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

The Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health (NMH) Department promotes, coordinates, and implements technical cooperation activities, directed at the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and related risk factors, mental, neurological and substance abuse disorders and disabilities, and promotion of optimal nutrition and road safety, that are evidence-based and appropriate for the political and sociocultural context in which they are implemented.  It raises political and public awareness and understanding of the burden of the most common noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and mental disorders, related risk factors and conditions and leads multi-sector and multi-stakeholder strategic and collaborative efforts aimed at strengthening Member States’ capacity to promote and protect health through public policies, programs, and services. This will reduce risks and disease burden and contribute to improving the physical, mental, and social well-being of the population.


Under the general supervision of the Director, Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health (NMH), and the direct supervision of the Unit Chief, Noncommunicable Diseases, Violence and Injury Prevention (NMH/NV), the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties:

  1. Provide strategic, technical and programmatic advice to Member States on the implementation of the Regional Plan of Action on Noncommunicable Diseases at regional, sub-regional and national levels, with a focus on cancer prevention and control; and on the implementation of the PAHO Plan of Action on Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control; 
  2. Coordinate an interprogrammatic group on cervical cancer prevention and control, to ensure the successful implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting on the cervical cancer plan of action, across all relevant areas of the Organization;
  3. Collaborate with global, regional and national partners on the regional implementation of the Global Childhood Cancer Initiative;
  4. Contribute to the regional implementation of the global palliative care resolution, to increase availability and access to palliative care services;
  5. Provide technical cooperation to Member States in the development and improvement of cancer registries in the region, in collaboration with the Global Cancer Registry Initiative;
  6. Advise and lead public health interventions to improve cancer control, with emphasis on primary and secondary care interventions and health system strengthening, working in close collaboration and cooperation with other PAHO advisors working on NCD prevention and control, as well as on Health Systems and Services at regional, subregional and Country Office levels;
  7. Collaborate with WHO, Member States and external partner organizations to develop and promote the implementation of evidence-based guidelines, norms and protocols for the main cancer types;
  8. Develop and lead initiatives that will increase capacities and skills of health providers on evidence-based interventions for cancer screening and treatment;
  9. Analyze, promote and improve the situation of access to essential medicines and technologies for cancer and for palliative care in the region, in collaboration with other PAHO advisors working in medicines and technology;
  10. Collect, analyze, synthesize and disseminate scientific and technical information related to cancer, and facilitate the use of the information in planning and evaluation of national cancer programs;
  11. Analyze data, develop and disseminate reports on the impact of social determinants of health and impact of health system policies on cancer and outcomes;
  12. Collaborate and cooperate with PAHO advisors working in the area of NCD prevention and control at regional, subregional and Country Office levels, as well as relevant PAHO advisors in other departments, to promote and ensure coordination and synergies for NCDs and risk factors, and to ensure greater effectiveness and utilization of organizational resources;
  13. Promote and raise the visibility of the work of the Organization on cancer prevention and control as part of the unit’s communication plan;
  14. Mobilize international and national technical and financial resources in support of national and regional cancer programs; obtain extra budgetary resources to extend the scope of technical cooperation for cancer prevention and control, by preparing project proposals for the appropriate national, bilateral and international financial agencies; collaborate in the implementation, monitoring and reporting of those projects;
  15. Collaborate in the preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Organization’s Strategic Plan, emphasizing activities under the program area for NCD management;
  16. Represent the Organization at national, regional and international technical meetings and in inter-agency collaborations on cancer prevention and control;
  17. Contribute to organization-wide policies, plans, strategies, and budgets, in support of the mandates related to cancer; report to Governing Bodies, through executive presentations and reports, on the status or results of the activities;
  18. Participate in the preparation, implementation, monitoring and reporting of the Unit’s Biennial Work Plan (BWP), budget and technical evaluation reports;
  19. When called upon to directly supervise staff, establish clear work objectives, conduct timely and effective performance appraisals, provide coaching and feedback, and support staff development opportunities;
  20. Perform other related duties, as assigned. 

