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Unit Chief, Comprehensive Family Immunization

Washington D.C. (United States of America)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Washington D.C. (United States of America)
  • Grade: P-6, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Managerial positions
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
  • Closing Date: 2021-11-16

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This requisition is for employment at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO)

The Department of Family, Health Promotion and Life Course (FPL) of the Pan American Health Organization promotes, coordinates and implements technical cooperation at the regional, subregional and country levels, emphasizing the central role of the family and community to foster a culture of health promotion and protection in which health is a social value and a human right. FPL focuses on the development and implementation of programs to improve women and men’s health and development, including comprehensive family immunization across the life course; sexual and reproductive health; maternal and neonatal health; the integrated health and development of children and adolescents and aging populations; and innovative, inter-sectoral and strategic efforts to address the social determinants of health.


Under the direct supervision of the Director, Family, Health Promotion and Life Course (FPL), and the general supervision of the Assistant Director (AD), the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties:

  1. Lead the Comprehensive Immunization Strategy in the Region; provide strategic, political, technical and programmatic direction to strengthen initiatives for the elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD), in alignment with regional and global mandates; develop and implement action plans to strengthen national immunization programs and integrate them into the health systems;
  2. Lead and manage the Unit of Comprehensive Family Immunization; coordinate and guide the implementation of the Regional strategic plan towards achieving universal access to prevention and control of vaccine preventable diseases (VPD), including the development of innovative methodologies for program execution, taking into account the needs of countries and the policies of the Organization; provide regular evaluations of program performance;
  3. Provide technical, policy, strategic and programmatic advice to enhance and position the Organization’s technical leadership for the eradication, elimination, and control of vaccine-preventable diseases in the Region; lead and support the development and implementation of efficient national immunization programs;
  4. Lead the adoption of innovative approaches on surveillance, vaccination coverage analyses, identification of barriers to immunization access, integration with Primary Health Care, communication and community engagement;
  5. Coordinate the dissemination of technical information on the biological, clinical, laboratory, epidemiological and behavioral aspects of immunization and priority vaccines in support of national programs;
  6. Utilize information (epidemiological and surveillance data) to assess the impact of interventions and to set programmatic priorities for the Organization;
  7. Promote the sharing of country experience and lessons learned; establish constructive dialogue and engagement with stakeholders to enhance immunizations activities in the Region;
  8. Coordinate the implementation of PAHO’s immunization strategies and plans with all relevant Organizational entities following a comprehensive interprogrammatic approach, in order to extend the reach of its technical cooperation; ensure high quality technical cooperation is being provided to countries for priority new and underutilized vaccines;
  9. Collaborate with Member Governments in developing and strengthening national training programs for all levels of health care personnel involved in immunization;
  10. Collaborate with Member Governments in applying evidence-based principles and methods to planning, developing capacity, administering and evaluating national immunization programs;
  11. Conduct political and technical analyses with all relevant Organizational entities, on an ongoing basis, that contribute to decision making and the elaboration of strategic planning for the continuous strengthening of the regional immunization strategy;
  12. Represent the Organization in high level events, meetings, negotiations, policy discussions with partners and stakeholders related to VPD, as delegated;
  13. Identify, in consultation with all relevant Organizational entities, the opportunities and special areas of interest and promote, establish, and maintain liaisons with a broad spectrum of entities such as WHO, UNICEF, the GAVI Alliance, foundations, international institution’s, global funds, political integration arrangements, partnerships related to VPD and the private sector when appropriate;
  14. Provide high level technical, managerial and policy advice to managers and actively support technical staff development in the area of VPD;
  15. Identify and mobilize financial resources to support program implementation, in collaboration with other Departments of the Organization and partners;
  16. Formulate and recommend policies, plans, strategies and budgets, in support of the Governing Bodies’ mandates related to the work of the Unit, report to the Governing Bodies, through executive presentations and reports, on the status or results of the program of work;
  17. Determine the viability of, and recommend projects and activities for the Unit, as well as determine strategies for implementation, including suitable financing, financial resources mobilization and executing arrangements; ensure the timely monitoring, reporting and evaluation of results and accomplishments for the benefit of the Member States and the Organization;
  18. Administer, allocate and monitor the Unit’s financial, logistical and staff resources; prepare and justify the program and budget proposals;
  19. Provide leadership, guidance and mentoring of supervised staff; define the Unit’s personnel component including the organizational structure, competencies and terms of reference. Initiate and recommend approval of personnel actions for all of the Unit’s staff; ensure guidance and monitoring of staff though setting of clear work objectives, use of performance reviews and feedback mechanisms, regular communications, and solving interpersonal or technical conflicts. Monitor the competencies of the staff to ensure optimal performance and staff development; monitor workloads to ensure equitable distribution of work and maintain job satisfaction, efficiency and output; and follow up on any deviation of work results from objectives;
  20. Promote a culture of ethical behaviors and integrity in accordance with the Organization’s Code of Ethical Principles and Conduct in order to ensure a culture of respect, responsibility, accountability and compliance;
  21. Provide a stable managerial framework that demonstrates credibility, trust and value to Member States, clients and humanitarian and other donors, while optimizing staff performance, provide advice, when called upon, to institutions of Member States in the of expertise;
  22. Direct and participate in the development of policies and their implementation and provide authoritative advice in relation to policy and procedures under the areas of responsibility;
  23. Perform other related duties, as assigned.



