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Chief Risk Officer


  • Organization: Gavi, Vaccine Alliance
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Senior Executive level - CS6 - Career Step 6 - Professional - Both internationally and locally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Banking and Finance
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed
Enterprise Risk Management at Gavi
Gavi pursues an ambitious mission in poor and fragile countries, operates in a dynamic and often uncertain context, and is set up as an Alliance of partners with a lean Secretariat without in-country presence. It is therefore naturally exposed to many risks that could potentially affect its ability to achieve its mission and strategic objectives. It also needs to consciously take calculated risks to achieve impact. Robust risk management is vital for Gavi to confidently take the risks required to achieve its mission, safeguard investments and secure sustainable impact. By systematically understanding, acknowledging and anticipating what might happen (before it actually does happen) and proactively monitoring and managing Gavi’s exposures to potential future events, risk management helps Gavi to optimise its impact and appropriately balance risk and reward. 
Since 2015, when the Risk function was first established, Gavi has made tremendous progress in enhancing its risk management approach to be a value-adding proactive management tool (instead of being reporting and compliance oriented). Today it is appreciated by Board members, donors and management with the risk lens driving strategic discussions both at Board-level and across the organisation. For more information on Gavi’s risk management approach please go to:
Gavi is committed to build on this strong foundation and further strengthen risk management and Gavi’s Risk function going forward, given the increased uncertainty, complexity, funding and change facing Gavi.  It is critical that Gavi’s risk management framework continues to stay up-to-date by adequately identifying, measuring, monitoring and managing evolving risks to Gavi’s strategy, operations and programmes, as well as specific financial, reputational, operational and programmatic risks associated with the COVAX Facility.

The Chief Risk Officer will lead the Risk function:

•    To become a real business enabler and support function equipping business owners to manage their risks and keeping tabs on emerging and cross-cutting risks;
•    To act as a strategic advisor on risk issues for leadership and ensure the risk lens informs decision-making early-on, with possibility to de-risk by design rather than fix or mitigate at the back-end;
•    To establish an aligned approach combining better bottom-up operational and programmatic risk understanding to complement the strategic top-down methodology, allowing bottom-up escalation and early-warning as well as top-down operationalisation of risk appetite set by the Board;
•    To coordinate and oversee alignment between three lines of defence and establishes commonly accepted understanding of key risks and risk appetite;
•    To follow through on risk identification with more focus on risk monitoring and mitigation.
•    Act as a leader on risk issues in the Secretariat and across the Alliance, and represent the Risk function in internal and external meetings as required;
•    Lead a team of up to 3 plus senior managers (team currently being determined); 
•    Lead engagement on risk at the Senior Leadership and Board level;
•    Maintain and continue to enhance a robust enterprise-wide risk management framework for Gavi’s strategy, operations, and country programmes;
•    Drive change across the Alliance by instilling a risk-aware culture and enable scale-up and integration of risk management practices in strategic and operational planning and decision-making;
•    Drive the preparation and facilitation of Risk Committee meetings by supporting risk owners with deep dives on top risks, including by data analysis and research, and drive strategic thinking on implications and trade-offs;
•    Ensure the integration of risk insights in team priorities, performance and budget discussions;
•    Engage actively with internal risk-related functions (e.g. Legal, Finance, Audit), external risk management advisors (e.g. investment banks, insurance industry), and other relevant stakeholders (e.g. Alliance partners) as required to ensure cross-cutting and end-to-end enterprise risk management;
•    Deliver actionable and insightful risk reporting for internal reviews and reporting to the Gavi Board and Committees as required.
•    Proven track record as a successful senior Risk and/ or Control professional operating with best-in-class risk practices together with experience of establishing and embedding robust, effective risk management practices. S/he will bring strong analytical and systems thinking and demonstrated problem-solving skills, together with the clarity of thought to bring simple, practical and effective solutions to complex challenges;
•    Proven experience of delivering through people by collaborating and leveraging relationships.  
Proven track record in leading change that marries raising risk awareness with the processes that underpin.  Can demonstrate a strong desire and motivation for transforming change and is proactive in their approach to change, fostering and cultivating new ideas.  Is capable of delivering change at pace whilst maintaining the highest standards of BAU.
•    Considerable experience of building and leading high performing teams; a collaborative and inclusive leader who is able to create a compelling vision for the function that high performing professionals are drawn to.
•    An engaging and highly presentable individual with strong personal integrity, a purpose-driven approach and a strong team player.  The credibility to lead and represent the Risk Management function at Board, Executive and Senior Management level as well as establish a partnership relationships with colleagues across Gavi. The self-confidence and integrity to deal with issues at all levels of management.
•    Interdisciplinary mindset with a broad interest in various fields and eagerness to learn and the ability to develop a strategic perspective and creatively think outside the box;
•    Excellent technical risk management skills across both financial and non-financial; critically able to translate experience into the context of Risk at Gavi today. This includes engaging on the strategic, financial and operational dimensions that underpin Gavi’s consistent delivery of its mandate despite the current and potential challenges it faces. 
•    Genuine organisational orientation with the stature to act as an effective champion for Risk and to influence and command the respect of the Senior Management, Operational Leaders and functional colleagues. Able to build confidence as an individual and in Risk Management through actions.
•    Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, applicable at all levels across the organisation.  Adept at building an internal as well as external network.  
•    Demonstrable experience of operating and influencing at Executive and Board level and of building strong stakeholder relationships across Gavi and its Alliance communities.   Experience should include initiating and sustaining constructive relationships with senior stakeholders across multi-geographical organisations.
•    A self-starter with energy who will be a strong fit to the Gavi culture which is purpose-driven, fast-paced, ambiguous and constantly changing environment.  To be most effective in this role, the ideal candidate will be comfortable switching between strategic and tactical agendas. They should be prepared to roll-up-their sleeves to ensure any task is delivered in a timely manner. 
•    A structured and flexible approach, independently minded, tough yet balanced decision maker with sound judgment, calm under pressure, and the ability to prioritise and delegate. A positive, can-do attitude and a sense of humour.
•    Excellent writing skills and attention for detail.
•    Excellent oral and written communication skills in English; 
•    Other languages desirable.
•    University degree in business or public administration, science or engineering, or related fields;
•    Further qualifications in enterprise, operational or financial risk management are an asset. 
•   Gavi Secretariat.
•   Board
•   Partners
To apply, please send your CV, and supporting statement to by 27th January 2023. Your supporting statement should succinctly highlight your motivation, experience, and skills against the requirements of the role. Please include the role title in the subject of your email. 

If you have a question about the position, or your application, please contact the Russell Reynolds Team at either or on +44 (0)20 7830 8089.

Gavi is committed to fostering a just, equitable and diverse culture free from racism and discrimination in which all staff, partners and stakeholders feel empowered, safe, and heard.
This vacancy is now closed.
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