Senior Technical Advisor, Pandemic Preparedness and Response

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 12 August 2020

Job Description

The Senior Technical Advisor will cover all key aspects of pandemic preparedness, response and recovery, with an emphasis on: local leadership and governance; epidemic surveillance and information systems; health planning; preparation for and management of COVID-19 and other pandemic-prone infections, including infection prevention and control, and triage; continuity of non-COVID health care; risk communication and community engagement; and multi-sectoral partnership development for planning and coordination for the response and for equitable allocation of resources, including possible vaccines and treatments. S/he will liaise and collaborate with other experts particularly for emergency supply chain, laboratory services including testing, and other areas and keep up to date on the latest scientific developments in the field. S/he will apply lessons and adapt approaches from other epidemic and pandemic response efforts, and ensure that the latest WHO, CDC and other relevant guidance is used.

The Senior Advisor will work closely with and under supervision of the MSH’s Sr. Director for Pandemic Preparedness, Response and Recovery and be a key member of MSH’s COVID-19 technical working group and other epidemic emergency technical working groups. S/he will also advise MSH’s epidemic emergency task force. S/he will engage with project partners, donors and subject matter experts to design, monitor, evaluate and implement learning and coaching/mentoring, and assist with customizing strategies to build the capacity of both external and internal stakeholders.

The Senior Technical Advisor will have significant experience and expertise in pandemic preparedness and response, an understanding of global health security and all-hazards preparedness and experience working on programs in low and/or middle income countries. This position will initially be home-based until MSH resumes office-based work. At that time, the location of the position will be re-evaluated, and possibly move to an MSH office in Arlington, VA or Medford, MA. The position will be contingent on availability of funding.

Specific Responsibilities Include:

  • Develop and implement the global learning and capacity development efforts in pandemic preparedness and response by providing technical support and strategy development efforts.
  • Serve as the principal in-house pandemic preparedness and response resource for MSH worldwide, develop instructional and other technical materials and facilitate their use.
  • Lead the training, mentoring and coaching strategies on technical assistance in multi-sectoral pandemic preparedness and response.
  • Oversee and conduct needs assessment, establish objectives, and work with diverse capacity building methodologies, and evaluation strategies both in-person and through virtual platforms.
  • Maintain strong understanding of USG (particularly USAID and CDC), GHSA, WHO, IHR and other capacity building best practices.
  • Facilitate the delivery of capacity building activities to stakeholders in targeted countries.
  • Promote, and where possible facilitate, the integration of COVID-19 health response activities with governments and non-government actors’ (including private sector, NGOs, CSOs, FBOs) efforts, to maximize synergies and impact, and avoid service gaps and unnecessary overlaps.
  • Identify fundraising opportunities and lead the dialogue with potential partners, with support from resource mobilization.
  • Apply and disseminate international emergency response standards (SPHERE, etc.) as applicable to COVID-19 preparedness and response.
  • Monitor regional and national epidemiological data, standard health indicators and disaster patterns for analysis and early detection of trends, disease outbreaks and/or epidemics, and facilitate evidence-based identification of necessary actions and corrective measures
  • Obtain and collate information, reports and case studies from COVID-19 preparedness and response to establish best practices on epidemic preparedness and response and share knowledge with global health stakeholders

Education: Master’s degree in epidemiology, public health or a related discipline, or equivalent (required); medical degree preferred, with strong expertise in pandemic preparedness and response

Experience: Minimum 7+ years relevant experience and thorough knowledge of pandemic preparedness and response, GHSA and IHR.

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Demonstrated experience and skills related to the design and delivery of capacity building activities for adult learning activities such as face-to-face, virtual and self-paced.
  • Excellent team player, ability to develop trust and leverage communication among colleagues, stakeholders and collaborators, and ability to guide and motivate others.
  • Awareness, sensitivity, and understanding of cross‐cultural issues.
  • Excellent and effective written and oral communication skills
  • Conceptual and analytical skills combined with the ability to take ambitious ideas and to break them into manageable, specific sets of objectives in order to plan and successfully implement creative, new projects.
  • Ability to work virtually and to travel internationally and domestically when circumstances permit
  • Fluency in English and proficiency in French are essential. Additional languages are a plus.


