Senior program officer - policy & advocacy

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Job Summary

As part of the foundation's Nigeria Policy, Advocacy and Communications team, the primary responsibility of the Senior Program Officer - Policy & Advocacy, is to manage execution of a comprehensive advocacy strategy that will enable the foundation and its partners to achieve our shared programmatic goals in Nigeria.

  • Minimum Qualification: MBA / MSc
  • Experience Level: Senior level
  • Experience Length: 7 years

Job Description

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - 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.

Summary

  • This will be done in close collaboration with Nigeria-based leadership and staff, advocacy partners in the Gates Foundation’s Africa Regional, D.C. and Seattle offices, program teams, and communications colleagues.
  • It will also involve collaboration with a range of external foundation grantees and partners, including-given the Gates Foundation’s work with Nigeria’s government-government officials at both federal and state level.
  • The focus of the foundation’s work in Nigeria is women’s and children’s health and nutrition issues, agricultural development and financial service for the poor.
  • The Senior Program Officer - Policy & Advocacy will report to the Nigeria based Deputy Director for Policy, Advocacy and Communications.

Core Responsibilities

  • With leadership and staff colleagues, develop and implement a Nigeria advocacy strategy that deploys foundation assets (e.g., grants and contracts, leadership voice, convening ability, staff time) in support of the Gates Foundation’s strategy and its programmatic, policy and financing goals.
  • Support the analysis and tracking of key Nigerian political, fiscal and policy-related trends relevant to the foundation’s influence in Nigeria.
  • Work internally with Abuja-based, regional, and global program stakeholders and advocacy colleagues to align strategies, gather information and manage specific projects.
  • Manage a grant portfolio of advocacy investments in Nigeria, including managing existing grants and making and managing future grants that advance foundation goals, under the oversight of the Deputy Director.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with relevant government officials, donors, and civil society to inform the foundation’s engagement in Nigeria at both national and state levels.
  • Together the Deputy Director, work closely with Global Policy and Advocacy (GPA) teams, Program Strategy teams and Communications colleagues to coordinate the foundation’s policy and advocacy priorities in Nigeria, and its overall use of voice.
  • Advise the Nigeria Country Director and Deputy Director as needed on strategies to support and influence the foundation’s political and NGO relationships at federal and state levels.
  • Potentially represent the foundation and the Nigeria program to internal and external constituencies, including both formal and informal presentations, making speeches, attending conferences and other meetings as necessary.

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.

Education and Experience

  • Advanced Degree with 7+ years of related experience, or equivalent experience.

Core Knowledge and Skills:

  • Exceptional knowledge, experience and expertise in policy and advocacy relevant to Nigeria-either directly involving global health and development issues, or in areas that have provided deep and meaningful experience that can be translated to health and development issues.
  • Experience in the conception, design and management of advocacy strategies, initiatives and programs for health, and/or agriculture, and/or financial services for the poor.
  • Experience working with Nigerian policymakers at federal and state-levels strongly preferred, as is knowledge of the Nigerian civil society landscape, and of major donor and multilateral institutions.
  • Ability to translate complex ideas and information into simple messages and strategies.
  • Experience working in Northern Nigeria would be a significant advantage considering a large proportion of the Foundation’s work is in Northern Nigeria.
  • Experience working with international organizations and/or in multiple countries is preferred.
  • Experience or high ability to work in a complex, matrixed environment – requiring cultural awareness, and a collaborative nature that knows the benefits of seeking consensus.
  • Ability to work with flexibility, entrepreneurship, and diplomacy both individually and as part of a complex team effort. A proven ability to effectively manage and adapt within a changing environment.
  • A deep commitment to development issues in Nigeria.
  • Ability to travel up to 25% domestically and internationally.

Note: 

  • 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.

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