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Program Officer, Polio at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.


About the Role:

Participate in strategy development and operational implementation for polio eradication in Nigeria, with a specific focus on States with recent poliovirus transmission, co-manage Nigeria specific polio grants and contracts with the Deputy Director (e.g., eHealth Africa, Solina Health, WHO, UNICEF), Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Rotary), and serve in a functional role representing the foundation on the Polio Data Working Group at the National Emergency Operations Center in Abuja.




  • 6+ years of experience focused on immunization programs, with a preference for direct experience with Polio, or a combination of related experience and education.
  • Undergraduate degree in public health, with a strong preference for an advanced degree in a related discipline.
  • Ability to effectively interact with leaders such as Ministers of Health, executives of partner organizations, etc. and effectively influence for action.
  • Ability to think strategically and challenge conventional thinking.
  • Ability to lead others, directly and indirectly, and effectively represent foundation in diverse environments. Strong knowledge across relevant technical area/expertise.
  • Effective as a collaborator in complex internal & external orgs.
  • Works with efficiency & diplomacy.
  • Strong analytical, writing & verbal skills for communicating with a broad & diverse audience.
  • Innovative and open-minded approach to all aspects of work.
  • The highest personal and professional integrity along with an optimistic outlook.



Job Description:

  • Represent the foundation on the National Emergency Operations Center (EOC) data team to establish a regular ‘rhythm of business’ for data analysis and presentations to the wider EOC team, helping to drive programmatic decisions to implement the National Emergency Action Plan in 2017. This includes regular engagement with the data team, the production of analyses based on a review of campaign data, surveillance reports, monitoring reports and social data. These reviews should be displayed on a national EOC ‘dashboard’ developed in 2016. The program officer will regularly engage eHealth Africa on behalf of the data team to ensure that the dashboard continues to be updated to meet the evolving needs of the data team and wider membership of the EOC. The program officer will also work with the data team to develop and implement a validation exercise of all major data sets used by the Nigeria polio program to increase confidence in the robustness of data being used by the program, the processes used to collect data, and triangulation of various data sets. The program officer will also manage our contract with Solina Health to provide technical and managerial assistance to the Borno EOC data team. The program officer will attend regular weekly meetings of the national EOC and report on proceedings to the foundation polio team in Seattle.
  • The program officer will oversee and manage the foundation’s inputs to the Borno EOC to ‘reach every settlement’ in insecure areas of the state. This includes managing the engagement with the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, its partners and foundation contractors (eHealth Africa, Solina Health). The program officer will work with the Borno team to ensure that the project goals are met, i.e., at least five contacts with oral polio vaccine in all settlements not visited by the polio program between 2015-16. The program officer will spend significant time in Borno to help manage this process through the first two quarters of 2017 before tapering off support as areas of focus for intervention become smaller and fewer areas remain unreached.
  • The program officer will manage the foundation’s input and monitoring of the Nigeria Financial Resource Requirements (FRR) document. This includes regular engagement with NPHCDA and WHO specifically on the overall financial requirement of the polio program in Nigeria in 2017 and 2018, ensuring that foundation contributions are accurately mapped in the FRR, and that the FRR reflects globally-mandated reductions as the polio program in the Africa region ramps down from 2018. The FRR is updated typically twice a year in Nigeria, so engagement here is often most intense at those time periods.
  • The program officer will manage any foundation inputs to the continued use of a new SMS supervision tool in Sokoto State, as well as its potential scale up in other states as approved by the National EOC. This will include direct management of the eHealth Africa contract providing technical support to the project, integration of SMS results in the data platform used at the national level, analysis of results and sharing of the same with states involved.
  • This role is responsible for high quality interactions and clear and consistent communications with grantees and partners in the field. The program officer will support the Deputy Director, Polio Strategy and Implementation to track the performance and deliverables of grantees and contractors of the foundation in Nigeria, including WHO Nigeria, UNICEF Nigeria, eHealth Africa and Solina Health. This includes maintaining a list of grant and contract deliverables and timelines, periodic engagement with grantees and contractors on those deliverables together with the Deputy Director, and agreeing with grantees and contractors on revised deliverables and timelines as necessary.
  • Other activities in support of the polio eradication strategy include input to the preparation of regular briefing notes to leadership.



This is a limited term assignment with an estimated duration through August 2018.


Reports to: Deputy Director, Polio Program Strategy & Implementation.


Thank you for your interest in working at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


It is the policy of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide equal employment opportunities to all qualified persons without regard to race, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, physical or mental disabilities, marital status, veteran status, or any other status or characteristic protected under federal, state, or local law. If an applicant has a disability and needs assistance in using this Web site, completing a profile, or applying for a position, please notify us at and we will make appropriate arrangements. We are an equal opportunity employer.



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