Director, Strategy & Innovation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle WA, United States

Skill Required:, Business Development/ Resource MobilizationPolicy/ Advocacy and CampaignStrategic Alliances
Preferred Experience: 
Above 15 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
31st March, 2021

Job Description

Position Summary

The Director, Strategy, and Innovation (Dir SI) will manage a set of functions and lead a team that provides critical support to the President in developing and optimizing the impact of the Gender Equality Division, through the development and execution of new strategic areas in life sciences and digital technology that improve the health and well-being of women and girls living in low, and low-middle income environments.

In this role, you will have both strategic and programmatic responsibilities, including:

Overseeing the strategy development, refinement, and implementation of science and technology programs for women and girls for the GE division.
Building a robust data integration and strategic insights function.
You will be responsible to develop and translate new areas of strategic exploration from within the President’s Office for key focus initiatives, which will involve direct and indirect management of a dedicated team of individuals as well as cross-divisional and foundation partners. Important to note this team size and structure is expected to evolve over time as the division matures.

Core Responsibilities

Programmatic responsibilities (75%):

  • Ensure thorough development of strategies and follow-through on implementation.
  • Design, develop and own the process for setting, tracking, evaluating, and presenting progress on division priorities.
  • Incubate new priorities and areas of exploration for the division including the development of key strategic choices, establishment of decision criteria, and the management of investments against these exploratory areas, ensuring rigorous strategy development, measurement, and implementation.
  • Oversee and ensure outputs of cross-foundation gender data and strategic insights are integrated into the strategic decision-making processes of the division and influence impact of foundation strategies.
  • Develop and manage direct reports to support the implementation of these programmatic responsibilities; including rapidly expanding and accelerating program development as warranted.

Operational responsibilities (15%):

  • Translates President’s priorities/division direction into an actionable divisional plan to enhance effectiveness and ensure goals are met.
  • Define, lead, and optimize annual business processes (e.g., resource, strategy, and portfolio planning) and coordinate divisional outputs for foundation-wide deliverables.
  • Facilitate cross-division best practice sharing, calibration of strategy, planning and management roles, and a community of practice for staff in strategic and programmatic roles.

Relationship management and advisory responsibilities (10%):

  • Participates in President meetings as required and ensures follow through on President’s requests and feedback.
  • Proactively engage with peers in other Divisions and in the CEO and Chief Business Operations, offices to ensure streamlined communication and prompt inter-divisional problem solving.
  • Support, coordinate and ensure clear communications and roles and responsibilities for the division’s business and program partners to deliver impact.
  • Position reports to: President, Gender Equality

Core Knowledge & Skills

You are a creative, thoughtful, and curious leader who has an excellent track record of achievement in roles of increasing responsibility. You should be prepared to work across a diverse set of disciplines, bridging a wide range of expertise, with a demonstrated ability to work with agility, efficiency, and diplomacy in a dynamic environment. Additionally, we seek:

  • Excellent people management skills with demonstrated experience in coaching and developing talent.
  • Demonstrated strength in cultivating trust and relationship management to guide confidential information and situations with flexibility and diplomacy.
  • Ability to work well with a varied range of stakeholders to incorporate new information and drive to appropriate decisions with and for the team.
  • Able to negotiate, persuade, and build coalitions without formal authority.
  • Comfortable in a wide range of cultural, geographic, and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diverse range of people.
  • Experience developing, implementing and managing projects and programs.
  • Must be highly organized and efficient, possess excellent judgment with a demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks, complex issues, and competing priorities with excellent attention to detail.
  • Fluent in strategy development and implementation, performance management systems of goals, targets, and monitoring process.
  • Able to frame complex, multi-faceted issues in different ways for different audiences to get to insights and actionable results.
  • Capable of structuring, scoping, and breaking down complex, multi-stakeholder problems with many dependencies into outputs and work products.
  • Able to integrate large volumes of quantitative and qualitative information into a succinct and compelling understanding of problems and identification of solutions.
  • Excellent ability to marshal data and evidence into compelling visualizations, persuasive narratives, and novel insights.
  • Capable of pattern matching and synthesizing cross-cutting themes across a wide variety of domain areas (e.g., health, economics, organizational dynamics).
  • Must possess excellent oral and written communication skills to represent the President effectively and accurately to a variety of audiences as well as draft and proof-read written documents.
  • Ability to navigate a broad range of operational issues with solid experience and understanding of core business/organizational disciplines (e.g., strategy, operations, legal, IT, HR, marketing, finance, planning, and budgeting).
  • Innovative and forward-thinking approach to all aspects of work.
  • The highest personal and professional integrity along with an optimistic outlook and a solid sense of humor.
  • Ability to travel up to 20% of the time as needs dictate; both domestic and international.

Education & Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Economics, International Development, Public Policy, Business, Science, Medicine, or a combination of equivalent academic training and experience.
  • Advanced degree and global experience, preferably in Africa and/or Asia highly preferred.
  • Experience in life sciences strategy and business development is highly preferred
  • 15+ years of experience in roles of expanding scope, responsibility, and demonstrable results.  You will bring a combination of experience in strategy development and implementation, business operations, and performance management, as well as deep exposure to global health and science issues in low-resource settings.
  • Strong preference for individuals with a background combining strategy, business development and implementation in the life sciences or global health is highly preferred.


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