United States of America: Senior Communications Advisor

Organization: Global Health Fellows Program
Country: United States of America
Closing date: 20 Oct 2016

Global Health Fellows Program

Technical Advisor III: Senior Communications Advisor

Office of Health Systems, Bureau for Global Health, United States Agency for International Development

Location: Arlington, VA

Assignment: Two year fellowship


The Global Health Fellows Program (**GHFP-II**) is a five year cooperative agreement implemented and managed by the Public Health Institute in partnership with Global Health Corps, GlobeMed, Management Systems International and PYXERA Global. GHFP-II is supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

GHFP-II’s goal is to improve the effectiveness of USAID health programs by addressing the Agency’s immediate and emerging human capacity needs. The program seeks to accomplish this goal first through the recruitment, placement and support of diverse health professionals at the junior, mid and senior levels. These program participants include fellows, interns, corporate volunteers and Foreign Service National professionals. The program then provides substantial performance management and career development support to participants, including annual work planning assistance, and ensures that professional development opportunities are available.

Looking to the future, GHFP-II also seeks to establish a pool of highly-qualified global health professionals that will ensure the Agency’s ongoing technical leadership and effectiveness. This objective is supported by an extensive outreach program that brings global health opportunities and specialized career advice to a diverse range of interested individuals, with a particular focus on those underrepresented in the field of global health.


The goal of the Office of Health Systems (OHS) at USAID’s Bureau for Global Health (GH) is to provide worldwide leadership and technical expertise in health systems strengthening (HSS), a process that concentrates on ensuring that people and institutions, both public and private, undertake core functions of the health system in a mutually enhancing way, to improve health outcomes, protect citizens from catastrophic financial loss and impoverishment due to illness, and ensure consumer satisfaction, in an equitable, efficient and sustainable manner. HSS includes a broad suite of activities that establish a foundation for doing other technical work in USAID’s priority countries including, but not limited to, policy development for universal healthcare coverage, training health care providers and community health workers, building monitoring and evaluation systems, improving medicine regulatory systems, and generating health care financing solutions.

OHS leads a network of HSS colleagues throughout GH and the Agency in the development and implementation of USAID’s agenda and strategy to promote effective, sustainable, country-owned health systems capable of: promoting health, preventing disease, advancing reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health and nutrition; combating infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases; and addressing emerging public health priorities. OHS leads the Agency’s health systems research efforts including development of a research portfolio and metrics and tools for measuring health systems improvements. It tracks and aligns USAID resources, funds and programs for HSS to this agenda. OHS also works to build partnerships and synergies to support this agenda and strategy, including with other US government agencies, host country governments, donors, the private sector, and civil society.

OHS is USAID’s hub for generating, capturing and sharing state-of-the-art knowledge on the factors that contribute to: (a) strengthening health systems, including experiential knowledge complex systems thinking, service delivery, community engagement and outreach, governance, finance, human resources, medical products, vaccines, and related technologies; (b) information systems including application of information and communications technology; and (c) public-private partnerships for improving health system performance. OHS works with other offices in GH, USAID missions, regional bureaus and partners to advance HSS knowledge and innovations and promote country uptake.

OHS serves as the core of USAID’s talent management in HSS. It works to grow and nurture the technical expertise and intellectual capital of HSS specialists. OHS ensures basic HSS knowledge among all health officers, health systems practitioners, and health-related institutions in developing countries. OHS develops and facilitates recruitment, training, professional development, staff rotations and exchanges, and networking opportunities.


The role of the Senior Communications Advisor (Senior Advisor) is critical to the success of OHS. The Senior Advisor has the unique and exciting challenge of leading USAID’s HSS stakeholders to develop, coordinate, implement, and monitor a communications and knowledge management (KM) strategy around the Agency’s HSS work; promote a learning environment at USAID on HSS; manage and build knowledge across HSS programming; and ensure that communication channels surrounding HSS work are streamlined and effective. The Senior Advisor will be responsible for proactive outreach, message content development and management for internal and external communications, coordinating the movement of relevant information to appropriate audiences through appropriate and approved channels.

The Senior Advisor will accomplish these efforts in a participatory and inclusive manner. In carrying out these responsibilities, s/he will establish, nurture, and maintain strong working relationships with a wide range of players within USAID. These players include, but are not limited to: OHS team members, communications and technical experts across GH, the Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA), other bureaus and independent offices within USAID/Washington, and overseas missions.

