Senior Program Officer, Program Advocacy and Communications, Financial Services for the Poor at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

28 July, 2018





Senior Program Officer, Program Advocacy and Communications, Financial Services for the Poor

Team Summary: Program Advocacy & Communications

The Program Advocacy and Communications (PAC) team works in partnership with program teams and other teams in Global Policy and Advocacy (GPA) to achieve their policy and finance goals by:

  • Developing and coordinating the execution of advocacy and communications strategies
  • Leveraging leadership and foundation voice to implement advocacy strategies
  • Developing and managing a grant portfolio dedicated to achieving advocacy outcomes
  • Directly advocating with sector leaders, influencers, media and government officials in order to achieve advocacy outcomes
  • Leading issue-specific communications in service of advocacy goals
  • Developing policy recommendations or proposals in partnership with programmatic and regional offices

Team Summary: Financial Services for the Poor

The SPO will sit on the PAC team and serve as the PAC strategy lead for the Financial Services for the Poor (FSP) team. FSP is focused on helping people in the world’s poorest regions improve their lives and build sustainable futures by connecting them with digitally-based financial tools and services. In the past seven years, 700 million people worldwide have gained access to bank and mobile money accounts. This revolution in financial inclusion has the potential to offer a pathway out of poverty for millions of people, and to spur inclusive economic growth. FSP focuses its effort on:

  • Developing and promoting the adoption of an enabling policy and regulatory environment for digital financial services
  • Developing and advancing the implementation of open and inclusive digital payments systems
  • Advancing the role of emerging technologies to improve usage of digital financial services
  • Reducing the gender gap in financial inclusion

FSP works at the global level through partners such as the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, the Center for Global Development, the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, Innovation for Poverty Action, and UN Agencies such as the UN Capital Development Fund (including the Better than Cash Alliance) and the UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.  In addition to these global efforts, FSP also works in eight focus countries (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda) to scale implementation of digital financial services. 

Position Summary

Global efforts to expand digital financial inclusion hinge on whether governments, donors, and commercial providers adopt evidence-based interventions which have been proven to expand the poor’s access to digital financial tools. As the PAC strategy lead for the Financial Services for the Poor (FSP) team, the Senior Program Officer (SPO) will lead FSP’s efforts to accelerate adoption of evidence-based interventions among these stakeholder groups. (S)he will advance this objective by:  clearly articulating how digital financial inclusion can benefit governments, the private sector and, most importantly, poor households; clearly articulating the policies, regulations, and infrastructure investments required to catalyze digital financial inclusion; influencing policymaker decision-making by elevating these solutions in global and national dialogues; understanding and shaping international financing channels for digital financial inclusion; and building the evidence-base to facilitate sound decision-making. This role will report to the Deputy Director for FSP’s Policy, Global Scale, and Research initiative, and will work closely with the broader FSP team and with PAC strategy leads from across the foundation. 

Core Responsibilities

  • Together with the Deputy Director, lead the development, implementation, and refinement of FSP’s advocacy and communications strategies 
  • Partner with the GPA PAC team, FSP program teams, and other GPA divisions to identify synergies and potential opportunities for FSP advocacy and communications using the foundation’s voice and platforms
  • Negotiate, implement, and manage advocacy portfolio of investments.
  • Provide clear, concise and insightful written analyses and recommendations for investments
  • Conceptualize and manage high impact and complex partnerships, coalitions, and advocacy campaigns
  • Represent the foundation to external constituencies. This could include formal and informal presentations, attending conferences, sitting on working groups, and holding board seats.
  • Write and produce briefings, reports, email updates, and other materials on key global FSP policy and funding and other relevant issues for foundation leadership
  • Serve as a point of contact on FSP policy advocacy-related issues for internal and external stakeholders, working within the complex matrix-style organization across GPA and FSP

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.

Core Knowledge and Skills

We are looking for a recognized global professional with deep sector, advocacy and communications expertise. Additional knowledge and skills include: 

  • Understanding of the key issues driving the growth of financial inclusion, as well as barriers for funding alignment
  • Understanding of how investments in shared payment and identity infrastructure can drive access to digital financial services
  • Understanding of the critical policy and regulatory enablers for digital financial inclusion, including the licensing requirements, KYC policies, and agent regulations which encourage DFS innovation and competition while also protecting consumers and the financial system
  • Experience developing and implementing advocacy and communications strategies to influence policymakers, NGOs and other external stakeholders, including personal interactions with senior policy makers, civil society organizations, coalitions, governments, the media and other key external constituencies. Experience developing advocacy strategies in Africa or South Asia, desirable 
  • Excellent strategic thinker and strategy development experience
  • Demonstrated ability to organize/prioritize work and meet deadlines within a fast-paced environment with multiple and competing demands
  • Innovative thinker who is hands-on and willing to go as deep or broad as necessary to achieve outcomes 
  • Demonstrated ability to question and challenge colleagues, including managers, in a constructive manner 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, able to effectively synthesize information to reach diverse audiences and create consensus
  • A deep commitment to development issues
  • Ability to travel up to 30% domestically and internationally
  • High standards of personal integrity

Education and Experience

Advanced degree preferred in public policy, international relations, public health, development or a related field with 7+ years leading teams and advocacy initiatives in financial inclusion or development (preferably with a mix of service in either the public or non-profit sectors).

Reports to: Deputy Director, FSP, Policy, Global Scale, and Research 

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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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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