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Senior Technical Officer


  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Lyon
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2022-08-24


The mission of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme (The Programme) is to build the capacity of Member States to manage health emergency risks and, when national capacities are overwhelmed, to lead and coordinate the international health response to contain outbreaks and to provide effective relief and recovery to affected populations. The objectives of the Country Readiness Strengthening Department include the development and strengthening of core national capacities necessary to mitigate and respond to emergency risks and vulnerabilities. The Department prioritizes support to the most vulnerable and low capacity countries. The Public Health Laboratory Strengthening (PHL) Unit develops global strategies, mechanisms, guidance documents, manuals, and learning programmes aiming at strengthening public health laboratory policies, governance and regulations, infrastructure, workforce, networking, quality, safety, and diagnostic capacity for epidemic-prone diseases. The unit provides leadership and coordination across partners and regional offices to propose interventions aiming at ensuring that public health laboratory systems are ready to operate in a safe, secure, timely and reliable manner for the detection of, and response to disease outbreaks and other emergencies.


Within the framework of the delegated authority, the incumbent is assigned to the following responsibilities:

1) Coordinate a team in charge of the delivery of WHO-led activities related to public health laboratory readiness, through:

i) development of tools, checklists, exercises, guidance and training materials to support the assessment and improvement of public health laboratory readiness for specific imminent or recurrent high risks and priority vulnerabilities
ii) provide technical expertise for their further implementation at regional and country levels
iii) participation in incident management system to address laboratory readiness and response components.

2) Promote cross-cutting approaches and activities to facilitate full participation of relevant stakeholders within and outside WHO and of key external partners.

3) Develop project proposals and team workplans, and monitor and report activities' technical and financial implementation.

4) Supervise a team of staff through meetings, briefings, debriefings, development and review of staff individual objectives and performance.

5) Organization and/or participation in meetings and conference at national, regional and global level to ensure WHO's leadership in public health laboratory and health emergency related events.

6) Perform other related responsibilities, including replacing and/or backstopping.



Essential: Advanced level university degree in medicine, pharmacy or related sciences.


Essential: At least ten years of experience in clinical, public health or research microbiology laboratories of which 3 years at international level, including at least 1 year of experience in resource-limited countries.

Desirable: Experience of work in an international organization.


Excellent knowledge in clinical or public health microbiology.
Knowledge of laboratory and diagnostics systems, especially in developing countries.
Knowledge of WHO mandate, policies and processes.
Planning and analytical skills, with the ability to foster consensus and team spirit.
Interpersonal and diplomatic skills.
Strong commitment to international health.

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
Moving forward in a changing environment
Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Expert knowledge of French. Intermediate knowledge of other WHO language.


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 90,664 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 2410 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • 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: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.
  • Staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter into practice.
  • WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of final candidates.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • WHO has a mobility policy which can be found at the following link: Candidates appointed to an international post with WHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
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.