Program Officer, Input Markets Job

Program Officer, Input Markets Job 
Division:          Global Development Program
Department:     Agricultural Development
Location:          Seattle
 
Foundation Overview  
 
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people-especially those with the fewest resources-have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
 
Group Summary         
 
The goal of the Global Development Program (GDP) is to increase opportunities for people in the developing world to lift themselves out of hunger and poverty and to help deliver targeted healthcare solutions in these regions. Our strategies focus on Agriculture Development; Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene; Financial Services for the Poor; and Family Health which includes Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Family Planning, and Nutrition. These strategies are supported by functional teams that focus on Vaccine Delivery and Integrated Delivery. GDP also has Special Initiatives that focus Urban Poverty, Emergency Relief, Global Libraries and Value for the Money.
 
The Agricultural Development Department focuses on sustainable productivity growth for smallholder farmers to achieve the impact that we seek: poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Productivity growth for smallholders depends upon improved seeds, livestock and other technologies, incentives to adopt these improvements through functioning input and output markets, and an improved policy environment. We currently define our goals by commodity, with a focus on delivering tangible productivity gains for a priority set of crops and livestock products within a handful of target geographies. In developing and executing on their strategies, our commodity portfolio managers rely on functional and context expertise from three groups: Research & Development, Farmer Services & Systems, and Country & Policy.
 
Responsibilities          
 
The Program Officer (PO), Input Markets, will work closely with members of functional and commodity teams within the Agricultural Development Department. With a specific focus on inputs markets, s/he will be expected to develop and manage grants, in collaboration with other POs in the field of input delivery including seed, fertilizers, crop protection products, technical advisory services and financial products. A specific emphasis is further to contribute to the development of a portfolio of grants related to fertilizers and other inputs relevant to soil fertility management. S/he will contribute to the development and implementation of commodity- and country-based strategies for improving on-farm productivity and realized value for smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
 
The PO will be expected to:
  • Work in close collaboration with internal and external partners to design, implement, and manage performance-based grants, focusing on investments related to input markets including seed, fertilizers, crop protection products and financial products. Specific attention related to fertilizer markets, development and marketing of blends, adoption of improved agronomic practices, models for extension and technical advisory services, and other areas catalyzing improvements in soil fertility management among smallholder farmers.
  • Provide advice and strategic guidance to colleagues that enables practical, innovative, and catalytic investments addressing input markets among smallholder farmers.
  • Consult with grantees and other partners in public and private sectors to maximize impact of grants and ensure optimal learning. This may include: site visits, providing operational guidance, working with companies, and convening meetings of key stakeholders.
  • Provide high quality interactions and clear and consistent communications with grantees and partners in the field. Represent the foundation with external stakeholders including governments, regulators, companies, grantee organizations, universities, think tanks, and other valued partners.
  • Review letters of inquiry and grant proposals; provide clear, concise and insightful written analyses and recommendations for funding including drafting and editing proposal summaries and progress reports for existing grants for review by foundation leadership. 
Qualifications  
 
We are looking for people who enjoy the challenge of working on complex problems and collaboratively creating solutions that have the potential for transformational change in the lives of smallholder farmers. The candidate must be prepared to work across diverse sides of this field, bridging a wide range of expertise, including that of: farmers, development practitioners, technical experts, analysts, policymakers, business people, investors, and philanthropists. S/he must have a practical understanding of the soil health needs of poor farming households, as well as the issues that constrain adoption of new technologies and agronomic practices. Additionally, the candidate must have practical expertise relating to: programmatic and policy solutions in the field of soil fertility management by smallholder farmers. S/he will be a solid team player who can operate independently, with a demonstrated ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, and diplomacy in a fast-paced, challenging environment, using use a hypothesis-driven approach and analytical rigor to develop sound strategies and implementation plans.
 
The qualified candidate should have the following experience:
  • Five or more years relevant work experience in roles responsible for developing, implementing, and managing projects/programs. Outstanding record of achievement required.
  • Undergraduate degree in business, agronomy, soil science, international development, or related discipline. Master's preferred.
  • Strong understanding of, and the ability to communicate, the challenges associated with building and managing market-driven food and agricultural supply chains for input markets and knowledge reaching rural poor through markets. Work across public and private sectors preferred.
  • Preferably experience working with teams that have built, deployed, and scaled products relevant to soil fertility management, management practices and markets targeting smallholder farmers in developing countries.
  • Experience working in-country in Africa and/or South Asia required.
  • Ability to travel up to 25% of time as needs dictate. 
The position will be based in Seattle, WA and will report to the Senior Program Officer, Functional Group Lead, Farmer Services & Systems.
 
The statements in this description represent typical elements, criteria and general work performed. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills for this job.
 
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 comprehensive background check.
 
We are an equal opportunity employer dedicated and focused on diversity. 
 
Requisition Number:    5327BR 
 
Nearest Major Market: Seattle
Job Segment: Agricultural, Sustainable Agriculture, Agronomy, Program Manager, Drafting, Agriculture, Management, Engineering
 
Program Officer, Input Markets Job Program Officer, Input Markets Job Reviewed by Unknown on 9:16:00 AM Rating: 5

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