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Director (Gender, Equity, Diversity and Rights for Health)


  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Senior Executive level - D-2, Director - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Human Resources
    • Banking and Finance
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Managerial positions
    • Impact investing, Social venture capital
  • Closing Date: Closed


The Gender, Equity, Diversity and Rights for Health Department in DGO/GEH/HQ is responsible for leaving no one behind, both institutionally working closely with the department of Human Resources, and externally working across the 3-levels of WHO to promote action in countries to establish an enabling policy environment and proactively address key challenges. The Department aims to advance WHO's mission to serve the vulnerable and Leave No One Behind (LNOB), working across the three levels of the Organization, in collaboration with HQ technical programmes, Regional Office and Country Office focal points, while leading WHO's contribution to cross-UN platforms and relevant external stakeholder initiatives. The department catalyzes, supports and coordinates programmatic and institutional mainstreaming at the three levels of WHO through development of trainings, technical products, tools, research and normative standard-setting guidance and their application at country level. In addition, it spearheads WHO's contribution to wider UN interagency initiatives to ensure the concept of leaving no one behind is fully integrated into normative guidance and tools across the UN development and humanitarian communities to drive impact at country level.


- Leads the Department in providing senior technical expertise and direction on issues related to gender, equity, human rights, diversity and inclusion, within the context of LNOB, to Member States and other Stakeholders with guidance and technical data required for the development, implementation, and monitoring of national and/or global policies and programmes.

- Provides the overall leadership, management accountability, and direction of the Department in delivering its objectives through, managing and galvanizing a diverse workforce and financial resources to optimize the department deliverables and mandate.

- Provides supervision for the Department's technical leads, ensuring provision of adequate financial and human resources, giving strategic guidance, supporting efforts to enhance the uptake and visibility of the work, and creating an optimal enabling environment for the advancement of the Department's contribution within and beyond WHO.

- Provides senior level technical advice and expertise to WHO Senior Management in the area of assigned responsibilities in order to position the Department and Organization as a leader in the respective area.

- Directs and leads overall establishment and development of the Department's evidence- based agenda, policies and strategies, working closely with members of the Global Network at regional and country levels and supports HRT to institutionalize global norms, guidance and best practices.

- Identifies opportunities for fundraising for gender, equity and human rights mainstreaming work and diversity, equity and inclusion corporate work across the three levels of WHO, leads global liaison with donors and coordinates the drafting of fundraising proposals, drawing inputs from the technical leads working on those areas, as well as from Regional Office focal persons and other parts of the Global Network.

- Oversees the monitoring, evaluation and reporting of the Department's area of work to ensure improvement on key performance indicators and liaises with the Global Network for reporting requirements and mechanisms to ensure optimal performance of mainstreaming initiatives, including leading the Output Delivery Team (ODT) for GPW Output 4.2.6.

- Serves as the scientific/technical reference among UN agencies and other key players in the respective areas and positions WHO as a global leader in LNOB for health.

- Promotes the integration of Regional and Country Office perspectives and operational capacities into the programme of work, in close collaboration with the Global Network.

- Builds strong partnerships and fosters consensus building with External Partners, Member States, UN Agencies, Donors, Non-State Actors, Civil Society, research institutions and other stakeholders in the subject area to politically position the technical area of work and implementation into national and/or global policies.

- Represents the Organization and Department area of work in a diverse array of global fora to position WHO as a leader in the global health and global cross-sectoral gender, equity, and human rights communities.

- Performs all other related duties as assigned.

Specific duties:

- Provides direction and support to HQ Divisions and Regional and Country Offices to mainstream gender, equity, human rights in relation to health, and to mainstream diversity, equity and inclusion in WHO's corporate functions and technical programmes, as integral components of strategic planning and operations, in gathering and analyzing relevant data, and in producing evidence-based publications, normative guidance and technical tools as well as corporate policies.

