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Washington D.C.

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Washington D.C.
  • Grade: Senior level - P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Ombudsman and Ethics
  • Closing Date: 2023-06-14


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

The Office of the Ombudsman is responsible for informal conflict resolution in the Organization, and helps personnel address workplace issues in a safe, supportive and confidential setting. Four cornerstones support the Ombudsman’s work – Confidentiality, Neutrality, Independence, and Informality. The Office is an advocate for the Organization’s values and principles (justice, civility, respect, integrity) and for fairness.


The Office of the Ombudsman is functionally independent. The incumbent reports to the Deputy Director for performance evaluation, planning, logistics, financial and human resources and other administrative matters. Acting independently and impartially, respecting confidentiality and performing the functions of the post in accordance with the Organization's Staff Regulations, Rules, Manual provisions and relevant policies, including PAHO’s Code of Ethical Conduct and the ICSC Standards of Conduct for the International Civil Service, the Ombudsman is responsible for the following assigned duties and responsibilities:

  1. Provide personnel at all levels of the Organization, irrespective of type or duration of contract, with a neutral, informal, impartial and confidential forum to hear and facilitate the resolution of issues, concerns or conflicts in the workplace;
  2. Assist personnel to address concerns or disagreements relating to the terms and conditions of their employment, their working conditions and/or relations with colleagues with a view to improving job satisfaction and enhancing the overall work environment;
  3. Contribute to developing and strengthening a workplace culture that upholds the values and principles of the Organization, supports the rights, dignity and diversity of personnel and promotes a workplace free from all forms of harassment and other types of abusive conduct;
  4. Take proactive measures and anticipatory action to help individuals, managers, teams and departments avoid conflicts from arising in the first place;
  5. Advise management at the earliest possible opportunity on matters that could be resolved through timely and remedial action;
  6. Collaborate with the relevant parties to reach a fair and satisfactory resolution through engagement and discussion. When conflict or disagreement occurs, serve as an effective interlocutor between the parties; consult with managers to develop cooperative strategies for complaint resolution; consult with all parties to clarify and analyze problems; and suggest solutions for a mutually satisfactory resolution of the issue(s) under consideration;
  7. Engage in mediation when the parties concerned voluntarily agree on mediation as an avenue to help resolve their conflict or concern;
  8. Through workshops, training, outreach, team-building exercises and other initiatives, create workplace wellbeing and a harmonious work environment by promoting cross-cultural awareness and fostering values, ethical behavior, fairness, equity, respect and integrity throughout the Organization;
  9. Monitor trends and periodically review and analyze concerns shared with the Office of the Ombudsman to identify patterns; make recommendations for policies or practices that could be updated or enhanced to help minimize or eliminate recurring concerns; provide early detection of issues of potential significance or concern and advise on appropriate remedial and preventive action;
  10. Act as a resource for best practices in relation to the Ombudsman’s functions across the Organization and facilitate the exchange of information and experiences; collaborate in the design of training programs for managers and personnel in dispute/conflict resolution, negotiation skills, difficult conversations, civility in the workplace and related topics;
  11. Prepare an annual report on the number and type of issues addressed, the extent to which issues were resolved, trends, patterns and gaps in organizational policies and practices, as well as general comments on any aspects relevant to the Ombudsman's functions, while maintaining necessary confidentiality;
  12. Serve as member of the Organization’s Integrity and Conflict Management System (ICMS) and contribute to policy development in the areas of integrity and conflict resolution, as well as improvements in the administration of justice system;
  13. Promote a culture of ethical behavior and integrity in accordance with the Organization’s Code of Ethical Conduct to ensure a culture of respect, responsibility, accountability, and compliance;
  14. Prepare and execute the Biennial Workplan (BWP) and Human Resources Plan for the Office of the Ombudsman; develop, define, and establish the objectives, strategy, plan and budget; be accountable for the products, services and resources of the office;
  15. Lead and manage personnel assigned to the office;
  16. Perform other related duties, as assigned.



