Senior Program Officer, Reproductive Health Technologies
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Location: Seattle, Washington
Type: Full Time
Required Education: High School
Academic / Research
Internal Number: 108551571
Guided by the belief that all lives have equal value, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation staff work hard to reduce inequity. Our vision is to ensure a world where every person has an opportunity to live a healthy, productive life, therefore we strive 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.
We approach these goals by applying science, innovation, collaboration, rigor, optimism, and risk-taking. Based in Seattle, the foundation has a worldwide staff of 1,500 people and is led by CEO Mark Suzman under the direction of Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates, and our board of trustees. We have offices in the United States, Europe, India, China and Africa.
Our Global Health program focuses on health conditions that commonly impact those in low and middle income. 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, biologics, and diagnostics. Our work in infectious diseases, maternal, neonatal and child health, and gender equality are supported by cross-cutting functional teams working across the R&D spectrum, including Discovery & Translational Sciences (the team this role is housed in), Vaccine Development & Surveillance, and Integrated Development.
The mission of Discovery & Translational Sciences (D&TS) is to catalyze innovation for transformative solutions to global health and development inequity. As such, the primary role of D&TS is to support the disease-specific strategy teams by building more practical (affordable, scalable, deliverable) versions of existing tools, developing new tools where none exist, and speeding the translation of scientific discovery into implementable solutions. We are uniquely positioned to invest in high-risk initiatives with potential for truly transformative advancements. Key functions include identifying and filling gaps in scientific knowledge, creating or implementing new technology, fostering of an effective ecosystem of global health innovation, and partnership to advance the foundation's mission Our areas of focus include vaccines, biologics, drugs, microbiome interventions, and reproductive and sexual health.
Our strategy of putting women and girls at the center of development underscores our equity goals. Improved reproductive health is closely linked to other critical global health equity outcomes and is a bedrock for gender equality and women's empowerment.
We are currently recruiting a Senior Program Officer (SPO) to join our Reproductive Health Technologies (RHT) team within D&TS. This team currently focuses on the critical need for innovation in sexual and reproductive health with five core priorities:
Vaginal microbiome interventions for treatment of bacterial vaginosis and risks associated with chronic vaginal dysbiosis, including HIV/STI acquisition and adverse birth outcomes
Prevention of cervical cancer through development of a therapeutic vaccine to clear HPV infection and/or regress HPV-induced dysplasia
Epitope discovery aimed at development of a preventative syphilis vaccine
Discovery and pre-clinical design of novel non-hormonal contraceptives
Understanding and improving menstrual health and hygiene including innovations in material science to develop menstrual health products that better meet the needs of people in low and middle income countries
In addition to playing a role in strategy development, you will be responsible for driving and contributing to the development of a portfolio of innovative product candidates across the breadth of the portfolio. Your passion for solving problems and addressing questions relevant to our mission will contribute to our productive and collaborative culture of innovation driving the translation of basic research into practical health solutions. You will report to the Deputy Director, Reproductive Health Technologies, Discovery & Translational Sciences. The position is based out of Seattle, Washington.
Shape RHT priorities in a collaborative, creative, rigorous, data-driven, and analytical manner by:
Monitoring science and technology relevant to reproductive health discovery to catalyze new opportunities
Contributing and articulating deep technical expertise
Identifying key external partners to enhance implementation of program strategy and tactics
Developing and managing grant and contract portfolios including identification, assessment, and mitigation of portfolio risks
Evaluating milestone-based performance objectives to inform go/no-go decisions
Serving as a partner and resource to grantees to facilitate accomplishment of objectives
Contribute to foundation knowledge capture, evaluation, learning, and dissemination by:
Keeping manager and colleagues informed of progress of grant portfolio
Developing reviews, summaries and informative reports for team, program, and foundation leadership that summarize key activities and synthesize learnings across grant portfolio
Collaborating with teams across the foundation by sharing expertise
Representing the foundation externally and leveraging opportunities to disseminate knowledge by participating in public events, forums, and meetings
Building internal and external networks of experts and collaborators
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
Deep technical research experience in microbial pathogenesis and human immunology with a focus on reproductive biology/physiology
Ability to ask critical questions and forge new directions to design research initiatives that are scientifically rigorous and catalytic to advancing reproductive health
Willingness to explore data that question the prevailing wisdom and ability to identify priority areas that shape strategies, ideas and proposals into successful programs
Strong research, analytical, critical thinking skills as well as the ability to organize and synthesize information
Proactive and flexible nature with reliable follow-through and great attention to detail
Proven ability to partner with others, including 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 complex team effort
Experience working on teams with diverse cultural and professional backgrounds; Experience working in global settings and in networking and collaborating with global partners
Ability to organize/prioritize work, solve problems, and meet deadlines with a positive attitude within a fast-paced environment with multiple and competing demands
Demonstrated ability to build relationships to gain the respect and trust of others
Ability and willingness to travel up to 30% domestically and internationally
Demonstrated passion for the foundation's values with a commitment to deliver results against the foundation's mission and the RHT team goals
Education and Experience
The ideal candidate should have an M.D., PhD, or other relevant terminal degree with deep knowledge, expertise and professional experience in microbial pathogenesis and human immunology with a focus on reproductive biology or physiology.
Minimum 10 years of basic/translational research experience in this field
Exceptionally strong record of scientific achievement as evidenced by publications in peer-reviewed journals, product development, and/or project management
Experience and evidence of innovation in the conception, design, review and management of strategies, initiatives and programs
Experience in establishing and leading collaborative programs of fundamental scientific research linked to microbial pathogenesis and/or human immunology in the academic, Pharma/Biotech, or non-profit sector
Experience in product development is a plus
Global health experience is highly desired
As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.
Depending upon your work location, we may require proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and any recommended booster doses. All employees based in the United States are to provide proof of full vaccination upon hire and any recommended boosters, subject to applicable laws.
If you require assistance due to a disability in the application or recruitment process, please submit a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are 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 our mission 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, and prior protected activity.