The Senior Program Officer (SPO), Global Policy and Advocacy (GPA) will be responsible for increasing support for public aid and improved policy towards developing countries in Europe, in particular senior level donor government relations work to support policy advocacy activities in Norway and Sweden as well as other Nordic Council countries but only on an opportunistic basis. The work principally focuses on policy makers in Norway and Sweden, helping to communicate and pursue direct collaboration with key government officials in order to increase the quantity and quality of resources available to achieve the foundation’s priorities. The work will also include relationship building with civil society, think tanks and general influencers in development policy.
The SPO will report to the Director of the European Office on the Donor and Government Relations (DGR) team and work closely with other teams in GPA to develop and execute a comprehensive regional Nordics advocacy strategy, forge new partnerships, and develop grants. S/he will be a team player in the implementation of GPA goals, with a focus on advocacy for increasing funding and the building of an enabling policy environment for global development, especially focused on the foundation’s priorities. The ideal candidate will bring a depth and breadth of experience in and knowledge of the Norwegian and Swedish political landscape, including government, parliament, civil society and media but also
cross-cutting platforms such as the Nordics Council.
Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
• High-level advocacy engagement with the Norwegian and Swedish governments in order to sustain and increase funding and facilitate policy change for foundation priorities.
• Represent the foundation to external constituencies in support of the overall policy and advocacy objectives in Norway and Sweden, as well as other Nordic countries occasionally/on an opportunistic basis.
• Provide regular updates and political intelligence to DGR, the European Office, and foundation leadership.
• Flag opportunities for advocacy activities and provide guidance on prioritization for foundation leadership visits/meetings.
• Build long-lasting senior level relations with government officials, CSOs and aid implementation agencies as well as other groups to form partnerships.
• Prepare, support and staff leadership meetings with government officials, including writing all political intelligence and briefing notes related to Norway and Sweden.
• Represent the foundation to key program-related external constituencies. This could include both formal and informal presentations such as making speeches, attending conferences and other meetings as necessary.
• Assume primary responsibility for shaping and managing policy and advocacy grants and contracts in Norway and Sweden.
• Responsible for high quality interactions and clear and consistent communications with grantees and partners in Norway and Sweden.
• 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.
Reports to: Director, Europe
• Master’s degree in public policy, international relations, development, economics or a related field is preferred, with significant years of related experience, ideally 15 years.
• Experience in the conception, design, and management of advocacy strategies, initiatives and programs. Experience in the conception, design, and management of strategies, initiatives, and programs related to motivating an enhanced governmental response.
• Deep experience working with and strong relationships with policymakers and knowledge of major donor institutions, in particular in Norway and Sweden. Knowledge of the legislative and administrative processes and structures in Norway and Sweden pertinent to international development research, funding, or policymaking.
• Demonstrated track record of working with political, professional, governmental, and philanthropic leaders in Europe at both national and global level.
• Senior level work experience and detailed political landscape knowledge of Norwegian or Swedish government. Access to senior level government officials and ability to build on an existing, sound, high level, network in at least one of the two key countries.
• Demonstrated leadership, analytical, interpersonal, and communication skills.
• Demonstrated track record of working collaboratively in a team-oriented, highly demanding environment.
• Demonstrated success in leadership roles developing and managing policy and advocacy organizations, programs or initiatives.
• Ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, enthusiasm, and diplomacy, both individually and as part of a complex team effort.
• Ability to navigate complex relationships.
• Native speaker in Norwegian and/or Swedish. Ability to travel within the region (e.g. Sweden, Norway and the UK) and to the United States (quarterly).
Please note that the successful candidate would ideally be based in Oslo or Stockholm.
As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.