Assistant General Counsel


The Gates Foundation


Seattle, Washington


Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, we focus on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, we seek to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Susan Desmond-Hellmann and co-chairs Bill & Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett.

Group Summary

"Guidance, Solutions, Integrity" describes the Legal Team's approach to providing responsive legal guidance supporting the implementation of the foundation's strategies. The Legal Team offers creative solutions that accomplish programmatic objectives, develops and implements efficient legal processes to streamline the foundation’s grantmaking and contracting practices, and applies preventive legal strategies and compliance policies to minimize risks and safeguard the foundation’s reputation.

Position Summary & Responsibilities

This Assistant General Counsel role reports to the Deputy General Counsel who leads the Legal Team’s support to the foundation’s offices outside the US and many of the foundation’s operational functions, including Human Resources, Information Technology and Security, and Global Security. As the foundation evolves in size and complexity of its work, additional Legal support is needed. The individual we are seeking has legal expertise in US employment law, and a background or willingness to become a subject matter expert in the tax and business implications of placing employees in new jurisdictions in North America and providing employee benefits to a growing, global workforce.

The Assistant General Counsel role has two primary components: US employment law and related tax issues; and general support for operations and program teams.

Regarding US employment law and related tax issues, the role includes counseling HR professionals and other internal clients on employee relations and employment law compliance, assisting with US state tax analyses and registrations for a mobile workforce, advising on US federal tax treatment of employee fringe benefits, drafting employment related agreements and documents, managing claims and related investigations, and educating foundation personnel regarding laws and best practices applicable to US employers.

Regarding general support for operations and program teams, the role includes addressing issues that arise in the general operations of the foundation such as Security, Facilities, and IT, as well as managing discovery, developing employee guidance on various issues and preparing filings associated with a global workforce.

The successful candidate must be able to:

Collaborate with members of the Legal Team, Human Resources, Finance, and other subject matter experts and foundation personnel to provide support and implement best practices.
Provide practical business-oriented legal advice and counsel.
Understand the objectives of internal client groups, develop creative solutions, and resolve issues using the legal framework and the foundation's values.
Manage outside counsel as needed.
Remain current on new and emerging US laws and regulations regarding employment law and related tax issues.
Provide support on other legal matters and foundation policies and issues as needed and serve as an active member of the Legal Team.
Travel for work purposes, when necessary.


Subject matter expertise in employment law and at least one additional field of law, including employee benefits, tax law and/or litigation.
A minimum of 3-5 years’ experience in a law firm and/or in-house legal department.
History of effectively serving a demanding client base in a complex and fast-paced work environment.
Detail-oriented and self-motivated.
Flexibility to multi-task and agility to advise internal clients at all levels in the organization.
Ability to communicate difficult legal concepts clearly and non-legalistically to business clients orally and in writing.
Ability to prioritize work in context of the foundation’s risk tolerance framework.
Ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, enthusiasm and diplomacy both individually and collaboratively as part of a team effort.
Passion for innovation, learning and continuous improvement
Comfortable with change and ambiguity
Sense of humor, humility, perspective, equity and generosity
Highest standards of ethics and integrity
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.

Required Education and Experience

Juris Doctor degree and current bar membership are required, with 3-5 years of experience.


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

To apply for this job, please use this link: