2019 World Health Organization Executive Assistant United States-Washington, D.C.Recruitment

Deadline: July 15, 2019.

The Office of the Assistant Director (AD) supports the PAHO Director with fulfillment of the Organization’s mission, as well as the achievement of the PAHO Strategic Plan.  The Office also provides leadership and good governance for public health in the Americas and in the other regions of the World Health Organization (WHO). The Office of the Assistant Director is comprised of five Departments: Communicable Diseases and Environmental Determinants of Health (CDE), Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health (NMH), Health Systems and Services (HSS), Family, Health Promotion and Life Course (FPL), and Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health (EIH).



Under the direct supervision of the Assistant Director (AD), the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties:

  1. Provide administrative and secretarial support to the Assistant Director (AD) and team; place and answer telephone calls, handle confidential and sensitive matters with great discretion; screen, with considerable tact, all requests to speak to or see the AD; establish the purpose/objectives of the request and prioritize his agenda;
  2. Bring confidential or important matters to the attention of the Assistant Director and team when needed; monitor issues to ensure deadlines for responses are met; follow up with relevant entities, staff and other organizational components on the submission of reports and correspondence;
  3. Manage the e-mail inbox of the AD; prepare standard replies; bring important matters to the attention of the Assistant Director; refer routine matters to the appropriate staff;
  4. Maintain the confidential files of the AD; conduct research of files, reports, and other sources to obtain material requested by the AD and, when necessary, compile summaries;
  5. Organize the AD’s travel plans and make necessary arrangements, including obtaining UN security clearance, airline tickets, required visas, hotel reservations; ensure that all the background materials required by the AD for duty travel are available in a timely manner; and coordinate the elaboration of travel authorizations, travel claims and travel reports with the Administrative Assistant II for the corresponding administrative processes;
  6. Serve as liaison for logistical and operational processes and activities between the AD and the Office of the Director;
  7. Follow up with the technical entities under the AD on the submission of reports, correspondence and requests in order to meet established deadlines; assist in the preparation of technical presentations and technical reports, reviewing, and/or correcting texts to improve clarity, conciseness and coherence; prepare tables, graphs, and charts as requested;
  8. Promote a cooperative work environment among the support staff under the responsibility of the Office of the AD to ensure accuracy, quality and completeness of documents required by and/or submitted to the Office;
  9. Review, proofread and recommend revisions to correspondence and other material for the Assistant Director’s signature; ensure clarity, accuracy and adherence to the Organization’s writing standards and policies; prepare confidential correspondence and documentation on administrative matters; ensure that information required by the Assistant Director for decision-making is reviewed in a timely fashion by the appropriate supporting team under the Office of the Assistant Director;
  10. Prepare correspondence on own initiative or from verbal/written instructions for signature of the AD; prepare draft translations of correspondence and other materials from English into Spanish and vice versa;
  11. Maintain all important documents in an electronic filing system of the Entity easily accessible to AD team members; confidential information should be properly stored and accessible only to designated staff;
  12. Provide back-up to the Administrative Assistant II as necessary, in his/her absence; 
  13. Perform other related duties, as assigned.




Essential: Certification of completion of high school.

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:  http://www.whed.net/.  PAHO will also use the databases of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation http://www.chea.org/search/default.asp and College Navigator, found on the website of the National Centre for Educational Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator to support the validation process.


Essential: Six years of general office or administrative work experience, including supervisory responsibilities.

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.
  • Teamwork: Creates team spirit; promotes collaboration and open communication in the team; proactively supports others; welcomes team responsibilities and drives team results; promotes knowledge sharing in the team.  Proactively identifies conflicts and facilitates their resolution in a respectful manner; tactfully resolves conflicts between or with others and takes action to reduce any possible tension; effectively builds a rapport with individuals and teams, establishing good personal and professional relationships, as well as minimizing risk of potential conflict.
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences: 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.
  • Communication: Foresees communication needs of audience and targets message accordingly.  Facilitates open communication; encourages others to share their views openly and takes time to understand and consider their views.  Writes down ideas in a clear, structured, logical and credible way; drafts and supports the development of guidelines, policies and procedures.  Shares relevant information openly and ensures that the shared information is understood; considers knowledge sharing as a constructive working method and demonstrates awareness of the Organization.
  • Knowing and Managing Yourself: Remains objective and focused even in a “changing and moving” environment; continues to display positive behavior when facing some constraints; keeps challenges in perspective.  Effectively controls own emotions, avoiding displaying them inappropriately; continues to show positive attitude when producing individual results, as well as supporting team’s work; continues to be collaborative with others, even in stressful and challenging circumstances.  Sees feedback as a key element in personal and professional development; displays a high level of self-awareness in response to positive and negative feedback, accepts negative feedback positively, moving forward quickly and constructively. Seeks all relevant information for decision making from a wide range of sources; quickly learns new competencies and skills that expand role capability; shows rapid understanding of new and/or complex information relevant to job.
  • Moving forward in a changing environment: Actively supports Organizational change initiatives and demonstrates personal commitment to them, including when faced with new demands; proposes workable solutions to challenging situations.  Engages in positive responses to a changing environment and promotes workable solutions to achieve own and team’s results.  Welcomes, and actively seeks to apply, new ideas, approaches and working methods and technologies in order to improve own and/or team’s work processes and results; demonstrates commitment to Organizational change initiatives.
Technical Expertise:
  • Thorough knowledge of protocol matters and ability to organize and monitor protocol arrangements in accordance with established standards.
  • Thorough experience and skills for the provision of administrative support services and the effective functioning of the operations of the Office.
  • Effective oral and written communication in a business environment; ability to independently compose correspondence, guidance materials, and other documents; ability to effectively handle multiple assignments, establish and maintain effective working relationships with internal and external partners.
  • Ability to coordinate, monitor and control administrative services involving the allocation of work, developing/adjusting operational procedures, evaluating priorities, and coordinating and supporting internal day-to-day activities.
  • Ability to supervise, including skills in planning, organizing, evaluating, problem-solving, decision-making on office management matters and coordination of assignment completion by Areas under AM’s responsibility.
  • The nature of the Office of the Assistant Director requires sensitivity, confidentiality and respect for all contacts and information processed.
Very good knowledge of English and Spanish.
IT Skills:

Demonstrated ability to effectively utilize software programs such as Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and SharePoint.  Other IT skills and knowledge of other software programs such as Visio, Project, and experience with transaction in corporate Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems would be an asset.




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