Director & Chief of Staff - Human Resources

Seattle, WA
Jul 29, 2021
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Apply before: 
Aug 28, 2021

At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation we believe that by creating an environment for our employees to personally and professionally thrive, we will have maximum impact toward our missions to achieve our vision.

To learn more about our vision and missions, please visit our website at

Leadership & Culture

Our culture shapes our choices about what we do and how we do it. We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment can do extraordinary things. We expect foundation employees to intentionally and consistently embody our four agreements; show respect, offer trust, be transparent, and create energy. We expect foundation leadership to demonstrate our leadership principles. As a leader, you are responsible for:

  • Serving as a foundation leader and owner of key relationships, providing guidance and oversight on how the foundation will strategically engage and interact with key partners.
  • Contributing to the advancement of the foundation’s mission and impact by creating an environment of optimism, collaboration, rigor and innovation.
  • Leading a function within HR and collaborate with other HR leaders and CHRO to ensure optimal human capital performance.

We are inspired by the mission, All Lives Have Equal Value, and are compelled by the opportunity to make an impact. Along with our partners, we take on complex challenges; we continually test new approaches and embrace change where it will facilitate the best outcome. Thus, the Human Resources organization is on a mission to evolve how we work by: pushing for greater transparency so people have access to information they need to make smart decisions, creating energy to support a thriving workforce, showing respect so everyone can bring their best authentic self to work every day.

Position Summary

The Director, Chief of Staff, Human Resources, will provide critical support to the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) across a range of work—strategy development, internal management, project management, and communications—ensuring follow-through, prioritization, and effective coordination of all engagements and work products.  Serve as a thought partner and trusted advisor to the CHRO to lead the development, communication, and execution of a cohesive Human Resources (HR) strategic plan in alignment with the foundation’s priorities, Operations Framework, and programmatic agenda. Drive a cohesive view of business needs, design goals and operational plans across HR, including financial budgeting and human resource prioritization.

Partner with colleagues on the HR Leadership Team (HRLT), other operational and programmatic leaders and partners, and Executive Office staff to advance the CHRO’s vision and priorities in support of the foundation’s priorities; drive strategic and execution alignment across operations and the full organization; and support the CHRO’s follow-through on management, operational, and team development objectives.

As needed, serve as CHRO’s representative in day-to-day interactions within HR, the Business Operations division, and across the foundation.  Serve as a member of the HRLT, the Global Operations Advisory Team (GOAT), and the cross-foundation Chiefs of Staff forum.

Deliver results that support and align with the foundation’s mission, priorities, and values, adhering to the highest ethical standards.

Core Responsibilities

Strategy and Planning:  Lead ongoing strategy development, progress monitoring, and evaluation of the HR function and its core processes. Drive alignment between HR team's work and HR strategy and implementation plans. Translate CHRO priorities and direction into a measurable plan to improve efficiency and best ensure goals are met.  Lead definition and ongoing refinement of strategy and progress metrics and related goals. Develop and execute a portfolio management approach that reinforces stewardship, effective planning, and optimal resource allocation. Lead the HRLT’s annual strategic planning and goal setting processes in support of the CHRO’s vision and priorities and in alignment with other operations teams within the structure of the foundation-wide annual planning process.  Drive and coordinate HR team’s requests for budget and human resources in alignment with Operations Council guidance and expectations. Track and regularly report HR team’s progress against goals and desired outcomes.  Find opportunities for resource utilization process improvement and HR strategy evolution.

**Business Management: **Serve as general business manager for the Office of the CHRO, including leading and managing the rhythm of the business for the HRLT and the HR function; budget management (in partnership with Finance business partner); planning and management of team-wide headcount allocation within established targets; and implementation of process / practice improvements to drive effectiveness of HRLT and HR function.  Represent HR perspective to foundation-wide operations projects and priorities by participating in working groups and steering committees, or by providing ad hoc guidance and direction.

HR Leadership Team Effectiveness and HR Team Culture:  Lead Office of the CHRO to plan and shape agendas for HRLT meetings and retreats, all-staff meetings, and learning sessions.  Serve the CHRO and HRLT by connecting work streams that would otherwise remain siloed.  Support CHRO in establishing and strengthening team culture and cross-team connections through a variety of mechanisms and channels. Play a key role in reinforcing and carrying the culture and values of the foundation within the function.

Air Traffic Controller/Integrator:  Assure timely and sufficient information flow for CHRO management, review and decisions.  Help to manage information flow, resolving issues, and providing analysis and advice on key issues.  Serve as a truth teller when the leadership team needs a multifaceted view without turf considerations, as well as a confidante without an organizational agenda.  Function as extra eyes and ears for the CHRO by pointing out potential potholes with mature judgment and situational sensitivity.

Communications and Partner Engagement:  Through proactive organization communication, ensure linkage between the CHRO and HRLT to the broader organization.  Nurture insights and story to communicate progress on HR strategy in support of foundation and operational priorities. Partner with Executive and Employee Communications as appropriate to develop and manage annual communications plan and flow for CHRO and HR function; draft and edit communications on CHRO’s behalf when needed.  Serve as key communicator who cultivates and manages relationships at multiple levels of the organization.  Communicate credibly with senior leadership and drive effective collaboration with clients and key partners across the foundation.

Core Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

  • Organizational and Political Agility - Knowledgeable about how organizations work; gets things done both through formal and informal channels; effectively maneuvers through complex political situations.  Understands the complexities of the foundation and how to get work done across a consensus driven and matrixed organization.
  • Collaboration and Integrity - Standout colleague who can operate autonomously as well as possess strong leadership skills to guide confidential information and situations with flexibility and diplomacy, while cultivating trust with individuals from diverse set of backgrounds and at various levels throughout the organization.  Steadfast integrity, sound judgment, and respect for confidentiality along with an optimistic outlook and a solid sense of humor.
  • Systems Thinking - Strong business acumen, organizational system and strategic planning experience.  Excellent meaningful work experience in roles for developing, implementing, and managing projects/programs requiring sophisticated change management.
  • Strategic Agility - Understands what information is vital to support leadership decisions; can engage constructively to shape presentation of information at appropriate altitude to advance complex issues toward solutions and results.  Can anticipate and avert problems.  Strategic and critical thinker with demonstrated ability to consume and apply both quantitative and qualitative data to solve problems.
  • Highly organized, proactive and efficient - Possesses excellent judgment with a demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks, complex issues, and competing priorities with excellent attention to detail.
  • Dealing with Ambiguity and Learning on the Fly - Can effectively cope with change; can shift gears comfortably; can decide and act without having the total picture; can comfortably handle risk and uncertainty.  Learns quickly when facing new problems; analyzes both successes and failures for clues to improvement; experiments and will try anything to find solutions; enjoys the challenge of unfamiliar tasks.
  • **Drive for Results **- Pursues everything with energy, drive, and a need to finish; does not give up before finishing, even in the face of resistance or setbacks; steadfastly pushes self and others for results.
  • **Communication **- Excellent written and oral communication skills, and the ability to use them effectively with broad and diverse audiences.

Education, Certification, Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree (Master’s or MBA strongly preferred)
  • Human Resources subject matter expertise preferred
  • Consulting experience beneficial, but not required
  • Minimum 15 years of successful leadership / management experience, including experience in roles requiring versatility, systems thinking, strategic planning and execution, and change agility

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

*The foundation requires a COVID-19 vaccination for in-person business in the United States.  Therefore, all U.S. employees are required to present proof of vaccination status upon hire unless they qualify for a medical or religious exemption.

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill & 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

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