- Coordinates with the Department of Human Resources and Talent Management to develop appropriate policies, approaches and guidance related to diversity, equity and inclusion for the WHO workforce; with the WHO Academy Secretariat for training of all staff on gender, equity and human rights; with Planning Resource Coordination and Performance Monitoring (PRP) for the gender, equity and human rights dimension of the output scorecard and integrating a focus on gender, equity, diversity, inclusion and human rights in program budget planning across the Organization; and with the Country Strategy and Support (CSS) for gender, equity, diversity, inclusion and human rights integration in support for WHO Country Cooperation Strategies, among other entities across WHO for programmatic mainstreaming.

- Convenes and coordinates a 3-level network of gender, equity, human rights, diversity and inclusion focal points in above areas to optimize organization-wide coherence and implementation.

- Coordinates the work of the Organization on diversity, equity, inclusion, gender and human rights with that of other UN organizations, funds and programmes and strengthen partnerships with these organizations.



Essential: An advanced level university degree in a field relevant to gender, equity, human rights, diversity and inclusion (e.g., human rights law, gender studies, economics, social sciences, political sciences) and/or public health with a specialty on gender, equity and/or human rights issues.
Desirable: A PhD in one of the above-mentioned fields.



Essential: A minimum of 15 years of professional experience in the management in at least one of the specific areas of gender, equity, human rights, diversity and inclusion, including experience providing senior level advice and guidance to Senior Management/Decision makers, managing human and financial resources, as well as experience in the area of developing and establishing policies and strategies, mainstreaming approaches and organizational change processes. Demonstrated experience at the international level on gender, equity, human rights, diversity and inclusion.
Desirable: Extensive experience working on gender, equity, human rights, diversity and inclusion in multiple country contexts. Experience working with a relevant UN agency or other inter -governmental body on issues related to gender, diversity, equity, inclusion and/or human rights.




- Strong skills in the area of developing and establishing polices and strategies within the UN system, particularly for mainstreaming and organizational change.

- Excellent skills and ability in managing diverse teams and cross-organizational functional networks.

- Proven resource mobilization capacity for large multi-level, multi-year, multi-country grants; operationalizing their delivery through matrix management approaches; and managing relations with bilateral donors, foundations, etc.

- Strong understanding and skills in building partnerships with Member States, civil societies and other stakeholders.

- Technical working knowledge in the fields of gender, equity, human rights in relation to health and diversity, equity and inclusion corporate functions.

- Ability to engage, build consensus and communicate effectively and diplomatically with Member States, partners and media, including on politically sensitive issues.

- Commitment to collaborate effectively with other key partners on these issues.

- Proven leadership skills in integrating/mainstreaming gender, equity, human rights, diversity and inclusion in the planning and coordination of multidisciplinary public health programmes, which may include the implementation of a public health/disease control programmes.

- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to lead a diverse team.

- Demonstrated understanding of major international legal and other instruments and policy-making bodies relevant to gender, diversity, equity, inclusion and/or human rights.

- Knowledge and application of public health concepts.



WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Promoting innovation and organizational learning
Driving the Organization to a Successful Future
Creating an empowering and motivating environment


Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French.




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 117,280 (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 7995 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.
  • According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible.
  • 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.
  • The WHO is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The WHO recruits and employs staff regardless of disability status, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, race, marital status, religious, cultural, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, or any other personal characteristics.
  • The WHO is committed to achieving gender parity and geographical diversity in its staff. Women, persons with disabilities, and nationals of unrepresented and underrepresented Member States ( strongly encouraged to apply for WHO jobs.
  • Persons with disabilities can request reasonable accommodations to enable participation in the recruitment process. Requests for reasonable accommodation should be sent through an email to
  • An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential. 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.
  • Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with WHO and an underlying premise of the international civil service. 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.
  • WHO also offers wide range of benefits to staff, including parental leave and attractive flexible work arrangements to help promote a healthy work-life balance and to allow all staff members to express and develop their talents fully.
  • The statutory retirement age for staff appointments is 65 years. For external applicants, only those who are expected to complete the term of appointment will normally be considered.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
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This vacancy is now closed.
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