World Health Organization (WHO)

Health Security and Emergencies Director / Regional Emergency Director (Red)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Job Description

OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME The mission of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme (WHE) is to build the capacity of Member States to manage health emergency risks and, when requested by Member States, to lead and coordinate the international health response to contain outbreaks and to provide effective relief and recovery to affected populations. WHE brings together and enhances WHO's operational, technical and normative capacities in outbreaks, emergencies and risk Analysis to address all health hazards across the risk management cycle in a predictable, capable, dependable, adaptable and accountable manner.WHE is designed to operate within the broader humanitarian and emergency management architecture in support of people at risk of, or affected by, outbreaks and emergencies, consistent with ways that strengthen local and national capabilities. FOS programme aims to strengthen food safety systems to manage food Safety Risks and respond to food safety incidents and emergencies.


1. Member States preparedness: • Provides technical leadership to Member States in the Region to ensure they receive appropriate and timely technical cooperation to strengthen their capacity to reduce the risk of, prepare for and respond to large-scale outbreaks and emergencies with health impact including food safety events; • Oversees monitoring and evaluation of countries' capacity to deal with large outbreaks and emergencies, including, and particularly the achievement of the International Health Regulations or IHR (2005) core capacities; • Supervises implementation of baseline all-hazards risk assessments and independent assessment of critical preparedness capacities; and • Provides authoritative guidance on the development and costing of national health emergencies plans. 2. WHO readiness: provides the Regional Office and country offices with authoritative guidance on technical oversight and standards on organizational readiness activities, with focus on high-vulnerability countries (e.g. for annual simulations) in the Region; is responsible for readiness of the Regional Office; and guides WHO country offices in high-vulnerability countries to build their core response capacities through critical readiness activities. 3. Management of protracted emergencies: advances the application of technical standards and the implementation of the standard minimum package of life-saving and survival interventions, and supports the health cluster Coordinator in emergency planning, standards, risk assessment and integration. 4. Overall oversight of outbreaks and graded acute emergencies which will be managed through the Incident Management System; has direct supervision of incident manager at country and regional levels: • Ensures application of established technical guidance and standards and supports the Regional Director in government relations to ensure the effectiveness of the Incident Management System; • Coordinates with the Division of Programme Management (DPM) and Division of Administration and Finance (DAF) on the management of regional surge capacity within and beyond the Emergencies Programme; and • In case of a multiregion emergency, represents the Region or designates a team member to do so in Coordination meetings with WHO headquarters and other regions. 5. Coordinates and oversees strengthening of food safety programme activities in the Region: • Provides strategic oversight of the implementation of the Regional Framework of Action on Food Safety in the Western Pacific; and • Ensures the continued guidance to facilitate integration of work of the food safety programme into the work of Health Security and Emergencies Division. 6. Fosters strong regional emergency-related and FOS-related partnerships: builds and coordinates regional partner networks and coordinates regional response partners during graded and protracted events. 7. Drives and guides resource mobilization activities within the Region, working closely with the RD’s, EXD’s and WHO’s resource mobilization teams. 8. Oversees and ensures rapid and clear information flow with other regions and WHO headquarters. 9. Fosters close collaborative work with other technical departments, particularly in coordinating an overall strategic and operational approach in protracted emergencies. 10. Supervises joint work plan development, financial and human resources (HR) planning processes, and oversees regional and country work plans and financial and HR management within his/her authorities. 11. Performs any other relevant duties deriving from the above mentioned responsibilities.



Essential: An advanced university degree (Master's level or above) in Medicine, Public Health or a related field. Desirable: Specialized training or degree in epidemiology.Specialized training or degree in emergency/humanitarian response.Training in leadership or management.


Essential: At least 15 years of international and national relevant, progressively responsible professional experience in managing, planning, developing and implementing health security, emergency, surveillance, disease control and/or public health programmes, including at least five years of experience in providing senior level advice and guidance to expert groups and high-level government officials, as well as at least five years of management experience in recognized Senior Leadership positions with direct responsibility for managing both human resources and finance operations. Proven experience in policy and strategy formulation and in coordinating large scale projects with high political impact in developing countries.Relevant experience with the inter-agency mechanisms used to coordinate international preparedness for and response to health emergencies, including those most relevant to coordination of health policy and action in health emergencies. Desirable: Relevant work experience in WHO and/or UN agencies; experience working in relevant nongovernmental or humanitarian organizations.Work experience or training as a health cluster coordinator or a humanitarian coordinator.Field experience in public health programmes, emergency response programmes or food safety programme in developing countries.


General: -Demonstrated exceptional leadership and team management skills in international and multicultural settings, including the proven capacity to lead and deliver on deadlines during periods of intense stress and activity; demonstrated ability to provide independent leadership in such periods with capacity to organize, monitor and synthesize information quickly and concisely. - Proven ability to successfully coordinate, manage and lead projects, and build partnerships, across agencies and organizational departments in the context of health emergencies. - Proven ability to successfully interact and negotiate with senior national and international authorities on the implementation of health emergencies strategies and programmes. - Excellent interpersonal and communications skills with solid writing and editing experience and ability. - Strong strategic thinking, with the ability to quickly comprehend strategic and tactical objectives and to formulate comprehensive plans to address challenges/risks. Specific: - Proven experience in the leadership and management of acute and protracted public health emergency response efforts, including infectious disease outbreaks and food safety incidents. - Knowledge of the epidemiology of infectious diseases and other global health security threats and of issues and practices for the prevention and control of disease. - Peer-recognized leadership and experience in managing and directing organizational assets to save lives and improve health in the setting of humanitarian disasters. -Authoritative and comprehensive knowledge of the theory, principles, methods and techniques in international emergency risk management and humanitarian response, with a broad-based understanding of its growing complexity including knowledge of the workings of relevant international policy-setting bodies.

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond Teamwork Ensuring the effective use of resources Driving the Organization's Position in Health Leadership

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of written and spoken English.


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 99,595 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 3801 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level

  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.

  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.

  • In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.

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