The Senior Advisor will receive technical direction from the OHS Director who will serve as his/her onsite manager and will work closely with OHS health system specialists, technical advisors, and program analysts and assistants to capture and disseminate knowledge created by the office and its projects.


The Senior Communications Advisor will be responsible for:

Communications Strategy, Vision, and Leadership

  • Developing, implementing, and evaluating an OHS communication strategy for audiences at USAID Headquarters and field missions.
  • Working closely with LPA to disseminate information to external stakeholders.
  • Working with the GH Front Office’s Senior Communications Advisor to align the OHS communication strategy with GH’s strategic vision.
  • Developing relationships and liaising with external HSS advocates.
  • Identifying key stakeholders and key managers for communications. Maintaining an internal contact list of all OHS professional contacts. Developing an external outreach list.

Communications Operations

  • Communicating information about HSS work through scientific, media and other channels. Leveraging media channels, including social media, efficiently and effectively.
  • Developing and disseminating brochures, print, video and electronic materials that convey the scope and breadth of USAID’s HSS work and its impact in terms that are appropriate for a variety of audiences, from Congress to disease program advocates to the general public, including USAID’s annual Report to Congress.
  • Reviewing and improving OHS’s processes for content development, marketing, and sharing lessons learned internally and externally with support from LPA.
  • Preparing talking points, speeches, presentations and other material as needed in support of OHS leadership.
  • Publishing videos and photography on organizational website and blogs with support from LPA.
  • Establishing and promoting information standards, capturing and sharing best practices, approaches, and lessons learned, and promoting the adoption and use of working communities of practice within OHS and partner projects.

Knowledge Management

  • Developing and implementing a knowledge management plan that addresses HSS needs, gaps and opportunities in the GH Bureau and USAID Missions and collects and disseminates information on HSS activities internally and externally.
  • Supporting and growing a health systems network at USAID that connects HSS colleagues throughout the Agency to share knowledge.
  • Providing advisory oversight to projects and missions, facilitating cross-country learning, including but not limited to south-south technical assistance, study and oversight visits, video and conference calls.
  • In coordination with the M&E Advisor, developing tracking and reporting methods to improve OHS efforts, share lessons learned, and determine strategic outcomes of OHS programming.

International travel approximately 20%


  • Keeping abreast of literature and latest developments in the fields of communications and knowledge management within HSS.
  • Deepening knowledge of HSS programming.
  • Participating in interagency and intra-agency working groups as appropriate to the scope of work.
  • Participating in professional continuing education and skills training within the purview of GHFP-II.


  • Master’s degree or higher in public health, communications, or a related field.
  • Minimum ten (10) years’ experience developing and implementing strategic communications programs, with some knowledge management experience, and with at least three (3-5) years’ experience in an international or resource challenged setting.
  • Demonstrated experience in managing a comprehensive strategic communications program to advance an organization’s mission and goals.
  • Demonstrated skill and comfort in proactively building relationships and demonstrating influence with staff at all organizational levels.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with key concepts and development issues in global health and HSS.
  • Extensive experience working in organizational communication and public relations.
  • Experience in Congressional or other high level public relations promotion is highly desirable.
  • Ability to work with and influence senior-level colleagues.
  • Proven experience in using social media and Web 2.0 approaches.
  • Familiarity with current web-based tools, apps, and IT platforms.
  • Excellent analytical and written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to organize workload, respond to multiple demands, and meet short deadlines.
  • Demonstrated flexibility and openness in responding to changing work priorities and environment.
  • Ability to work well in a culturally diverse and team-based environment.
  • Motivation to work independently with limited supervision.
  • Ability to travel internationally.
  • US citizenship or US permanent residency required.


Salary based on commensurate experience and earnings history. The Public Health Institute offers a comprehensive benefits package including professional development programs.

How to apply:

All applicants are required to apply for this position through GHFP-II’s online recruitment system at

https://www.ghfp.net/recruitment/, which allows you to store your CV, profile and bio data form in our database. A separate cover letter describing your qualifications and experience, interest and familiarity with issues relating to this position, and how this position relates to your career goals is required for each application. All online applications must be submitted by October 20, 2016 by 5:00 pm Eastern time.

Candidates who applied previously have received consideration and need not re-apply.

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