Program Officer – Ag Policies and Statistics position at the Gates Foundation

Posted by | 08.07.2012

Business Title: Program Officer – Ag Policies & Statistics
Division: Global Development Program
Department: Agricultural Development
Location: Seattle

The Agricultural Development Department focuses on a key outcome – sustainable productivity growth for smallholder farmers – that is essential to achieving the impact that we seek: poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Productivity growth for smallholders depends upon improved seeds and other technologies, incentives to adopt these improvements through functioning input and output markets, and an improved policy environment.

The Program Officer (PO) will be a leader and a team player in the implementation of these goals, with a specific focus on work of the Agricultural Development Team notably around Agriculture-Environment Interactions, and the natural environment’s intersection with our Agriculture strategy. The PO will work closely with the full Agricultural Development team to develop and execute an advocacy strategy, forge new partnerships, and develop grants.

The PO will play a critical role in managing high impact and complex grants and partnerships around Agriculture-Environment interactions. She or he will provide research and analysis in support of grant making, strategy development, donor coordination and communication and advocacy. Furthermore, she or he will support the Agricultural Development Team in a cross-cutting function by providing tools and resources to the team to foster the environmental sustainability of the Team’s grant-making. He or she will also be a spokesperson and public advocate for our grants, portfolio and strategy.

The PO will bring a depth and breadth of experience in and knowledge of donor and developing country governments’ development activities and mechanisms, and technical expertise in evidence based, results oriented advocacy.

Key responsibilities include:
• Consult with grantees to develop new grant ideas around sustainable productivity growth according to the Ag Development Team’s strategy, conduct site visits, provide technical guidance and convene meetings
• Manage a portfolio of project grants. Partner with grantees to develop project objectives and define key outcomes and milestones, ensuring that appropriate monitoring and evaluation systems and processes are established to produce robust evaluation of outcomes.
• Review letters of inquiry& grant proposals, provide written analysis and recommendations for funding, including drafting and editing of proposal summaries and progress reports for existing grants for review by Foundation leadership.
• Develop and manage tools and resources and provide back-stopping for fellow POs in the area of Agriculture-Environment interactions to enhance the environmental sustainability of the Team’s grant-making.
• Manage internal processes and portfolio progress while ensuring appropriate documentation, grant budgeting and reporting.
• Plan and execute a wide range of activities in support of strategic planning, grant management and external relationship management. Provide written analysis of key topics to foundation leadership.
• Represent the foundation to key program-related external constituencies. This will likely include both formal and informal public presentations such as making speeches, attending international conferences and other meetings as necessary.
• Serve as a point of contact on portfolio-related issues for key internal and external stakeholders.

• 7-10 years of experience plus an advanced degree in agricultural or environmental economics, agricultural or environmental sciences or an MBA with demonstrable experience working with and on behalf of agricultural development issues in the developing world.
• Experience in the conception, design and management of strategies, initiatives and program.
• Experience working with policymakers and advocates for global and/or country level policy & advocacy, with strong preference for knowledge of and experience living in Africa and/or South Asia.
• Experience developing, managing and implementing projects, including partnering with grantees on the definition of objectives and deliverables and monitoring and evaluation of results.
• Demonstrated success in leadership roles developing and managing policy and advocacy organizations, programs or initiatives requiring a combination of strong analytical, writing, social and management skills.
• Ability to work both persuasively and diplomatically in an team-based environment with a high degree of complexity and ambiguity.
• A deep commitment to development and environment issues.
• Ability to travel up to 30% domestically and internationally.
• High standards of personal integrity and sense of humor required.

To learn more about this position please click here.