Unit Head (Air Quality, Energy and Health), Geneva, Switzerland

Organization: World Health Organization (WHO)

Country: Switzerland

City: Geneva

Office: WHO Geneva, Switzerland

Grade: P-5

Closing date: Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Unit Head (Air Quality, Energy and Health)

( 2211900 )

Grade : P5

Contractual Arrangement : Fixed-term appointment

Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : 1 year

Job Posting: Jan 10, 2023, 2:59:23 PM

The mission of WHO’s UHC/Healthier Populations Division is to contribute to reducing health inequalities and reducing preventable disease and injury caused by environmental, social and economic determinants of health. This is achieved through a coordinated inter-sectoral approach aimed at enabling all people to enjoy better health and well-being, in line with the Organization’s 13th General Programme of Work (GPW13) and the Sustainable Development Goals. The role of the Department for Environment, Climate Change and Health (ECH) within the overall work of WHO is to promote a healthier environment, intensify primary prevention and to influence public policies in all sectors to address the root causes of environmental threats to health. ECH develops and promotes preventive policies and interventions based on an understanding and an in-depth scientific analysis of the evidence base for environmental determinants of human health. The Air Quality and Health (AQH) Unit provides technical support to WHO’s Member States in the development of normative guidance and tools and provision of authoritative advice on health issues related to air pollution and its sources. Monitoring and reporting on global trends and changes in health outcomes associated with actions taken to address air pollution at the local, national, regional and global levels is an additional key facet of this. In this context, AQH promotes interventions and initiatives for healthy sectoral policies (including energy, transport, housing and urban development), addressing key risks to health from air pollution indoors and outdoors, and contributing to achieving health co-benefits from climate change mitigation policies.


Provides technical leadership, coordination and managerial support within the Department/Programme, in the Unit of Air Quality and Health ensuring that activities in this area are carried out efficiently and effectively.

Develops and proposes health policies and strategies for implementation through collaboration with Regional and Country Offices and provides advice in developing further the WHO’s programme on air quality, energy and health for strengthening and improving technical capacity of target clienteles.

Oversees a unit of technical teams specialized in various domains within their area of expertise and facilitates the efficient flow of team synergies.

Manages the programme area in delivering its objectives through efficient managing a team of technical staff, financial resources and effective work planning to optimize the programme’s deliverables in line with the mandate of the Organization.

Leads and conducts research on best practices in implementing programmes and activities and dissemination of information for capacity building in the respective area of work.

Manages the monitoring and evaluation and reporting of the subject area of work of key performance indicators and reporting requirements and mechanisms to optimize performance of Programme deliverables.

Serves as the technical reference among the peer community, UN Agencies and other stakeholders at the technical levels in the respective area of expertise.

Liaises with and utilizes partnerships in other UN Agencies, Donor, or research institutions in the technical area of air quality, energy and health, to position the technical area of work and implementation into Global and/or National policies.

Represents the programme area of work at various meetings to advocate for the advancement of the air quality, energy and health agenda.

Provide leadership for WHO’s programmes to enhance the health and climate co-benefits from sectoral activities and investments overseeing the development of technical work on evidence and tools, as well as promoting sectoral policy interventions for better governance for health and development at country level to address air quality, energy and health, at global, national and local level.

Provide overall guidance and leadership in the development of innovative responses that support Member States and other partners in their efforts to prevent diseases associated with air pollution, such as estimating costs of inaction, monitoring and reporting of Sustainable Development Goals and related indicators of air pollution indoors and outdoors, and energy, where WHO is a custodian agency (SDGs 3.9; 7.2; and 11.6).

Mobilize resources, develop partnerships and facilitate and coordinate technical collaboration in the team.

Establish new and maintain WHO, multi-partner and multi-sectoral initiatives in response to the growing risk from air pollution posed to health.

Leads and conducts research to assess health risks due to air pollution.

15. Performs all other related duties as assigned.



Essential : An advanced university degree in environmental health and/or public health, epidemiology or other related scientific field.

Desirable: A PhD in one of the above-mentioned fields, or equivalent.


Essential :

A minimum of 10 years of professional experience in the management of technical environmental health research, policy working with the UN and other agencies.

Experience in providing direct support to countries and within international processes relevant to environmental health and public health, including on health into different sectors‘ policies, plans and projects with respect to air quality, energy and health,

Demonstrated experience managing human and financial resources.

Demonstrated experience at the international level.


Demonstrated experience in resource mobilization and preparation of funding proposals.

Proven experience in environmental health research as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Experience working in developing and developed countries.


Concrete skills in the planning and coordination of multidisciplinary public health programmes, which may include the implementation of a public health/disease control programmes.

Strong skills in the area of developing and establishing polices and strategies.

Excellent skills and ability in managing diverse teams and financial resources.

Good skills in mobilizing resources.

Ability to engage and communicate effectively and diplomatically with external partners including Ministries of Health, other relevant ministries, Donor institutions, Civil Society, and other stakeholders.

Commitment to collaborate effectively with other key partners in the Health Subject area.

Technical excellence in relation to environmental health and public health, including technical knowledge on how to include health into different sectors‘ policies, plans and projects with respect to air quality, energy and health.

Ability to work in inter-institutional and inter/sectoral teams at global, regional and country levels.

WHO Competencies


Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences


Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond

Driving the Organization to a Successful Future

Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential : Expert knowledge of English.


Intermediate knowledge of French.

Intermediate knowledge of other UN language.


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 90,664 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 6286 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level

Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.

A written test may be used as a form of screening.

In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: http://www.whed.net/. Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.

Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.

Staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.

For information on WHO’s operations please visit: http://www.who.int.

WHO is committed to workforce diversity.

WHO prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter into practice.

WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of final candidates.

WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.

WHO has a mobility policy which can be found at the following link: http://www.who.int/employment/en/. Candidates appointed to an international post with WHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.

Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.

Link to the organization’s job posting: https://unjobs.org/vacancies/1673379822427