive employee experience. A significant part of this experience relates to the Foundation’s core vision for DEI: Energized people, collaborating across diverse networks, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive and empowering environment, will achieve audacious goals.
The Foundation’s DEI strategy is built on the belief that Representation + Belonging = Innovation. Breakthrough innovation requires diverse backgrounds and perspectives in a climate where everyone can contribute ideas, take risks, and ask challenging questions. The Foundation has made progress but knows there is more work to do to increase representation and a climate of belonging, especially as experienced by women and colleagues of color.
As it continues to expand its staff in countries across the globe where it is investing for impact, the Foundation’s DEI work is becoming more complex, challenging, and exciting. The Foundation is seeking a senior DEI leader who can champion this work across the organization and weave this important programmatic work into its global grantmaking divisions, its operational components, and its executive leadership team’s work. The Head of DEI will build a workplace that: represents a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences; enacts fair policies, processes, and practices; and fosters a climate of belonging and psychological safety.
Specific responsibilities include:
Strategy Development: Developing a comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan that addresses the fulfillment of the organization’s mission and guiding principle that all lives have equal value, as well as the workforce strategy of creating an inclusive climate to harness the power of diversity to achieve this mission through innovative solutions.
Implementation: Implementing the foundation’s approved vision and strategic direction for diversity, equity and inclusion globally and validating and operationalizing the long-term roadmap of initiatives that will develop a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture. Integrating diversity, equity and inclusion into the programmatic work of the Foundation.
Change Management: Develop business priorities that provide opportunities to build diversity and inclusive practices into the fabric of the organization’s operations; advocating for data driven imperatives for change; partnering closely with Foundation leaders to implement DEI and culture priorities.
Team Leadership: This leader will report to the Chief Human Resource Officer and will build, develop, and lead a team of DEI subject matter experts to implement programs to develop inclusive leaders, create an inclusive climate, and design equitable talent management structures and processes including:
Measurement: Ensuring DEI metrics are included in Foundation’s leadership balanced scorecard; utilizing a data-oriented approach to drive decisions and measure success; developing a measurement strategy to monitor and drive success and hold Operating Companies accountable for expected results.
Best Practices: Innovating DEI practices; building on best practices and emerging workforce trends; identifying external trends and benchmarks that inform and complement internal workforce goals and employee engagement; bringing new ideas to the initiatives.
Talent Management: Driving diverse talent identification and retention strategies for global employee population; partnering with Talent Acquisition to implement effective diversity recruiting strategies at all levels; supporting annual diversity goal setting with Talent Management and assess equity talent management systems.
Employee Resource Groups: On behalf of the Foundation, sponsoring Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to provide an engine for positively impacting the foundation through effective leadership, engagement, programming, and management; developing and building programs that create a common language around diversity and inclusion and facilitate dialogue amongst a diverse employee population to bring their authentic selves to work.
Culture: Driving the strategy and engagement plan for DEI in alignment with People and Place goals and culture initiatives; creating and executing communications and change management strategies, including driving a strategy for compulsory training for all relevant staff in international cultural competence and diplomatic protocol, as well as an external plan supporting key stakeholder relationships and talent pipeline building.
Partnerships: Representing the Foundation’s DEI program external partners to promote capacity-building in DEI practices; identifying and managing relationships with external partners and key diversity organizations; developing and executing a plan to represent the organization at conferences, industry events, etc. to promote the organization as a diversity employer of choice.
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.
Candidate Profile The successful candidate will build a workplace that: represents a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences; enacts fair policies, processes, and practices; and fosters a climate of belonging and psychological safety. The Head of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will: implement the Foundation’s approved vision and strategic direction for diversity and inclusion globally; validate and operationalize the long-term roadmap of initiatives that will develop a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture; develop business priorities that provide opportunities to build diversity and inclusive practices into the fabric of the organization’s operations. Advocates for data-driven imperatives for change. Represents the foundation’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) program to internal and external partners to promote capacity building in DEI practices.
The Head of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion must be not only passionate and forward-looking about diversity and inclusion, but also able to galvanize others into action around building more diverse and inclusive communities. This person will have a track record of institutional change, demonstrating skills in developing vision and strategies that inspire others, and applying effective techniques to achieve meaningful impact. The successful candidate will possess the clear ability to be forward thinking, tenacious, and persistent in working toward shared goals, and continually see around the corners to anticipate opportunities. This individual should have a history of driving innovation, finding new solutions that lead to tangible results, and have demonstrated great agility in responding to both opportunities and challenges along the way. This person will be comfortable with the many dimensions of identity, with a fundamental inclination to listen with compassion to all perspectives and experiences.