Essential: A bachelor’s and a master’s degree in a health science, public health, epidemiology, international health development or in any other field related to the functions of the post, from a recognized institution.

Desirable: A PhD. or M.D. degree would be an asset.

In the event that your candidature is retained, you will be required to provide, a scanned copy of the degree(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED/UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: PAHO will also use the databases of and to support the validation process.


Essential: Fifteen years of combined national and international experience in leading and managing public health programs, including solid experience working on immunizations. Experience in negotiations with large institutions and resource mobilization and partnership programs, ideally in the field of international public health. Experience should include progressively responsible demonstrated skills in management, diplomacy, and negotiations at high level.

Desirable: Experience in a United Nations organization or any international organization would be an asset. Proven success in resource mobilization efforts 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: Advocates for collaboration across the Organization - Creates and encourages a climate of team- working and collaboration across the Organization; sees cooperation as a key Organizational priority and creates collaborative systems and processes to achieve Organizational goals. Actively identifies and tackles disagreements between internal and external counterparts that compromise the Organization’s goals and mandate; diplomatically facilitates the resolution of conflicts between others and ensures strategic partnerships with a range of key stakeholders; maintains and extends an effective collaborative network of individuals inside and outside the Organization.
  • Communication: Share knowledge - Shares decisions and directives of senior management and communicates them in a manner that ensures both understanding and acceptance; shares knowledge and best practice at the three Organizational levels (country, regional and global), as necessary.
  • Creating an empowering and motivating environment: Provide direction/Support, motivate and empower others - Oversees and provides teams and departments with clear managerial directions which are translated from Organizational strategy. Builds a performance culture in the Organization; contributes to setting Organizational performance goals and standards; monitors Organizational performance against milestones and strategic goals; identifies and nurtures talent as appropriate. Promotes autonomy and empowerment throughout the Organization; inspires enthusiasm and a positive attitude in people towards their work and contribution to the Organization’s success.
  • Ensuring effective use of resources: Strategize and set clear objectives/Monitor progress and use resources well - 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; creates measures and criteria to monitor progress of overall projects against key Organizational objectives; creates cost-effective solutions for the Organization.
  • 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. 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: Extensive expertise at a decision-making level in vaccine preventable diseases, public health, epidemiology, global health and resources mobilization; experience working with national immunization or disease control programs, wide and varied knowledge of public health problems and cost-effective interventions for eliminating and controlling vaccine preventable diseases, including monitoring and performance assessment in the health or social sector.
  • Managerial: Extensive expertise in progressively responsible positions in the management of a large public or private institution on administrative and technical matters. Demonstrated ability to provide strategic leadership to technical, organizational, managerial and analytic work of national immunization or disease control programs; capability to communicate authoritatively with high level audiences, technical professionals and the general public; 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 backgrounds; resourcefulness, initiative, highly developed judgment and interpersonal skills to deal with difficult situations and sensitive areas.
  • Administrative: Skills in resource mobilization (including fundraising and partner collaboration) and financial management for the delivery of expected results.


Very good knowledge of English or Spanish with a working knowledge of the other language. Knowledge in French and/or Portuguese would be and asset.

IT Skills:

Demonstrated ability to effectively use a computer and utilize software programs such as Microsoft Office, Excel, Power Point and Outlook. Other IT skills and knowledge of other software programs such as Visio, Microsoft SharePoint and Project would be an asset.


Annual Salary: (Net of taxes)

US $102,715.00 post adjustment.

Post Adjustment: 49.6% of the above figure(s). Variations may occur each month either upwards or downwards due to currency exchange rate fluctuations or inflation.


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 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.

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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