World Health Organization (WHO)

Unit Chief (Infectious Hazard Management)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Job Description

  This requisition is for employment at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) The objective of the Health Emergencies Department (PHE) of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) is to increase Health Sector resilience to emergencies and disasters. PHE assists Member States to strengthen the health sector’s capacities in prevention, risk reduction, preparedness, surveillance, response, and early recovery for emergencies and disasters related to any hazards (natural, man-made, biological, chemical, radiological and others) and, when national capacities are overwhelmed, to lead and coordinate the international health response to contain disasters, including outbreaks, and to provide effective relief and recovery to affected populations. PHE is responsible for ensuring the implementation and updating of the PAHO/WHO Institutional Emergency and Disaster Response policy.

DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES Under the general supervision of the Director, PAHO, and the direct supervision of the Director, PAHO Health Emergencies (PHE), and in coordination with the Deputy Director, PHE, the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following duties:
  1. Lead and manage the Infectious Hazard Management (IHM) Unit of the Health Emergencies Department (PHE), implementing operational strategic frameworks and monitoring the development and progress of operations, involving diverse stakeholders in situations requiring innovative approaches for establishing risk mitigation strategies and capacities for priority high-threat infectious hazards;
  2. Ensure coordination and provide advice on implementation and operational issues; contribute to PAHO's organization-wide work in the development, implementation and oversight of relevant policies, strategies, programmes of work, and annual work-plans in infectious hazards management;
  3. Provide advice and oversee the work activities of the High Threat Pathogens team in maintaining and disseminating technical guidelines and other knowledge products for the prevention and control of infectious hazards including pandemic and epidemic prone diseases such as Influenza, Covid-19, Haemorrhagic Fevers, Plague, Cholera, Meningitis, and Emerging Arboviruses of Public Health importance in the region (Yellow Fever, Zika, Chikungunya, West-Nile, Equine Encephalitis and others);
  4. Develop strategic partnerships and networks and oversee the Experts Networks & interventions team in developing and operating partnership mechanisms at regional and country levels, including epidemiological surveillance and laboratory networks [viral and bacterial diseases, biosafety & biosecurity], clinical management and infection prevention and control;
  5. Provide guidance for risk assessment and participate in the response to graded and protracted emergencies;
  6. Provide technical advice on infectious hazards management to PAHO senior management as required, including in relations with other UN agencies;
  7. Ensure close collaborative working arrangements with other technical departments;
  8. Guide and oversee the Unit’s operational and administrative activities as well as budgetary and human resources-related issues;
  9. Represent the Organization at official meetings and in media context as needed;
  10. Assist the Deputy Director, PHE in fulfilling his mandate and undertaking any other duties as required by the DD, PHE;
  11. Identify, promote, establish, maintain, and coordinate liaison across the Organization, within WHO, with other United Nations organizations or with other partners, in order to maximize programmatic integration, efficiency and effectiveness;
  12. Develop, define and establish the objectives, strategy, plan and budget of the Team; ensure an Organization-wide approach and strategies and objectives that are aligned with the Organization’s mission, vision, values, policies, strategies, business needs and priorities, in order to ensure continuing operations and maximize results. Ensure that the results are aligned with the Entity’s biennial and multi-year plans, including monitoring of activities, adjustments to any deviations, such as redefined objectives or strategies;
  13. Formulate and recommend policies, plans, strategies, and budgets, in support of the Governing Bodies’ mandates related to the work of the Team; develop and establish guidelines, norms, practices and procedures to improve the Team’s effectiveness and efficiency; report to Governing Bodies, through executive presentations and reports, on the status or results of the Team's activities;
  14. Collaborate in obtaining extra-budgetary resources, financial and non-financial for the Unit’s technical cooperation, by assisting national and sub-regional authorities in the preparation of project proposals and plans for appropriate national, bilateral and international agencies;
  15. Administer, allocate and monitor the Team’s financial, logistical and staff resources; prepare, and justify the Team’s program and budget proposals; plan and organize the formulation, development, implementation and control of systems to monitor performance in accordance with the Results-based Management approach;
  16. Collaborate in the development, implementation and monitoring of the Department’s Biennial Work plan (BWP);
  17. Provide leadership, guidance and monitoring of supervised staff by setting clear work objectives, ensuring timely and effective use of performance reviews and feedback mechanisms, engaging in regular communications, and solving interpersonal or technical conflicts; establish and support a learning environment, to include staff development in the Organization’s fundamentals, managerial competencies and technical expertise; participate in the process of selecting and placing professional staff of the Program at regional and country levels;
  18. Provide authoritative technical, managerial and policy advice to staff assigned to the Team, Sub-regional and Regional Advisors located in the countries; review reports submitted by staff and provide constructive feedback;
  19. Promote a culture of ethical behavior and integrity in accordance with the Organization’s Code of Ethical Principles and Conduct in order to ensure a culture of respect, responsibility, accountability, and compliance;
  20. Perform other related duties, as assigned.
REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS Education: Essential: A bachelor’s degree in a health-related discipline and a master’s degree in public health, epidemiology, or in any other field related to the functions of the position from a recognized institution.

Desirable: Specialized training in epidemiology and/or microbiology and/or infectious/tropical diseases would be an asset.

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: PAHO will also use the databases of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and College Navigator, found on the website of the National Centre for Educational Statistics, to support the validation process.

