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Advisor, Food Safety and Surveillance

Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Security and Safety
    • Nutrition
    • Food Security, Livestock and Livelihoods
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-30

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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 Pan American Center for Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Veterinary Public Health (PANAFTOSA/SPV) is a specialized Center, part of the Department of Communicable Diseases and Environmental Determinants of Health (CDE) of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). PANAFTOSA/SPV promotes, coordinates, and implements technical cooperation aimed at strengthening animal health and public health activities and programs, and food safety systems of Member States. PANAFTOSA/SPV’s technical cooperation includes the implementation of the Hemispheric Program for the Eradication of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (PHEFA); the prevention, surveillance and elimination of zoonotic diseases which negatively impacts human and animal health, including envenomation and the improvement of food safety systems for the prevention and consequent risk reduction of foodborne diseases as well as antimicrobial resistance.


Under the general supervision of the Director, Communicable Diseases and Environmental Determinants of Health (CDE), and the direct supervision of the Center Director, Pan American Foot-and-Mouth Disease Center (PANAFTOSA), the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties:

  1. Provide technical advice to Member States on development and implementation of regional food safety strategies and plans in accordance with PAHO Guidelines, the Global Food Safety Strategy, the Pan American Commission for Food Safety (COPAIA), the Inter American Ministerial Meeting on Health and Agriculture (RIMSA);
  2. Advise, plan, develop, implement, coordinate and monitor the operation and evaluation of the technical cooperation in food safety and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the food of animal value chain, within the framework of the policies and strategies of the Organization;
  3. Coordinate the process of implementing the Regional Strategic Plan for Food Safety with the Organization’s Country Offices and national staff counterparts; optimizing alignment with both Global Food Safety Strategy and specificities of countries in the Region;
  4. Lead, supervise and coordinate the food safety team, establish clear work objectives, conduct timely and effective performance appraisals, provide coaching, feedback, and support staff development opportunities;
  5. Analyze the impact of the Organization’s technical cooperation in food safety on public health of the countries of the Region;
  6. Promote inter-programmatic coordination with other technical entities in the development and implementation of food-borne diseases surveillance and control, and prevention of AMR in animal health and food production efforts;
  7. Promote research activities and capacity building in the areas of food safety, AMR in the food of origin value chain, and veterinary public health;
  8. Promote the mobilization of national and international resources by supporting training, technical assistance and research activities to facilitate improvements in the design of food safety programs;
  9. Serve as liaison, at the national and international levels, with governmental and non-governmental organizations, dealing with issues related to food safety and AMR in the food of origin value chain;
  10. Coordinate the consolidation and preparation of reports on food-borne diseases (e.g. annual status reports) and programmatic indicators with other communicable and non-communicable disease professionals; collaborate in the development and implementation of integrated food-borne surveillance systems to support strategic and operational decision making related to the control of food-borne diseases and AMR in the food of origin value chain;
  11. Prepare and disseminate scientific and evidence-based technical reports, policy documents and position papers based on the results of epidemiological and socioeconomic studies;
  12. Promote and collaborate in mobilizing national and international resources to facilitate the implementation of the Regional Strategic Plan for Food Safety;
  13. Establish and maintain collaborative networks involving relevant national and international organizations (e.g. Codex Alimentarious, OIE, FAO, IICA, OIRSA, CAN and CVP), governmental and non-governmental institutions, professional and scientific societies engaged in the food safety, AMR in the food of origin value chain, and veterinary public health;
  14. Collaborate in the development and strengthening of human resources for adequate planning, organizing and operating of programs specifically targeted at improving food safety programs, AMR in the food of origin value chain, and veterinary public health;
  15. Collaborate in the preparation of the Biennial Work Plan (BWP) and the execution of international cooperation projects, including the analysis of political, technical and socioeconomic issues, and performance assessments;
  16. When called upon to directly supervise staff, establish clear work objectives, conduct timely and effective performance appraisals, provide coaching and feedback, and support staff development opportunities;
  17. Perform other related duties, as assigned.



Essential: A university degree in a health-related profession and a master's degree in epidemiology, public health, microbiology, food safety, veterinary public health or in any other field related to the functions of the post, from recognized institutions.

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: PAHO will also use the databases of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and College Navigator, found on the website of the National Centre for Educational Statistics, to support the validation process.


Essential: Nine years of combined national and international experience in the area of public health in programs involving the control and prevention of zoonotic diseases, epidemiological research, food safety, AMR in animal health and food production and/or veterinary public health; including the participation in technical cooperation programs and activities in veterinary public health.

Desirable: Experience working in international organizations and programs and/or Inter-American Systems 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: Works collaboratively with team members and counterparts to achieve and build rapport; helps others when asked; accepts joint responsibility for the team’s successes and shortcomings.
  • Communication: Quality and quantity of communication targeted at audience. Listens attentively and does not interrupt other speakers. Adapts communication style and written content to ensure they are appropriately and accurately understood by the audience (e.g., power-point presentations, communication strategies, implementation plans). Shares information openly with colleagues and transfers knowledge, as needed.
  • Producing Results: Monitors own and others’ work in a systematic and effective way, ensuring required resources and outputs. Aligns projects with Organization’s mission and objectives. Consistently solves own and team’s problems effectively as needed. Takes responsibility. Proactively engages in projects and initiatives, accepting demanding goals, in line with Organizational Strategies and Program of Work. Demonstrates accountability for work of team and sets an example, while explicitly articulating lessons learnt for own and team’s benefit.
  • Moving forward in a changing environment: Actively supports Organizational change initiatives and demonstrates personal commitment to them, including when faced with new demands; proposes workable solutions to challenging situations. Engages in positive responses to a changing environment and promotes workable solutions to achieve own and team’s results. Welcomes, and actively seeks to apply, new ideas, approaches and working methods and technologies in order to improve own and/or team’s work processes and results; demonstrates commitment to Organizational change initiatives.
  • Ensuring effective use of resources: 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.

Technical Expertise:

  • Theoretical and practical expertise in all aspects related to principles and recent development in all aspects of food safety, including research and training.
  • Expertise and specialization in food protection, AMR in animal health and food production or food borne diseases projects, epidemiology and planning in veterinary public health, statistical methods, preventive medicine and disease control methods.
  • Knowledge and skills in the formulation of technical cooperation interventions and in the development of criteria for evaluating program interventions for veterinary public health.
  • Ability to analyze current surveillance systems and possess the capability to develop and plan innovative and appropriate solutions for improvement.
  • Managerial skills for the development, implementation and analysis of technical cooperation programs and activities, including budget programming and control.
  • Mature judgment, strong technical, analytical, conceptual, interpersonal and communication skills; demonstrate ability to identify, assess, analyze, synthesize and provide recommendation on key political, technical and administrative issues.
  • Strong professional oral and writing skills, including the development of reports, oral presentations, and technical/persuasive documents for consideration at the highest levels of the Organization.


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

IT Skills:

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


Annual Salary: (Net of taxes)

US$74,913.00 post adjustment

Post Adjustment: 31% of the above figure(s). This percentage is to be considered as indicative since variations may occur each month either upwards or downwards due to currency exchange rate fluctuations or inflation.


This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level.

Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to PAHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and e-Manual.

For information on PAHO please visit:

PAHO/WHO is committed to workforce diversity.

PAHO/WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.

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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