Director, Public Policy Engagement

Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance Geneva, Switzerland

About  Gavi

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is a public-private partnership committed to saving children's lives and protecting people's health by increasing equitable use of vaccines in lower-income countries. The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. Gavi uses innovative finance mechanisms, including co-financing by recipient countries, to secure sustainable funding and adequate supply of quality vaccines. Gavi brings together the public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the poorest countries.
They are committed to working with their partners to protect the next generation and realise their mission to save lives, reduce poverty and protect the world against the threat of epidemics. Since 2000, Gavi has contributed to the immunisation of over 822 million children and the prevention of more than 14 million future deaths. At the Global Vaccine Summit in June 2020, world leaders pledged more than $8.8bn (exceeding their initial target) to ensure Gavi can continue to amplify this work and immunise another 300 million children by 2025.
Gavi is  co-leading COVAX along with Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO), alongside key delivery partner UNICEF. Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
In June 2019, the Gavi Board approved a new five-year strategy (“Gavi 5.0”) with a vision of “Leaving no one behind with immunisation” and a mission to save lives and protect people’s health by increasing equitable and sustainable use of vaccines.
Building on successes of the previous strategic periods, Gavi 5.0 has several key shifts to deliver on its mission, including:
  • A core focus on reaching “zero-dose” children and missed communities, with equity as the organising principle
  • More differentiated, tailored and targeted approaches for Gavi-eligible countries
  • An increased focus on programmatic sustainability
  • Providing limited and catalytic support for select former and never Gavi-eligible countries
While the Gavi Secretariat oversees the day-to-day operations of the Vaccine Alliance, the Board is responsible for giving strategic direction and policy-making. The Board oversees the operations of the Vaccine Alliance and monitors programme implementation.
The Board is comprised of 18 “representative” seats, 9 seats for independent or “unaffiliated” individuals and one seat for Gavi's CEO. The Board’s representative seats ensure that institutions and constituencies can provide formal input into the development of all Gavi’s policies and the management of its operations.
UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hold permanent seats on the Board. Constituency representatives serve on a time-limited basis.
Independent Board members are private individuals with no professional connection to Gavi’s work. They bring independent and balanced scrutiny to all of the Board’s deliberations. These individuals also provide expertise in a number of critical areas such as investment, auditing and fundraising.    
You can find further details on their website https://www.Gavi.org
SRI Executive has been entrusted by our client, Gavi, to support the executive search of an exceptional leader for the position of Director, Public Policy Engagement.

Role Profile - Director, Public Policy Engagement

Leading a team of seven (7), the Director of Public Policy Engagement will strengthen the Public Policy Engagement (PPE) team as a strategic enabler of Gavi’s 2021-2025 objectives. The Director will contribute to shape Gavi-supported public policies, reflect and promote the latest international and regional development and health landscape and further the Vaccine Alliance’s mission in relevant fora. He/ She will:
  • Increase impact of Gavi and immunisation in global development fora and in Gavi supported countries.
  • Empower network of CSOs and advocates in support of immunisation; ensure Gavi is actively engaged in mobilising key policy makers and other influencers at global, regional and country level.
  • Leverage relevant global health and development trends and health landscape evolutions in line with Vaccine Alliance’s mission.
  • Develop and operationalize global health advocacy engagement strategy with key stakeholders of the Vaccine Alliance.
  • Strengthen linkages and coordination between global and regional policy initiatives supporting and promoting country implementation.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Civil Society Organisations (CSOs): oversees strategic relationship between the Gavi Secretariat/COVAX and the Gavi CSO Steering Committee/Constituency; manages the Gavi CSO hosting arrangement; oversees strategic advocacy partnerships with CSO partners at regional and global levels; oversees public sessions to CSO partners disseminating key areas of work (COVAX, zero dose etc.); together with Country Programmes, oversees and guide the implementation of the Gavi Civil Society and Community Engagement approach, especially as it relates to advocacy and accountability functions.
  • Partnerships: develops vision for public policy engagement partnerships aligned with Secretariat and Alliance approach; Crafts partnerships with selected stakeholders on advocacy; oversees implementation of existing advocacy partnerships and disseminates outcomes from partnerships with Gavi stakeholders.
  • Public Policy: oversees strategic approach to public policy direction and engagement on “must have” mission-relevant agendas and topics supporting Gavi’s 2021-2025 strategic period. Generate public immunisation policy analysis and coordinate Gavi positioning and approaches with other relevant secretariat departments and Executive Office to produce proactive and consistent approaches, position papers, messaging and briefs, provide insight into the international development and health landscape; and advise on evolving global health architecture space, including pandemic preparedness, health security.
  • As part of senior management, serves as a thought partner with the Executive Office and Executive Team and as a strategic resource throughout the organisation, demonstrating leadership and collaboration internally and externally to Alliance partners including CSOs and other relevant contacts.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with global and regional bodies across members of the Vaccine Alliance and other development partners, and strategically rally new allies and partners.
  • Represent Gavi at external events, liaise with high-level officials and partners and negotiate efforts towards common goals.
  • Manage and lead the PPE team: recruit, mentor, develop and monitor the performance of the team; actively contribute to the organisation’s business planning processes; develop and monitor budget.
Note: The essential functions listed in this section are not exhaustive of the job responsibilities; other duties may be assigned consistently with the department needs. 
Key clients and stakeholders:
  • Gavi Secretariat;
  • WHO;
  • Gavi-eligible countries;
  • The Global Fund;
  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation;
  • The World Bank;
  • Government policy makers, International development agencies;
  • Civil Society;
  • Researchers, advocates, and other stakeholders.