Experience: Essential: Thirteen years of combined national and international experience in infectious diseases, particularly infectious disease epidemiology, prevention and control at the international level. This should include at least five years of management experience in recognized Senior Leadership positions with direct responsibility for managing both human and financial resources.

Desirable: Relevant work experience in WHO and/or the UN system; field experience in public Health Programs or emergency response programs in developing countries would be an asset.

SKILLS: PAHO Competencies:
  • Overall attitude at work: Maintains integrity and takes a clear ethical approach and stance; demonstrates commitment to the Organization’s mandate and promotes the values of the Organization in daily work and behavior; is accountable for work carried out in line with own role and responsibilities; is respectful towards, and trusted by, colleagues and counterparts.
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences: Relates well to diversity in others and capitalizes on such diversity - Treats all people with dignity and respect. Relates well to people with different cultures, gender, orientations, backgrounds and/or positions; examines own behavior to avoid stereotypical responses; considers issues from the perspective of others and values their diversity.
  • Teamwork: Advocates for collaboration across the Organization - Creates and encourages a climate of team- working and collaboration across the Organization; sees cooperation as a key Organizational priority and creates collaborative systems and processes to achieve Organizational goals. Actively identifies and tackles disagreements between internal and external counterparts that compromise the Organization’s goals and mandate; diplomatically facilitates the resolution of conflicts between others and ensures strategic partnerships with a range of key stakeholders; maintains and extends an effective collaborative network of individuals inside and outside the Organization.
  • Communication: Share knowledge - Articulates the Organization’s strategic objectives when formulating and delivering information and presentations and adapts presentation methodology to address the needs of different audiences. Shares decisions and directives of senior management and communicates them in a manner that ensures both understanding and acceptance; shares knowledge and best practice at the three Organizational levels (country, regional and global), as necessary.
  • Producing Results: Deliver quality results - Tailors Organizational targets to meet changing demands in the global health environment. Positions self and team to meet new challenges and demanding goals, in line with Organizational strategies and Program of Work.

    Acts as a role model for team and identifies potential when assigning roles to team members in order to successfully achieve expected results.

    Engages stakeholders as necessary and takes responsibility for work of own department/cluster.
  • Ensuring effective use of resources: Strategize and set clear objectives/Monitor progress and use resources well - Sets specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely objectives for own team and/or the Organization; systematically analyses and anticipates priority projects for own team and allocates necessary resources to achieve them; identifies the cross-Organizational resources needed for large- scale projects in line with key Organizational objectives. Anticipates foreseeable changes and adapts own and team’s projects in the face of unforeseen circumstances and/ or challenges; creates measures and criteria to monitor progress of overall projects against key Organizational objectives; creates cost-effective solutions for the Organization.
  • Driving the Organization to a successful future: Constructive leadership style/ Set the vision and build commitment - Leads and develops a road map for successfully achieving real progress in the Organization’s mandate, including consultation with key stakeholders; demonstrates respectful, trustworthy, transparent and accountable behavior in order to develop a reliable and coherent identity for the Organization. Creates a coherent Organizational vision of shared and successful goals; fosters a culture of vision and long- term goals, recognizing and rewarding efforts to maximize the Organization’s value.
Technical Expertise:
  • Technical: Extensive progressive expertise at a senior decision-making level in infectious disease control, in particular in managing complex activities related to the implementation of international health regulations for communicable diseases of epidemic magnitude at both national and international levels. Wide and varied knowledge of public health problems and health management processes, including monitoring and performance assessment in the health or social sector, and disciplines related to human resources management, strategic planning and reengineering processes.
  • Managerial: Extensive expertise in senior, progressively responsible positions in the management of a large public or private Administration of administrative and technical matters requiring sensitive negotiation and high-level intervention and in organizational development. Demonstrated ability, to provide professional leadership to strategic, organizational, managerial and analytic work in health; resourcefulness, initiative, highly developed judgment and interpersonal skills to deal with difficult situations and sensitive areas.
  • Administrative: Skills or experience with creation and integration of administrative procedures for the delivery of the highest quality results for the Team. Courtesy, tact, sensitivity to manage confidential information, and ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people of different professional levels, discipline, nationalities, and cultural background.
Languages: Very good knowledge of English or Spanish with working knowledge of the other language. Knowledge of French and/or Portuguese would be an asset.

IT Skills: Demonstrated ability to effectively use a computer and utilize software programs such as Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint and Outlook. Other IT skills and knowledge of other software programs such as Workday, Visio and Project would be an asset.

REMUNERATION Annual Salary: (Net of taxes) $89,837.00 post adjustment Post Adjustment: 49.6% of the above figure(s). This percentage is to be considered as indicative since variations may occur each month either upwards or downwards due to currency exchange rate fluctuations or inflation.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.

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

Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to PAHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and e-Manual.

For information on PAHO please visit: PAHO/WHO is committed to workforce diversity.

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

PAHO/WHO offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary and post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance). Other benefits include: 30 days annual leave, dependency benefits, pension plan and health insurance scheme. Benefits for internationally recruited staff may include home leave, travel and removal expenses on appointment and separation, education grant for dependent children, assignment grant and rental subsidy.

Candidates appointed to an international post with PAHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.

All applicants are required to complete an on-line profile to be considered for this post.

Candidates will be contacted only if they are under serious consideration. A written test and/or interview will be held for this post. The post description is the official documentation for organization purposes.

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