The ideal candidate will have a wealth of experience and track record of impact in advancing both diversity and inclusion in complex communities and/or organizations. This individual should have demonstrated success in facilitating effective partnerships with and between constituencies. This individual must be a convener and community builder, with the ability to achieve results through influence, intellect, and persuasion. This person will have exceptional communication skills, both verbally and in writing. The successful candidate will be known for partnering well in complex environments and should understand that an essential component of this leadership role includes productive collaboration with the state legislature, community-based organizations, and other external entities.
The Head of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will have demonstrated an ability to utilize data and analytics as important tools in measuring success. This individual must be able to approach challenges with systems-level thinking to work toward institutional change rather than individual remedies. This individual must bring a strong understanding of budget issues and be able to think creatively about resource allocation. The successful candidate must be a truly flexible leader who can serve in many different capacities as part of a diverse team.
In terms of the experience and personal competencies required for the position, we would highlight the following:
Critical thinking and the process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information from multiple sources and perspectives to reach an answer or conclusion.
Systems thinking to understands the formal and informal intersections and interdependencies to be able to frame the problem, evaluate issues, see downstream affects, and identify future implications across the end-to-end system to help prioritize solutions.
An entrepreneurial and forward-looking approach to developing new, innovative ideas that will stretch the Foundation in advancing inclusion, diversity, and community engagement.
The ability to seek and analyze data from a variety of sources to inform and support decisions and to align others with the organization's overall strategy.
The ability to effectively balance the desire/need for broad change with an understanding of how much change the organization is capable of handling to create realistic goals and implementation plans that are achievable and successful.
The ability to set forward strategic plans for resource allocation.
Forward thinking and courageous in strategic vision—willing to experiment and be, exceptionally agile.
Executing for Results
Excel at delivering and continuously improving our global solutions in a seamless, consistent way that results in clients understanding changes and more effectively driving foundation impact.
Using data to drive decision making, determine the work to be done, assess changes, adapt plans, measure progress, and follow-through on getting the work done in service of the desired client experience outcome(s).
The ability to set clear and challenging goals while committing the organization to improved performance; tenacious and accountable in driving results.
Comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty; the ability to adapt nimbly and lead others through complex situations.
An inquisitive thinker who seeks data and input from others to foresee possible threats of unintended circumstances from decisions.
A leader who is viewed by others as having a high degree of integrity and forethought in approach to making decisions; the ability to act in a transparent and consistent manner while always considering what is best for the organization.
Build, lead and develop high performing teams.
Models provision of constructive feedback with teams and senior leadership.
Integrates across sub-functions.
Prioritizes across competing priorities.
The ability to attract and recruit top talent, motivate the team, delegate effectively, and manage performance; widely viewed as a strong developer of others.
The ability to persevere in the face of challenges and exhibit a steadfast resolve and relentless commitment to higher standards, which commands respect from followers.
A leader who is self-reflective and aware of his/her own limitations; leads by example and drives the organization's performance with an attitude of continuous improvement by being open to feedback and self-improvement.
Relationships and Influence
A collaborative style to work with others openly and transparently to create an environment where diverse viewpoints are valued, and information is shared with others for the purposes of achieving a shared client experience goal.
Excellent verbal, presentation, and written communication skills; confident in speaking to large groups of people, personable in small group settings, and a skilled facilitator.
Well-honed influencing skills that will enable this individual to persuade minds, engage in difficult and deeply personal dialogue with empathy, and handle conflict with grace and humility.
Confident and comfortable working in a collaborative environment.
Highly relational and empathetic; naturally connects and builds strong relationships with others, demonstrating strong emotional intelligence and an ability to communicate clearly and persuasively.
An ability to inspire trust and followership.
The ability to persevere in the face of challenges and exhibit a steadfast resolve and relentless commitment to higher standards, which commands respect from followers.
Deep personal commitment to the value of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Learning agility: ability, curiosity, and willingness to learn from experiences and failures to adapt and adopt new ways of being and thinking to further the impact of the Foundation (e.g., take risks, challenge status quo, be open).
Creative thinker: does not come with a set playbook on how things are done; sees opportunity in unconventional approaches.
Comfortable in a variety of circumstances; does not shy away from difficult topics or conversations.
Typical education: Bachelor’s degree in related field preferred but not required; Master’s degree or PhD in related field preferred but not required
Typical experience: Advanced degree with 15+ years of experience, or equivalent experience preferred
Required certifications: SPHR preferred, or relevant functional certifications
Location: this role is Seattle based
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is partnering with Russell Reynolds Associates to search for a talented Head of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion who will be an important part of the leadership team in People & Place. Qualified candidates wishing to be considered for this role should contact Trevor Hooper email@example.com or 415.352.3300.
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.