Senior Communications Officer Job Vacancy at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – 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.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:



Job Title: Senior Communications Officer, Nigeria
 Abuja, Nigeria


The primary responsibility of the Senior Communications Officer, Nigeria, is to develop and execute a communications and media strategy that will use a range of high-quality communications tactics, materials and specific events/initiatives to help achieve the foundation’s programmatic and advocacy goals in Nigeria. This will be done in close collaboration with Nigeria-based leadership and staff, communications partners in the Gates Foundation’s Africa Regional and Seattle offices, program teams, and other policy and advocacy colleagues. It will also involve collaboration with a range of external foundation grantees and partners, including-given the Gates Foundation’s work with Nigeria’s government-government communications professionals at both federal and state level.

The focus of the foundation’s work in Nigeria is women’s and children’s health and nutrition issues, agricultural development and financial service for the poor. The Senior Communications Officer will report to the Nigeria based Deputy Director for Policy, Advocacy and Communications, with a dotted-line reporting relationship to the Africa Regional Office’s Deputy Director for Communications, based in Johannesburg.

Core Responsibilities

  • With leadership and staff colleagues, develop and implement a Nigeria communications strategy that deploys foundation assets (e.g., grants and contracts, leadership voice, convening ability, staff time) in support of the Gates Foundation’s strategy and its programmatic, policy and financing goals.
  • Work internally with Abuja-based, regional, and global program stakeholders and communications colleagues to align strategies, gather information and manage specific communications projects.
  • Work with internal partners—and manage investments in outside partners—to develop communication materials, events and initiatives, and to support the communications engagements of foundation leadership (primarily the Nigeria Country Director, but potentially including Co-chairs, CEO, division Presidents and other Directors visiting Nigeria), as well as the foundation’s advocacy goals.
  • Build and maintain relationships with Nigerian media partners, and communications partners at other relevant government, donor, and civil society organizations in Nigeria—in coordination with internal foundation communications colleagues.
  • Work closely with the global External Communications team, the Africa Communications team, the Program Advocacy and Communications team, and Program Strategy teams to coordinate and prioritize the foundation’s use of voice in Nigeria.
  • Potentially represent the foundation and the Nigeria program to internal and external constituencies, including both formal and informal presentations, making speeches, attending conferences and other meetings as necessary.
  • Manage project development, coordination and post-production activities of specific communications initiatives.
  • Drive strategic insights to ensure that communications strategies are aligned with the broader foundation and advocacy objectives.

Leadership and Culture:

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

Core Knowledge and Skills

  • Exceptional knowledge, experience and expertise in media and communications in Nigeria—either directly involving global health and development issues, or in areas that have provided strong and meaningful experience that can be translated to health and development issues.
  • Experience and/or proven ability in engaging with government communications partners in Nigeria, preferably at both national and sub-national level. Experience communicating around policy and advocacy efforts, and in working with NGOs(Non-Governmental Organizations) and the private sector (in addition to the media and government), preferred.
  • Experienced in shaping a strategic communications portfolio and building and developing strategic communications and media partnerships.
  •  Understanding of strategic audience segmentation, and how to leverage communications channels, traditional and social media, and multi-media approaches to reach audiences with appropriate messages. Able to recommend appropriate distribution channels that reach intended audiences.
  • Deep awareness of communication industry trends, channels and resources. Demonstrates awareness of global differences when communicating with people in other countries.
  • Proven ability to generate ideas that support audience and channel strategies.
  • Ability to translate complex ideas and information into simple messages aligned to targeted audiences.
  • A commitment to using facts and sound rationale to convey benefits to goals, as well as a demonstrated commitment to creativity and innovation.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills; with demonstrable experience of writing engaging articles on social impact issues.
  • Experience working with international organizations (in a communication role) and/or in multiple countries is preferred.
  • Experience or high ability to work in a complex, matrixed environment – requiring cultural awareness, and a collaborative nature that knows the benefits of seeking consensus.
  • Ability to work with flexibility, entrepreneurship, and diplomacy both individually and as part of a complex team effort. A proven ability to effectively manage and adapt within a changing environment.
  • A deep commitment to development issues in Nigeria.
  • Ability to travel up to 25% domestically and internationally.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s or other advanced degree in relevant fields including marketing, PR, media and communications, public policy or international relations.
  • 7+ years of related experience.

Reports to:

  • Deputy Director, Policy, Advocacy and Communications, Nigeria Country Office, with a dotted-line reporting relationship to the Africa Regional Office’s Deputy Director for Communications, based in Johannesburg.



How to Apply

Interested and qualified candidates should submit their CV’s for consideration via:


Application Deadline 7th September, 2018.



  • For questions around this vacancy please contact Ms. Aveen Colgan, Senior Consultant: SRI Executive via
  • Applications received through the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation Careers site will not be reviewed.
  • 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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