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Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Program Officer, Government Relations & Policy, EU and Germany, no deadline

** This is a limited term assignment with a duration of 18 months from the start date, which is anticipated to be in June or July 2021.

Division Summary

The mission of the Global Policy & Advocacy (GPA) division is to understand and shape the public policy debates affecting Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's (the foundation) work, build support for its major program and policy objectives, and develop partnerships and alliances that can advance our objectives nationally and globally. Because the foundation's resources alone are not enough to solve the challenges ahead, GPA also supports advocacy efforts to engage diverse partners and promote innovative solutions that advance our program goals. We work in close partnership with grantees, our internal colleagues and Foundation Communications to build the environment in which all people have the opportunity to lead healthy and productive lives.

Group Summary

This role will be part of the Europe, Middle East and East Asia (EMEEA) team which leads the foundation’s geographic presence in the largest donor countries outside North America and China, covering Europe (with a focus on UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Nordics, Netherlands and European Union institutions,) the Middle East (Arab league countries) and the Asia-Pacific region (Japan, South Korea and Australia). Our focus is on government donors, and we are most active in Europe, whose governments represent over half of global foreign aid. However, the nature of our work means that we also frequently engage with non-government actors such as the media, civil society organisations, think-tanks and academic institutions as we seek to make the case for sustained commitment to international development programs.

Position Summary

The Program Officer Government Relations & Policy, EU and Germany, will support the advocacy, government relations and policy work in the EU (50%) and Germany (50%) to advance the mission of the Foundation particularly in the areas of, but not limited to, Global Health, agriculture, and gender. This position is responsible for providing policy research and analysis in support of our advocacy work and help in executing our country specific advocacy strategies. S/he will report to and will work closely with the respective country leads for the EU and Germany, and engage with political stakeholders, grantees and other relevant external and internal contacts. The Program Officer must be able to communicate and interact effectively with individuals across all political parties and stakeholders.

Germany: The Berlin office leads EMEEA’s continental European government relations and advocacy grantee management. Germany has become an international leader for development and Global Health. A priority of this position will be to work with internal stakeholders and the Foundation leadership as well as with external partners to raise awareness for the importance of German leadership for global development and Global Health with the next German Parliament and Government. Germany´s upcoming G7 presidency in 2022 provides an important opportunity for German leadership on pandemic preparedness and continued momentum on Global Health and Global Health R&D – this position will help the foundation monitor and engage with the G7 presidency as appropriate.


The EU: The EU is the fourth largest bilateral donor and plays a key role in policy and coordination across Member States. It is also among the top-three funders for Global Health R&D, and its competences are increasing on pandemic preparedness and cross-border health threats. The Program Officer will support the EU team to further the foundation’s engagement with the European institutions and support ongoing and prospective partnerships.


Core Responsibilities

  • Support the foundation’s heads of EU and Germany relations in drafting and implementing the respective policy and government relations strategies by taking into consideration both external as well as internal strategic priorities
  • Help build, further, and maintain relationships with a broad range of political and Ministerial partners and expand our broader relationship network with think tanks, philanthropy, academia, civil society and the private sector.
  • Lead (and directly manage external support through consultants) on specific policy research that guide our advocacy work, manage policy paper development and work with partners such as Civil Society Organizations and Think Tanks on advocating for policy issues regarding the Foundation’s key priorities.
  • Plan, prepare and support Foundation leadership dialogue with relevant high-level government counterparts and coordinate the follow-up implementation activities.
  • Plan, lead and execute a wide range of activities in support of mid-term strategic planning, grant management and external relationship management.
  • Represent the foundation to selected external constituencies, as appropriate, at meetings or events.
  • Prepare and write briefs; provide written analysis of key topics for foundation teams and management.
  • Draft briefs, memos, background research and other materials upon request.

Position Reports to: Head, EU Relations: Nuria Molina and Head, Germany Relations: Tobias Kahler

Leadership & Culture

Our culture shapes our choices about what we do and how we do it. We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment can do extraordinary things. We expect foundation employees to intentionally and consistently embody our four agreements; show respect, offer trust, be transparent, and create energy.

Core Knowledge and Skills

  • Passion and commitment for our mission, core values and programs.
  • Comfortable in diverse cultural, geographic and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior.
  • Outstanding ability to interact effectively with a diverse set of partners such as representatives of Government, Parliament, influential individuals, consultants and grantees.
  • Strong English and German communication skills a must; French preferred.
  • Has meaningful work experience in Brussels and Berlin and a deep understanding of the political landscape in EU/Brussels and Germany.
  • Good knowledge and understanding of governmental and administrative processes and structures in Germany and the EU pertinent to international development.
  • Outstanding judgment and ability to maintain professional, upbeat demeanour and sense of humor under tight deadlines.
  • Strong public presentation skills, including ability to represent the Foundation at external events and meetings.
  • Strong analytical skills and proven track record of breaking down complex issues into concise presentations.
  • Solid MS Office skills, especially PowerPoint and Excel
  • Very good understanding of international development policy, particularly in the areas of Global Health, Agriculture and/or Gender.
  • Solid advocacy, Government relations and/or policy experience.
  • Great teammate who can operate independently, as well as possess positive relationship management skills to handle confidential information and situations with flexibility and diplomacy
  • Highly-organized and efficient and possess strong judgment with a demonstrated ability to prioritise multiple tasks, complex issues, and competing priorities with strong attention to detail.

*Applicants for this role will only be considered if they possess current EU Work Authorization, and do not require employer-sponsored VISA support to begin or remain in this role.

** This is a limited term assignment with a duration of 18 months from the start date, which is anticipated to be in June or July 2021.


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 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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