Senior Program Officer, Development Banking Solutions at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

30 November, 2017

Team Summary

Development Policy & Finance (DPAF) is the Gates Foundation’s international and Domestic economic policy team. It supports ideas and innovations in economic policymaking-at the global and national levels-to advance human development and address extreme poverty. DPAF conducts and funds research and policy innovation, and also supports ideas in action.

Position Summary & Responsibilities

The Senior Program Officer, Development Banking Solutions (SPO-DBS) is a key member of the Development Policy & Finance team (DPAF) and serves as a foundation leader on development financing products and mechanisms to maximize the impact of the foundation in priority areas and geographies.

The main drivers of the SPO-DBS work are to: (i) support program teams in the design and implementation of financing strategies that maximize the capacity of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to scale-up priority interventions; (ii) collaborate with program and functional teams in the design and execution of specific transactions and co-financing programs in partnership with IFIs, with a focus on Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs); (iii) provide support and advice to partner IFIs on how to best allocate their resources on Foundation priority areas and geographies, with an emphasis on impact.

Reporting to the Deputy Director, International Development Finance, and as part a project-driven structure that prioritizes the exchange of ideas and collaboration between design and execution, the SPO-DBS will:

  • Serve as the foundation’s in-house expert on International Financial Institutions, becoming a trusted advisor to co-chairs and colleagues across the organization;
  • Be up to date on the state of the art thinking on development financing instruments, for sectors and areas of priority for the foundation such as health, water and sanitation, financial inclusion and agriculture;
  • Write policy briefs and talking points to engage foundation leadership on our issues, convene working groups, manage projects, and other;
  • Deepen the foundation’s understanding of development finance mechanisms, instruments and players and further develop our program investment strategies and advocacy plans in selected areas;
  • Manage strategic relationships with relevant counterparts at IFIs, in particular MDBs;
  • If relevant, develop and manage a portfolio of grants designed to deliver on strategy; and
  • Contribute to strategy development and overall priorities for the DPAF team and wider Global Policy and Advocacy (GPA) division.

This position works closely with the foundation’s program and functional teams to advance our strategic priorities.

This role may manage people and thus, be responsible for hiring the talent needed to achieve our goals, ensuring successful employee onboarding, communicating performance expectations, and creating goal alignment.


The SPO-DBS combines the technical knowledge of a policy analyst, the operational skills of an experienced project manager, and a good dose of entrepreneurship. Some proxy indicators are:

  • Advanced academic or professional degree in finance, economics, or a related field.
  • A minimum of 12 years of experience in global development finance issues, ideally rotating across various sub-specialties/sectors and in a mix of technical and advisory/policy roles (exposure to foundation priority sectors including health, financial inclusion water and sanitation and/or agriculture a plus).
  • Deep knowledge of the global development architecture, including Bretton Woods Institutions, Regional Development Banks, Bilateral Development Agencies/Banks, Vertical Funds, and major Sovereign and Pension Funds.
  • First-hand experience in structuring complex financial deals involving a variety of public and private partners in developing countries.
  • Proven experience working with or at multilateral financial institutions, in particular multilateral development banks (experience in investment banking and/or working in a hedge/sovereign wealth fund a plus).
  • Expert analytic capacity to understand - and take advantage of - state of the art innovations in development finance products and solutions for scaling-up private and public sector investments in Foundation priority areas.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and execute exceptionally, going from problem identification to ‘fundable’ ideas, advocacy and action.
  • Mindset and functional skills of a jack-of-all trades, adaptable to different contexts and audiences, and stimulated by that variety.
  • Ability to travel up to 30% domestically and internationally.
  • Capacity to present ideas in a crisp and clear way to different internal and external audiences.
  • Good command of a UN official language other than English (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, or Spanish) preferred.

*Please note this is an 18-month limited term employment position with the possibility of extending to another 18-month period.

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.

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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