Director, Digital Health and Innovation

World Health Organization (WHO) Geneva, Switzerland

About the World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO is building a better, healthier future for people all over the world.
Working with 194 Member States, across six regions, and from more than 150 offices, WHO staff are united in a shared commitment to achieve better health for everyone, everywhere.
WHO strives to combat diseases – communicable diseases like influenza and HIV, and noncommunicable diseases like cancer and heart disease.
WHO helps mothers and children survive and thrive so they can look forward to a healthy old age. They ensure the safety of the air people breathe, the food they eat, the water they drink – and the medicines and vaccines they need.
Their goal is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and well-being.
You can find further details on their website https://www.who.int/.

Director Digital Health and Innovation Role Profile

Objectives of the Programme and the immediate Strategic Objective

The purpose of the position is to provide strategic direction, leadership and vision across a multidisciplinary programme area of work within the Department of Digital Health and Innovation (DHI), bringing cohesion to the World Health Organization's global health policies and organizational needs across the three levels of the Organization by delivering digital health value to the world.
The Director will politically position the work and expected outcomes of the Department and act as the global representative and overall spokesperson of the Department, engaging internationally in dialogue and personal leadership with senior officials of global health organizations, as well as with Ministers of Health, Development Agencies, Donors, Partners and Alliances and other stakeholders.
The Director provides senior-level advice and guidance to other senior management and is accountable for the overall management, value-added and galvanization of Department teams to meet the objectives of the Organization.

Organizational context

Reporting to and under the general guidance of the Chief Scientist, the position provides global leadership and direction to the Department to ensure efficient management of a multidisciplinary staff in developing the technical policies and guidance in the Departments as outlined above in the objectives of the programme to achieve the Department objectives in line with the Mission of the Organization. The Director will build strong partnerships and foster consensus building with External Partners, Member States, UN Agencies, Donors, cutting edge research institutions and other stakeholders.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Director Digital Health and Innovation will have the following key responsibilities:
  • Lead the Department in providing technical expertise to Member States and other Stakeholders with guidance and technical data required for the development, implementation, and monitoring of national and/or global digital health and innovation policies and programmes.
  • Provide the overall leadership, management accountability, and direction of the Department in delivering its objectives through managing and galvanizing a diverse workforce and financial resources to optimize the department deliverables and mandate.
  • Provide strategic direction advice and thought leadership in the area of assigned responsibilities in order to position the Department and the Organization as a leader in digital health and innovation in health.
  • Direct and lead overall establishment and development of the Department's evidence-based policies and strategies for roll out and delivery for Regional and Country Office implementation.
  • Oversee the monitoring and  evaluation and reporting of the Department's area of work to ensure development of key performance indicators and global reporting requirements and mechanisms to ensure optimal performance of Department deliverables.
  • Serve as the scientific/technical reference among UN  Agencies and other key players in the respective areas. Promote collaboration and integration of Regional and Country Office perspectives and operational capacities into the Department's programme area of work.
  • Build strong partnerships and fosters consensus building with External Partners, Member States, UN Agencies, Donors, cutting edge research institutions and other stakeholders in the subject area to politically position the technical area of work and implementation into national and/or global policies.
  • Represent the Organization and Department area of work in a diverse array of global fora to position WHO as a leader in the global health community.
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.
Specific duties
  • Lead and manage the development and implementation of the WHO Digital Health and Innovation in health strategy.
  • Develop the strategic direction for digital health work to be carried out by WHO, in consultation with WHO Regional Offices, Member States as well as external experts and partners.
  • Generate artifacts/products for digital global public goods, identify opportunities to expand the enablement of  digital health technologies in support of UHC and equity.
  • Lead the development of technical frameworks for interoperability guidance, resources and guidance on overcoming barriers and challenges in digital health technologies adoption.
  • Foster collaborations for investments in digital health technologies for Member States.

Required Qualifications

  • Teamwork
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
  • Communication
  • Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
  • Driving the Organization to a Successful Future
  • Creating an empowering and motivating environment
Essential: an advanced level university degree (Master's level) in:
  • medicine/health sciences in combination with health informatics, or
  • information technology in combination with public health or health sciences, or
  • digital health, health informatics or related field.
Desirable: a PhD in one of the above-mentioned fields.


  • A minimum of 15 years of progressive professional experience in the management of digital health or health informatics global programmes, including at least 10 years' experience providing senior level advice and guidance to senior management/decision makers, managing human and financial resources, as well as experience in the area of developing and establishing policies and strategies.
  • Demonstrated experience at the international level.
Desirable: experience in setting up frameworks for consistent, accurate, evidence-based assessment of digital health technologies.
Functional Knowledge and Skills
  • Strong skills in the area of developing and establishing digital health polices and strategies at national and global levels.
  • Demonstrated effectiveness as an inspirational and collaborative people manager with excellent skills and ability in managing diverse teams and financial resources.
  • Strong understanding and skills in mobilizing resources.
  • Ability to engage, build consensus and communicate effectively and diplomatically with Member States, partners and media.
  • Commitment to collaborate effectively with other key partners in the Health Subject area.
  • Globally  respected level of technical expertise and knowledge in digital health and/or health information systems.
  • Proven leadership skills in the planning and coordination of multidisciplinary public health programmes, which may include the implementation of public health/disease control programmes.
  • Good skills in office packages, data analytics products and related platforms.
  • Expert knowledge of English in reading, writing and speaking.
  • Intermediate knowledge in French and other languages is desirable.

Terms of Appointment

This is a full-time position with a fixed term contract of two years. Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience to a D2 UN Level. A staff pension fund, staff health insurance, accident and illness insurance, voluntary group life insurance (optional) are included in the benefits package.

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

How to Apply

If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form below. In addition, we encourage you to please attach a copy of the most recent English version of your CV.
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 WHO to undertake this assignment.

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