Senior Program Officer, Agriculture

Senior Program Officer, Agriculture

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Seattle, WA, United States

The Role

The primary responsibility of this Senior Officer is to strategically develop and manage a portfolio of investments (grants and contracts) within the WE team focused on data, evidence, and implementation of gender transformative programs within the agriculture sector. As a key advisor for women’s empowerment on the Ag Dev team, you will also contribute to strategic initiatives and partner closely with the A&E pillar to set overall strategy and goals for the pillar. 

Core Responsibilities

  • Partner with foundation colleagues and external collaborators to implement and assess the vision of the WE portfolio. Advance a forward-looking strategy for WE and the whole of Ag Dev that supports gender integration, emphasizes high-quality data and evidence on WE, and prioritizes gender transformative approaches.
  • Develop and manage a complex portfolio of up to 10 investments (grants and contracts) focused on women’s empowerment, data and evidence, nutritious food systems, and climate adaptation in the agricultural sector.
  • Provide technical support to the Ag Dev team and grantees on integrating gender into programmatic and measurement work.
  • Participate in working groups within the Ag Dev team and across the foundation, including the M&E working group, the WE Data & Evidence working group, and the Gender and Digital Community of Practice, among others.
  • Represent the foundation to key external audiences, as appropriate.
  • Regularly collaborate with grantees and other partners to maximize the impact of projects and ensure grants are contributing to strategy goals. This may include conducting site visits, providing technical and operational guidance, and convening meetings of key partners.
  • Provide input and feedback on materials for Ag Dev’s annual strategy review, as well as leadership learning sessions.
  • Serve as a champion for principles of equity and inclusion in Ag Dev’s strategy and programming, including a commitment to cultivate equitable partnerships within our grantee and partner community.


We are looking for someone who enjoys solving complex problems, is a natural collaborator, and has a deep commitment to women’s empowerment globally. We seek:

  • Advanced degree in agriculture, gender equality, public policy, or related field.
  • 10+ years of relevant work experience in agricultural development and/or women’s empowerment.
  • Recognized by the global professional community as a specialist within the field of women’s empowerment in agriculture and/or gender equality.
  • Exceptional track record of grant management with experience working with a wide range of stakeholders, including private and public sector actors.
  • Understanding of effective examples of gender transformative approaches within an agricultural context in Africa and/or Asia
  • Knowledge of the landscape of gender data efforts in agriculture, as well as monitoring and evaluation methods and concepts, including strong analytical skills, in agricultural development and women’s empowerment.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, able to effectively synthesize information to reach diverse audience and build consensus.
  • Comfortable in a wide range of cultural, geographic, and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diverse range of people.
  • Great teammate who can operate independently coupled with a proven ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, and diplomacy in a fast-paced environment.
  • Previous residence or extensive work experience in a Sub-Saharan African or Asia country or countries preferred, especially Ag Dev’s focus countries (Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Nigeria).

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