Global Director, Health, Nutrition and Population

World Bank Washington, D.C., United States

About the World Bank

The World Bank Group (WB is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in ground-breaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges.

SRI Executive has been exclusively entrusted by our client, The World Bank Group, to support the appointment of an exceptional leader for the position of Global Director, Health, Nutrition & Population. The importance of this role in the current context of Global Health means that this is a critical appointment.

The Human Development (HD) Practice Group (PG) Context

  • The World Bank Group (WBG) is the largest provider of development finance and solutions for human development working with high-income, middle-income, and low-income countries to develop country-tailored solutions for human development (HD) under the themes of education, health, social protection, jobs and gender. The HD PG coordinates with other Practice Groups to ensure a coordinated and integrated approach to development challenges, and through the World Bank Regional Units is expected to deliver the strongest and most pertinent support to our client countries.

  • The Human Development Vice Presidency (HDVP) at the World Bank Group is made up of the Global Practices for education; health, nutrition, and population; and social protection and jobs; additionally, the HDVP houses the gender group. As such, HD is central to the World Bank Group’s goals to end extreme poverty by 2030 and raise shared prosperity.

  • Over the past few years the World Bank’s Human Development sector has been delivering a scaled-up program with an active portfolio over $71.3B with engagements in 121 countries. New commitments in FY21 are expected to reach a total $21.2B by FY end. Human capital development, and in particular, the health sector program, has taken a central role for the WBG, as a result of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and its impact.

  • The primary challenges of health development relate to health, nutrition, and demographic transitions that are responding to the COVID-19  pandemic both, through an agile short-term response, and a sustainable and inclusive longer-term response that tackles inequitable opportunities and outcomes in the health sector globally, regionally and within countries. The fundamental challenge is to pre-empt, prevent and mitigate the developmental impact of these challenges now and into the future. Specific challenges include: providing equitable, efficient, accountable and sustainable financing of health coverage; providing equitable, quality, appropriate and scaled-up delivery of priority public health services according to need; mobilizing the appropriate quantity and quality of key health systems inputs related to health workers, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare technology and facilities; and strengthening models of governance for the health sector that recognize core functions for government, responsibilities/accountability of key actors and enhance competencies for governance across levels (local, national, regional and global) and sectors (public/private/civil society, as well as government sectors such as education, transport, social protection, etc.).

These challenges have regional and sub-regional specificity, such as persistent malnutrition in Africa and South Asia, and in parts of Middle East; issues with demographic transitions and helping countries ensure a demographic dividend; as well as more global commonality in defining the best approaches to purchasing high yielding health interventions. They also have multiple transnational dimensions related to disease outbreaks, pandemics and epidemics that demand coordinated international responses to support countries preparedness and global health security. Additionally, fragility, conflict, migration and climate change are all greatly impacting health outcomes and the need for effective delivery in challenging contexts often requiring a need to work differently and help governments respond effectively.

The WBG’s comparative advantages in supporting improved performance of health systems relate to: the ability to engage and convene heads of state, ministers of finance, and other key development sectors and partners around priority HNP issues in order to forge consensus on knowledge and solution agendas: comprehensive knowledge and know-how competencies from description to development to delivery and independent evaluation of HNP solutions; multiple financing instrumentalities; ability to provide high quality and timely technical assistance; multi-sectoral expertise; and consolidate lessons learned, facilitate exchange across countries and build capacity to address HNP challenges. To help achieve accelerated human capital outcomes will require that as a WBG we use this comparative advantage more effectively.

The HNP Global Practice has a current portfolio of over $22.9B, accounting for about 32% of the total HD portfolio. About 36% of the HNP portfolio supports engagements in the Africa region. In addition, the Global Finance Facility (GFF), a donor-financed partnership committed to ensuring all women, children and adolescents can survive and thrive, has $814M in grants under implementation.  GFF grants operate as a grant-based complement to World Bank’s financing in low-income countries. With increased attention to the need to improve human capital outcomes, increases in the number and size of operations in HNP are expected, particularly for countries in the lower spectrum of the Human Capital Index.

The Global HNP Director works on the design and implementation of the strategy for the sector in the World Bank, and therefore, has direct impact on the WBG response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with special attention to its longer-term impact on building resilient health systems.

The World Bank is currently seeking a Global Director to collaborate across technical, geographic, and institutional boundaries to help design and deliver development solutions to a diverse range of clients. Close work with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which engages with the private sector, is of particular relevance. The Global Director directly manages the Global Unit and the GFF Unit, comprised of about 82 staff.  More broadly, the Global Director provides strategic guidance and leadership to all WBG HNP staff, many of them responsible for operations and reporting directly to the Regional Units.

