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Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: P-6, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Disaster Management (Preparedness, Resilience, Response and Recovery)
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2019-12-24

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

The Emergency Operations Department of the Health Emergencies Programme is responsible for ensuring that emergency-affected populations have access to timely and effective health services.

This includes ensuring a strong emergency management system (based on incident management), effective and inclusive coordination mechanisms, joint assessments and planning by partners, implementation of operations and services according to agreed standards, and strong logistics and operational support.

The expansion and strengthening of operational partnerships is a key priority. EMO also leads on humanitarian policy and guidance, as well as representation to key interagency bodies.


Working closely and collaboratively with the Director, EMO, other Directors in WHE and other senior staff, the Chief Acute Event Management Unit will develop and lead the AEM unit in order to scale The Emergency Programme's impacts.

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

1. Lead and provide strategic and operational direction to the Acute Event Management Unit, including but not limited to overall management and supervision of the three teams (Acute Event Support, GOARN, EMTs, EOC), development and implementation of annual and event-specific work plans, monitoring and reporting, and strengthening engagement of technical staff throughout WHO and partners to contribute to the multi-faceted aspects of emergency management.

2. Advocate and promote the integration of all components of state-of-the-art emergency management in the wider context of WHO HQ, Regional and Country Offices operations, including but not limited to\:

- leveraging capacities from across all WHE Departments in support of the management of acute events and emergencies; supporting countries in the application of the WHO Incident Management System, Emergency Response Framework and Standard Operating Procedures;

- adherence to technical standards (e.g. Sphere), relevant regulations (e.g. IHR), best practices and interagency protocols (e.g. IASC) in the management of emergency operations;

- integration of lessons learned and new knowledge into strategies and operational plans.

3. Monitoring and Evaluation\:

- continuously oversee monitor and evaluate the quality and effectiveness of WHO emergency operations for acute events and emergencies, based on agreed standards and indicators, working with Regional and Country Office to make relevant course corrections and update SOPs and guidance, as needed;

4. Capacity building and Training\:

- drive the preparation and delivery of effective and innovative capacity building and training on acute event management, in close collaboration with Regional Offices, Country Offices and partners;

- take a key role in encouraging full collaboration with WHO-wide, UN Agencies, and other key operational partners (e.g. GOARN, EMTs, Global Health Cluster, technical networks) in the implementation of WHO response to emergencies, and strengthening the engagement of all actors, including the donor community jointly with the External Relations Unit;

- guide, coach, motivate and manage AEM staff, including proactively promoting effective team work and achievement of results and resolving problems, within the framework of WHO Staff Rules and Regulations, and WHE accepted procedures;

- managing the AEM budget within the framework of WHO Staff and Financial Rules and Regulations.

5. Contribute to the overall strategy, priorities and management of the Emergency Operations Department, through active participation in the EMO Senior Management Team.

Perform other related responsibilities as assigned, including deployment for emergency operations and backstopping for others as required.



Essential\: An advanced level university degree in medicine, public health, epidemiology or equivalent,
Desirable\: Qualifications or studies in emergency management; specialization in emergency medicine, infectious diseases or public health.


Essential\: A minimum of fifteen years' experience in alert and response to acute events and emergencies at the national and international levels, complemented by sound experience in leading large multi-faceted teams and networks, together with the formulation and implementation of strategies and policies for emergency operations. Progressive and extensive experience of in coordinating epidemic and emergency response at the national and international level.
Desirable\: Experience in WHO and/or the UN System in the areas of outbreak response and/or humanitarian interventions.


Demonstrated knowledge, expertise and experience in epidemic management, emergency management and humanitarian action, complemented by proven leadership skills to motivate staff at all levels, partners and experts and sound managerial skills.

Capacity to conceptualize, organize and critically analyze situations and solve problems.

Sound organizational and planning skills complemented by ability to multi-task and produce results under pressure within short deadlines.

Excellent communication and negotiation skills. Diplomacy, tact and courtesy.

WHO Competencies


Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences


Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond

Driving the Organization to a Successful Future

Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential\: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable\: Intermediate knowledge of French. Intermediate knowledge of Other WHO 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 99,595 (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 6366 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 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\: http\:// 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.
  • Staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • 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\: http\:// 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.
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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