Program Officer, Transformational Contraceptive Technology: Gates Foundation

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Guided by the belief that all lives have equal value, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation pride ourselves in being ‘impatient optimists' whose purpose is to work to reduce inequity. Our vision is to ensure a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life.
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As part of the Family Planning Program Strategy Team within the foundation’s Global Development Division, the Program Officer (PO), Transformational Contraceptive Technology will work to cultivate and manage a discrete portfolio of investments (grants and contracts) focused on early-stage development of novel contraceptive technology products.

The PO will engage in research and analysis work in support of product development, including new business partnership development and strategic grant-making. They will have an opportunity to establish and nurture both internal and external partnerships which contribute to the success of Contraceptive Technology investments and the overall direction of the Family Planning Strategy. The Program Officer acts as a critical partner and resource to grantees to facilitate accomplishment of strategic objectives, while also contributing to the team’s work on strategy development, donor coordination, communications and advocacy.

Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

• Plan, manage and execute a range of activities in support of strategic planning, grant management and external relationship management specific to our transformation contraceptive technology initiative.
• Develop and execute scientific and business partnership development to crowd-in new investors and inventors to support early stage contraceptive technology product development.
• Review concept notes and grant proposals; provide clear, concise and insightful written feedback to applicants and prepare final analyses and recommendations for funding to foundation leadership.
• Draft and edit proposal investment recommendations and progress report analyses for review and approval by Family Planning team leadership.
• Using background in and knowledge of contraceptive technology research and development (or similar technologies), successfully engage with a range of stakeholders in the development of novel and innovative contraceptive methods and drug delivery systems.
• Draft and edit progress report updates and technical summaries and briefings for review by foundation leadership.
• Consult with grantees to achieve desired impact of grants; conduct site visits, provide technical guidance, convene meetings, and apply and evaluate milestone-based performance objectives.
• Manage internal processes and portfolio progress while ensuring appropriate and timely documentation, grant budgeting and reporting.
• Remain up-to-date on relevant scientific advances and data; prepare, write and present briefs and synthesize existing literature and evidence. Provide written analysis of key topics for foundation management.
• Serve as a point of contact for key internal and external stakeholders on issues related to early stage contraceptive research and development.
• Provide leadership and support in external relationship management, including establishment of new partnerships and keeping current of key developments in partner institutions.
• Engage with external technical and lay partners on issues related to contraceptive technology, e.g. participate in reviews/technical meetings/conferences/etc. on behalf of foundation.
• This role is responsible for participating in and leading high quality interactions and clear and consistent communications with internal partners and grantees and partners in the field.


• Master’s degree or higher in field of study related to drug development, reproductive biology, bioengineering, or other relevant field, strongly preferred.
• Minimum 6 – 10 years in research and development related role focused on contraceptive technologies (or related technologies), strongly preferred (drugs/devices/etc.);
• Working knowledge of early stage drug/device development gained in product development role within private sector/pharma/biotech, strongly preferred.
• Demonstrated effectiveness as a collaborator in complex organizations and teams; Able to identify and cultivate highly collaborative internal and external partnerships.
• Ability to successfully engage with a range of stakeholders in development of novel and innovative contraceptive methods and drug delivery systems. Requires working knowledge of and experience working with contraceptive technology (or closely related) research and development.
• Strong analytical, scientific writing and oral communication skills and experience advocating and communicating with a broad and diverse audience.
• Familiarity with methodologies and systems to validate new targets for contraceptive drug action; knowledge of and experience with pharmaceutical lead identification and optimization processes.
• Knowledge of and experience with pre-clinical (in vitro and in vivo) models for testing optimized leads for a contraceptive indication.
• Demonstrated ability to work within diverse teams including scientists from different disciplines, business analysts, program implementers, private sector and developing country stakeholders;
• Ability to work with efficiency and diplomacy as part of a team effort.
• Skill at working in a multicultural environment and across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
• Strong critical thinking skills (e.g. ability to review a proposal with the aim to offer productive criticism).
• Ability to multi-task and prioritize among multiple highly important tasks.
• Experience and ability to plan, coordinate and execute partner and other expert consultations and meetings to advance understanding of key issues for the strategy.
• Ability to track investment performance and synthesize and document results and lessons across grants and contracts, including preparing briefings and portfolio reviews for leadership.
• Actively participate in the annual strategy review process for Family Planning and periodic strategy refreshes and updates.
• A deep commitment to global health and development issues.

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 comprehensive background check.

Apply here Gates Foundation

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