Deputy Director – Country Program Advocacy and Communications

Deputy Director – Country Program Advocacy and Communications

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Role Profile

The primary purpose of the Deputy Director, Country Program Advocacy and Communications, Ethiopia is to lead the Ethiopia policy, advocacy and communications strategy that will help to achieve the foundation’s policy and financing goals in Ethiopia, which in turn support our programmatic and cross-cutting outcomes. The Deputy Director will also conceive, develop and manage a portfolio of grants involving multiple foundation program strategies and lead our cross-cutting portfolio of investments and strategies in collaboration with Ethiopia and Seattle-based teams to achieve results. The focus of foundation’s work in Ethiopia is in health, nutrition, agricultural transformation and financial services for the poor as well as some gender equality and water, sanitation and hygiene goals. Our cross-cutting advocacy portfolio includes gender, private sector, governance and financing, and policy and advocacy capacity building. The Deputy Director will report to the Ethiopia Country Director, serve on the Gates foundation Ethiopia Country Office Leadership Team (ECOLT) and Africa Leadership Team (ALT) and will have a dotted-line reporting relationship to the Director of Program Advocacy and Communications and serve as a member of the Program Advocacy and Communications Leadership Team (PAC LT).

Duties and Responsibilities

The selected candidate will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Implementing the Ethiopia policy and advocacy strategy by deploying foundation assets (e.g., grants, leadership voice, convening ability, staff time) to achieve policy and financing outcomes in Ethiopia.
  • Developing, analyzing, managing the landscaping and tracking of policy and financing progress at federal, regional and global level relevant to the Ethiopia Country Partnership Plan and Ethiopia Policy and Advocacy Strategy.
  • Building strong relationships with government officials, donors, private sector and civil society to inform the foundation’s engagement in Ethiopia at both federal and regional levels.
  • Managing a grant portfolio of policy, advocacy and communications investments in Ethiopia, including oversight of a grant budget and all related grant making processes (e.g., investment reviews, strategic alignment, grantee engagement, etc.) in partnership with the Director of the Ethiopia Country Office and the Director of Program Advocacy and Communications team, representing GPA on the Ethiopia Country Office Leadership Team.
  • Enhance impact of new and existing investments through site visits, providing strategic and operational guidance to partners, convening meetings of key stakeholders, making challenging trade-offs.
  • Ensure cross-cutting strategy areas are integrated into programmatic goals and grants including working towards a gender-intentional Ethiopia portfolio.
  • Leading issue-specific communications, in service of advocacy goals; and working closely with the Africa team communications lead(s) on broader regional, reputational or leadership related communications activities and visits.
  • Serving as a liaison with Global Policy and Advocacy (GPA) teams (Program Advocacy and Communications, Donor Government Relations, Development Policy And Finance, Philanthropic Partnerships Team, Etc.), Program Strategy teams and External Communications teams to coordinate, prioritize and maximize the foundation’s policy and advocacy impact in Ethiopia.
  • Represent the foundation to external constituencies. This includes both formal and informal presentations such as making speeches, attending conferences and other high-level and coordination meetings as necessary.
  • Representing the foundation to key internal constituencies, including the Co-Chairs, CEO, Presidents and other programmatic team leaders. This includes both formal and informal engagements, working groups, leadership trips etc.
  • Act as a member of the Ethiopia Country Office Leadership Team, helping oversee 1) the Ethiopia Country Partnership Plan implementation progress and lead occasional revision processes, 2) internal communications plan and 3) Ethiopia extended team working group for open and transparent engagement with Seattle-based colleagues, and 4) annual partners and donor dialogues/convenings 5) support the Director with general Ethiopia Country Office management including; office staff management, budget, reputation and leadership engagement/trips and strategy reviews.

Leadership and Culture:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment in which they thrive, will do phenomenal things.

Required Experience and Qualifications


  • The ideal candidate will hold an advanced degree in public policy, political science, public health or economics.

Relevant Experience:

  • 10+ years of experience preferred, preferably with a strong mix of service in either the public or non-profit sectors. Some private sector experience a plus.
  • Strong understanding, experience and expertise in global development policy and advocacy efforts, working with governments, CSOs, private sector, coalitions, and the media.
  • Experience in the conception, design and management of advocacy strategies, initiatives and programs for health, and/or agriculture, and/or financial services for the poor.
  • Significant experience in working with policymakers and knowledge of major donor and multilateral institutions, processes in Ethiopia. Track record of building strong relationships with governments and donors is essential.
  • Experience in gender mainstreaming or gender integration and policy efforts; with strong commitment to gender equality.
  • Experienced in shaping a strategic advocacy and communications portfolio, partner capacity building, and developing strategic communications and media or donor partnerships.
  • Demonstrated ability to quickly and thoughtfully synthesize information from multiple sources for senior leadership briefings and excellent overall writing and communications skills.
  • Significant people or project management experience, specifically managing matrixed project teams of high-performing self-directed professionals and acting as a partner to team members managing specific portfolios. This role may manage employees and may be responsible for hiring the team members or consultants needed to achieve our goals, ensuring effective employee onboarding, communicating performance expectations, creating goal alignment, and integrating project and change management.
  • Experience living and working in multiple countries, including in Africa, is required.
  • Fluency in English and Amharic is required, additional Ethiopia regional language ability would be considered an asset.
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate and maintain strategic relationships with colleagues both internally and externally. Experience working in a matrixed internal environment with multiple stakeholders. Ability to build consensus.
  • Knowledge of and experience with multilateral organizations working to address health and development issues in the developing world.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the role of advocacy and communications efforts to increase awareness of health/development issues and build political and financial support for health/development goals in the developing world with governmental and non-state organizations.
  • Demonstrated success in leadership roles developing and managing policy and advocacy organizations, programs or initiatives requiring a combination of strong leadership, communications, analytical, and project management skills.
  • Ability to work with flexibility, entrepreneurship, and diplomacy both individually and as part of a complex team effort.
  • Ability to work collaboratively, taking full advantage of diverse expertise and balancing sometimes competing objectives among internal and external stakeholders.
  • Strong interpersonal and group communications skills and a proven ability to effectively manage and adapt within a changing environment.
  • A deep commitment to development issues and high standards of personal integrity.
  • Ability to travel up to 25% domestically and internationally.

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© EuroJobsites 2019

EuroJobsites is a UK registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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