  • Systems Thinking - Ability to understand, affect, connect, and leverage various parts of a system while maintaining sight of the whole system

  • Assessing, Managing and Measuring Work - Ability to set clear objectives, coordinate resources, people, and processes, and manage feedback loops to adjust approaches as necessary

  • Creativity and Innovation - Generates unique ideas and solutions and is good at bringing the creative ideas of others to the table. Exhibits good judgment about which creative ideas and suggestions will work

  • Comfort with Ambiguity - Ability to deal with a lack of clarity in role definition, work processes, and decision-making and to create clarity for others when little exists

  • Flexibility - Ability to accept the unexpected and adjust to what the situation now requires rather than what was planned

  • Collaboration - Respect and fairness are the cornerstones of collaborative relationships. We appreciate others’ contributions and offer ours with humility.

  • Empowerment - The success of our colleagues and partners is at the heart of our work. In this spirit, we support local leaders in finding local solutions for their challenges.

About the Organization

Management Sciences for Health, an international nonprofit organization, is dedicated to closing the gap between what is known and what is done about public health problems. MSH saves lives and improves health by helping public and private organizations throughout the world to effectively manage people, medicines, money, and information. Working from more than 30 country offices and our US headquarters, our staff from 65 nations is highly regarded for its technical expertise, integrity, and commitment to making a lasting difference in health.

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is a nonprofit international health organization composed of more than 2,000 people from 73 nations. Their mission is to save lives and improve the health of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people by closing the gap between knowledge and action in public health. Together with their partners, they are helping managers and leaders in developing countries to create stronger management systems that improve health services for the greatest health impact.


MSH takes an integrated approach to building high-impact sustainable programs that address critical challenges in leadership, health systems management, human resources, and medicines. Simply put, they support stronger health systems for greater health impact.

Their expertise in these areas falls into the broad categories of management functions—for example, leadership and governance or pharmaceutical management—and health areas like tuberculosis or maternal, newborn, and child health. They apply their expertise by

  • Partnering with governments, local organizations, and communities in developing nations to build their own capacity for long-term health impact;
  • Providing global leadership in critical areas of health management and health care delivery;
  • Bringing the best of MSH from around the globe to the people we serve, working as One MSH with a focus on lasting health system improvements.



Leadership, Governance, & Management

They work with in-country partners to build stronger health systems to improve:

    • the management and leadership of priority health programs, health organizations, and multisectoral partnerships such as The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, developing a critical mass of managers at all levels of the health system who can lead and inspire teams to achieve results;
    • the management systems of health organizations in the public and private sector, transferring practical approaches and skills to ensure that management structures contribute to sustainable organizational success;
    • the governance and management of health organizations and multisectoral partnerships, facilitating change and transferring knowledge to enable organizations to administer their resources efficiently and scale up their services.


Health Service Delivery

MSH combines extensive public health expertise, proven service delivery approaches, and evidence-based interventions in five critical areas:

    • HIV & AIDS
    • Tuberculosis
    • Maternal, newborn, and child health
    • Family planning and reproductive health
    • Other communicable diseases, including malaria and pandemic and avian influenza

Human Resources for Health

MSH helps governments develop multisectoral strategies and policies to plan and manage their health workforces. We use a comprehensive approach that addresses all the facets of human resources for health needed to achieve an adequate supply of well-trained and motivated health workers. MSH offers capabilities in leadership, human resource management, education, partnerships, policy, and finance to achieve these goals.

Pharmaceutical Management

Vital to our success is a participatory approach to project design and implementation, which cultivates broad-based support from all stakeholders. We also build and improve infrastructure and local capacity to effectively purchase, store, deliver, and use quality essential medicines.

Health Care Financing

MSH helps governments and NGOs assess their current financial situation and systems, understand service costs, and develop initiatives to use existing funds more effectively and generate additional revenue—all with the goal of supporting a nation’s health priorities.

Health Information

MSH has developed proven methods for rapidly strengthening the analysis and use of existing health data—normally at the province, district, and facility levels—without revising existing recording and reporting requirements. With an emphasis on learning through action, district teams undertake assessments of health services, identify gaps in performance, and design solutions to support better decision-making and, therefore, better management of improved services.

MSH has worked closely with the Health Metrics Network of the WHO to develop a comprehensive approach for enhancing the performance of health information systems and data by employing a practical, strategic planning process that can be carried out by national working groups.

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