Senior Program Officer, Nutrition – Ethiopian Integrated Health

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Nutrition Team strategy (2015-2020) included five initiatives: effective solutions; country impact; data, analytics and evidence; advocacy, policy and alignment; and making food systems work (jointly owned with Agricultural Development). The Nutrition strategy has particularly strong linkages with the following foundation teams: Africa, India and China Country Offices; Agricultural Development; Global Policy and Advocacy; Maternal, New-born and Child Health; Discovery and Translational Science; Family Planning; and Integrated Delivery.    


Ethiopia is a priority country for the Nutrition strategy, while other countries in the region are part of the team’s replication strategy. Despite a conducive policy environment, deep-reaching delivery platforms, and richness in data for decision-making, malnutrition remains the underlying cause of more than half of childhood deaths in Ethiopia. Our goal is to support implementation of the government’s multisectoral National Nutrition Plan while accelerating scale of evidence-based nutrition interventions within the region. This role will craft and help execute, primarily, our work in Ethiopia and initially investigate the region including but not limited to:

  • Delivery of proven interventions, building on existing foundation investments in health and agriculture,
  • Support the Ethiopian Integrated Health (EIH) and Nutrition plan, the National Nutrition plan II and the Sequota declaration,
  • Better use of data and evidence for policy and program decision making,
  • Support for making food systems/agriculture investments more nutrition-sensitive.


Reporting to the Deputy Director, Ethiopia, you will be a member of Ethiopian Integrated Health and Nutrition team and as well as the Country Impact initiative team of the Nutrition strategy. Additionally, you will have a dotted line relationship (i.e. regular reporting including input on performance) to the Nutrition Deputy Director, Country Impact, who is based Seattle, WA.


Duties and Responsibilities:


The selected candidate will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Responsible to lead the Ethiopian nutrition work and gradually incorporate regional duties mirroring need and bandwidth.
  • Lead the execution of a tailored nutrition strategy for Ethiopia while contributing to the replication strategy for the region (East and Southern Africa) as well as supporting a limited number of non-nutrition in-country responsibilities as per the EIHP team member structure and SOW.
  • Scope, propose and craft investments (grants and/or contracts) to execute activities to support the nutrition strategy as well as some non-nutrition programmatic goals.
  • Manage a portfolio of complex grants and contracts requiring high-level grant management skills, including applying and evaluating milestone-based performance objectives.
  • Participate as the Nutrition SPO of the EIHT to other program teams within the foundation as assigned (e.g. Agricultural Development team as it relates to the food systems initiative and the teams working in the health sector in Ethiopia).
  • Establish and nurture external partnerships that will contribute to the success of our investments in country and within the region.  Work as part of the country office staff for coordinated relationship management with Federal and Regional government officials, other donors, grantees and other partners.
  • Lead efforts to promote appropriate policies and plans for health and nutrition in Ethiopia and investigate regional replication opportunities.
  • In collaboration with the Measurement, Learning and Evaluation (MLE) SPO in-country and in Seattle, define and implement appropriate measures to track investment performance.
  • Serve as a partner and resource to grantees and foundation program teams to facilitate the accomplishment of strategic objectives.
  • Synthesize and document results and lessons learned from grants and contracts including preparing briefings and portfolio reviews to leadership.
  • Contribute to writing background documents, briefs, and presentations, including carrying out relevant literature reviews, landscape analyses, and data analysis.
  • Plan and coordinate partner consultations and meetings to advance understanding of key issues for the strategy.
  • Undertake and lead special projects, as requested.


Leadership and Culture

We believe that energized people, working well together, fuelled by great leadership in an inclusive environment in which they thrive, will do extraordinary things.


Core Knowledge & Skills

We are looking for people who enjoy the opportunity of working on complex problems and collectively creating solutions that have the potential for transformative change in the lives of people around the world. You are a creative and curious leader who has an excellent track record of achievement and leadership in roles of increasing responsibility. You should be prepared to work across a diverse set of disciplines, bridging a wide range of expertise all the while being a teammate, with a demonstrated ability to work with flexibility, efficiency and diplomacy in an exciting, challenging environment.


Additional skills and/or experience: 

  • Experience in program design and implementation related to nutrition, food security, and/or public health; preferably gained within global health/development organizations.
  • Demonstrated experience in partnership building and management in Ethiopia and/or other relevant countries.
  • Nutrition experience related to food systems.  Experiencing engaging the private sector is a plus, but not required.
  • Experience working with health systems coupled with a deep understanding of public program implementation.
  • Demonstrated experience with conducting analyses.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated curiosity and comfort in areas beyond current areas of expertise with a proven ability to rapidly acquire knowledge and execute good judgment in a variety of scientific areas.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize work and meet deadlines within a fast-paced environment with multiple and competing demands.
  • Ability to work with diverse teams including scientists, business analysts, program implementers and other partners.
  • Sense of humor and positive attitude required.
  • Excellent interpersonal and negotiation skills with the ability to solve problems with energy.
  • Ability to travel within Ethiopia and internationally, up to one-third time (35%).
  • Ability to speak Amharic is desired. Fluency in English is required.


Required Experience and Qualifications:



  • Advanced degree in nutrition, public health, agriculture, social sciences, or business.



  • Minimum of eight years of experience in nutrition-related field; preferably gained within Ethiopia and/or other relevant country experience.


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.

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