Deputy Director, Program Advocacy and Communications

Deputy Director, Program Advocacy and Communications

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Abuja, Nigeria


The primary purpose of the Deputy Director, Program Advocacy and Communications, Nigeria is to develop and execute a Nigeria advocacy and communications strategy that will help to achieve the foundation’s programmatic goals in Nigeria. The Deputy Director will also conceive, develop and manage a portfolio of investments grants involving multiple global development and global health strategies in collaboration with Seattle-based teams to achieve results. The focus of foundation’s work in Nigeria is in women’s and children’s health and nutrition issues, agricultural development and financial service for the poor. The Deputy Director will report to the Nigeria Country Director, serve on the Gates foundation Nigeria Leadership Team (NLT) and will have a dotted-line reporting relationship to the Director of Program Advocacy and Communications.

Core Responsibilities

  • Developing a Nigeria advocacy strategy that deploys foundation assets (e.g., grants, leadership voice, convening ability, staff time) to achieve programmatic policy and financing goals in Nigeria;
  • Developing, analyzing, managing and tracking key global policies and trends relevant to the foundation’s influence in Nigeria;
  • Managing a grant portfolio of advocacy and communications investments in Nigeria, 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 Program Advocacy and Communications, representing GPA on the Nigeria Leadership Team;
  • Build relationships with government officials, donors, and civil society to inform the foundation’s engagement in Nigeria at both national and state levels;
  • Work closely with Global Policy and Advocacy (GPA) teams, Program Strategy teams and External Communications teams to coordinate and prioritize the foundation’s policy and advocacy priorities in Nigeria;
  • Represent the foundation to external constituencies. This includes both formal and informal presentations such as making speeches, attending conferences and other meetings as necessary;
  • Representing the foundation to key program-related external constituencies, as well as managing a wide variety of internal relationships, including the Co-Chairs, CEO, Presidents and other programmatic leaders. This includes both formal and informal presentations such as presenting strategies, making speeches, attending conferences, briefings and other meetings as necessary;
  • Act as a member of the Nigeria Leadership Team, helping manage the Nigeria office staff, budget, reputation and overall country strategy, reporting directly to the Nigeria Country Director.

Leadership and Culture

We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment in which they thrive, will do phenomenal things.

Education and Relevant Experience

  • Advanced degree in public health, public policy, political science, or economics;
  • 10+ years of experience preferred, preferably with a strong mix of service in either the public or non-profit sectors;
  • Strong understanding, experience and expertise in global health research and development issues and 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;
  • Experienced in working with and strong relationships with policymakers and knowledge of major donor and multilateral institutions;
  • Demonstrated ability to quickly and thoughtfully synthesize data and global intelligence on the R&D landscape;
  • Significant people management experience, specifically managing teams of high-performing self-directed professionals and acting as a partner to team members managing specific portfolios;
  • Experience working in multiple countries is preferred;
  • Experience in Nigeria as well as fluency in Hausa would be a significant advantage considering a large proportion of the Foundation’s work is in Northern Nigeria;
  • 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 analytical, writing and 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;
  • A proven ability to effectively manage and adapt within a changing environment;
  • A deep commitment to development issues;
  • Ability to travel up to 25% domestically and internationally;
  • High standards of personal integrity.

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