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Chief Medicines & Nutrition Centre, P5, Fixed-Term, #43429, Copenhagen, Denmark


  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Copenhagen
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Medical Practitioners
    • Pharmacy
    • Nutrition
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2022-07-05

UNICEF Supply Division is looking for a new Chief for its Medicines and Nutrition Centre. Under the overall supervision of the Deputy Director, Supply Programme, the Centre Chief directs the strategic procurement activities and is responsible for the wide range procurement and services conducted by the Centre.

Chief Medicines & Nutrition Centre, P-5
2 year, Fixed-Term
Medicines & Nutrition Centre (MNC)
 UNICEF Supply Division, Copenhagen, Denmark

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. 

And we never give up. 

This position is situated in UNICEF’s Supply Division in Copenhagen. Supplies are essential to fulfill children's rights. UNICEF procures and supplies over 5,000 products to address the needs of children supporting  UNICEF's ongoing programmatic activities, rapid supply response to emergencies, as well as procuring  and supplying through procurement services essential commodities on behalf of governments and other partners in their efforts.

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias, or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic, and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education, and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. Therefore, the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

The rising cost to governments and partners of health products (medical devices, medicines, and vaccines) has attracted public concern across the globe along with the inequities elucidated during the COVID-19. Access to safe, effective, quality assured, and affordable essential products for children and their families through public health services is instrumental to improving the health of children and families, improving health coverage without incurring financial depredation and achieving meaningful change.

UNICEF Supply Division strategic procurement of health and nutrition products for programme as well as procurement services enables governments and partners to leverage UNICEF’s procurement scale and expertise to meet supply needs.

The long-lasting impact on the world economy of COVID-19 pandemic, current man-made catastrophes and climate change crisis is expected to materially influence both the domestic fiscal space in programme countries, as well as the global health, including nutrition, and development financing architecture for country programmes and other development priorities, going forward. To protect children and their families from negative impact, strategic procurement by UNICEF Supply Division of essential supplies along with utilization of innovative financing instruments must be developed further in collaboration with partners and government.

Many of Supply Division’s approaches and solutions used in the 2018-2021 strategic period for supporting the adequate financing of supplies will continue to be expanded. However, there is also a need to identify and build new financing opportunities, partnerships, and solutions to support the provision of essential supplies and accelerate results for children, while also mitigating COVID-19 risks, in a post-pandemic “new normal”. 

Through strategic procurement and market influencing solutions, Supply Division will support government efforts to increase access to essential supplies including a strengthened local supplier base which complements domestic sources and further enables improved access. 

How can you make a difference?

Under the overall supervision of the Deputy Director, Supply Programme, the Centre Chief directs the strategic procurement activities and is responsible for the wide range procurement and services conducted by the Centre to ensure that the appropriate products for UNICEF assisted programmes in medicines and nutrition related areas (excluding immunization) are identified and procured. Estimated procurement value of $300M per annum.

Key responsibilities will be:

  1. Leads a professional team of technical and commercial experts to ensure UNICEF at the global level influence progressively sustainable access to affordable and of quality essential medicines and nutrition products in an effective and coordinated manner. Setting centre strategic goals, workplans and direction for the work of the centre.
  2. Plans and directs procurement and supply matters in the areas of medicines and nutrition in support of UNICEF’s Strategic Plan, Country Programmes, humanitarian, and emergency response and in collaboration with Programme Division, WHO, other agencies, partners, donors and NGOs and industry.
  3. Ensures procurement is conducted in compliance with UN Financial Rules and Regulations and Divisional Procedures.
  4. Develops and implements procurement strategies for the products responsible for, in close collaboration with Chief, Contracting Centre (CC), Markets, Supply Financing Centre (MSFC) and Deputy Director, Supply Programme. Convene industry and partners to influence market and ensure sustainable access to medicine and nutrition supply. Support government capacity building efforts in support of sustainable access and local production.
  5. Advises and supports country programmes and HQ divisions on supply issues relevant to health-related supplies and helps develop supply analysis and strategies of country programmes and procurement services. 
  6. Recommends policy changes related to supply and services linked to supply of medicines and nutrition products. In collaboration with regional offices ensures quality-assured supply by establishing priorities and evaluation of services provided in context of regional supply strategies.
  7. Represents UNICEF at major meetings and conferences relating to access to medicines and nutrition products - strategies and policy development for the procurement and supply of products and services.
  8. In collaboration with SD Product Innovation centre (PIC) and MSFC guides market research, product innovation and facilitates communication of such to and from programmes, industry, and partners in a manner consistent with public procurement principles.
  9. As a part of UN Reform and the pursuit of operational efficiency, continuously drives a review of workflow and practices to ensure efficiency, effectiveness, and compliance. Establishes with other centre Chiefs specific objectives, performance indicators and analysis of procurement and supply chain trends to ensure sustainable access to affordable supply, rapid response to emergencies, and mitigate situation of stock out and supply disruption in priority areas. Including monitors performance utilizing divisional KPIs.
  10. Participate as member of SD management team and ensure close working relationships with other Centre Chiefs as well as shares in the responsibility for achieving divisional objectives.
  11. Authorise procurement jointly with Contracts Officers:  Up to 1 $ Million and jointly with the Director/Deputy Director: Up over $ 1 Million

 To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…


  • A Completed Advanced University Degree (Master’s Degree), in Pharmaceutical Sciences combined with Business/Management, Public Health, or other related disciplines.
    *A completed first University degree (Bachelor's degree) may be accepted in lieu of Advanced University degree with twelve years of relevant work experience

  • Ten to twelve (10-12) years of progressively responsible managerial experience in complex and large health product procurement operations involving planning, organizing, strategic procurement and senior advisory support.
  • Varied experience in UNICEF or other development agencies.
  • Leadership experience in a multicultural environment, in the development of sustainable access to health products.
  • Knowledge of current trends in the pharmaceutical market as well as practices in specialized field of UNICEF work.
  • Experience executing high level of analytical and negotiation skills.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong problem-solving skills.
  • Experience with project management work.
  • Fluency in English.


  • Knowledge of another UN language (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian).

For every Child, you demonstrate...

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The competencies required for this post are (level 3):

  • Nurtures, leads, and manages people
  • Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness
  • Works collaboratively with others
  • Builds and maintains partnerships
  • Innovates and embraces change
  • Thinks and acts strategically
  • Drives to achieve impactful results
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


  • For UNICEF Fixed-Term staff, the 1-year time in post must be observed to apply for another position.
  • UNICEF 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 at:
  • Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
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.