Senior Program Officer, Education Product

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Multiple Locations - Full time

Division Summary

The vision of the foundation’s U.S. Program (USP) works to ensure all students in the US have access to educational opportunities, from Pre-K to postsecondary, that enable them to develop the knowledge, skills, and agency needed thrive as adults and contribute to their communities. Our goal is to make sure more students are on track to obtain a postsecondary credential with labor market value such that race/ethnicity and income are no longer predictors of student success.

Team Summary

The goal of the K-12 Team is to significantly increase the number of students who are Black, Latino, and/or experiencing poverty who earn a diploma, enroll in a postsecondary institution, and are on track in their first year to obtain a credential with labor-market value. The K-12 Solutions team is focused on building the evidence base for emerging and existing educational resources and programs that harness student and educator assets to improve academic and experiential outcomes for students who are Black, Latino, and/or experiencing poverty.

Job Description Summary

As a member of the K-12 Solutions Team, you will lead the strategic development and management of a portfolio of investments supporting partners in developing and implementing digital products and other programs focused on Math and English Language Arts.

Core Responsibilities

  • Identify and manage partners that support grantees in developing product vision, product strategy, product design, and the delivery of customer centric solutions.
  • Analyze K-12 education product landscape to identify and track leaders and laggards in quality, including the core curriculum, supplemental/intervention, interim assessment and Learning Management System categories.
  • Apply knowledge of the key drivers of product efficacy and multiple dimensions of product quality including standards alignment, user experience, engagement, cultural relevance, language learner supports, and interoperability.
  • Identify and manage partners that support grantees in the development of leading blended and digital products in Math and English Language Arts.
  • Develop and maintain field-level view of customer and end user needs and desires to understand industry trends that are shaping requirements, in order to proactively introduce potential new features and products.
  • Develop and support work that strengthens commercialization of early stage R&D through beta and pilot programs to gather feedback, obtain efficacy data, and drive adoption.
  • Collaborate with program officers on the K-12 Solutions Team to improve support of product- and program-oriented partners and grantees across all bodies of work.
  • Conduct site visits to develop and disseminate knowledge about how grantee products and programs are being used in the field.

Core Knowledge and Skills

  • Demonstrated experience with defining, conceptualizing, and designing product and program solutions that align tightly with requirements for education leaders, teachers, and students and which reflect research-based pedagogy, curriculum, and instructional models.
  • Demonstrated experience with determining the go-to-market strategy for K-12 education solutions, introducing and marketing products and programs by developing time-integrated plans, and collaborating with other key business functions.
  • Expertise with educational methodologies and instructional design for Math and/or English Language Arts.
  • Proven ability to establish the “adoption story” for a solution, anchored in an understanding of how and why solutions get to scale in the K-12 sector
  • Proven ability to map the customer journey to ensure that key segments of the K-12 marketplace are addressing needs as they emerge.
  • Expertise with building strong bridges and trust with technical and business development teams and acting as a bridge between them, translating customer feedback and market needs into strategic management.

Core Capabilities for Success in This Role

  • Social Impact Mindset: Proven commitment to equity in education, by race and income; Applies knowledge of student success strategies that close opportunity and attainment gaps by race and income in education; Challenges strategies and policies that contribute to inequality in the education sector.
  • Adaptability: Is flexible, maintains effectiveness by adjusting behavior, work routines, and habits to meet a goal and/or changing circumstances. Is seen as balanced despite the conflicting demands of the situation. Highly self-activating and efficient; goes to where the work is; brings others along.
  • Analytical Thinking: Uses facts and available information to develop logical assumptions. Discriminates between important and unimportant details, recognizes inconsistencies between facts and/or data, and draws correct inferences from information (includes differentiating, comparing, contrasting, linking, researching)
  • Business Innovation / Strategic Agility: Looks for new or alternative ideas from a wide range of sources; monitors developments and looks for applications to support current and future business needs and opportunities. Anticipates future consequences and trends accurately, has broad knowledge and perspective; verbalizes and projects credible pictures and visions of possibilities.
  • Collaboration / Relationship Building: Develops and maintains effective working relationships with team members, internal partners and others using strong interpersonal skills. Seeks input and benchmarking. Encourages win-win alternatives. Works effectively with people outside formal authority to accomplish goals. Solicits participation, challenges ideas and summarizes accomplishments and planned actions.
  • DEI Mindset: Seeks input from and values the uniqueness of people of different groups and cultures. Works effectively with individuals of diverse cultures, interpersonal styles, abilities, motivations, or backgrounds. Challenges practices or policies that may be exclusionary
  • Subject Matter Expertise: Knowledge of tools, methods, and resources used in U.S. higher education and/or knowledge and firsthand experience in product design, development, launch, refinement, and management.
  • Presentation Skills: Presents ideas in a clear, succinct, organized, and engaging manner. Is effective in a variety of presentation settings inside and outside the organization (formal and informal, one-on-one, small and large groups, with peers, direct reports and leadership).
  • Problem Solving / Results Orientation: Asks good questions and probes all sources for answers; sees underlying or hidden patterns; looks beyond the obvious and doesn't stop at the first answers. Uses rigorous logic and methods to analyze and understand why problems occur; generates and implements creative, cost effective and realistic solutions.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree required (Master’s degree preferred).
  • At least 12 years of relevant experience in one or more of the following areas within K-12: development and distribution of core or supplemental curriculum, assessments and instructional tools; curriculum-aligned educator professional learning; culturally relevant/responsive instructional content; education business sector; education venture capital; education philanthropy.
  • Executive-level experience working for an organization or company that develops education products and services or for an investor in the education sector is preferred

Apply for this job

Apply for this job

Locations

Seattle, Washington
Washington D.C., District of Columbia

Role

Product Management

Experience Level

Senior Level

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