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Program Specialist, Director's Office

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent research center at the University of Washington. Its mission is to deliver to the world timely, relevant, and scientifically valid evidence to improve health policy and practice. IHME carries out its mission through a range of projects within different research areas including: the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors; Future Health Scenarios; Costs and Cost Effectiveness; Resource Tracking; and Impact Evaluations. Our vision is to provide policymakers, donors, and researchers with the highest-quality quantitative evidence base so all people live long lives in full health.

IHME is committed to providing the evidence base necessary to help solve the world’s most important health problems. This requires creativity and innovation, which is cultivated by an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment that respects and appreciates differences, embraces collaboration, and invites the voices of all IHME team members.

IHME has an exciting opportunity for a Program Specialist. 


The primary purpose of the position is to manage and facilitate relationship management and related activities for the Director’s Office. The Program Specialist will facilitate meetings and engagements with critical Institutional stakeholders through managing travel for the Director and Chief Philanthropy Officer, maintaining detailed contact records, and supporting external meetings and engagements. This role is critical to the Institution as a whole and has a high level of visibility both within the Institute and externally.

The ideal candidate will become familiar with many different individuals who have various levels of expertise and experience, be able to communicate effectively with them, and handle complex matters with the utmost confidence and confidentiality. They must be able to assess and understand the tradeoffs across different project options in regards to time, effectiveness, and efficiency. They must be an agile thinker under stress and highly adaptable to a fast-paced environment with rapidly changing priorities.


Research learning

  • Develop a command of the intellectual material and key concepts that relate to the Institute including the scope, major aims, and interdependencies of IHME’s projects and products.
  • Develop an understanding of the key institutional and individual actors in population health science – including inter-governmental organizations, donors, government agencies, research organizations, and other key stakeholders – their key competencies, constituents, and how they relate to one another and to IHME.
  • Become familiar with the details of complex interdisciplinary projects, including their goals, objectives, and activities. Learn the key personnel involved in each project including their roles, responsibilities and interactions with one another.
  • In select circumstances, support research the Director is directly involved with through publications support, proposal development, events management, and relationship management.

Project management

  • Provide scheduling support to Chief Philanthropy Officer.
  • Create briefing materials for the Director and Chief Philanthropy Officer by obtaining information from relevant parties, synthesizing key objectives and activities, and writing and editing materials to fit a format that is comprehensible and concise.
  • Perform background research for briefings, presentations, and other related purposes.
  • Facilitate logistical preparations and draft detailed travel itineraries for the Director and Chief Philanthropy Officer.
  • Arrange logistics (including travel and managing external vendors) and prepare agendas, presentations, and related materials to ensure the smooth functioning and achievement of desired goals for key institute-wide events, prospective funder meetings, and pivotal research meetings.
  • Maintain detailed contact information and contact notes in SalesForce for the Director and Chief Philanthropy Officer. Run reports as requested.
  • Effectively manage more than $170,000 in air travel, hotel stays, and related travel costs per year. This includes projecting travel costs, controlling expenses, ensuring proper receipt of funds, and reviewing post-travel actual expenses.
  • Responsible for the budget and procurement of equipment, gifts, and supplies, for the Director and Chief Philanthropy Officer and related events and projects, often under very unusual and urgent circumstances. Manage the required documentation related to shipping, customs declarations/documents (foreign deliveries), and invoices.
  • Confidently and successfully communicate with senior staff and decision-makers internally and externally from across a variety of organizational contexts, areas of expertise, and professional experience.
  • Represent IHME through professional, timely, and considerate written and oral communication.
  • Create and maintain project management tools as needed and manage them with other internal parties to ensure effective coordination.
  • Create and prepare PowerPoint presentations and related materials for the Director and Chief Philanthropy Officer to deliver to a variety of audiences. Task will require an understanding of the key concepts being conveyed, the main findings of the research or other activities undertaken, and the intended audience.
  • Maintain an actively updated and searchable bank of PowerPoint slides and template content that can be used across different presentations and meetings.
  • Copyedit and format written materials including reports, articles, and meeting materials for external dissemination.
  • Facilitate institute-wide projects as requested. Major activities could include providing support to publications creation, dissemination events, donor development, or other activities aimed at elevating IHME’s external profile and widening its influence and reputation.


  • Create and maintain updated web content related to the Director and Chief Philanthropy Officer, including profiles, CVs, publication lists, and other related components.
  • Facilitate the effective completion of required authorizations and compliance matters for the Director and Chief Philanthropy Officer related to funding proposals, publication submissions, IRB applications, data use agreements, and other key considerations.
  • Help to identify efficiencies and opportunities, and give input on ways to best maximize the value of different meetings, events, and visitor interactions with senior staff when planning Director’s Office and philanthropic activities.
  • Facilitate clear and concise communication internally to help expedite organizational priorities and guarantee exceptional support to the entire IHME team.
  • Perform additional duties as assigned that fall within the reasonable scope of this position as a member of the Director’s Office.


  • Bachelor’s degree in social sciences, business, or related field, plus three years of related experience,
  • Must exhibit strong desire and ability to learn new intellectual content across different disciplines in a timely fashion.
  • Demonstrated management experience.
  • Working knowledge about donor cultivation, stewardship, and board management.
  • Incumbent must be able to work independently.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills and relationship management skills.
  • Must be detail-oriented and organized.
  • Strong project management skills, coordinating resources needed to meet deadlines, able to take multiple priorities and translate them into project completion through expert planning.
  • Must be a problem-solver, self-motivated, and require minimal supervision.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, a cooperative team player, able to develop productive relationships with colleagues and external collaborators.
  • Experience with Salesforce strongly desired.
  • Experience managing international and domestic travel strongly desired.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.