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Director (Governing Bodies)


  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Senior Executive level - D-2, Director - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed


The Department of Governing Bodies is tasked with providing strategic advice and support to Member States, including in sensitive political contexts; ensuring appropriate protocol and health diplomacy is employed in Member State relations; coordinating response to Member State governance-related concerns and requests across the three levels of WHO; maintaining the global knowledgebase of WHO's governing bodies; and facilitating productive governing bodies (i.e. World Health Assembly (WHA), the Executive Board (EB) and committees or other intergovernmental processes established by them and governance processes and proceedings.


  • Leads the Department in providing technical expertise in political, diplomatic, protocol, and governance processes to Member States and other stakeholders with guidance and data on strategic and organizational considerations relating to governing bodies, protocol, and Member State relations required for the development, implementation, and monitoring of national and/or global policies and programmes.
  • Provides the overall leadership, management accountability, and direction of the Department in delivering its objectives through managing and galvanizing a diverse workforce and responsibly overseeing financial resources to optimize the department deliverables and mandate and, when necessary, make corrections to ensure achievement of Organizational and Departmental goals and objectives.
  • Provides senior level technical advice and expertise to Organizational Senior Management in the area of assigned responsibilities in order to position the Department and Organization as a leader in the respective area.
  • Directs and leads overall establishment and development of the Department's policies and strategies for governance and governing bodies,with a view to coordinating, collaborating, and harmonizing with Regional and Country Office implementation.
  • Oversees the monitoring and evaluation and reporting of the Department's area of work to ensure the development of key performance indicators and global reporting requirements and mechanisms to ensure optimal performance of Department deliverables.
  • Acts as a focal point within and outside WHO on matters related to governing body affairs, representing the Governing Bodies department in meetings of the Executive Board, the Health Assembly, and their committees and subsidiary bodies, in meetings with officials of governments and missions, in relations with senior WHO staff and in liaison with interagency, interregional and outside bodies.
  • Promotes the harmonization of Regional and Country Office perspectives and operational capacities into the Department's programme area of work.
  • Builds strong partnerships and fosters consensus building with external partners, Member States, and other stakeholders in the subject area to politically position the technical area of work and implementation into national and/or global policies.
  • Represent the Organization and Department area of work in a diverse array of global fora to position WHO as a leader in the global health community.
  • Designs and drives the implementation of a transformation of the governing bodies, including inter alia (i) exploring the possibilities for AI for the work of the department and transforming the department and governing body processes to fully exploit the benefits; (ii) in consultation and alignment with Member States driving forward the governing body reform agenda Execute WHO's responsibility in health leadership through its convening, agenda-setting and governance role, including shaping the health agenda and conducting policy analysis in advice of senior management and Member States.
  • Ensures the institutional memory of all governing bodies actions - are established, maintained, and communicated and ensuring communications and alignment with regional offices to coordinate the complementarity of global and regional governing body agendas.
  • Ensures that the meeting and documentation services are provided as cost-effectively as possible, overseeing implementation of innovative solutions to support state of the art information and communications technology in organizing and running governing body meetings and in producing and disseminating policy and technical documentation.
  • Oversees and rationalizes the administrative arrangements for governing body meetings, chairing preparatory steering committees of governing body meetings, overseeing all stages of the preparation, editing, translation, and dissemination of documentation in printed and electronic form, and ensuring appropriate protocol and arrangements for senior level government participants and high-level global figures.Performs all other related duties as assigned.




  • An advanced level university degree in international relations, public health or fields related to the functions of the position.


  • A PhD in one of the above mentioned fields.



  • A minimum of 15 years of professional experience in the management of increasingly responsible and independent levels in managing complex governing bodies and protocol, including experience providing senior level advice and guidance to Senior Management/Decision makers and Member State representatives, managing human and financial resources, as well as experience in the area of developing and establishing policies and strategies.
  • Demonstrated experience at the international level.
  • Sound understanding of modern technology of AI and experience in how that could be applied to governing body processes.
  • Globally-respected level of technical expertise and knowledge in governing bodies, governance, health diplomacy, and protocol, as well as in managing transformation processes.


  • Demonstrated experience at the international level in more than one UN agency.


  • Strong skills in the area of developing and establishing policies and strategies.
  • Excellent skills and ability in managing diverse teams and financial resources. Ability to engage, build consensus, and communicate effectively and diplomatically with Member States, partners, and media.
  • Commitment to collaborate effectively with other key partners in the Health Subject area.
  • Globally-respected level of technical expertise and knowledge in governing bodies, governance, health diplomacy, and protocol, as well as in managing transformation processes.
  • Proven leadership skills in the planning and coordination of multidisciplinary public health programmes, which may include the implementation of public health/disease control programmes.
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills.
  • Tact, diplomacy, and discretion in dealing with sensitive issues.

WHO Competencies

  • Teamwork
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
  • Communication
  • Ensuring the effective use of resources
  • Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills


  • Expert knowledge of English.


  • Intermediate knowledge of French.


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 117,280 (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 8288 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.
    • Persons with disabilities can request reasonable accommodations to enable participation in the recruitment process. Requests for reasonable accommodation should be sent through an email
    • 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 theWHO Values Charterinto 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 a 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
    • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
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