Director, Global Education

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Washington, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Feb 26, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Appointment of Director, Global Education

All Lives Have Equal Value. We are impatient optimists working to reduce inequity.

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 low and middle-income countries, we focus on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, we seek to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.

According to UN data, since 2000, the number of children worldwide who are of primary school age but are not in school has fallen from 99 to 58 million, even as the population of that age group has increased from 665 to 728 million. Despite this progress in access to schools, far too many children leave primary school without minimum proficiency in math and reading, an estimated 387 million globally, and in low-income countries, only 10% of children can read by the age of 10, compared with 90% in high-income countries. While the gender gap in access to primary schooling has shrunk, challenges remain in ensuring equal educational opportunities for girls, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been investing in global public goods (data, evidence, innovation) that can inform local education policy reform in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Since early 2020, we have expanded the scope of our work to more directly improve reading and math outcomes - also referred to as foundational literacy and numeracy - among children in the early grades in India and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Reporting to the President of the Foundation’s Global Growth & Opportunity Division, the Director of Global Education will be responsible for defining, implementing and course-correcting the foundation’s strategy for improving learning outcomes, particularly in early grades, for low-income students in Sub-Saharan Africa and India. The foundation sees its role as providing catalytic support to the actors already engaged in improving learning outcomes in those geographies, primarily in the form of public goods.

The successful candidate will have a track record of effective leadership and management, including responsibility for diverse and dispersed teams in a matrixed and/or rapidly changing environment. We will prioritize candidates who can demonstrate a strategic and analytical approach and have an open mind for what can be accomplished leveraging the platform of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  An experimental mindset and experience of using data and evidence to inform and improve outcomes in education in low and lower middle-income countries is highly desirable for this role.

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. If you are a creative and curious leader, then please download further information on the required qualifications, skills and experience for this role at quoting reference 5033.

The deadline for applications is Friday March 26  12 noon PT.

This role will be based in Seattle, Washington DC, or London (willing to consider other foundation regional offices as appropriate) and the salary is competitive and commensurate with the seniority of the appointment.


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