World Health Organization (WHO)

Technical Officer (High Threat Pathogens)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Job Description


Position numbers : 418793 and 381780


The mission of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme (The Programme) is to build the capacity of Member States to manage public health threats and health Emergency risks and, when national capacities are overwhelmed, to lead and coordinate the international response to contain outbreaks and health emergencies and to provide effective relief and recovery to affected populations.

The unit of Infectious Hazards Preparedness is responsible for supporting countries for prevention and control of high threat diseases of both epidemic and pandemic potential through development and dissemination of evidence-based policies, tools, norms and standards as well as strategies to control infectious disease hazards.

The team of High Threat Pathogens (PAT) develops strategies, guidance, regional mechanisms and interventions to address high threat pathogens responsible for epidemics or pandemics thereby reducing their impact on affected populations and limiting their international spread. This group deals with known high threat pathogens such as Cholera, chikungunya, dengue, influenza, Ebola and other viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHF), Zika, yellow fever, Rift valley fever, coronaviruses like the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), meningitis and plague


Within the framework of the delegated authority, the incumbent is assigned all or part of the following responsibilities:

1. Provide technical leadership, guidance and expert advice related to the surveillance, detection and response to High Threat Pathogen diseases of epidemic and pandemic potentials that are specific to the Region.

2. Develop evidence-informed manuals, guidance, norms and standards for prevention and control of high threat pathogen diseases that are specific to the Region.

3. Establish partnerships to facilitate data Analysis, epidemic intelligence, epidemic forecasting and knowledge sharing, in particular on the disease transmission and public health impact, identify gaps in knowledge and develop plans and study protocols to address gaps. Implement plan of activities and monitor progress through expert networks.

4. Monitor the risk of High Threat Pathogens, ensure quality of the information received from the field and inform timely senior management so that the Organization can get prepared for any change in the situation.

5. Collaborate with the transfer of knowledge team to develop user-friendly materials for risk communication and training. Establish strong collaborations with other teams/departments at WHO and other partner agencies to cover the various aspects of the public health response to outbreaks.

6. Support and advise WHO Country Offices on the development and implementation of strategic plans to establish and strengthen national response to outbreaks from high threat pathogens.

7. Provide Technical Support for establishing appropriate surveillance system for early detection, containment and response to emerging and other high threat pathogens; Develop plans to improve/enhance surveillance capacities for event detection, verification and response.

8. Provide support to the countries for development and implementation of appropriate policies and programmes for prevention and control of emerging diseases including those from high threat pathogens.

9. Assist the countries to develop public health preparedness plans for high threat pathogens including for Pandemic Human Influenza.

10. Act as the technical lead in the incident management structure and establish strong collaborations with other teams/departments at WHO and other partner agencies to cover the various aspects of the public health response to outbreaks of high threat pathogens.

11. Perform other related duties including replacing and backstopping as required.



Essential: University degree in Medicine or other science related field, with Master Degree in Public Health.
Desirable: Training on epidemiological, surveillance and response/outbreak investigation/field epidemiology.


Essential: At least 7years experience at national and international level, working on the control and prevention of Infectious Diseases including on epidemic diseases and networking with clinicians. Proven experience in managing finances, budgets and staff and clear proof of responsibility for management of work plan activities.
Desirable: Proven primary responsibility for managing cross-cutting initiatives involving different departments or organizational entities in a multinational context such as the UN, WHO or similar.


1) Knowledge on epidemiology of infectious diseases.

2) Proven understanding of the management of acute and urgent public health responses, including infectious disease outbreaks.

3) Experience in outbreak investigation and management.

4) Proven experience in management (finances, budgets and staff) and clear proof of responsibility for management of work plan activities.

5) Demonstrated effectiveness in building sustained partnerships and working with others in international settings.

6) Capacity to work on cross-sectoral projects.

WHO Competencies


Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
Producing results

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of Arabic.


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 73,516 (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 1801 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.

  • Interested candidates are strongly encouraged to apply on-line. For assessment of your application, please ensure that your profile on Stellis is updated; all experience records are entered with elaboration on tasks performed at the time. Kindly note that CV/PHFs inserted via LinkedIn are not accessible.

  • 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.

  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.

  • For information on WHO's operations please visit:

  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.

  • WHO's workforce adheres to the WHO Values Charter and is committed to put the WHO Values into practice.

  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.

  • WHO has a mobility policy which can be found at the following link: Candidates appointed to an international post with WHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.

  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.

Apply Now