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Program Officer, K-12 Education
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington
Date Posted 06/28/2022
Nonprofit-Program Management
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Program Officer, K-12 Education

Position Summary

Strategically develop and manage the K-12 Education team’s work on solutions availability, selection, and scale. Aligned with the K-12 Education value chain,

catalyze markets and networks to produce and scale coherent and effective solutions; build incentives to support the adoption of the solutions 3) scale efficacious products. These three activities are critical towards improving outcomes of the systems that serve students, particularly Black and Latino students and students experiencing poverty. As part of this work, this role will manage a portfolio of grants and contracts requiring investment management, monitoring, and evaluation skills. As a key advisor on strategy initiatives, this role will be encouraged to contribute to the continued development of the team’s strategic vision, while partnering closely with team leadership to set the overall strategy and goals for the team.

The focus of this portfolio is on ensuring availability of quality products in select product categories and driving adoption of those products at scale. The overall health of the market is important, but we seek to focus most of our efforts on scaling current best in class curricula and instructional materials (including core curricula, interventions, and assessments).

Key Responsibilities

Role-Specific Job Responsibilities

  • Support strategy development and grantmaking to improve the availability and selection of high-quality instructional materials, specifically core curricula, supplementals, interventions, and embedded assessments
  • Assist with identifying gaps in availability and quality; working with the K-12 Education R&D team, develop and manage investment approaches to catalyze development and improvement.
  • Coordinate with R&D and other Solutions investment managers to ensure that more integrated solutions are available and aligned with key product attributes or dimensions of quality.

Standard Program Officer Job Responsibilities

  • Plans, manages, and carries out a wide range of activities in support of strategic planning, prospect and develop complex investment opportunities, grant management, and external relationship management.
  • Review letters of inquiry and grant proposals; provide clear, concise, and insightful written analyses and recommendations for funding, including drafting and editing proposal summaries and progress reports for existing grants for review by foundation leadership.
  • Advise grantees to achieve desired impact of grants; conduct site visits when appropriate, provide technical mentorship, convene meetings, and apply and evaluate milestone-based performance objectives.
  • Manage internal processes and portfolio progress while ensuring appropriate documentation, grant budgeting, and reporting. Improve operational efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Prepare and write briefs and synthesize existing literature. Provide written analysis of key topics for foundation management. Fulfill data requests from leadership.

Core Knowledge & Expertise

Solutions Team Core Knowledge & Expertise

  • Deep knowledge of curricula, interventions, and assessment markets, publishers, developers, etc.
  • Experience in adoption, commercial sales cycles, and distribution channels
  • Understanding of curricula solutions enactment and impact on behavior
  • Background in dimensions of quality and their measurement
  • Commitment to investing against integrated solutions (core curricula, independent practice, interventions, and formative assessments)
  • Commitment to a vision of product efficacy and quality centered on the assets of Black and Latino students and those experiencing poverty

K-12 Team Core Knowledge & Expertise

  • Exhibited commitment to and ability around inclusive design and equity-centered approaches to investing (using USP Equity Guiding Principles)
  • Exhibited commitment to and ability around engaging organizations and leaders proximate to the work
  • Math content and pedagogical knowledge or ability to access
  • Ability to remain focused on the long-term vision and invest in organizations that can complete the mission (vs. us advising the day-to-day work)
  • Ability to manage complex partnerships (internal and external)
  • Ability to synthesize large volumes of information into clear recommendations and decisions
  • Curious, continuous learner mentality that can build on the strengths of others to achieve optimal impact
  • Strong analytical, writing, and verbal skills for communicating with a broad and diverse audience.
  • Effective as a collaborator in complex internal and external organizations.
  • Extensive project contribution and management experience.
  • Works with efficiency and diplomacy.

Job Requirements

  • Bachelor’s or other advanced degree or equivalent experience
  • 5+ years of experience; experience in K-12 or higher education preferred


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.


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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