Deputy Director, Vaccines & Biologics

Website the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Deputy Director, Vaccines & Biologics

The Foundation

We are the largest nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world. Founded on a simple premise: that people everywhere, regardless of identity or circumstances, should have the chance to live healthy, productive lives. By building a global and cultural workplace that supports greater diversity, equity, and inclusion — of voices, ideas, and approaches — together with our employees and partners, we can help all people improve their lives from poverty and health to education. As an organization we offer full healthcare premiums coverage, generous paid time off, contribution to your retirement fund, several employee communities, and a commitment to embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion into everything we do.


The Team

Our Global Health Program (GHP) 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 don’t, we invest in research and development of new interventions, such as vaccines, drugs, biologics, and diagnostics. Our work in infectious diseases focuses on strategies to fight and prevent HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases, enteric and diarrheal diseases and pneumonia. Our work in maternal, neonatal and child health focuses on ensuring that women and newborns survive and remain healthy before, during and after childbirth, and ensuring optimal growth, neurodevelopment and resistance to disease, by identifying and addressing underlying biological vulnerabilities. We also support innovative research in reproductive health. These disease-specific strategies are supported by cross-cutting functional teams working across the R&D spectrum, including Discovery & Translational Sciences (the team this role is housed in), Vaccine Development & Surveillance, and Integrated Development.

The mission of Discovery & Translational Sciences (D&TS) is to catalyze innovation for the discovery and translation of transformative solutions to global health and development inequity. As such, the primary role of D&TS is to enable the foundation to achieve its ambitious global health equity goals as articulated by the disease-specific strategy teams (Program Strategy Teams; PSTs). For this, we exploit a unique advantage of the foundation in general and D&TS in particular: the ability to invest in high-risk and/or long-timeline initiatives with potential for truly disruptive change. We channel resources into building more practical (affordable, scalable, deliverable) versions of existing tools, develop transformative new tools where none exist, and speed the translation of scientific discovery into implementable solutions, seeking better ways to evaluate and refine potential interventions before they enter costly and time-consuming late-stage clinical trials. Key functions in support of this R&D mission include identifying and filling gaps in scientific knowledge, creating or implementing new technology platforms that can accelerate research in support of our goals, investing in potentially transformative ideas, continuous surveying of an ever-changing scientific and technological innovation space, and the fostering of an effective ecosystem of global health innovation, funding and partnership to advance the foundation’s mission. Our areas of focus include vaccines, biologics, drugs, microbiome interventions, and reproductive and sexual health.



Your Role

The foundation has a major focus on vaccines and biologics as transformational tools for the prevention (and treatment) of infectious diseases whose burdens are a major source and manifestation of global health inequity. As such, the Deputy Director, Vaccines & Biologics is a critical position, accountable for the upstream R&D strategy across vaccines and biologics and leading the foundation’s investments and partnerships in the discovery & translational space for these modalities.


As Deputy Director, you will partner closely with the disease-focused Program Strategy Teams whose strategic goals we serve (and influence) through transformational tool development, with other cross-cutting functional teams at the Foundation that enable execution of these strategies (e.g., Vaccine Development & Surveillance), and with the Gates Medical Research Institute and other key downstream development partners.


Additionally, you’ll partner closely with the other members of the D&TS leadership team to contribute to the continued development of D&TS’ overall strategic vision and goals, to facilitate alignments across the team (including that of expertise, of platforms, of technology de-risking, of analytics, of tactics, and importantly in the driving of key programmatic goals such as low-and-middle-income country R&D ecosystem capacity development), and to contribute to team management and culture.


You will be an important foundation voice and partner in the global immunology-vaccines-biologics ecosystem and will lead the Vaccines & Biologics Domain, reporting to the Director of D&TS.


What You’ll Do

  • Defining strategy for leading and managing the Vaccine & Biologics Domain.
  • Conceptualizing, shaping and articulating priorities, and driving execution of the Domain’s mission: “To source novel approaches and accelerate the discovery, development and translation of new passive and active immunization strategies for foundation priority diseases”
  • The Domain has pursued centering vaccinology on a rational footing, rooted in a deep understanding of the human immunobiology, pathogen biology and vaccine targets, along the iterative development of de-risked technology platforms that can be used across initiatives and targets. Hence, key responsibilities include leading the domain’s:
    • Scanning for and catalyzing the development and de-risking of the technologies, fundamental science and analytics needed to support the development of the next generation of vaccines and biologics—across academia, biotech and pharma
    • De-risking of platforms, tools and approaches, with dissemination to global partners
  • Having accountability for R&D vaccine and biologics initiatives aimed at the development of interventions to drive impact against Program Strategy Teams’ goals
  • Developing and prioritizing pipelines, in partnership with the relevant Program Strategy and Functional Teams
  • For candidates moving towards PCD, partnering efficiently across the foundation matrix to enable development of a comprehensive product development strategy
  • Partnering closely with D&TS leadership, including contributing to the continued development of D&TS’ overall strategic vision and goals, facilitating synergies across the team, and contributing to team management and culture.
  • Consulting, and providing thought partnership and support to grantees and other partners to improve the impact of projects and the creation of well-integrated initiatives
  • Providing technical guidance and support on the foundation process for Integrated Product Development Plans (IPDPs) and the development process. Supporting product development process as defined by the foundation for our internal and external partners.
  • Representing the foundation and program to the external world as relates to position responsibilities:
    • Forging collaborations with key global experts in vaccine and biologics discovery
    • Working with external advisors to maintain cutting edge approaches to vaccine and biologics discovery
    • Representing foundation interests in developing networks for the program
    • Representing the foundation in global consortia related to vaccine and biologics R&D
  • This role will require the ability to travel up to 30% domestically and internationally


Your Experience

We are looking for someone who enjoys the opportunity of working on complex projects and collaboratively creating solutions that have the potential for transformational change. We seek someone who has vision, superb strategic and leadership skills, can build consensus, structure and drive progress on complex topics, and provide deep technical capacity to the Vaccine & Biologics domain. Specific candidate experience:

  • MD and/or PhD, with a discovery mentality, deep expertise in human immunology, and 15+ years of experience working in one or more of the following areas: human vaccine and/or biologics R&D, human immunology and immunoregulation, and/or infectious disease pathogenesisDemonstrated excellence in leading data-driven strategy planning and implementation in a fast-paced and complex internal and external environment.
  • Strong listening, verbal, and written communication skills with an ability to work effectively and with sensitivity across barriers such as language, culture, and distance.
  • Proven program and partner management skills: ability to coordinate inputs from many people; to track progress against targets and identify barriers to progress.
  • Excellent interpersonal and negotiation skills with the ability to solve problems with energy and positive attitude. You must possess excellent relationship management skills to develop trusting and productive relationships with a wide range of colleagues, dignitaries, leaders, grantees, consultants and other partners. Experience working with international groups (WHO, CEPI) and/or in developing world settings is a plus.
  • Consistent track record leading and influencing others in a constructive manner and building collaborative relationships across a multi-disciplinary, highly matrixed work environment.
  • Proven success managing and developing teams of high-performing individuals.
  • Experience in establishing and leading collaborative programs integrating fundamental scientific research and lead generation in the academic, Pharma or Biotech sectors.
  • Tolerance for ambiguity and ability to apply structure to simplify complex problems.
  • Strong research, analytical, critical thinking skills.
  • Dedication to our core values, mission and programs with an approach that is consistent with the foundation’s guiding principles while holding oneself to the highest ethical standards. An ability to lead with a diversity, equity, and inclusion mindset and application.



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 [email protected].


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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