Program Officer/Senior Program Officer, HIV Vaccine & Biologics Initiative

Seattle, WA
May 25, 2021
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Division Summary


Our Global Health Program harnesses advances in science and technology to save lives in poor countries. We focus on the health problems that have a major impact in developing countries but get too little attention and funding. Where proven tools exist, we support sustainable ways to improve their delivery. Where they do not, we invest in research and development of new interventions, such as vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics. Our work in infectious diseases focuses on strategies to fight and prevent HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis (TB), neglected tropical diseases, enteric and diarrheal diseases, pneumonia and polio.


HIV remains a global epidemic that disproportionately impacts some of the most vulnerable populations. While ART scale-up led to decreased mortality and incidence, there remains a persistently high incidence. The HIV Program’s strategic vision is to accelerate the reduction in the incidence of HIV infection in high-burden geographies and populations, and a main focus for the program is to develop prevention interventions, including vaccines and biologics and enable their effective use.


Job Description Summary


As a Program Officer (PO)/Senior Program Officer (SPO) you will be responsible for contributing to the HIV Vaccine and Biologics Initiative strategy in concert with the Deputy Director, HIV Vaccines and Biologics, developing and managing a portfolio of grants and contracts requiring high-level grant management skills, grantee engagement, monitoring, evaluation, and follow up. The PO/SPO will contribute to both scientific and partnership aspects of the program strategy and be expected to stay abreast of technology and trends within vaccine and immunobiology discovery that can be used to accelerate the development of current and new HIV vaccine candidates. 


Core Responsibilities

  • Support the HIV Vaccine and Biologics Initiative, by participating in setting overall goals, developing priority research questions, and development of strategy, as well as manage investments.

  • Apply scientific/technical and strategic business expertise to identify, develop and manage a portfolio of strategic investments related especially to translational aspects of HIV vaccine research and development.

  • Contribute to managing partnerships including Central Service Facilities (CSFs) grantees, Government / other funding partners, pharmaceutical companies and academic partners.

  • Negotiate, execute, and manage complex grants and performance-based contracts.

  • Serve as a thought partner and resource to grantees and partners to facilitate accomplishment of HIV vaccine portfolio’s strategic objectives.

  • Stay abreast of emerging/novel HIV vaccine concepts to evolve HIV vaccine portfolio.

  • Review letters of inquiry and grant proposals and collaborate with colleagues to provide clear, concise, and insightful written analyses and recommendations for funding within the areas of HIV vaccine pre-clinical and translational and clinical development.

  • Be a thought partner with grantee on research design and definition of evaluation metrics and identify and evaluate new opportunities and partnerships to develop innovative HIV vaccine concepts.

  • Consult with grantees and other partners to maximize impact of projects by ensuring grants align with and drive toward meeting foundation strategy goals. This may include site visits, providing operational guidance, and convening meetings of key stakeholders in the HIV Vaccine R&D space.

  • Develop, manage, resource, and implement programs that align with foundation strategy and are operationally integrated with other TB&HIV PST programs.

  • Contribute to the design of new strategies, collaborations and implementation plans to ensure long-term sustainability and impact.

  • Represent the foundation to key program-related external constituencies, as appropriate, on committees related to areas of expertise and responsibilities of the position.

  • Attend external meetings to represent the foundation and influence global, regional, and country agendas in line with global objectives.


Core Knowledge and Skills

We are looking for someone who enjoys the challenge of working on complex projects and collaboratively creating solutions that have the potential for transformational change. Here is what we hope you’ll bring to this role:

  • Knowledge of HIV pathogenesis, immunobiology, and vaccine development.

  • Must have participated in or led cross-functional teams within R&D clinical development and have the ability to think through a product development lens and/or collaborate effectively with product development and scientific partners.

  • Experience with initiating and conducting R&D collaborations and external partnerships desirable.

  • Experience in computational immunobiology biology and/or data science is a plus.

  • Demonstrated ability to successfully assemble, coordinate, and manage complex inter-group collaborations and partnerships, guiding such programs to meet programmatic and strategic goals.

  • Experience in the execution, conduct and/or management of performance-based contracts or cooperative agreements.

  • Excellent interpersonal and negotiation skills with the ability to solve problems with energy and positive attitude.

  • Ability to organize and prioritize work and meet deadlines within a fast-paced environment with multiple and competing demands.

  • Intellectual quickness, curiosity, resourcefulness, and resilience.

  • Excellent judgment with a demonstrated ability to handle complex issues, multiple tasks, confidential information, and competing priorities with flexibility, skill, discretion, a strong attention to detail and a sense of humor.

  • Solid understanding of the realities and complexities of matrix-based organizations.

  • Demonstrated outstanding written and oral communication skills in positions requiring communications in a broad and diverse audience on a range of complex technical issues.

  • Demonstrated passion for the foundation’s values with a commitment to deliver results against the foundation’s mission.



  • Life science Ph.D. and/or M.D. degree with 10+ years of experience conducting HIV vaccine scientific research and/or five+ years of experience with infectious disease vaccine R&D preferred, with industry and/or global public health experience desirable.

  • Extent, depth and quality of research and product development leadership experience will determine qualification for PO vs. SPO position, including a minimum of 10 years of leadership in HIV and vaccine research and/or product development to potentially qualify for an SPO position.




As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is 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 the mission of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 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

* Prior Protected Activity