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Senior Product Manager – COVAX (Temporary) - multiple positions

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: Gavi, Vaccine Alliance
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: CS4 - Career Step 4 - Professional - Both internationally and locally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Managerial positions
    • Marketing (Digital, Advertisement, Brand, Promotion)
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Ebola
  • Closing Date: 2021-09-17

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Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership committed to saving children's lives and protecting people's health by increasing equitable use of vaccines in lower-income countries. The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. Since 2000, Gavi has contributed to the immunisation of nearly 822 million children and the prevention of more than 14 million future deaths. At the Global Vaccine Summit in June 2020, world leaders pledged more than $8.8bn to ensure Gavi can immunise another 300 million children by 2025. 

The COVAX Facility (“COVAX”) provides a global solution to the equitable distribution of vaccines to the 190 participating countries and economies. The COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) is an innovative financing instrument that supports the participation of the 92 low and lower-middle income economies in COVAX. Self-financing participants (SFPs) have entered COVAX either as Optional (having the possibility to opt-out of a particular vaccine) or Committed Purchasers. Guided by the WHO fair allocation framework, COVAX will equitably distribute doses to help protect the most at-risk groups. Gavi is working with Alliance partners UNICEF and WHO to ensure that the infrastructure is in place, and the technical support available, for COVID-19 vaccines to be safely delivered to all those who need them.


COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, and it is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and Unicef, collectively the “COVAX Partners”. More information about this global endeavour and the principles guiding it can be found at 

The Senior Product Manager is the COVAX Facility’s lead for the operationalisation of a signed agreement with a manufacturer or portfolio of manufacturers to ensure doses flow smoothly and rapidly through the various COVAX processes to countries. The key objective of this role is to manage the process of getting vaccines to countries as quickly as possible and address any roadblocks that arise along the way. The COVAX Facility’s Product Manager works closely with his or her counterpart Product Manager at Unicef and is an integral member of the COVAX Operationalisation SWAT team, which is the primary body for operational decision-making at the COVAX pillar level. The SWAT team is responsible for all operational decisions following agreed COVAX processes and requiring cross-workstream collaboration, and addresses resolution of all operational topics that affect single products and a majority of cross-product issues.
The Senior Product Manager will oversee the end-to-end process, raise strategic issues to the SWAT team and coordinate solution options for a specific product(s) within the COVAX portfolio. Additionally, as a product focal point for Pillar level stakeholders, respond to queries and status requests, draft recommendations / materials for COVAX governance approval, and provide input on country response and external communications related to their specific product. The Senior Product Manager will engage regularly with vaccine manufacturers. The Senior Product Manager will also work closely with the SCO focal point, who will support with coordination and analytics. 
  • Product launch preparation: 
    • Lead retro planning (end-to-end timeline) of product launch:
    • Adapt launch protocol for specific product in Product Manager portfolio;
    • Coordinate with UNICEF Supply Division and the deals team to identify timeline of Advance Purchase Agreement / Long-term agreement and key preparedness requirements;
    • Engage with regulatory teams to estimate/manage timing of Emergency Use Listing or other regulatory decisions;
    • Support the allocation team to determine right timing for allocation, etc.;
    • Work with the manufacturer to prepare for launch;
    • Identify risks to successful launch and develop mitigation actions to address.
  • Allocation and country communication:
    • Work with country communications team to review product-specific language in the draft allocation letters;
    • Liaise with manufacturers to review product-specific language in allocation letters, as needed, and relay timing of communication.
  • Country preparedness
    • Monitor preparedness tracking of all countries on regulatory, indemnification and liability, etc. for specific products;
    • Work with the SWAT team to ensure actions are taken to remove obstacles to country preparedness.
  • PO issuing through shipment (primarily led by UNICEF Product Manager):
    • Continues monitoring of the E2E timeline and coordination with SWAT team;
    • Coordination of relevant cross-functional team members/ project ownership;
    • Support management and coordination of a wide cast of team members both within Gavi and in partner organisations to ensure everyone is working to a clear objective and plan.
  • Ongoing roll-out support and delivery monitoring:
    • Assess list of countries who are unable to accept vaccine post-allocation to facilitate reallocation proposal development, in coordination with country-facing teams, UNICEF, and the Joint Allocation Taskforce;
    • Support identification of strategies / actions to be taken with SWAT team with respect to relevant country readiness and delivery ‘red flags’;
    • Lead development of scenarios / options for ‘movement’ of doses as needed following ‘red flag’ reviews, e.g.;
    • Lead ongoing issue resolution in support of continued and smooth product roll-out.
  • Account management:
    • Support the manufacturer to problem-solve and efficiently remove roadblocks;
    • Schedule and manage a standing operationalisation meeting with the manufacturer (incl. other SWAT members when necessary).
Note: The essential functions listed in this section are not exhaustive of the job responsibilities; other duties may be assigned consistently with the department needs.
  • A minimum of 8 years of experience in programme coordination, public health, international organisations, pharmaceuticals/life sciences;
  • Previous experience engaging with pharmaceutical manufacturers, ideally in vaccines, coordinating programmes/projects in a commercial setting (e.g product launch, programme management or as an engagement manager);
  • Experience in large, cross-functional teams working across diverse stakeholders within complex contexts;
  • Extensive experience in delivering global programme outcomes and benefits by establishing robust programme management;
  • Ideally, experience in introduction of new vaccines and vaccine procurement proceses and procurement processes of UNICEF SD and PAHO Revolving Fund.
  • Excellent project management skills including;
  • Impeccable stakeholder engagement experience and ability to engage with stakeholders comfortably and professionally at all levels;
  • Experience in setting plans and executing upon them;
  • Advanced PowerPoint skills and ability to draft impactful materials for senior stakeholders with quick turnaround;
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, high pressure environment with senior stakeholders across multiple organisations;
  • Calm, professional, proactive demeanor and excellent problem solver;
  • Experience in the pharmaceutical industry or with procurement of pharmaceutical products considered a plus.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is essential;
  • Other UN languages, particularly French, Spanish, Russian, or Chinese is an advantage.
  • Master’s degree or higher in business administration, public health or other relevant discipline;
  • Gavi Secretariat;
  • Governments of COVAX Facility Participants; 
  • Gavi's alliance partners;
  • Pharmaceutical companies.
If you wish to apply, please provide a cover letter and resume through our Careers webpage and apply by clicking on “Senior Product Manager – COVAX (Temporary).” Deadline for applications is 17 September 2021.

Gavi brings together the public and private sectors to save lives and protect people’s health by increasing equitable and sustainable use of vaccines against 18 infectious diseases. You will be joining an organisation at the centre of the international COVID-19 response, at the most critical time in global health in a lifetime. You will work in a culturally diverse environment with over 70 nationalities. You will collaborate with partners such as WHO, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank – and from business, civil society and government. And you will work in the first global health organisation to receive equal gender salary certification. Your unique experience, skills and talents can help us achieve our vision of leaving no one behind without the life-saving power of vaccines.

In support of Gavi’s commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion, we hire globally and welcome applications regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, national origin, family status, sex, gender identity or expression, physical characteristics, race, religion, spirituality or sexual orientation.

Become part of our community and join us on Facebook and Twitter for updates about our mission to save children’s lives! You can also follow our hashtag #vaccineswork.
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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