Managing Director, Country Programmes - GAVI, Geneva

Purpose of the position: Gavi is looking for an energetic, talented and experienced Managing Director to lead the Country Programmes department. The Managing Director Country Programmes reports to the Deputy CEO and provides leadership, strategic direction and overall management of Gavi's Country Programmes department, and works to design, implement and oversee effective and efficient support to countries through purposeful partnerships. It is responsible for ensuring that Gavi support in eligible countries is in consonance with Gavi's strategic objectives and delivers measurable results.

Team: Country Programme - Management
Reports to: Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Career step level: 7


The County Programmes department's objective is to manage the implementation of Gavi supported programmes across a current portfolio of nearly 68 countries. Gavi support to countries consists of vaccines, health systems strengthening support and technical assistance. The department aims to leverage Gavi support to achieve maximum impact towards the goal of equitable and sustainable immunisation, and also demonstrate value for money. Country Programmes is composed of three sections responsible for critical strands of Gavi's activity:

  • Country-Support, responsible for the effective and proactive development and delivery of Gavi funded programs and their sustainability;
  • Programme Finance, responsible for the identification and management of any financial issues, risks, wastage and idle resources within the cash grant portfolio, and the safeguarding of Gavi's fiduciary policies, procedures and practices;
  • Health Systems & Immunisation Strengthening (HSIS), responsible for ensuring that Gavi's HSIS support address systemic constraints to delivering immunisation in Gavi supported countries, and thereby improve coverage and equity.

The duties of the Managing Director Country Programmes are broad-ranging and complex in nature and the incumbent will need to be prepared to bring an innovative, change-focused approach, to adapt and respond quickly and effectively to new demands on their expertise and experience. While expertise in the design and implementation of country programmes will be essential, Gavi will place a particular premium on solutions-orientated leaders, able to work in partnership with colleagues to provide responsive advice and direction in order to achieve common goals.

The Country Programmes portfolio is complex, presenting a breadth of challenges, ranging from war-torn and fragile states requiring emergent and swift support; to countries with poorly-performing health systems, requiring support in strengthening of primary health care; to middle-income countries requiring support with institutional capacities as they transition out of eligibility for Gavi funded vaccine support, in order to ensure the sustainability of their immunisation programmes with robust institutional and decision-making processes in place.

The Managing Director Country Programmes will have the leadership qualities to provide the leadership, strategic direction and overall management to the Country Programmes department of 80 people. Country Programmes staff is based in Geneva and works in close liaison and coordination with national counterparts, Alliance partners, civil society organisations and other relevant stakeholders.

The following description below is an abreviated version of the job description which you can find in its full version on our Gavi career website.


  • To provide leadership, strategic direction and overall management to the Country Programmes department, and to ensure the successful delivery of the department's objectives;
  • To embrace and drive change in the design and implementation of country programmes, ensuring excellent delivery across the country portfolio at a time of increasing complexity;
  • To encourage innovation throughout the department and its programmes, bringing in enhancements and best practices from both public and private sectors and the broader global health ecosystem;
  • To ensure the collaboration of Country Programmes with other Gavi departments in order to achieve the organisation's goals;
  • To manage relationships and carry out effective dialogue and collaboration with Governments, Civil Society and private sector partners in countries, as well as with Gavi Alliance partners (including UNICEF, WHO, World Bank and other key stakeholders of the Alliance) and other global financing institutions such as the Global Fund and Global Financing Facility (GFF).


Country Programmes Leadership
  • Set the strategic direction for Country Programmes and ensure the successful delivery of the department against this strategic plan;
  • Provide leadership, overall management and development of an engaged and motivated workforce across the department's three teams: Country-Support, Programme Finance, and Health Systems & Immunisation Strengthening (HSIS);
  • Ensure programme finances operate efficiently and effectively, ensuring optimisation of Gavi's resources, reducing wastage, ensuring timely disbursements, and safeguarding against financial risks;
  • Drive and embrace change in order to ensure continuous improvements in Country Programmes, including programme design and implementation, embracing the adoption of data and evidence in decision-making, and exploring appropriate technology innovations.

Stakeholder Management
  • Be an influential force in the effective implementation of Gavi funded programmes in countries.

Senior Management Team Member
  • Promote organisational coherence and communication by working with SMT colleagues to agree, articulate and communicate the strategic and performance goals of the organisation.

In providing leadership to the Country Programmes department, the incumbent will:
  • Lead the communication of Gavi's Mission and Strategy, connecting them with department priorities to make them personal and inspiring to others;
  • Drive the departmental objectives, strategy, planning and oversight processes;
  • Create a strategic vision and the right culture and environment to inspire others to succeed by drawing the best out of staff and empowering them;
  • Provide technical leadership to staff, ensuring the attainment of expected outcomes.



  • Advanced university degree in Public Health, Social Sciences or equivalent;
  • Additional qualifications in Business Administration, Management or Law desirable;
  • Specialisation in Programme Management and Health Information Systems an advantage

Work experience:

  • At least 15 years of management experience at national and international levels in planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of large-scale country programmes;
  • Experience of leadership roles in complex organisations with, large-scale operations and an international presence in the developing and developed world, ideally including public-private partnerships with complex governance structures;
  • Familiarity with a developing country context and experience in working at the country level including in Gavi eligible countries;
  • Familiarity with immunisation and epidemiology, and the capacity and enthusiasm to expand this knowledge, keeping up-to-date with new developments;
  • Experience of building constructive relationships with high-level government officials and inter-governmental bodies.

It will be a distinct advantage to possess the following experience:

  • Programme delivery in fragile states;
  • A track record for successfully strengthening country health systems;
  • Working within or alongside WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, and other multilateral development agencies;
  • Interacting with multi-stakeholder boards;
  • EPI programme delivery;
  • Key stakeholder relationships across the public, private and civil society sectors.

  • Skills/Competencies:

    The Managing Director Country Programmes will be a person of unimpeachable personal integrity, and will demonstrate the key competencies and behaviours identified below:

    Setting Strategy
    • Expertise in country programme planning and delivery, drawing from personal experience of managing complex, multidimensional programmes at country-level, with the ability to scale-up this experience to a global scale, and a focus on continuous improvement.

    Executing for Results
    • Highly driven and focused on organisational and individual performance and managing for results. Demonstrates strong operational skills and superior judgment in evaluating opportunities and risks.

    Leading Teams
    • Proven ability to identify, motivate, develop and retain a highly professional multicultural staff by fostering a culture of feedback and development; collaborative leadership style;
    • Management expertise including ability to clearly define and monitor team objectives and key results, and ensure that these are aligned to the broader strategies of the organisation.

    Relationships and Influence
    • Highly developed interpersonal skills and a demonstrable ability to inspire, collaborate and influence a wide range of different institutions, interest groups, stakeholders, including affected populations, to drive impact and change.


    • Gavi operates in an English language environment, consequently fluency in spoken and written English is essential;
    • A second language is desirable, preferably French (as Gavi operates in the French speaking region of Switzerland).

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

    If you wish to apply, please provide a cover letter and resume through our Careers webpage and apply by clicking on "Managing Director, Country Programmes". Deadline for applications is 31 January 2019. 

    Job vacancy

    •   Thursday, 31 January 2019
    • Geneva, Switzerland