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Advisor, Epidemic-prone Diseases Epidemiology

Washington D.C.

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Washington D.C.
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Biology and Chemistry
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
  • Closing Date: 2022-07-12


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

The objective of the Health Emergencies Department (PHE) of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) is to increase health sector resilience to emergencies and disasters. PHE assists Member States to strengthen the health sector’s capacities in prevention, risk reduction, preparedness, surveillance, response, and early recovery for emergencies and disasters related to any hazards (natural, man-made, biological, chemical, radiological and others) and, when national capacities are overwhelmed, to lead and coordinate the international health response to contain disasters, including outbreaks, and to provide effective relief and recovery to affected populations. PHE is responsible for ensuring the implementation and updating of the PAHO/WHO Institutional Emergency and Disaster Response Policy.


Under the general supervision of the Deputy Director, Health Emergencies (PHE), and the direct supervision of the Unit Chief, Infectious Hazard Management (PHE/IHM), the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties:

  1. Provide technical, managerial and policy advice to strengthen countries’ capacities to detect, assess, report and respond to acute public health events, especially epidemic-prone diseases;
  2. Formulate and recommend policies and strategies to countries for strengthening epidemic diseases surveillance; coordinate the development, implementation and analysis of surveillance systems;
  3. Advise and contribute to the analysis of information produced by existing surveillance systems and support the development of new systems for responding to emerging and re-emerging epidemic-prone diseases;
  4. Provide assistance to countries in implementing and maintaining the core capacities for surveillance and response under the International Health Regulations (IHR);
  5. Contribute to outbreak investigations and response in affected Member States;
  6. Provide technical advice for interprogrammatic coordination with other technical departments in the development and implementation of surveillance, prevention and control of epidemic diseases;
  7. Mobilize partnerships within the Region and with other international organizations, national agencies and other relevant organizations on infectious diseases, with the aim of integrating intersectoral actions;
  8. Promote coordination and collaboration between the Organization and other international and national scientific or professional groups; and with other UN and WHO offices to achieve efficient coordination of activities and utilization of resources, and comprehensive development of study, research and analytical capacities required for the surveillance of epidemic diseases;
  9. Promote the mobilization of resources in relation to epidemic diseases, including preparation of project proposals for external funding;
  10. Advise on the development and implementation of innovative training in national institutions to transfer technology to national personnel on methods and techniques in epidemic disease epidemiology;
  11. Provide advice and support to national institutions and universities, in designing, conducting and evaluating research projects;
  12. Prepare and disseminate scientific and evidence-based technical reports, policy documents and position papers based on the results of epidemiological and socioeconomic studies;
  13. Collaborate with other projects to achieve efficient coordination of activities, systematic utilization of resources and comprehensive development of study, research and analytical capacities required for epidemic alert and response operations;
  14. Contribute to the preparation of biennial work plans (BWP), and budgets, semiannual workplans and periodic evaluations for assigned projects; participate in the performance evaluation of the Unit;
  15. 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;
  16. Perform other related duties, as assigned.



Essential: A university degree in a health-related profession and a master’s degree in epidemiology, public health, infectious diseases or in any other field related to the functions of the post, from a recognized institution.

Desirable: A PhD in epidemiology and/or a field epidemiology training program would be an asset.

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 prevention and control of epidemic-prone infectious diseases, and in the application of epidemiological principles and methods to disease surveillance, outbreak investigation and response, health care planning, health promotion, training and/or research, including supervisory, administrative, advisory and research experience.


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: Relate well to diversity in others and capitalize on such diversity - 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: Collaborate and cooperate with others - 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: Write effectively/Share knowledge - Writes down ideas in a clear, structured, logical and credible way; drafts and supports the development of guidelines, policies and procedures. Shares relevant information openly and ensures that the shared information is understood; considers knowledge sharing as a constructive working method and demonstrates awareness of the Organization.
  • Producing Results: Work efficiently and independently/Deliver quality 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • Building and promoting partnerships across the Organization and beyond: Develop networks and partnerships and encourage collaboration - Builds and negotiates strategic partnerships and alliances with a wide range of key stakeholders to ensure Organizational results and success. Creates innovative opportunities for promoting synergies inside and outside the Organization to improve Organizational success.

Technical Expertise:

  • Theoretical and practical expertise in infectious diseases with emphasis on epidemiology, surveillance, prevention and control; principles, practices and recent developments in the prevention and control of infectious diseases with special emphasis on epidemiology and surveillance.
  • Technical skills and leadership qualities on the principles and application of standard and innovative practices, methods and techniques in the field of infectious diseases.
  • Ability to transfer technology to national counterparts and to promote the implementation and/or application of appropriate technology that would be responsive to the different social, cultural, and economic realities in the countries.
  • Ability to respond objectively and promptly to unforeseen problems, and exercise sound judgment in recommending feasible technical solutions.
  • Knowledge and skills in the formulation of technical cooperation interventions and in the development of criteria for evaluating program interventions in the field of infectious diseases.
  • Ability to analyze current surveillance systems and to develop and plan innovative and appropriate solutions for improvement.
  • Mature judgment, strong technical, analytical, conceptual, and interpersonal and communication skills; demonstrated ability to identify, assess, analyze, synthesize and provide recommendations on key political and technical 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 English or Spanish 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 current technology and software, spreadsheets and presentations, as well as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and management information systems. Other IT skills and knowledge of other software programs such as Geographical Information Systems, statistical programming languages, data visualization and project management would be an asset.


Annual Salary: (Net of taxes)

US $75,602.00 post adjustment

Post Adjustment: 54.1% 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 an ethical organization that maintains high standards of integrity and accountability. People joining PAHO are required to maintain these standards both in their professional work and personal activities.

PAHO/WHO also promotes a work environment that is free from harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, and other types of abusive behavior. PAHO conducts background checks and will not hire anyone who has a substantiated history of abusive conduct.

PAHO/WHO personnel interact frequently with people in the communities we serve. To protect these people, PAHO has zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse. People who commit serious wrongdoing will be terminated and may also face criminal prosecution.

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.