Director, Strategy & Innovation, Seattle, United States 193 views

Application Deadline: March 31, 2021

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 low and middle-income countries, we focus on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, we seek to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.

In 2020, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced the creation of a new Gender Equality (GE) Division to accelerate progress for women and girls globally. The past two years have seen an unprecedented confluence of energy on this issue, and we have a greater understanding than ever before on the centrality of gender to all development outcomes embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Under the leadership of the inaugural President, Anita Zaidi, the Gender Equality Division signals our intent to fully maximize our voice and our co-chairs’ commitment to accelerate impact on gender equality.

Leadership & Culture

Our culture shapes our choices about what we do and how we do it. We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment can do extraordinary things. We expect foundation employees to intentionally and consistently embody our four agreements; show respect, offer trust, be transparent, and create energy.

We expect foundation leadership to demonstrate our leadership principles & management expectations. As a people leader, you are responsible for:

Creating a culture for impact by shaping an environment where your team thrives, and their unique perspectives and identities are valued

Strategy development, refinement, and management to ensure your team goals align with overall foundation strategies

Nurturing people and building great teams by prioritizing collective success, team development, setting expectations and assessing performance

Position Summary

The Director, Strategy, and Innovation (Dir SI) will manage a set of functions and lead a team that provides critical support to the President in developing and optimizing the impact of the Gender Equality Division, through the development and execution of new strategic areas in life sciences and digital technology that improve the health and well-being of women and girls living in low, and low-middle income environments.

In this role, you will have both strategic and programmatic responsibilities, including:

Overseeing the strategy development, refinement, and implementation of science and technology programs for women and girls for the GE division.

Building a robust data integration and strategic insights function.

You will be responsible to develop and translate new areas of strategic exploration from within the President’s Office for key focus initiatives, which will involve direct and indirect management of a dedicated team of individuals as well as cross-divisional and foundation partners. Important to note this team size and structure is expected to evolve over time as the division matures.

Core Responsibilities

Programmaticresponsibilities (75%):

Ensure thorough development of strategies and follow-through on implementation.

Design, develop and own the process for setting, tracking, evaluating, and presenting progress on division priorities.

Incubate new priorities and areas of exploration for the division including the development of key strategic choices, establishment of decision criteria, and the management of investments against these exploratory areas, ensuring rigorous strategy development, measurement, and implementation.

Oversee and ensure outputs of cross-foundation gender data and strategic insights are integrated into the strategic decision-making processes of the division and influence impact of foundation strategies.

Develop and manage direct reports to support the implementation of these programmatic responsibilities; including rapidly expanding and accelerating program development as warranted.

Operational responsibilities (15%):

Translates President’s priorities/division direction into an actionable divisional plan to enhance effectiveness and ensure goals are met.

Define, lead, and optimize annual business processes (e.g., resource, strategy, and portfolio planning) and coordinate divisional outputs for foundation-wide deliverables.

Facilitate cross-division best practice sharing, calibration of strategy, planning and management roles, and a community of practice for staff in strategic and programmatic roles.

Relationship management and advisoryresponsibilities (10%):

Participates in President meetings as required and ensures follow through on President’s requests and feedback.

Proactively engage with peers in other Divisions and in the CEO and Chief Business Operations, offices to ensure streamlined communication and prompt inter-divisional problem solving.

Support, coordinate and ensure clear communications and roles and responsibilities for the division’s business and program partners to deliver impact.

Position reports to: President, Gender Equality

Core Knowledge & Skills

You are a creative, thoughtful, and curious leader who has an excellent track record of achievement in roles of increasing responsibility. You should be prepared to work across a diverse set of disciplines, bridging a wide range of expertise, with a demonstrated ability to work with agility, efficiency, and diplomacy in a dynamic environment. Additionally, we seek:

Excellent people management skills with demonstrated experience in coaching and developing talent.

Demonstrated strength in cultivating trust and relationship management to guide confidential information and situations with flexibility and diplomacy.


business development

digital technology

extreme poverty

global health

life sciences

performance management

science and technology


sustainable development

women and girls

Ability to work well with a varied range of stakeholders to incorporate new information and drive to appropriate decisions with and for the team.

Able to negotiate, persuade, and build coalitions without formal authority.

Comfortable in a wide range of cultural, geographic, and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diverse range of people.

Experience developing, implementing and managing projects and programs.

Must be highly organized and efficient, possess excellent judgment with a demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks, complex issues, and competing priorities with excellent attention to detail.

Fluent in strategy development and implementation, performance management systems of goals, targets, and monitoring process.

Able to frame complex, multi-faceted issues in different ways for different audiences to get to insights and actionable results.

Capable of structuring, scoping, and breaking down complex, multi-stakeholder problems with many dependencies into outputs and work products.

Able to integrate large volumes of quantitative and qualitative information into a succinct and compelling understanding of problems and identification of solutions.

Excellent ability to marshal data and evidence into compelling visualizations, persuasive narratives, and novel insights.

Capable of pattern matching and synthesizing cross-cutting themes across a wide variety of domain areas (e.g., health, economics, organizational dynamics).

Must possess excellent oral and written communication skills to represent the President effectively and accurately to a variety of audiences as well as draft and proof-read written documents.

Ability to navigate a broad range of operational issues with solid experience and understanding of core business/organizational disciplines (e.g., strategy, operations, legal, IT, HR, marketing, finance, planning, and budgeting).

Innovative and forward-thinking approach to all aspects of work.

The highest personal and professional integrity along with an optimistic outlook and a solid sense of humor.

Ability to travel up to 20% of the time as needs dictate; both domestic and international.

Education & Experience

Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Economics, International Development, Public Policy, Business, Science, Medicine, or a combination of equivalent academic training and experience.

Advanced degree and global experience, preferably in Africa and/or Asia highly preferred.

Experience in life sciences strategy and business development is highly preferred

15+ years of experience in roles of expanding scope, responsibility, and demonstrable results. You will bring a combination of experience in strategy development and implementation, business operations, and performance management, as well as deep exposure to global health and science issues in low-resource settings.

Strong preference for individuals with a background combining strategy, business development and implementation in the life sciences or global health is highly preferred.

*Must be able to legally work in the country where this position is located without visa sponsorship.


As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill & 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


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