The Global Growth & Opportunity (GGO) division works to catalyze sustainable transformative change in the face of inequities and market failures, to realize the potential of untapped markets, and to see the economic and social benefits of including everyone. We focus on the areas of Agricultural Development; Financial Services for the Poor; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; and Gender Equality. We seek solutions that are sustainable, transformative, and inclusive with an eye toward applying technology innovations as well as data evidence to drive change in the world’s developing countries.
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.
Position Summary & Responsibilities
The FSP country team develops and maintains FSP strategies in seven focus countries. As a member of this country team, you will be responsible for FSP’s work in Bangladesh.
In the role of PO, you will develop and manage the country action plan focused on Bangladesh; including a portfolio of investments to support the plan. This will require you to be deeply involved in the country’s government, financial regulation, banking and financial technology networks where you will work to drive a consistent, evidence-based strategy across the various grant making areas that will deliver digital financial services to the poor. You are able to recognize the interrelationships between policies and regulations; financial infrastructures; and public- and private-sector institutions in order to identify key strategies that will motivate distinct classes of financial service providers to better serve low-income clients.
Areas of Focus to Include:
- Develop and manage a cohesive portfolio of grants and investments that will foster the growth of digital financial services uptake and usage among the poor in Bangladesh.
- Engage in extensive government interaction, including ministries working on digitization of social benefits, social safety net programs, and digital identity; particularly with senior officials responsible for regulating Bangladesh’s banking and telecommunications sectors, for the purpose of provision of digital financial services to the poor.
- Provide support for, and interact with, the community of fintech companies and commercial service providers, including non-profit organizations and microfinance providers who will ultimately deliver financial services to low-income Bangladeshis.
- Monitor and share key insights from the work done in Bangladesh to facilitate work in other countries, especially countries that are a focus for the foundation.
Additional Key Responsibilities to Include:
- Provide concise and insightful written analyses and recommendations for making investments including drafting grant proposals and progress reports for review by foundation leadership.
- Facilitate connections between technical knowledge experts and country stakeholders working in financial inclusion.
- Consult regularly with grantees and partners to improve the impact of projects and ensure sharing of lessons learned. This will include: field visits, hands-on oversight, operational guidance, and convening and facilitating interactions among key partners.
The role will report to: Deputy Director, FSP Focus Countries
Leadership & Culture
We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment in which they thrive, will do extraordinary things.
Core Knowledge & Skills:
We are looking for people who enjoy solving complex problems using a hypothesis and data-drive approach and are experienced delivering innovative solutions in complex environments. You should be prepared to work across a diverse set of disciplines, bridging a wide range of expertise all the while being a teammate, with a proven ability to work with flexibility, efficiency and diplomacy in an exciting, challenging environment. We seek ten years of prior work experience in some combination of the following:
- Governments, central banks, or public policy organizations in Bangladesh or South Asia
- Financial inclusion donor or similar grant-making organization
- Development organization with a focus on usage of technology to address specific needs of very low income and vulnerable people
- Technology company with a focus on large-scale enterprise platforms
- Financial services – with a focus on provision of products to mass-market consumers or low- income audiences
- Startup ventures in the digital products and services market, including firms that provide venture capital and advisory services
Additionally, we seek:
- Knowledge of the public policy sphere in Bangladesh or broader Southeast Asia region.
- Demonstrated strategic skills and capacity to conceptualize, structure and supervise projects/programs.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills to convey complex concepts in a concise manner.
- Bengali language skills desirable.
- Experience with leading and working with a range of clients, colleagues, consultants and other partners with broad exposure to senior policy makers & regulators.
- Knowledge of mobile money and digital financial services platforms and technologies.
- Proven ability to build personal and institutional relationships and networks.
- Effective leadership skills with a demonstrated ability to inspire others.
- Innovative and open-minded approach to all aspects of work. Ability to question and challenge colleagues, including managers, in a constructive manner.
- Thoughtful and culturally sensitive personality.
- Solid negotiating skills.
- Ability to travel internationally up to 40% of time as needs dictate.
- MBA or master’s degree in relevant subject matter.
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.