Senior Communications Officer, Media Relations

16 Sep, 2019


Senior Communications Officer, Media Relations

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Seattle, WA

Group Summary

The External Communications team helps advance the foundation’s global advocacy priorities through strategic communications while strengthening and protecting the foundation’s reputation. The team is responsible for driving the foundation’s overarching communications strategy through targeted issue-specific and cross-cutting campaigns designed to reach and engage influencers. We oversee editorial planning and develop strategies to optimize leadership voice, brand, and creative content through the foundation’s owned channels and earned media.

Position Summary

The Senior Communications Officer, Media Relations, will be a key member of the External Communications team within the foundation’s Global Policy & Advocacy division. S/he will work closely with colleagues across the foundation’s global offices to develop external communications strategy and drive proactive and reactive media engagement. The Senior Communications Officer will be responsible for proactive media relationship building, story placement, opportunity tracking, issues management, and management of media for foundation leadership trips and events. S/he will act as a thought partner to government relations leads, the program-specific communications team, and other relevant partners around the foundation on communications strategy and approach.

Core Responsibilities

Duties may include any or all of the following:

  • Lead proactive media strategy and engagement around key campaigns and leadership trip and events
  • Respond to media queries and requests for information from internal and external partners
  • Lead rapid response communications and issues management
  • Write materials including communications plans, situation analyses, core messages, talking points and briefing documents. Will have strong proof-reading and editing skills.
  • Lead and staff interviews with foundation leadership
  • Maintain strong ties and provide media expertise and counsel to the foundation’s regional and program-specific communications teams, Executive and Employee communications teams, and others throughout the foundation

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

You will be a sharp, media-savvy communications pro, ideally with experience developing communications strategy and working closely with media on behalf of large, complex, global organizations. The Senior Communications Officer will understand the strategic work of the foundation and the global media landscape. S/he will be digitally-minded with experience with new media and social media strategy. S/he should have a strong sense of curiosity, excellent judgement and willingness to collaborate. Global experience and/or fluency in additional languages is a plus. Additional qualifications include:

  • A strong knowledge of the global media landscape, including print, broadcast and digital media
  • Understanding of the global health and development policy environment
  • Understanding of key external communications trends, channels and distribution methods
  • Preference for international experience and shown cultural competency
  • Experience in a dynamic, deadline-oriented environment with demonstrated ability to juggle multiple and competing demands and establish priorities, while providing continual attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated excellent written and oral communication skills, in positions requiring communication with a broad and diverse audience on a range of complex and technical issues
  • Ability to represent the foundation confidently when engaging with media and other key partners
  • Ability to offer creative solutions to complex problems and translate options into implementable solutions
  • Demonstrated open-mindedness to new challenges and situations
  • Uses vision and values as guideposts for day-to-day activities, knows when to escalate concerns or questions before responding to requests, and seeks support and asks questions when confronted with obstacles
  • Strong and valued teammate with a sense of humor and humility; a ‘roll up your sleeves’ standout colleague
  • Passion for the foundation’s mission

Reports to: Deputy Director of Media Relations

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field; Communications, English, Journalism, Literature, Public Relations, Political Science or other relevant area of study
  • A minimum of 7+ years of progressive professional experience in a similar role in communications, journalism, public policy, or a related field, including management experience, collaborative experience with a wide range of internal and external partners, and excellent communications skills.
  • Experience working in non-profit/public health, government, communications agency, or private sector organization is strongly preferred.

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

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.

All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve the mission of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 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

* Prior Protected Activity

Learn more here

Job posted: 2019-09-16