Senior Strategy Officer, Foundation Strategy Office
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Location: Seattle, Washington
Type: Full Time
Preferred Education: Masters
Internal Number: 89916365
The Foundation Strategy Office (FSO) is the primary function supporting the creation and evolution of our program level strategies, as well as exploring new paths to impact that align with our mission. This includes supporting the CEO, CFO and Chief Strategy Officer in key accountabilities including strategy development, strategy revision, strategy performance measurement, portfolio management, and special initiatives to accelerate the impact of the foundation.
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.
The Senior Strategy Officer (SSO)will lead critical strategy projects within the foundation (see past examples below), while managing 1-2 associates on the central strategy team. The SSO will help design high quality qualitative and quantitative analyses, elevate key insights, communicate those insights with senior foundation partners, and engage in ongoing project and client management. In addition to these project-based responsibilities, you will support and advise senior foundation leaders on an ongoing basis and act as a leader within the FSO strategy team.
The Senior Strategy Officer will report to the Deputy Director, Strategy. On a project-by-project basis, the SSO may also report to Directors and other Deputy Directors within the FSO team.
Lead strategy development (including multiple complex projects at a time):
Lead scoping and design of overall strategy development and act as day-to-day manager or senior manager of strategy development
Liaise closely with internal clients to co-develop and test strategy concepts, and facilitate change management
Bring a customer-focused skillset of effective communication and relationship management to partner engagement
Support the implementation of creative solutions to guide group processes (e.g., managing conflict and encouraging alignment).
Identify and oversee implementation of research and analytical work to support decision-making, including quantitative analyses
Manage high levels of ambiguity within and across strategy projects:
Provide recommendations to improve overall foundation strategic planning and management process based upon experience supporting teams.
Contribute to and participate in ongoing improvement of the Strategy team including overall vision, brand, staffing composition, operational processes, performance management, etc.
Provide project management, problem-solving support, and initiative leadership on cross-foundational strategy projects
Develop thought leadership in select areas and maintain an executive-level point of view on the foundation’s work
Regularly contribute to team development by contributing in one or more of the following: team vision and goal refinement, professional development, training, recruiting, onboarding, team social events and retreats, etc.
Participate in foundation-wide activities (e.g., learning sessions, all staff meetings, performance reviews)
Representative Project Examples
End-to-end support in scoping, developing, and launching new foundation strategies. Past examples include Global Education and Gender Equality.
End-to-end support to programmatic Directors and their leadership teams as they revise foundation strategies (“strategy refreshes”). Past examples include Malaria, Family Planning, MNCH, Nutrition, Philanthropic Partnerships, K-12 Education, and others.
Spearheading cross-cutting foundation strategy initiatives sponsored by the foundation’s Executive Leadership Team. Examples include:
Developing a strategy taxonomy to enable consistent development and articulation of strategy across program teams
Facilitating cross-team exploration of new technologies (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning) on development topics
Core Knowledge & Skills
We are looking for team members who enjoy working on complex problems and collaboratively crafting strategies that have the potential to transform the lives of people around the world. We seek team players who are excited to work across a diverse set of disciplines and issue areas.
Deep knowledge of strategy development and end-to-end complex project management (including process design, team structure, critical thinking requirements, development of novel communication resources and external/senior partner engagement).
Ability to learn new content quickly, identify connections and second-order implications and demonstrate proficiency with internal/external teams. Strong pattern recognition grounded in relevant domain knowledge.
Demonstrated strength in structured problem solving and strategic business planning, with the ability to easily identify and communicate frameworks to facilitate strategy creation and analyze core issues.
Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to rapidly build trusted advisor relationships with senior leaders.
Strong management experience and demonstrated ability to help accelerate growth of direct reports.
Ability to work in a self-guided manner, manage multiple priorities and work towards demanding timelines.
Ability to question and challenge colleagues including managers and partners in constructive manner.
Accustomed to highly unstructured and ambiguous situations; ability to actively resolve.
Excellent organizational, facilitation, oral, and written communication skills. Ability to work effectively and with sensitivity across barriers such as language, culture, and distance. Excellent listening skills and compassion.
Excellent software skills with Microsoft Office applications, including a demonstrated ability to convey complex information using supporting tables, graphs, and other visual representations.
Ability to travel up to 20% domestically and internationally.
A sense of humor.
Commitment to the foundation’s core values, mission, and programs with an approach that is consistent with the foundation’s guiding principles and holding self to the highest ethical standards.
Education & Experience
A minimum of 7+ years of progressive accountability, ideally with dual experience in leading projects both at a top tier strategy consulting firm and in private sector corporate strategy or product management.
MBA or other advanced degree in a relevant field such as Business, Economics or Sciences preferred but not required.
*The foundation requires a COVID-19 vaccination for in-person business in the United States. Therefore, all U.S. employees are required to present proof of vaccination status upon hire unless they qualify for a medical or religious exemption.
*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: