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Head of Convention Secretariat


  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Senior Executive level - D-2, Director - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Legal - Broad
    • Legal - International Law
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2023-09-26



The Convention Secretariat is the global entity leading the implementation of the WHO FCTC and the Protocol. The WHO FCTC entered into force on 27 February 2005 and has 182 Parties, and the Protocol entered into force on 25 September 2018 and has 67 Parties. The role of the Convention Secretariat is to support Parties to the WHO FCTC and to the Protocol with implementation of the treaties, in order to achieve the objectives of protecting present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke and eliminating all forms of illicit trade in tobacco. The Convention Secretariat promotes and raises the visibility of the treaties. It also supports countries in becoming Party to the treaties.


1. Lead the Convention Secretariat and serve governing and subsidiary bodies of the WHO FCTC and the Protocol to further the implementation of specific provisions of the treaties and support the development of treaty instruments, including guidelines for implementation, in a complex political environment;

2. Provide support to Parties in developing and implementing tobacco control measures, as per the treaty obligations, as well as in protecting their public health policies from the efforts of the tobacco industry (as well as organizations and individuals that work to further the interests of the tobacco industry) to undermine those policies.

3. Promote political awareness, visibility and support for the WHO FCTC and the Protocol: strengthen treaty-related international cooperation; support South-South and Triangular cooperation; collaborate with the United Nations Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases; promote the treaties in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;

4.Monitor and report to the governing bodies of the treaties on the implementation by the Parties of the WHO FCTC and the Protocol, as well as implement, monitor, assess and report on priorities identified by the governing bodies of the treaties;

5. Manage the day-to-day running of the Convention Secretariat, including mobilizing resources for the implementation of the workplans and budgets adopted by the COP and the MOP;

6. Any other duties, as may be mandated by decisions of the COP and the MOP, including as articulated in the Rules of Procedure of the COP and of the MOP.



An advanced degree (at least Master's or equivalent degree) in public health, international law, international relations or other relevant discipline.


1. At least 15 years of experience in tobacco control, international health, including working with international organizations and Member States, and maintaining strong links with the international tobacco control community, and preferably working experience in developing countries of which a minimum of five years' experience at the international level coordinating with, for example, national governments, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations and professional and academic bodies.
2. Demonstrable experience in organizational management and financing for complex health-related organizations, including the ability to analyze organizational problems and find adequate solutions.
3. Proven experience to deal effectively with the media, academic groups, United Nations entities, industry, political leaders and civil society, as well as public health and anti-illicit trade specialists.
4. Proven experience in effectively mobilizing resources.


1. Strong background and knowledge on technical and regulatory issues, and substantive experience in tobacco control, public health, and international cooperation.
2. A strong commitment to the objectives and implementation of the Convention and the Protocol as well as to evidence-based promotion and protection of public health, in accordance with the principles of the Convention and the Protocol.
3. Demonstrable leadership skills and experience, including the ability to translate into action the COP and MOP vision for the Convention and the Protocol.
4. A health record compatible with carrying out the duties of the post. Competencies. Continued: -Driving the Organizations' Position in Health -Leadership -Setting an example

WHO Competencies

1. Teamwork
2. Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
3. Communication
4. Producing results
5. Moving forward in a changing environment
6. Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills

1. Expert knowledge of English.
2. Intermediate knowledge of any other official WHO languages.



1. This selection is subject to special selection procedures. Further details of these procedures shall be made available upon request to

2. All candidates will be expected to complete a Declaration of Interest form in which, among other things, they will declare that they have never had any professional relationship[i] with, or received any form of funding or support from the tobacco industry[ii] or from entities representing the interests of the tobacco industry. In addition, candidates will be requested to complete the Declaration of Interest form for the Convention Secretariat, developed pursuant to decisions FCTC/COP8(4) and FCTC/MOP1(13) of the governing bodies of the treaties.

3. In case of appointment, the successful candidate and the members of their immediate family commit not to engage in any relationship with the tobacco industry or with any partner in a partnership with the tobacco industry, including any whether gainful or not, within five (5) years following the end of their appointment.

4. This is a time limited appointment of four (4) years, with the possibility of a single renewal for a further four (4) years.

5. There is an incumbent in the position who is eligible to apply pursuant to decisions FCTC/COP8(8) and FCTC/MOP1(12).

6. Applicants are invited to attach a motivation letter and are encouraged to keep the length of their application below 3500 words.

7. Because of the nature of the procedure established by decisions FCTC/COP8(8) and FCTC/MOP1(12), parts of the selection process, including the list of candidates, may be public.

[i] “Professional relationship” should be understood as not including a public officeholder’s interactions with the tobacco industry required for setting and

implementing public policies with respect to tobacco control.”

[ii] “Tobacco industry” is defined in Article 1 of WHO FCTC and means tobacco manufacturers, wholesale distributors and importers of tobacco products;


  • 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 and/or an asynchronous video assessment 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 ( are strongly encouraged to apply.

  • 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.
  • Please note that WHO's contracts are conditional on members of the workforce confirming that they are vaccinated as required by WHO before undertaking a WHO assignment, except where a medical condition does not allow such vaccination, as certified by the WHO Staff Health and Wellbeing Services (SHW). The successful candidate will be asked to provide relevant evidence related to this condition. A copy of the updated vaccination card must be shared with WHO medical service in the medical clearance process. Please note that certain countries require proof of specific vaccinations for entry or exit. For example, official proof /certification of yellow fever vaccination is required to enter many countries. Country-specific vaccine recommendations can be found on the WHO international travel and Staff Health and Wellbeing website. For vaccination-related queries please directly contact SHW directly at
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
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  • As a WHO staff member assigned solely and exclusively to support this Partnership, selected staff will have no right of reassignment or transfer outside the Partnership either during or at the end of his/her appointment, including pursuant to WHO Staff Rule 1050. (This does not apply to WHO fixed-term staff members reassigned from a non-Partnership position.)



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 8561 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.

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.