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  • Job Vacancy at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • Posted on: 18 September, 2015 Deadline: Not Specified
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  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. It was launched in 2000 and is said to be the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world.

    Senior Program Officer


    The Africa Engagement Team within GPA focuses on managing our relations with governments and other key partners in our high priority African countries. The team includes three Country Representatives, based in Ethiopia, South Africa and Nigeria as well as Program Officers based in our country offices and Seattle.

    The Senior Program Officer (SPO) Health, Nigeria will be one of the senior positions within the Africa Team and will be based in Nigeria (after orientation in Seattle). This role will partner with the Integrated Delivery Team and other foundation teams on health issues and also engages in high-level government relations to further foundation programmatic work in Nigeria. They will help lead the foundation's Policy & Advocacy work in Nigeria as well as support and drive the foundation's engagement in Africa. Drawn from the priorities set out by the foundation's program strategy teams, this role is focused on maximizing the health and development outcomes of the foundation in Nigeria.

    Key responsibilities include:
    • Support the development and implementation of the foundation's strategic approach in Nigeria for key health programs and advocacy goals.
    • Collaborate closely with Integrated Delivery on the development and implementation of the Nigeria PHC Systems Strengthening, and other foundation health teams to support and advance strategic goals and cross-cutting efforts.
    • Support foundation teams to accelerate Nigeria's progress on health goals identified by the government and the foundation by facilitating the work of foundation teams active in the health sector.
    • Serve as the main point of contact for the foundation with the technical staff of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and state health agencies, as well as other health focused development partners.
    • Contribute to developing a foundation for the Health Sector Plan for Nigeria. Development of this plan will serve to bring a broad health sector perspective to the foundation's portfolio of investments and identify synergies across existing areas of work and gaps that need to be addressed via foundation support. The development of the foundation Health Sector Plan will be facilitated in part by Nigeria Technical Panel meetings in country (up to two per year) that this role will help to organize in collaboration with Nigeria Working group and Integrated Delivery.
    • Engage with government and donor experts and agencies on health related matters at federal, state and local government levels. Under guidance of the Country Representative, support health sector relationships by meeting with Governors, Ministers, Directors, Ambassadors & heads of international organizations.
    • In collaboration with foundation teams, analyze and evaluate partnership and alliance opportunities in Nigeria to increase visibility on issues on health that we work on, offer compelling evidence, promote policies, boost political will and bring in new resources in support of achieving programmatic goals.
    • Serve as a liaison between relevant foundation program and advocacy staff and the Africa Team.
    • Develop background documents, briefs, and presentations, including carrying out relevant literature reviews, landscape analyses, and data analysis.
    • Organize and prepare for high-level foundation leadership trips to Nigeria.
    • Track current regional and national economic, political, social, and other trends impacting Nigeria and other countries where foundation programs work, and inform appropriate foundation personnel on actions or pending actions that would impact their work.
    • Contribute to foundation-wide global health policy and advocacy priorities, particularly: Vaccine Delivery, Nutrition, Family Planning, Maternal & Newborn Child Health, Integrated Delivery and other health related programs.
    • Help identify key opportunities for the foundation in other African countries within the region.


    • Master's degree or equivalent in a relevant field.
    • 15+ years of international experience including a good understanding of the political landscape in Africa and knowledge of development and other issues, including: governments, multilateral institutions, civil society organizations, the private sector, and health sector.
    • Deep knowledge of Nigeria, especially the health policy sphere, and of how government decisions are made and influenced.
    • Recent significant experience working in Nigeria is required. This should include working closely with grantees, partners, and governments, as well as bilateral and multilateral donors.
    • Deep knowledge of Primary Health Care at both national and state levels and an understanding of health systems strengthening and primary health care in both public and private sectors.
    • At least five years of previous professional work experience within primary health care systems strengthening in Nigeria.
    • Demonstrated experience working in cross-team, cross-unit collaboration programs and proven ability to adapt to the networking and coalition-building demands of a matrixed organization. Ability to influence without authority.
    • Strong interpersonal and influencing skills with proven success engaging with senior level executives, and government officials in Nigeria and on a global scale.
    • Ability to think strategically about the foundation's programmatic work and the intersection of the public and private sectors.
    • Ability to staff and advise senior foundation leadership, being both responsive to their concerns and able to give them clear advice on the best courses of action.
    • Strong public presentation skills and ability to develop and maintain positive and productive relationships with partners.
    • The ability to stay calm and poised under pressure and remain focused in a rapidly changing environment.
    • Demonstrated initiative to solve problems with high energy and a positive attitude.
    • Demonstrated commitment to the foundation's core values, mission, and programs and to serving our grantees.
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills and a demonstrated ability to create persuasive and clear oral and written communications.
    • Fluency in English is required and ability to speak at least one major Nigerian language fluently is strongly desired.
    • Ability to travel within region and to the U.S. at least 35% of the time.

    Reporting Relationship & Location
    This position will report to the Country Representative located in Abuja, Nigeria. The position will also have a "dotted line" with the Deputy Director, Country PHC, Integrated Delivery. The dotted line role will make the position responsible for delivering specific tasks and objectives related to the implementation of the Nigeria PHC Systems Strengthening Strategy.

    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 comprehensive background check.

    Method of Application

    Interested and suitably qualified candidates should visit Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations's Career Page

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