Unit Chief, Country Health Emergency Preparedness and IHR (CPI)
World Health Organization (WHO)
PAHO Health Emergencies
United States
Grade: P5, Chief and Senior Professional
Occupations: General Support, Healthcare, Humanitarian and Crisis Response, Management and Strategy
Job Expired 25 Jan 2021
Apply Now
Added 2 months ago
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.


Under the general supervision of the Director, PAHO and the direct supervision of the Director, Health Emergencies (PHE), and in coordination with the Deputy Director, PHE the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties:

  1. Lead and manage the Country Health Emergency Preparedness and International Health Regulations (CPI) Unit; provide technical, policy and strategic advice and programmatic direction to ensure that Member States’ capacities are coordinated for all-hazards health emergency risk management, including monitoring, evaluation and objective assessment of country core capacities; support Member States to enable development of national plans and critical core capacities for all-hazard health emergencies; provide technical advice for the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR);
  2. Manage the development, implementation and oversight of relevant strategies, programs of work, and annual work plans related to the CPI Unit and the Department’s Biennial Work Plan (BWP); collaborate with other Departments for planning, implementing, monitoring and resourcing work plans, consistent with country needs and the Organization’s overall Strategic Plan; ensure the monitoring and evaluation of the organization-wide work plan; coordinate and integrate delivery of technical support to country offices;
  3. Lead the Organization’s engagement with the IHR Secretariat, including IHR Committees, IHR Roster of Experts, travel and trade, travel and health, legislation, and National IHR Focal Points. Manage and ensure IHR work related to strengthening required national procedures, skills and coordination mechanisms are established in all countries;
  4. Ensure close collaborative working relationships with other technical departments; represent the Program and, as required, the Director and Deputy Director, PHE, in internal and external fora; represent the Organization at official meetings;
  5. Maintain strategic and operational collaboration with key disaster preparedness and risk reduction actors, networks and platforms, including the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR);
  6. Lead the Organization's implementation, follow-up and review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, ensuring coherence with other international instruments such as the Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on climate change, among others;
  7. Support the Organization’s emergency and disaster response operations, and serve as a member of the Regional Disaster Response Team;
  8. Identify, promote, establish, maintain, and coordinate liaison across the Organization, within the Organization, with Agencies of the Inter-American System, the United Nations, Financial Institutions, and other partners, in order to maximize programmatic integration, efficiency and effectiveness;
  9. Develop, define and establish the objectives, strategy, plan and budget of the Unit; 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, 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;
  10. Formulate and recommend policies, plans, strategies, and budgets, in support of the Governing Bodies’ mandates related to the work of the Unit; develop and establish guidelines, norms, practices and procedures to improve the Unit’s effectiveness and efficiency; report to Governing Bodies, through executive presentations and reports, on the status of results of the Unit's activities;
  11. Administer, allocate and monitor the Unit’s financial, logistical and staff resources; prepare, and justify the Unit’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;
  12. Collaborate in the development, implementation and monitoring of the Department’s Biennial Work plan (BWP);
  13. 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;
  14. Provide authoritative technical, managerial and policy advice to staff assigned to the Unit, Sub-regional and Regional Advisors located in the countries;
  15. Promote a culture of ethical behavior and integrity in accordance with the Organization’s Code of Ethical Principles and Conduct to ensure a culture of respect, responsibility, accountability, and compliance;
  16. Perform other related duties, as assigned.



Essential: A university degree in a health-related profession 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, emergency preparedness and disaster response, and/or risk reduction; training or studies in leadership or management.

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:  http://www.whed.net/.  PAHO will also use the databases of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation http://www.chea.org and College Navigator, found on the website of the National Centre for Educational Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator to support the validation process.


Essential: Thirteen years of combined national and international experience in planning, developing and implementing health security, disaster risk reduction, emergency/disaster preparedness and response, surveillance, disease control and/or public health programs, including at least five years of management experience in recognized senior leadership positions with direct responsibility for managing both human and financial resources.

Desirable: Experience in WHO and/or the UN System with knowledge of inter-agency mechanisms in the area of national and international preparedness for and response to health emergencies. Field experience in public health programs or emergency response programs in developing countries, including coordination of large-scale public health projects, would be an asset.

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: Collaborates and cooperates with others/Deals effectively with conflict - Creates team spirit; promotes collaboration and open communication in the team; proactively supports others; welcomes team responsibilities and drives team results; promotes knowledge sharing in the team. Proactively identifies conflicts and facilitates their resolution in a respectful manner; tactfully resolves conflicts between or with others and takes action to reduce any possible tension; effectively builds a rapport with individuals and teams, establishing good personal and professional relationships, as well as minimizing risk of potential conflict.
  • Communication: Listens/Writes effectively/Shares knowledge - Foresees communication needs of audience and targets message accordingly. Facilitates open communication; encourages others to share their views openly and takes time to understand and consider their views. Writes down ideas in a clear, structured, logical and credible way; drafts and supports the development of guidelines, policies and procedures. Shares relevant information openly and ensures that the shared information is understood; considers knowledge sharing as a constructive working method and demonstrates awareness of the Organization.
  • Moving forward in a changing environment: Proposes change/Adapts to change - Actively supports Organizational change initiatives and demonstrates personal commitment to them, including when faced with new demands; proposes workable solutions to challenging situations. Engages in positive responses to a changing environment and promotes workable solutions to achieve own and team’s results.
  • Ensuring effective use of resources: 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;
  • 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. Manage complexity and think systemically. Identifies opportunities to promote the Organization’s long-term goals; creates Organizational initiatives for advancing the Organization’s mission, building on existing opportunities presented by new local and global developments. 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: Thorough knowledge and technical expertise in the IHR, the epidemiology of infectious diseases and other global health security threats, and of issues and practices for disease prevention and control. Theoretical knowledge and technical expertise at the highest level in the area of humanitarian aid, emergency preparedness and disaster relief. Practical knowledge of results-based management concepts and tools and their applications; especially related to outcome formulation and indicator development.
  • Managerial: Extensive expertise in senior, progressively responsible positions in the management of large public or private sector organizations or programs, management 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 matters.
  • 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.

Very good knowledge of English or Spanish with a 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 Visio and Project would be an asset.

Annual Salary: (Net of taxes)
$US 89,837.00 post adjustment

Post Adjustment: 47.6% 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.


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.

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

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.

Sorry, this job is no longer available.