Executive Director

Geneva, Switzerland
Full time Staff


Since the first cases of HIV were reported more than 35 years ago, 78 million people have become infected with HIV and 35 million have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Since it started operations in 1996, UNAIDS has led and inspired global, regional, national and local leadership, innovation and partnership to ultimately consign HIV to history.

UNAIDS is a problem-solver. It places people living with HIV and people affected by the virus at the decision-making table and at the centre of designing, delivering and monitoring the AIDS response. It charts paths for countries and communities to get on the Fast-Track to ending AIDS and is a bold advocate for addressing the legal and policy barriers to the AIDS response.

UNAIDS provides the strategic direction, advocacy, coordination and technical support needed to catalyse and connect leadership from governments, the private sector and communities to deliver life-saving HIV services. Without UNAIDS, there would be no strategic vision for the AIDS response.

UNAIDS further generates strategic information and analysis that increases the understanding of the state of the AIDS epidemic and progress made at the local, national, regional and global levels. It leads the world’s most extensive data collection on HIV epidemiology, programme coverage and finance and publishes the most authoritative and up-to-date information on the HIV epidemic—vital for an effective AIDS response. UNAIDS produces data for impact—no major report, speech or policy initiative on HIV has been launched or made without referring to data collected and released by UNAIDS.

The Role

UNAIDS is seeking a new Executive Director to lead this complex and challenging Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS. The Executive Director will bring vision, strategic thinking, global experience, including in areas heavily affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, management expertise, and a proven ability to forge partnerships. They will work closely with the United Nations co-sponsor Heads of Agency and nurture critical partnerships with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The Executive Director will actively promote a safe and open working culture amongst staff and partners.

Key responsibilities:

  • To develop and promote a clear vision on the current and future response to HIV/
  • AIDS, including in the most affected regions and in those where the epidemic is nascent
  • To represent UNAIDS with confidence and skill at a senior level with partner agencies and funders
  • To effectively facilitate resource mobilisation
  • To oversee excellent and effective communication with Heads of State, Ministers, heads of other UN agencies and international organisations, civil society and private
    sector organisations, as well as with the wider public
  • To identify and nurture talent, encourage diversity, and foster teamwork and team building
  • To manage organisational change and innovation, including leading transformation and reform processes in the working culture

Person Specification 

Strategic Leadership:

  • A good understanding of the United Nations system and ability to lead efforts for a more effective and coherent United Nations response at all levels;
  • Proven leadership, vision and strategic thinking with a proven track record;
  • A clear vision on the current and future response to HIV/AIDS, including in the most affected regions;
  • In-depth knowledge of the HIV epidemic and response as well as expertise and experience in promoting and commitment to public health, human rights, and
    gender equality;
  • Strategic thinking on ownership and engagement of partners and stakeholders on development issues.

Strategic Management:

  • Competence in staff management and administration processes within international organizations, public or private sectors, NGOs or private foundations;
  • Experience with managing support to country efforts to fast track the AIDS response to end AIDS by 2030;
  • Proven ability to effectively mobilize resources;
  • Proven ability to delegate effectively;
  • Proven ability to identify and nurture talent, to encourage diversity, and foster teamwork and team building;
  • Commitment to implementing the core principles of the Joint Programme as articulated in the objectives of UNAIDS in ECOSOC resolution 1994/24 and, most recently, through the 2016 UN General Assembly Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, the 2016-2021 UNAIDS Strategy and Unified Budget, Results and Accountability Framework (UBRAF), including the revised operating model of the UNAIDS Joint Programme.

International Experience with Health and Development:

  • Experience in working on global issues;
  • Excellent understanding of working in developing countries, including implementation challenges;
  • Experience and knowledge related to HIV/AIDS and/or public health at the international and national level;
  • Experience and knowledge of international development and public policy processes;
  • Experience working with multiple, relevant sectors, such as international organizations, governments, NGOs, the scientific community and the private sector; and
  • Strong language skills: the ability to work in English and/or French. Knowledge of another United Nations official language would be an asset.

Qualifications Extensive experience of successful management and leadership in complex public, private or international organization(s).
Location: Geneva, Switzerland Closing date: 26th May 2019 

Closing date: 
26th May 2019