VC Director @ Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, WA

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 Mark Suzman and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

With a trust value of close to $47 billion and total grant payments of over $50 billion since its inception, including $6 billion in 2019, the Gates Foundation is the world’s largest private foundation. The Foundation operates through six key divisions: Gender Equality, Global Development, Global Health, Global Growth & Opportunity, Global Policy & Advocacy and the United States Programs (focusing on US education and poverty reduction).

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.

Strategic Investment Fund

In 2009, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation established a strategic investment fund with the mandate to use equity, debt and guarantee investment tools to further the philanthropic goals of the organization. The fund has become a leader in the “impact investing” industry, successfully completing more than 80 investments across a variety of sectors and asset classes. Investments are made in support of the charitable impact theses of these program strategy teams, which employ technical experts from around the world.

They partner with entrepreneurs, companies, and other organizations to create incentives that harness the power of private enterprise to create change for those who need it most. In connection with these investments, companies agree to use the investment proceeds in support of specific foundation programmatic strategies.

Investments from the fund are structured as “program-related investments,” which is a defined term in the US Internal Revenue Code that governs charitable investments made by a private foundation.

Representative Past Investments of the Fund Include

  • $11 million Series A preferred equity investment in bKash, Ltd. , the largest mobile payments platform in Bangladesh serving more than 35 million customers. To date, almost four million accounts are registered to active users living under $2/day; a third of whom are women living under $2/day.
  • $52 million Series B preferred equity investment in CureVac GmbH , a leading mRNA biotechnology company developing vaccines against cancer and infectious disease.
  • $10 million Series E preferred equity investment in Halodoc , a leading Indonesian online-to-offline health delivery platform leveraging mobile technology to improve primary healthcare outcomes.
  • $10 million senior secured loan to Civic Builders , a non-profit charter school facilities developer, to support expansion of its operations from New York/New Jersey to Rhode Island.
  • $120 million volume guarantee to Bayer AG and Merck & Co. Inc. , which ensured a market for the companies’ implantable contraceptive products in exchange for a commitment by the drug manufacturers to increase their production and lower their prices in the developing world.
  • $5 million investment in the publicly-traded equity of Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. , a biotechnology company with a novel boron-chemistry drug development platform that was acquired by Pfizer Inc. in June 2016.

Role Summary

Reporting to the Chief Financial Officer, the Director of Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) leads the foundation’s $2 billion+ investment program, manages the team of 15 and chairs the fund’s Investment Committee .

Core Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Lead partnership collaboratively with the leadership and program officers from the six divisions—Gender Equality, Global Development, Global Health, Global Growth & Opportunity, Global Policy & Advocacy, and the United States Programs, on identifying and securing the right kinds of investments to complement grant- making. This will also involve determining whether are recipients of investments are better-suited to be grantees.
  • Lead a team of leaders in identifying, evaluating and developing global investment opportunities that align with the Foundation’s mission, particularly in the developing world.
  • Lead the Investment Committee in its evaluation and discussions around new and existing investments.

Financial Investing/Deal Structure

  • Directly or through management of the team lead due diligence, deal structuring, and negotiation of terms sheets, purchase and lending agreements and financing terms.
  • Direct the execution of investment transactions; monitor and transparently assess the impact of those investments.
  • Develop and manage relationships with intermediaries to generate increased deal flow.
  • Manage the preparation of written analyses and evaluations of investment opportunities for use by senior management and Investment Committee members.
  • Lead reviews and assessment of risk.

Team Management/Cohesion

  • Lead, manage, mentor and hire for the Strategic Investment Fund team.
  • Participate in internal and external stakeholder meetings. Help consult to the various Gates programs to help them think through the best strategies for impact.
  • Lead by example towards impact with high levels of humility, outstanding intelligence and a collaborative style focused on a highly diverse and results-driven team.

Core Knowledge and Skills

  • Strong Mission-Orientation: Prior experience within a mission-related and/or impact fund sector coupled with a passion for solving global health issues and challenges, and ideally, knowledge and/or direct experience in working on solving low and middle income population issues such as infectious disease (HIV, COVID-19, Malaria, Tuberculosis), economic inequity, and environmental.
  • Investor Credibility With Direct Emerging Markets Experience: An experienced investor with a demonstrated investment track record of progressively senior leadership roles within a private equity, venture or impact fund or some other investment vehicle such as a corporate fund, foundation, venture philanthropy, privately held family office or another large global organization that is committed to funding research and development. Emerging markets investment experience is a must. This person will have had broad exposure to a number of investment structures, including debt, equity, structured finance and grants and have served on an investment committee. The person will have origination/sourcing process, due diligence, investment transactions and the management of investments experience and have a demonstrated facility with fundamentals of investing, including making investments in partnership with private and/or public capital, corporations, venture philanthropy and foundations.
  • Operations and People Management Experience: She/he/they will offer a demonstrated track record inspiring, motivating and empowering a talented group of professionals. Incredibly talented and dynamic, the Strategic Investment Fund team demonstrates a high level of collaboration and collegiality and prizes transparency, innovation, and inclusion. The successful candidate will have evidence developing talent.
  • Relevant Domain Industry Expertise: Industry experience and a well-developed deal sourcing network within both the operating and investing communities of one or a combination of sectors where the Gates Foundation makes investments such as: Life Sciences (Drugs/Vaccines/Devices/Diagnostics), Digital Health and/or Finance, Agriculture, Healthcare, Microfinance and Education.
  • Gravitas, Presence, and Emotional Intelligence: Must have demonstrated leadership with a history of strategic, operational and relationship building success within a complex, matrixed organization that operates in partnership with numerous key constituents, stakeholders and partners. This person must have the requisite influential and interpersonal leadership skills, including personal charisma and emotional intelligence in order to serve as an internal and external ambassador for the Gates Foundation in order to attract, develop, motivate and retain a diverse group of professionals.

Additional Qualifications

  • An abiding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all forms.
  • Specific deal experience in sub-Saharan Africa, India, and East Asia is a big plus.
  • Non-profit experience is also a strong plus.
  • Aptitude and experience in navigating start-up and VC world.
  • Developer of networks and resources in the technical spaces in which the Foundation works.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Numerate and keen analytical sense
  • Willingness to work in a complex structure to achieve mission goals.
  • An ability to develop a framework to anticipate and account for all kinds of risk.
  • Intellectual curiosity and a critical thinker.
  • Calm under pressure
  • Strong sense of integrity
  • Ability and track record to say no and why.
  • Ability and track record to say yes and take risks and why.
  • Willingness to be part of a broader finance team.
  • Confidence and gravitas to work at all levels within the Foundation.

Education and Experience

Advanced degree with 15+ years of experience, or equivalent experience.

Applicants and interested individuals – The Diversified Search Group has been retained to assist the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with this very important search. The Diversified Search Group is dedicated to recruiting inspiring, transformational leaders of every background who build culture, foster innovation, and deliver both social impact and financial performance. Interested candidates can submit a resume, cover letter and deal sheet to: click apply

Applicants for this role will only be considered if they possess current US Work Authorization, and do not require employer-sponsored VISA support to begin or remain in this role.

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.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve—in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs—and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.


If interested, please apply here.

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