Essential: A bachelor’s degree in a social science related to the functions of the post, and a master’s degree in human resources, law, conflict resolution, psychology, or related field from a recognized university.

Desirable: Formal certified training in conflict resolution, arbitration, mediation and/or counseling would be an added advantage.

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: Thirteen years of combined national and international professional work experience in the area of conflict management and resolution in the workplace, alternative dispute resolution, staff relations, or counseling


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: 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: Advocates for collaboration across the Organization - Creates and encourages a climate of team-work and collaboration across the Organization; sees cooperation as a key Organizational priority and creates collaborative systems and processes to achieve Organizational goals. Actively identifies and tackles disagreements between internal and external counterparts that compromise the Organization’s goals and mandate; diplomatically facilitates the resolution of conflicts between others and ensures strategic partnerships with a range of key stakeholders; maintains and extends an effective collaborative network of individuals inside and outside the Organization.
  • Communication: Express oneself clearly when speaking/Share knowledge - Articulates the Organization’s strategic objectives when formulating and delivering information and presentations and adapts presentation methodology to address the needs of different audiences. Shares decisions and directives of senior management and communicates them in a manner that ensures both understanding and acceptance; shares knowledge and best practice at the three Organizational levels (country, regional and global), as necessary.
  • Creating an empowering and motivating environment: Provide direction/Support, motivate and empower others - Oversees and provides teams and departments with clear managerial directions which are translated from Organizational strategy. Builds a performance culture in the Organization; contributes to setting Organizational performance goals and standards; monitors Organizational performance against milestones and strategic goals; identifies and nurtures talent as appropriate. Promotes confidence and empowerment throughout the Organization; inspires enthusiasm and a positive attitude in people towards their work and contributions to enable the Organization’s success.
  • 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.
  • Setting an example: Act professionally and ethically/ Be trustworthy - Works ethically to achieve individual work objectives under 'PAHO Regulations and Rules and the Standards of Conduct for the International Civil Service. Maintains confidentiality and treats sensitive information with discretion; ensures that policies and procedures are followed in accordance with the Organization's professional, ethical and legal standards. When others behave in an unprofessional or unethical way, promotes appropriate standards and provides feedback in order to remedy the situation; escalates as necessary. Stands by own decisions and actions and accepts responsibility for them. Acts in an open and transparent manner when dealing with others; stands by own and/ team’s decisions or actions and accepts responsibility for them. Acts to promote the Organization’s success.

Technical Expertise:

  • Technical: Extensive progressive expertise at a senior decision-making level, in specialized functions related to the application of principles, models, practices and techniques of conflict management and resolution in the workplace, alternative dispute resolution, counseling, cross cultural awareness, change management, values and ethics. Practical knowledge of organizational development and disciplines related to general management, strategic planning, organizational change, and human resource management. Knowledge of ISO 10002 would be considered an asset.
  • Managerial: Extensive experience in senior and progressively responsible positions in management of public or private organizations with a substantial administrative element and requiring sensitive negotiations, high level interventions, and extensive organizational development. Demonstrated ability to bring leadership to strategic, organizational, managerial, and analytic work.
  • Administrative: Experience in administrative services for facilitating the resolution of conflict in the workplace; resourcefulness, initiative, highly developed judgment, and interpersonal skills to deal with difficult and sensitive situations; courteous style, tact, sensitivity to confidential information; ability to establish and maintain effective working relations at different professional levels without prejudice to disciplines, nationality, and cultural background.


Very good knowledge of English or Spanish with 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 software programs such as Microsoft Excel, Outlook, OneDrive, PowerPoint, Teams, SharePoint, and Word are considered essential.


Annual Salary: (Net of taxes)

USD $92,731.00 post adjustment

Post Adjustment: 63.5% 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.


Note the following special characteristics of this position: Initial two years renewable period, not to exceed a total of 5 years. Once the five-year period of service has been completed, the selected candidate may not be re-employed by PAHO for a period of time corresponding to prior service as PAHO Ombudsman.

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.