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Senior Program Officer, Industry Development & New Product Introduction

Seattle, WA, USASeattleWAUSA

As the Senior Program Officer, Industry Development & New Product Introduction, you will lead the WSH program’s efforts to launch a brand-new Reinvented Toilet industry in targeted geographies; including China, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.  Your focus will be to identify and understand the needs of early adopters and potential customers (users, service providers and other buyers) of Reinvented Toilets and orchestrate the market architecture required to deploy these technologies in launch markets. You will be partnering and collaborating directly with commercial partners (i.e. those manufacturing & distributing the Reinvented Toilets), financiers, government regulators & policy makers, development partners and foundation colleagues to build market structures that will accelerate the growth of a brand-new sanitation industry.

Areas of Responsibility: 

In addition to the above, the SPO will have the responsibility to:

  • Work with commercial partners to design and execute go-to-market structures and strategies that enable the development of a new sanitation industry in launch markets.
  • Identify funding opportunities and collaborate with partners to deliver on goals set by the WSH program.
  • Provide strategic analysis and insight on the market landscape, dynamics & segmentation (including market sizing, trends, and likelihood of early adopters) to commercial and business partners and foundation leadership.
  • Coordinate with business partners and government on approaches and processes to understand and influence policies, standards and regulations, procurement trends, taxes and other financial drivers to promote adoption and successful commercialization of sanitation innovation.
  • Lead market and pricing studies, and value proposition analysis.
  • Lead insightful research to bring the voice of the customers to commercial partners and technology developers.
  • Partner with commercial, industry partners and government for product roll-outs in launch markets.
  • Identify and document incentives and disincentives specific to each market, and any other barriers to market development and customer adoption. Propose strategies and mechanisms to accelerate adoption and commercialization of innovative sanitation solutions
  • Drive strategy, program planning and execution in coordination with cross-functional partners and stakeholders. 
  • As appropriate, hire and manage a multi-national team of consultants to lead industry development activities in respective markets.
  • Coordinate country execution plans with other WSH colleagues.

The charitable goals of our program depend on the development of this new industry and on these new markets being sustainably profitable for our commercial partners. The imperative for growing these markets comes from the urgency of reducing the rates of death and disease, in these regions, due to poor sanitation. Your success in this role will contribute to saving and improving many millions of lives.

Reports to: Deputy Director and Lead of the Transformative Technology Commercialization initiative.


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 must be prepared to work across a diverse set of disciplines, bridging a wide range of expertise all the while being a team player, with a demonstrated ability to work with flexibility, efficiency and diplomacy in an exciting, challenging environment. The responsibilities of this role require that you should have experience in successfully launching a new product category and/or significant innovation developing and/or emerging economies; strong preference for experience in at least one of our desired launch markets (e.g. China, India, South Africa). Additionally, we seek:

Required Industry-Related Experience & Education:

  • A minimum of 10+ years’ experience in go-to-market strategy and/or product marketing role(s).
  • A strong project management disciple.
  • Excellent communications, presentation and analytic skills; with the ability to passionately articulate a vision and inspire partnership.
  • Oriented toward team collaboration, with the ability to be flexible and adjust to changing circumstances.
  • Data-driven, customer-focused, and naturally curious with a willingness to span from strategy development to detailed execution.
  • Creative problem solver with a tenacious focus on business goals.
  • Confident and comfortable working with senior business executives, government officials and cross-functional partners to drive alignment and execution.
  • Comfortable with ambiguity, working in a fast-paced environment, and navigating large global organizations.
  • Strong organizational skills, ability to collaborate cross-functionally, and willingness to span from strategy to detailed execution.
  • Comfortable in a wide range of cultural, geographic and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diverse range of people.

Additional skills and/or experience:

  • Ability to communicate effectively in both Mandarin and English. Fluency in Mandarin a plus.
  • Experience selling products to operators in a regulated market and/or selling to governments.
  • Experience in broadening a market to reach those considered at the base of the pyramid.
  • Experience managing a distributed team.
  • Subject matter expert on competitive landscapes, global trends, and how to apply both to help our commercial partners be successful.
  • Strong relationship management skills including experience working with a range and level of clients, colleagues, consultants, and other partners with experience managing and developing strong commercial partnerships and convincing commercial partners to enter a new market/business.
  • Ability to travel up to 25-35% of time as needs dictate.
  • Commitment to the foundation’s core values, mission and programs with an approach that is consistent with the foundation’s guiding principles while holding oneself to the highest ethical standards.

Organization Info

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Seattle, WA, United States
Annual Budget : 
More than $500M
About Us

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, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

We work with partner organizations worldwide to tackle critical problems in four program areas. Our Global Development Division works to help the world’s poorest people lift themselves out of hunger and poverty. Our Global Health Division aims to harness advances in science and technology to save lives in developing countries. Our United States Division works to improve U.S. high school and postsecondary education and support vulnerable children and families in Washington State. And our Global Policy & Advocacy Division seeks to build strategic relationships and promote policies that will help advance our work. Our approach to grantmaking in all four areas emphasizes collaboration, innovation, risk-taking, and, most importantly, results.

  1. Global Health
  2. Global Development
  3. United States
  4. Global Policy & Advocacy

Listing Stats

Post Date: 
Jul 22 2019
Active Until: 
Aug 21 2019
Hiring Organization: 
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation