Senior Program Officer, FSP Emerging Technologies Lead

Company: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Location: Seattle, Washington, United States
Type: Full-time
Posted: 12.JUN.2018


Position Summary The Financial Services for the Poor (FSP) team is focused on helping people in the world s poorest regions improve their li...


Position Summary
The Financial Services for the Poor (FSP) team is focused on helping people in the world s poorest regions improve their lives and build sustainable futures by connecting them with digitally based financial tools and services. In just the past seven years, 700 million people worldwide have gained access to bank and mobile-money accounts. This revolution in financial inclusion has the potential to offer a pathway out of poverty for millions of people, and to spur broad economic growth. Digital technology and changes in national policy are clearing away obstacles that once kept these services out of reach for many, but many more tough challenges remain.
The Senior Program Officer (SPO) will lead FSP team s emerging technologies work which aims to accelerate development and adoption of technologies and technology based platforms to bring digital financial services to the 2+ billion financially excluded globally. The SPO will be expected to strategically develop and manage a portfolio of grants and related interventions, and partner with a variety of private and public sector players when executing these strategies.
The goal of the role is not to develop a pipeline of investments related to any specific technology (e. g. a portfolio of machine learning or blockchain investments for FSP), but rather to address specific barriers to digital financial services delivery (DFS) by applying a wide range of technologies. Although technology focused, the role requires creating and operationalizing holistic strategies including customer research, business modelling, policy development and advocacy, and ecosystem development efforts.
The role is based in Seattle, reporting to Deputy Director of FSP s Usage and New Technologies team.
Position Responsibilities
The Senior Program Office, FSP Emerging Technologies Lead will be responsible for furthering FSP team s work in the following areas:

  • Digital Identity: Evolve foundation s strategy and approach towards development of digital identification platforms. Work with large development partners (like the World Bank) to establish global standards for identification and advocating to governments and policy makers for investing in such platforms. Invest in shaping of open source technologies that enable governments and the private sector to rapidly and securely deploy and adopt digital identification systems. Conduct additional research on how the latest technologies can be used to better design the next generation of digital identity platforms.
  • Regulatory and Consumer Protection Technology: Partner with FSP s Regulations and Policy team to establish and implement FSP s Reg Tech strategy. This entails both a) identifying and addressing key regulatory challenges and risks in the digital financial services sector through use of technologies, and b) utilizing technologies to address customer protection needs for the 2+ billion people who will be entering the world of formal financial services for the first time, especially poor, rural populations.
  • Identify and nurture new/next-gen areas of focus for Emerging Tech work (e. g. Data Sharing): Identity and prioritize new barriers that public or private sector financial service providers face in profitably servicing the poor and identify ways in which technology based solutions can be applied to address these barriers. One likely area of focus is the need for open data sharing in the digital financial services ecosystem.
Preferred Skills and Qualifications
  • Bachelor degree (preference for an advanced degree) with 12-15+ years of technology experience, preferably including private sector work experience
  • A strategic thinker with demonstrated ability to effectively manage the white space, ambiguity, and change when navigating new strategy development work
  • A deep interest and background in technology, with a wide knowledge base across a range of technical areas, and an innate ability to quickly learn about new areas
  • Familiarity with a wide variety of (both established and emerging) technology concepts like digital identity, biometrics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, internet of things, cloud computing, open source, APIs, interoperability, digital payments, blockchain, encryption, tokenization, credit scoring, India Stack, data security, privacy etc.
  • Steeped in technology but must have the wisdom to avoid bright, shiny objects in favor of real solutions, and an ability to understand and manage the associated risks
  • Empathy for the poor consumers and their financial needs and constraints
  • Preference for someone with professional/personal experience in Africa, South Asia, or other developing countries
  • Excellent communication skills, especially for identifying and describing the fundamental workings of complex technology systems
  • Experience guiding and managing large and complex projects, including working with a range of clients, colleagues, consultants, and other partners with a broad exposure to private and public stakeholders
  • Ability to travel up to 30% of time, both domestic and international
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

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