Required Competencies, Qualifications and Experience

  • Advanced University Degree with a focus on Advocacy, Public Policy, Health or International Relations.
Work experience
  • Minimum of 15 years of work experience in Advocacy, Public Policy, and campaign strategy development and implementation, with a proven track record in leading a team to successfully and engage the support of multiple stakeholder groups.
  • Excellent knowledge of the international development and global health landscape and current issues.
  • Field experience in countries is an advantage to foster the linkages between PPE’s work, Gavi programmes at country level and CSO work.
  • Proven experience galvanising stakeholders around advocacy issues with measurable results.
  • Vaccine and immunisation experience considered favourable.
  • Exceptional representational and communication skills, verbal and written.
  • Highly developed public presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated ability for leadership, negotiation, advocacy, social mobilisation, ability to support “diversity and inclusion agenda”.
  • Highly tuned political sensitivity and strategic thinker.
  • Advanced leadership and management skills to set a vision, plan, prioritise, resource, report, negotiate and align in matrix management, nurture team’s comparative advantages and diversity.
  • Experience in grant oversight and management.
  • Demonstrated experience in leading, agenda setting, convening and managing complex partnerships, CSO arrangements and consortia. Ability to navigate between the different areas and models of engagement including CSOs, partnerships and policy.
  • Excellent interpersonal and networking skills in international environments.
  • Excellent understanding of Gavi’s core business and its place in the global governance/global health architecture with global/regional experience to advance advocacy and across levels and fit in with the orientation of Gavi 5.0 and COVAX.
  • Fully conversant with current health development debates with ability to strategically engage in high-level international policy dialogue as well as with “grassroots” global development advocates and Civil Society Organizations.
  • Demonstrated ability to work under pressure in a fast-paced environment while keeping teams motivated.
  • Full understanding of global health architecture across public and private sectors.
  • Must have a track record of establishing successful partnerships.
  • Ability to stay positive and collaborative when faced with differing viewpoints of stakeholders.
  • Must show experience of showing innovative solutions to challenges.
  • Must be a high-energy leader who has proven they can lead well remotely.
  • Must show experience using evidence-based information to share essential facts and gather public policy support.
  • Must have examples of well-crafted message development, carrying campaigns and encouraging stakeholder support of them.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.
  • Knowledge of French is highly desirable.


Why join Gavi?

Gavi is a fast-moving, globally recognised and growing organisation. Gavi can achieve sustainable impact in the global health environment with exceptional agility and speed. Gavi, with the help of its partners, is an instrumental organisation in improving health worldwide, serving the most vulnerable with outstanding efficiency.

Terms of Appointment

This is a full-time position. Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

How to Apply:

If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application form below on or before 12th November 2021. We will revert to you as soon as feasible when we have reviewed your application. In addition, we encourage you to please attach a copy of your most recent 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 Gavin to undertake this assignment.

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