Duties and Accountabilities

Reporting directly to the Vice President of Human Development, the Global Director will hold dual responsibilities in fulfilling the role of Director for Health, Nutrition and Population as well as Director for the Global Financing Facility.

The Global Director is accountable for performing the responsibilities, modelling the behaviours and maintaining the technical competencies (listed below) in his or her capacity as a member of the Health, Nutrition, and Population Management Team.  Accountability means being answerable for managing quality, risks, results, institutional initiatives and compliance with Bank policies and procedures.

In conjunction with the HNP Leadership team and Practice Managers, the Global Director leads the team in (1) building effective partnerships with multilateral and bilateral institutions and the private sector active in HNP and interacting with NGOs and civil society to position the WBG’s work in HNP; (2) providing thought leadership on key technical issues critical to the success of the HNP’s delivery to clients; (3) contributing towards the vision of the HD Practice Group to realize synergies across the HD GPs and across the Bank to operationalize the goals and objectives of the institution; (4) and building a Global Team that effectively supports the operational work at the country-level.

As the Director of the Global Financing Facility (GFF), a multi-stakeholder partnership that supports low and lower middle income countries to accelerate progress on reproductive, maternal, new-born, child and adolescent health and nutrition, he/she will also ensure it functions at best practice level.  The Director will be responsible for strategic directions and relationships with donors, with the close support of a Manager on aspects of fund-raising, reporting, monitoring and day-to-day operations.

The Global Director chairs the HNP Talent Board, a collegial committee composed by all HNP managers that has the responsibility to manage and advise the career of all HNP-mapped staff. The Talent Board is also focused on ensuring that technical staff maintain sharp and current technical skills while being exposed to an ample set of experiences – operational, analytical, and leadership.

Required Competencies

WBG 5 Managerial Competencies: Courage of your convictions; Leading Teams for impact; Influencing across boundaries; Fostering openness to new ideas; and Building talent for the future. For more information about WBG Five Managerial Competencies: https://bit.ly/3cmSoTd

WBG Core Competencies for all staff: Client orientation; Drive for results; Teamwork of collaboration and inclusion; Knowledge, learning and communication; and Business judgment and analytical decision-making. For more information about WBG Core Competencies, please visit: https://bit.ly/32UqYkx

WBG Leadership Values

  • Leadership of Self: Role model the change and values for WBG; Demonstrate courage of convictions, ownership and self-mastery within the organization in accordance to our values

  • People Leadership: Lead and inspire staff to perform and deliver for better results; Help others achieve their fullest potential through coaching and mentorship

  • Collaborative Leadership: Be mutually accountable for entire WBG’s corporate targets and success; Work across WBG and with clients and partners to achieve better results

  • Client Solutions Leadership: Be the leading provider of development solutions for country clients; Provide leadership in both knowledge generation and knowledge sharing

  • Decisive Leadership: Take informed risks and make decisions in a transparent manner resulting in transformative impact for clients; Commit to decisions once they have been made

Qualifications and Experience


  • Masters or PhD degree in relevant field (core HNP disciplines), and typically the successful candidate will have 15 or more years of relevant experience in positions of increasing complexity and responsibility


  • Passion for the WBG mission

  • Demonstrated leadership values and exemplification of WBG managerial and core competencies, as referenced below

  • Personal leadership in shaping and leading new agendas, bringing thought leadership and analysis together with delivery capacity for maximum client impact

  • Recognized expert within WBG or among one or more of the following: academia, partners, private sector actors, and policymakers, and with track record of applying practice know-how and effective policy dialogue to achieve development results

  • Track record of managing complex and large work programs, budgets, portfolio monitoring and supervision, with proven results

  • Proven ability to effectively implement complex change management initiatives

  • Strong written and oral communication skills with proven experience in dealing with the media, external constituencies and/or expert groups

  • Deep technical knowledge and experience in one or more of the following areas: core HNP disciplines including epidemiology, economics, demographics, public health, health systems, policy sciences, as well as global and national health system governance, health financing, and resource mobilization and allocation. Furthermore, candidates should have deep understanding of critical health system inputs such as the health workforce, pharmaceuticals, commodities, infrastructure and information/ICT as well as options for their management nationally, regionally and globally.

  • Proven ability to work across multi-disciplines and sectors within and outside health, with government ministries and with key stakeholders to help achieve accelerated results on human capital.

  • Experience with key players in international global health arena and key partners, particularly the UN partner agencies.

Terms of Appointment

This is a full-time position with the successful candidate being contracted for a term of four years.

How to Apply

If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form below on or before 25 April 2021. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence as we pride ourselves on our professional service. If you have an initial query rather than an application, kindly email us at [email protected].

SRI Executive is exclusively retained by the World Bank to undertake this assignment.

Application form