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Director (Learning Quality and Innovation)


  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Lyon
  • Grade: Senior Executive level - D-1, Director - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Innovations for Sustainable Development
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed


The World Health Organization's Academy (“The Academy”) will be the state-of-the-art learning institution that aims to support lifelong learning for health impact and reach millions of learners around the world. Based in Lyon, France, the Academy hub will offer a blend of learning modalities; digital, in-person learning via the hub in Lyon or through a campus network, as well as other innovative delivery modes. The Academy is an integral part of the WHO under the management authority of the Director-General. The overall goal of the Academy is to advance the learning and human development component of WHO's General Programme of Work (GPW) and health sustainable development goals. More specifically the Academy will: enhance the competencies of millions of people through cutting-edge digital learning and hybrid learning, including leaders, practitioners, catalysts and lay people, transition the WHO to a learning organization and strengthen the competencies of over 7 ,000 staff to advance the WHO priorities and goals; improve the effectiveness, efficiency and impact of lifelong learning supported by WHO across three-levels of the organization. The WHO Academy will deliver advanced digital and in-person learning to WHO workforce, health policy practitioners, health workers and other individuals. The Academy will act as a globally accessible school for the future which combines the latest technologies in digital and remote learning with advancements in adult learning science to offer innovative, personalized and multilingual learning that meets priority needs.


Generic duties:

  • Ensures effective direction, management, and accountability of the Department and/or the specific programme managed by the incumbent in delivering its objectives through managing and inspiring a diverse workforce and peer communities to optimize the department's financial resources, deliverables and mandate.
  • Leads the Department in developing learning design and production; quality; assessment and credentialling; technology; multilingualism and delivery; and research.
  • Provides highest level technical advice and expertise to Management in the respective area of work in order to position the Department and Organization as a leader in the respective area of work.
  • Leads the establishment and development of the Department's evidence-based policies and strategies and serves as the scientific/technical reference among UN Agencies and other key players in the respective area.
  • Ensures the management of the monitoring and evaluation as well as reporting of the Department's area of work of key performance indicators and global reporting requirements and mechanisms to optimize performance of Department deliverables.
  • Represent the Department area of work in global fora to position the area of work in the global health community.
  • Performs all other related duties as assigned.

Specific duties:

  • Defines the needs, identifies and drives the implementation of digital learning content.
  • Provides strategic leadership, oversight, and coordination between the WHO Academy and key internal and external stakeholders in order to meet current global needs for health-focused adult education and lifelong digital learning.
  • Underpinned by the WHO Global Programme of Work (GPW), lead policy-setting, lifelong learning design and delivery for impact.
  • Conceptualizes, leads and oversees the translation of health-related training needs into high-impact courses, including peer-to-peer, individual, and team-based learning.



Essential: An advanced level university degree in education, international relations, health, economics, management, social sciences, or related field.
Desirable: A PhD in one of the above-mentioned fields.



  • At least 15 years of relevant professional experience in the field of learning quality and innovation.
  • Within this experience, demonstrated experience at a senior and/or executive management position with a leading educational institution, or global multinational or intergovernmental organization.
  • Demonstrated experience in successfully managing teams of highly-qualified and professional staff, engaging with the highest levels of representatives from governments, private sector as well as multilateral, and non-profit organizations.
  • Demonstrated experience at the international level.


  • Experience in transforming and leading a large-scale enterprise.
  • Operational experience leading a global health educational programme.
  • Robust track record in scaling high-impact adult learning.


  • Strong skills in the area of developing and establishing polices and strategies.
  • Excellent skills and ability in managing diverse teams and financial resources.
  • Strong understanding and skills in mobilizing resources.
  • Ability to engage, build consensus and communicate effectively and diplomatically with Member States, partners and media.
  • Commitment to collaborate effectively with other key partners in the Health Subject area.
  • Globally-respected level of technical expertise and knowledge in learning quality and innovation.
  • Strategic thinking with an ability to map business strategy into organizational design, people plans and resource requirements.
  • Leadership skills in multicultural setting to bring about organizational change at scale.

WHO Competencies

  • Teamwork
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
  • Communication
  • Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
  • Promoting innovation and organizational learning
  • Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Expert knowledge of French. Intermediate knowledge of other UN 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 103,660 (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 3775 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.
This vacancy is now closed.
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