Essential: A university degree in a health-related profession and a master’s degree in epidemiology, public health or a field related to cancer control from a recognized institution.

Desirable: A PhD or post-graduate studies in a relevant area would be an asset.

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 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: Nine years of combined national and international experience working in the area of noncommunicable diseases (NCD), of which at least 5 years of work experience is directly in cancer prevention and control.

Desirable: Practical experience in the provision of technical cooperation to authorities for noncommunicable disease prevention and control would be an asset.

PAHO Competencies:
  • Intrainstitutional Action:  Leads team efforts toward full understanding of the policies the organization must operate within as well as the Standard of Conduct for the International Civil Service. Leads employees and co-workers toward operating in a fair, consistent and equitable manner, and displays such behavior by example. Behaves consistently in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the Organization.
  • Analysis, Synthesis, and Forecasting:  After analyzing situations on the basis of the available evidence and knowledge, leads one’s area of responsibility toward individual and collective actions.  Encourages the importance of continual analysis. Verifies and promotes that action is taken in situations that will require future intervention, based on ongoing analysis.     Leads others in decisions needed to implement required actions. Is capable of anticipating the implications of analyzed situations between one and two years ahead.
  • Teamwork: Embraces and leads consensual decision-making, that is, leading the fulfillment of team decisions, even when they may not fully coincide with one’s own opinions or proposals. Knows how to manage difficult team situations and promotes consensus building. Takes responsibility for the team’s successes and failures.
  • Leadership:  Uses complex strategies to promote team morale and productivity. Obtains needed personnel, resources and information for the team. Makes sure the practical needs of the team are met.
  • Thinking, planning and the strategic management of technical cooperation interventions: Selects priority ideas for executing the interventions after anticipating their potential problems and solutions. Participates in the preparation of strategic plans, providing input about their impact, quality, critical points, and risks.
  • Evaluation of technical cooperation interventions:  Evaluates criteria for the interventions at the process, management, and outcome level, in addition to technical cooperation evaluation plans, in keeping with the PAHO’s strategic direction. 
  • Resource Mobilization:  Works in an objective manner to obtain and apportion resources (financial and non-financial) according to need. Supports and advises technical areas to enable best use of resources are aligned with the mission and vision of the Organization. Is able to work in a multicultural environment. Is flexible and has the ability to work well under pressure.  Is able to give feedback to partners within and outside the organization about the use of the resources and the results acquired.
Technical Expertise:
  • Theoretical knowledge, technical expertise and practical experience on public health strategies for cancer prevention and control.
  • Excellent analytical skills and demonstrated ability to collect, analyze and synthesize information on cancer to prepare scientific, educational and advocacy materials to disseminate information.
  • Ability to develop collaborative working relationships, mobilize resources and coordinate activities among various internal and external partners.
  • Ability to negotiate, influence, and impact positively the generation and implementation of projects with national and international institutions.
  • Technical expertise in the development of policies and programs, and the ability to negotiate and coordinate with all relevant sectors of government, international agencies and organized community groups.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide professional leadership to strategic, organizational, managerial and analytic work in cancer control.
  • Mature judgment, strong technical, analytical, conceptual, interpersonal and communication skills to deal with difficult situations and sensitive issues.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people of different professional levels, discipline, nationalities, and cultural background.
  • Strong professional oral and writing skills, including the development of reports, oral presentations, and technical/persuasive documents for consideration at the highest levels of the Organization.

Very good knowledge of English or Spanish with a working knowledge of the other language. Knowledge of French and/or Portuguese would be an asset.

IT Skills:

Very good knowledge of English or Spanish with a working knowledge of the other language. Knowledge of French and/or Portuguese would be an asset.

Annual Salary: (Net of taxes)
US$ 72,637.00

Post Adjustment: 47.6% 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.


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.

Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to PAHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and e-Manual.

For information on PAHO please visit: http://www.paho.org

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.

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