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Unit Head (Ethics)
World Health Organization (WHO)
HQ/CRE Compliance and Risk Management and Ethics DGO
P5 Chief and Senior Professional Full-time Internationallly Recruited
Job Expired 6 Mar 2024
Posted 1 month ago
Job Description


Located within the DGO Division, the mission of The Office of Compliance, Risk Management and Ethics (CRE) is to systematically identify organization-wide risks, and by topic area, maintain a risk register record, evaluate it according to its likely impact and probability, and proactively have it managed by risk management owners. CRE seeks to periodically review, assess and integrate internal control compliance into all policies and managerial decisions. CRE promotes and upholds the highest organizational standards, codes of conduct and core values. Through the ethics function the goal is for all staff to observe and perform their functions consistent with the highest standards of integrity required of WHO staff members and international civil servants. CRE facilitates the implementation of the Framework of engagement with non-State actors and its unit serves inter alia as the specialized unit in WHO responsible for conduct of the standard due diligence and risk assessment. CRE liaises independently with internal parties across the different levels of the Organization, developing and presenting to the Director-General its annual work plan of delivery of compliance, risk management, and ethics needs in addition to those on engagements with non-State actors across the three levels of the Organization.


Within the broader strategic goals of the CRE Department, the Unit Head (Ethics) will:

1. Coordinate the implementation of the ethical principles;
2. Coordinate, plan, manage and monitor the work programme, priorities and activities of the Advisory work: Provide confidential advice to staff on ethical issues, including corporate ethical standards and personal conflict of interest situations such as the receipt of gifts, respectful workplace and other ethical concerns.
3. Advocacy and communication: Advocate the promotion of high ethical standards with all staff, including managers, in coordination with relevant units such as human resources, legal, finance, procurement, internal audit and investigation, and the Ombudsman. Provide information to the public, in collaboration with relevant departments on WHO's commitment to its core values and reputational capital. 
4. Policy support and policy development: Carry out standard setting and policy support activities, including participation in relevant interagency fora and facilitating, where practical, a harmonized approach with other United Nations common system bodies. Identify any gaps in WHO's ethical policies and propose best practice policies to protect WHO's interest. 
5. Coordinate activities aimed at increasing the profile of WHO's work on ethical principles.
6. Training: Develop and manage a certification training program mandatory for the entire workforce on the Code of Ethics, WHO ethical principles and values. Work with the human resources department and other relevant departments, to provide ethics training and learning opportunities for WHO's senior management, staff representatives and other WHO workforce through orientations, induction programmes, specialized briefings, focused Ethics weeks. The Unit Head will work closely with the Regional Offices to ensure regular Ethics training is provided at Regional and Country level. These trainings will be done in-person and virtually.
7. Declaration of interest: supervise the annual declaration of interest exercise for staff further to Staff Rule 110.7,. This will include the selective verification of representation statements; reviewing filed statements and advising the Director-General's Office on the resolution of any actual or perceived conflicts of interest including possible mitigation measures. Communicate to staff on the objectives of the declaration of interest policy to encourage full compliance. Monitor compliance with WHO's Policy on Declaration of Interest for WHO Experts and propose improvements to the Policy, as appropriate. Raise awareness among the workforce on the importance of the Policy and on the need to ensure adherence to it. Advise technical units, on matters arising out of the implementation of the Policy particularly in connection with the assessment of disclosed interest, the adoption of conflict of interest mitigation strategies and the formulation of public disclosure statements. In collaboration with HRT, ensure that any person proposed for WHO recruitment who is required to file a declaration of interest does so.




Essential: An Advanced level university degree (Masters level or above) in law, social sciences (e.g. psychology, labour relations, sociology), philosophy, public policy or administration, corporate ethics or a related field relevant to the position.
Desirable: Recognized relevant certification or training in current best practices relating to ethics and conduct would be an asset.


Essential: A minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible and relevant professional experience in ethics functions including in the areas of administration, management and oversight with international organizations, national governments or private entities. Demonstrated experience working at the international level.
Desirable: Experience working in an ethics function of the UN or other international organizations is an asset.


Thorough knowledge of ethics principles, management and best practices as well as procedures and operations;
Strong skills in promoting the vision, mission, and strategic goals of WHO;
Strong skills in providing authoritative advice and knowledge of current best practices relating to ethics and conduct practices, in particular within the UN common system;
The ability to produce credible results while maintaining professional standards;
Excellent advisory capacity, leadership, project management and performance management skills;
Proven conceptual, analytical and evaluative skills; and an ability to conduct independent research and analysis;
Ability to foster team work and to establish trust and maintain effective and transparent working relationships at all levels;
Ability to motivate and supervise staff; 
Ability to demonstrate impartiality and objectivity, being guided by the highest ethical principles;
Ability to carry out inquiries objectively and neutrally, not acting as an advocate for either management or staff;
Respect for confidentiality during the conduct of his /her work;
Proven ability to manage teams in an effective way, as well as budget lines;
Proven ability to be a collaborative leader and creative problem solver who has demonstrated success as in helping create a sustainable ethical environment;
Excellent oral and written command of English. Knowledge of other official UN language is desirable.


WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Creating an empowering and motivating environment
Driving the Organization's Position in Health Leadership
Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Expert knowledge of French. Intermediate knowledge of another WHO official language.


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 92,731 (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 7156 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 and/or an asynchronous video assessment 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.
  • According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.
  • Staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.
  • The WHO is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The WHO recruits and employs staff regardless of disability status, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, race, marital status, religious, cultural, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, or any other personal characteristics.
  • The WHO is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The WHO recruits and employs staff regardless of disability status, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, race, marital status, religious, cultural, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, or any other personal characteristics.

    The WHO is committed to achieving gender parity and geographical diversity in its workforce . Women, persons with disabilities, and nationals of unrepresented and underrepresented Member States ( are strongly encouraged to apply.

    Persons with disabilities can request reasonable accommodations to enable participation in the recruitment process. Requests for reasonable accommodation should be sent through an email to
  • An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential. WHO prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter into practice.
  • WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of final candidates.
  • Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with WHO and an underlying premise of the international civil service. 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.
  • WHO also offers wide range of benefits to staff, including parental leave and attractive flexible work arrangements to help promote a healthy work-life balance and to allow all staff members to express and develop their talents fully.
  • The statutory retirement age for staff appointments is 65 years. For external applicants, only those who are expected to complete the term of appointment will normally be considered.
  • Please note that WHO's contracts are conditional on members of the workforce confirming that they are vaccinated as required by WHO before undertaking a WHO assignment, except where a medical condition does not allow such vaccination, as certified by the WHO Staff Health and Wellbeing Services (SHW). The successful candidate will be asked to provide relevant evidence related to this condition. A copy of the updated vaccination card must be shared with WHO medical service in the medical clearance process. Please note that certain countries require proof of specific vaccinations for entry or exit. For example, official proof /certification of yellow fever vaccination is required to enter many countries. Country-specific vaccine recommendations can be found on the WHO international travel and Staff Health and Wellbeing website. For vaccination-related queries please directly contact SHW directly at
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
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This position is no longer open.