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Director, High Impact Countries

Geneva, Switzerland.

The Director, High Impact Countries leads engagement with a segment of countries that Gavi has designated as High Impact to reach the ambitious goals it has set for the coming strategic period (2021-2025). High Impact countries are large and federated countries with extremely large birth cohorts. These six countries – Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan – represent almost 70% of all “zero-dose” children (those who have not received any routine vaccines) in Gavi-eligible countries. This, combined with the complexity of their health systems, means that they require very strong and direct engagement from the Gavi Secretariat.

The High Impact Countries team is composed of dedicated Senior Country Managers (SCMs) and Programme Managers (PMs). Their role is to proactively identify opportunities for tailored and result-oriented Gavi support, maintain close oversight on performance and risks for timely course correction, detect timely and specific issues and challenges and work towards their resolution through effective relationship building, coordinate and communicate with country governments and in-country partners of the Gavi Alliance.

In overseeing this team, the Director, High Impact Countries, will ensure the timely planning and approval of new programmes, rigorous monitoring and review of performance, efficient renewals and disbursements, and accountability of all partners for outcomes at country level under Gavi’s Partnership Engagement Framework.

Key Functions and Deliverables:

  • Ensure strategic, evidence-based, and outcome-oriented use of Gavi support to strengthen routine immunisation programmes in High Impact countries, with a focus on achieving equitable and sustained coverage;
  • Provide effective risk management that includes both programmatic and fiduciary risks, in coordination with Gavi’s technical teams and risk management functions.
  • Drive performance and achievement of the relevant key performance indicators (equitable and sustainable uptake of vaccine programmes);
  • Ensure adherence to, and optimisation of, Gavi portfolio management processes;
  • Coordinate and strengthen collaboration with Alliance partners and other partners and stakeholders at the global level;
  • Encourage a diverse mix of partners across immunisation, health and beyond to leverage comparative advantages;
  • Maintain excellent relationships with senior counterparts in government, especially Ministries of Health and Finance, as well as other development partners at country level. Drive excellent coordination and cross-team collaboration between High Impact Countries and other teams in the Country Programmes department as well as other Gavi departments;
  • Lead and manage the High Impact Countries team to stay ahead of the curve and be perceived as proactive, action oriented and knowledgeable by partner Governments and other Alliance partners/stakeholders;
  • Be a driver for change by fostering amongst the team an innovation ecosystem that supports breakthrough solutions and transform vaccine delivery;
  • Facilitate and nurture effective partnerships and identify synergies with other financiers such as the Global Fund, the GFF and bilateral donors.

Main Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Organise, manage and lead the High Impact Countries team responsible for overseeing planning, delivery and impact of Gavi support to reach zero-dose children and missed communities in complex country contexts;
  • Leverage Alliance partners at global/regional/country level to deliver Gavi support to High Impact countries that achieves high impact, in line with Gavi’s 5.0 Strategy (2021-2025), Partnership Engagement Framework, and Corporate and Alliance KPIs;
  • Contribute strategic and thought-provoking reports to Gavi’s Board and governing bodies as needed with focus on delivering results and accountability for outcomes in High Impact countries;
  • Establish and maintain effective working relations with relevant global/regional/country actors as well as with other secretariat teams;
  • Ensure the timely application of Gavi processes and tools in its in-country operations in High Impact countries;
  • Develop strategies and operating models for more systematic sub-national engagement and ensure strong coordination across national and sub-national level;
  • Ensure deep and regular engagement with leadership across governments in these countries through advocacy, liaison and high-level representation related to Gavi’s efforts in these countries;
  • Identifying and institutionalising strong relationships with local institutions who can support the mission (e.g., local universities, CSOs);
  • Ensuring tailored equity and sustainability strategies for each country with dedicated, regular performance reviews;
  • Contribute to corporate and strategic thinking of the Secretariat as a member of Gavi’s leadership team;
  • Foster the continuous growth and performance of High Impact Countries team members by: helping set impactful goals and priorities in line with programme priorities; supporting and holding the team accountable to the delivery of high-quality work; providing frequent effective feedback & coaching; and supporting professional development;
  • As a member of the Country Programmes Management Team, shape the culture and dynamics of the department through regular communication and activities that build team effectiveness and cohesion across geographies and work streams.

Note: The essential functions listed in this section are not exhaustive of the job responsibilities; other duties may be assigned in line with the department needs.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of 15 years of professional experience at least half of which was in a managerial role;
  • Demonstrated ability to lead a large team, engage directly in their daily work and deliver results;
  • At least 5 years of direct Public Health experience, preferably in vaccine delivery;
  • Experience of working in fast-paced international environment;
  • In-country field experience, preferably in low and middle income countries;
  • Prior experience in change management.
  • Experience designing policies, procedures and programmes is required;


  • Experienced manager with a successful track record of working at a senior and strategic level with relevant stakeholders in at least one High Impact country;
  • Experience of working in highly complex and demanding environments, understanding of programmatic and fiduciary risks associated with grants;
  • Ability to adopt differentiated and flexible approaches to guide and support the High Impact Countries team in scaling up results through Gavi’s catalytic investments in resource constrained and challenging settings;
  • Experience in immunisation programmes and/or health systems;
  • Demonstrated experience of working in and delivering through multi-partner environments and experience of delivering results through a matrix-style management structure;
  • Demonstrated capacity to successfully manage situations of considerable complexity and/or political sensitivity;
  • Demonstrated experience of representational duties at international level and conferences;
  • Experience in roles requiring extensive networking, relationship and alliance building.


  • Fluency in written and spoken English;
  • Knowledge of French desirable.

Academic Qualifications

Advanced university degree in public health, social sciences, health economics or related fields.


  • All Gavi Secretariat teams;
  • Gavi Governance bodies; Gavi Alliance partners, including UNICEF, WHO, implementing country representatives, donors, civil society, vaccine manufacturers, product development partnerships, academic researchers.

Additional Information

To apply, please send a full CV together with a supporting statement, briefly highlighting your experience and skills against the requirements of the role, to Please quote the role title and assignment code 2102-034L in the subject heading of the email. All applications will be acknowledged.

The closing date for applications is 10 March 2021.

Gavi is committed to diversity within its workforce and encourages applications from all qualified candidates.

The Gavi Governance Structure

Originally hosted by UNICEF at its launch in 2000, Gavi became a Swiss foundation in 2009 and has been granted international institution status in Switzerland with special privileges and immunities. The reorganised governance structure combines attributes of public sector and corporate governance systems. The board, comprising 28 members from governments, partner organisations, civil society organisations and the private sector, is chaired by José Manuel Barroso, former Prime Minister of Portugal and President of the European Commission.

Note – UNICEF, WHO and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hold permanent seats, while representatives of other Gavi Partners serve on a time-limited basis.

More information on the Gavi governing board’s function and composition can be found here:             

The Gavi Secretariat

The Secretariat is a knowledge-based global strategic health/development partnership comprised of approximately 280 staff. It is responsible for managing the operations of the Gavi business, including
strategy and policy development; advocacy and resource mobilisation; programme delivery, incorporating programme monitoring and evaluation; approving and disbursing funds; collaboration and coordination with other global health agencies; legal and financial management; and support and administration of the Gavi Board and Committees. Offices are located in Geneva and Washington DC. The Secretariat is led by the CEO, Dr Seth Berkley, and supported by the Deputy CEO, Anuradha Gupta, and several teams.

This job is posted by GAVI Alliance.


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