Senior Program Officer, Vaccine Clinical Development, Global Health

Website the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Senior Program Officer, Vaccine Clinical Development, Global Health

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. We focus our strategies to fight and prevent HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases, enteric and diarrheal diseases, and pneumonia. Our maternal, neonatal and child health program 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 strategies are supported by functional teams that focus on Discovery & Translational Sciences, Vaccine Development & Surveillance (VD&S), and Integrated Development.

The VD&S Team advances public goods for global health through technological innovation. We do this by accelerating the development and commercialization of novel vaccines and the sustainable manufacture of existing vaccines, defining the global disease burden through better primary data and world-class modeling, and reducing the threat of epidemics.



Your Role

The Senior Program Officer (SPO), Clinical, is accountable for implementing and managing grants and contracts to build sound clinical and integrated vaccine development plans, as well as provide technical support to various vaccine programs supported across the foundation. These include programs in novel polio vaccines, RSV, pneumonia, malaria, enteric diseases, and HPV. You will provide crucial project management, grant management, and communication plans on VD&S priorities and to internal Program Strategy Teams (PSTs), Product Development Partners (PDPs) and other foundation partners. You will also partner with leaders in key functional areas to contribute to the team’s strategic vision including participating in the setting of the overall strategy and goals for the group.  The VD&S Team also progresses cross-cutting vaccine initiatives exploring correlates of protection, combination vaccines and vaccine schedules which are otherwise not addressed withing a single strategy team.


This person will be a key member of the VD&S Clinical Domain and report to the Deputy Director of Clinical Development.


What You’ll Do

  • Negotiate, implement, and run a portfolio of grants or performance-based contracts, including alignment of partners, review of letters of inquiry and grant proposals as well as providing clear, concise, and insightful written analyses and recommendations for funding.
  • Apply strategic and technical/scientific expertise to lead integrated clinical development plans for vaccine development in support of rapid response vaccine platforms and the acceleration of vaccine development coupled with improvement vaccine coverage supporting diseases with epidemic/pandemic potential.
  • Partner closely with team leadership, including the Director, DD Integrated Clinical Vaccines Development, DD CMC Vaccine Development and DD Vaccine Regulatory, to communicate and implement the overall Vaccine Development strategy.
  • Consult, provide thought partnership, and support to grantees to increase the impact of projects and the creation of well-integrated vaccine development plans, clinical study designs, statistical analysis plans, and clinical assays for vaccine clinical studies.
  • Serve as an advisor on clinical vaccine study design, including the review of protocols, analysis plans, and clinical sections of regulatory dossiers.
  • Work closely with the Discovery and Translational Sciences (D&TS) team on pre-clinical and early clinical pipeline to support and ensure smooth transitions of vaccines into full clinical development.
  • Provide technical mentorship and support on the foundation process for Integrated Product Development Plans (IPDPs) and the development process including definition of critical milestones and stage gates. Support product development process as defined by the foundation.
  • Support the evaluation of new vaccine technologies, providing input on potential clinical development pathway.
  • Manage information related to grant portfolio and domain-level data, such as documenting key activities and decisions; inputting into key business processes and performance measurement tools; preparing materials for communication with foundation leadership.
  • Forge collaborations with key global experts in vaccine development.
  • Work with external advisors to maintain innovative approaches to vaccine development.
  • Represent foundation interests in developing networks for the program.
  • This role will require the ability to travel up to 30% domestically and internationally.


Your Experience

Our ideal candidate is someone who enjoys the opportunity of working on complex projects and collaboratively crafting solutions that have the potential for transformational change. We seek a self-starter who can integrate a diverse set of perspectives to build consensus, structure, and drive progress, and provide technical and operational capacity to the VD&S portfolio.

  • MD and/or PhD with proven experience in one or more of the following areas: clinical research & development, vaccine development, infectious diseases and/or immunology
  • Experience in working with different vaccine platforms and/or experience working on product development plans
  • Extensive knowledge of clinical vaccine research from phase 1 through phase 4 including statistical capabilities
  • Experience working with developing country vaccine manufacturers a plus
  • Significant knowledge of vaccines including major challenges to development
  • Demonstrated ability to learn new disease areas and new vaccine technologies quickly
  • Ability to lead and affect evidence-based strategy planning and implementation process
  • Demonstrated excellence in scientific writing and data analysis, written and oral communication skills, and experience advocating and communicating with a broad and diverse audience
  • Demonstrated ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, and passion in a fast-paced environment
  • Proven program and stakeholder management skills: ability to coordinate inputs from many people; to track progress against targets and identify barriers to progress; to plan agendas and facilitate meetings; and to organize, evaluate, and communicate information
  • Strong judgment skills and abilities to handle issues, multiple tasks, confidential information, and opposing priorities with skill, discretion, a strong attention to detail, flexibility, and diplomacy
  • Tolerance for ambiguity and ability to apply structure to simplify problems
  • Exceptional listening, verbal, and written communication skills, able to effectively calibrate input and synthesize information to connect with diverse audiences
  • Excellent interpersonal and diplomatic skills. 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
  • Demonstrated passion for the Foundation’s values with a commitment to deliver results against our mission



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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