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Communications Officer, Philanthropic Partnerships (LTE)

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Seattle, Washington

Date Posted: 6/23/22

The Foundation

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. We have four missions to:

  • Ensure more children and young people survive and thrive;
  • Empower the poorest, especially women and girls, to transform their lives;
  • Combat infectious diseases that particularly affect the poorest; and
  • Inspire people to take action to change the world.

Key to enabling these missions is our commitment to science and innovation, collaboration and partnership, measurement and rigor, as well as optimism and risk taking. Based in Seattle, the foundation has a worldwide staff of 1,500 people and is led by CEO Mark Suzman, under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates. We have offices in the United States, Europe, India, China and Africa.

The Team

The Philanthropic Partnerships team (PPT) at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has an exciting opportunity for a Communications Officer to help fulfill the team’s mission to inspire and enable more informed and intentional generosity by all. The Communications Officer will support the Senior Communications Officer to create, lead, and implement thoughtful communications strategies that help achieve the team’s goals. We are looking for a versatile writer and storyteller with a proven track record of developing compelling content and delivering it through a range of channels, from op-eds and blog posts to videos, press releases, talking points and social media.

The ideal candidate will have experience developing and maintaining productive relationships with journalists, pitching media, and should be adept at building collaborative partnerships across large organizations and with internal and external collaborators.

This role will report to our Senior Communications Officer, Philanthropic Partnerships and is a Limited-Term Employee position with an expected term of 3 years.

Core Responsibilities

  • Partner with the Senior Communications Officer to develop and implement the overall communications plan for the Philanthropic Partnerships team (PPT)
  • Own and drive specific campaigns and narratives within the overall strategy, in close collaboration with PPT sub-teams
  • Write, edit, and proofread content that accurately reflects the voice and tone of the team and our partners
  • Craft key messages, Q&As, press releases, fact sheets, and other external-facing materials.
  • Assist communications for specific initiatives within PPT, such as the Giving Pledge and Gates Philanthropy Partners.
  • Engage internal and external partners to advance the PPT strategy.
  • Help manage PR agency support for the team’s work.
  • Respond to media requests, which may involve preparing leadership briefs and coordinating or staffing interviews.
  • Build relationships with media and track opportunities for engagement on PPT’s priority issues, while closely coordinating with the Gates Foundation’s central media relations team.
  • Support PPT’s global work in India, China, the Middle East and Southeast Asia –working in close coordination with the foundation’s regional communications teams.
  • Coordinate with relevant partners across the foundation and private offices on the use of leadership voice on issues in philanthropy.
  • Handle grantee inquiries and press release reviews.
  • Lead proactive responses to breaking news as appropriate, ensuring our voice and/or our partners’ voices are used appropriately.
  • Help track the public dialogue on philanthropy and evaluate the impact of PPT’s campaigns, narratives, and tactics.

Core Knowledge And Skills

  • A track record of designing and launching strategic, high-impact communication plans.
  • A deep understanding of and engagement in the changing media landscape, including digital media, broadcast, and print.
  • Experience with communications strategy development, including audience segmentation and targeting, partner engagement, understanding of brand parameters and nuance, media tracking, and measurement.
  • Experience working within and across a complex organization and communications teams.
  • Willingness to take on new challenges and situations while displaying a flexible, “roll up your sleeves” demeanor.
  • Ability to represent the foundation confidently when engaging with media and at a variety of external events.
  • Tenured experience working with senior-level executives and guiding their external communications.
  • Understanding of the philanthropic sector is highly preferred.
  • Interest in communications trends and knowledge of new channels and tools.
  • Ability to synthesize information and express complex concepts in a clear and compelling manner, including the ability to translate technical program language into engaging communications messages.
  • Curious and eager to learn on an ongoing basis.
  • Strong preference for international communications experiences and demonstrated cultural competency.
  • Excellent judgement; seeks support and asks questions when confronted with an obstacle.
  • Shown ability to deliver high-quality work in a dynamic environment; ability to switch gears quickly from one project to the next.
  • Standout colleague with sense of humor and reserve.
  • Genuine passion for the foundation’s mission!

Education And Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree AND a minimum of 5+ years of proven experience with steadily expanding responsibilities in similar roles.
  • Tenured experience in communications, journalism, public policy, or a related field.
  • Experience in philanthropy is preferred, but not required.

This role will provide the option of a relocation package. It will not provide employment visa support.

Hiring Requirements

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

Depending upon your work location, we may require proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and any recommended booster doses. All employees based in the United States are to provide proof of full vaccination upon hire and any recommended boosters, subject to applicable laws.

Accommodations

If you require assistance due to a disability in the application or recruitment process, please submit a request to hr@gatesfoundation.org.

Inclusion Statement

We are 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 our mission 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, and prior protected activity.

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