Director, Strategic Investment Fund

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on May 6, 2024

The Foundation

We are the largest nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world. Founded on a simple premise: people everywhere, regardless of identity or circumstances, should have the chance to live healthy, productive lives. We believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve. We provide an exceptional benefits package to employees and their families which include comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage with no premiums, generous paid time off, paid family leave, foundation-paid retirement contribution, regional holidays, and opportunities to engage in several employee communities. As a workplace, we’re committed to creating an environment for you to thrive both personally and professionally.

The Team

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 build incentives that harness the power of private enterprise to inspire 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.

The team uses 3 primary investment tools to advance program goals:

  • Equity investments: Build partnerships with early- and growth-stage companies to access technology platforms for the development and delivery of products and service with sustainable impact potential for the foundation’s target populations.
  • Debt investments: Scale delivery of products and services for the foundation’s target populations with loans that can be tailored to include principal forgiveness financial incentives that “pay for success.”
  • Volume guarantees: De-risk demand to facilitate new product launches and secure adequate supply of commodities at affordable prices for the foundation’s target populations.

Since its inception, the team has:

  • Invested $1.4B across 91 debt, equity and fund investments.
  • Generated over $1.3B in direct global health commodity procurement savings by providing $1.8B of guarantees across 24 investments.
  • Leveraged $2 of third-party capital for every $1 committed by the foundation, on average. Several investments have generated greater than 10x leverage.

Deals are almost always “program-related investments” (PRIs) which is a defined term in the US tax code that sets conditions for private foundations to make charitable investments. Policies ensure compliance with the tax code and all investments are made for programmatic impact not financial gain.

Your Role

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

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 the 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 about 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 SIF team.
  • Participate in internal and external collaborator meetings. Help consult with 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 ambitious team.


What You’ll Do

  • 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 will 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: They will offer a proven track record inspiring, motivating and empowering a dedicated 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 of 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, collaborators 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.


Your Experience

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

Must be able to legally work in the country where this position is located without visa sponsorship.

The salary range for this role is $406,700.00 to $650,800.00 USD. We recognize high-wage market differences in Seattle and Washington D.C., where our offices are located. The range for this role in these locations is $422,900.00 to $708,700.00 USD. As a mission-driven organization, we strive to balance competitive pay with our mission. New hires salaries are typically between the range minimum and the salary range midpoint. Actual placement in the range will depend on a candidate’s job-related skills, experience, and expertise, as evaluated during the interview process.

Hiring Requirements

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

Candidate Accommodations

If you require assistance due to a disability in the application or recruitment process, please submit a request here.

Inclusion Statement

We are dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We strive for a global and cultural workplace that supports ever greater diversity, equity, and inclusion — of voices, ideas, and approaches — and we support this diversity through all our employment practices.

All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve our mission will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to race, color, age, religion, pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and prior protected activity.

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