GHFP Fellows Program: Pharmaceuticals Management Advisor based in DC

in Fellowships
November 6th, 2012

Global Health Fellows Program II

Technical Advisor II: Pharmaceutical Management Advisor

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

Location: Washington, DC

Assignment: Two-year fellowship

GHFP II-P2-062

 The Global Health Fellows Program (GHFP-II) is a five year cooperative agreement implemented and managed by the Public Health Institute in partnership with CDC Development Solutions and Management Systems International. 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 developing and increasing the capacity of health professionals with tailored development opportunities. This is accomplished through the recruitment, placement and support of diverse health professionals at the junior, mid and senior levels, and performance management and professional development activities aimed to enhance the technical and leadership skills of fellows.


The Office of Health Systems (OHS) leads a network of Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) colleagues, throughout the Bureau for Global Health (GH), 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. The OHS leads the Agency’s health systems research efforts including development of a research portfolio and of metrics and tools for measuring health systems improvements. It tracks and aligns USAID resources, funds, and programs for HSS to this agenda. The OHS also works to build partnerships and synergies to support this agenda and strategy, including with other US government (USG) agencies, host country governments, donors, the private sector, and civil society.

 The OHS is USAID’s hub for generating, capturing and sharing state-of-the-art knowledge on the factors that contribute to 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; information systems, including application of information and communications technology; and public-private partnerships. The OHS works with other offices in GH and with USAID missions, regional bureaus, and partners, to advance HSS knowledge and innovations and to promote country uptake.

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

Within this framework, the OHS, in collaboration with other GH offices, supports countries and regions to improve their pharmaceutical management systems as part of overall health systems strengthening efforts.The OHS approach is based on the understanding that medicines represent a critical component of our health programming, and that pharmaceutical management systems are part of larger health systems. As such, the performance of the pharmaceutical system is influenced by the intersections of the various health system elements or building blocks (that is, governance, human and institutional capacity, information systems, financing, and service delivery), with pharmaceutical-related issues and operations providing the technical areas of concern.


The Pharmaceutical Management Advisor (Advisor) is part of a multidisciplinary team that works to support the OHS goal to provide worldwide leadership and technical expertise in health systems strengthening through activities that strengthen the capacity of pharmaceutical systems to ensure sustainable and equitable access to quality-assured medicines critical to the success of public health programs. Under the direction of the Pharmaceutical Management Specialist, the Advisor provides technical and managerial support to the OHS-managed pharmaceutical system strengthening programs. The Advisor also serves on the OHS network as a technical resource available to GH on matters related to pharmaceutical management and systems strengthening such as pharmaceutical sector governance, policy and management, supply chain management, quality assurance of medicines, pharmacovigilance, rational medicines use, and containment of antimicrobial resistance.

There are two OHS-managed cooperative agreements addressing pharmaceutical systems strengthening. The Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM) program, implemented by the United States Pharmacopoeia, works to strengthen quality assurance mechanisms, at the country level, by improving medicines quality control laboratories and systems for monitoring the quality of medicines in the marketplace, in addition to collaborating with worldwide efforts to combat counterfeit and substandard medicines. PQM is also working to expand the pool of WHO-prequalified manufacturers of second line TB medicines. The Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS), implemented by Management Sciences for Health, aims to ensure the availability of quality-assured pharmaceutical products and effective pharmaceutical services to achieve desired health outcomes by applying systems-strengthening approaches and principles of country ownership, integration of health programming, sustainability, and improved performance metrics. The combined portfolio for these programs includes health program-specific directed work as well as multifaceted programs in more than 30 countries, in addition to technical activities responding to crosscutting issues. As part of the OHS pharmaceutical systems strengthening team, the Pharmaceutical Management Advisor will support a subset of these portfolios (for example, providing technical oversight of the portfolio of countries receiving funding from the President’s Malaria Initiative, and monitoring PQM medicine quality activities in Southeast Asia).


The primary responsibilities of the Pharmaceutical Management Advisor include:

  • Work directly with regional bureaus, missions, and cooperating agencies to help coordinate technical support to the field provided by programs and projects working on pharmaceutical system strengthening
  • Participate in the development and monitoring of assigned elements of cooperating agency work plans and selected research activities, including tracking financial obligations and expenditures and assessing performance in quarterly and annual portfolio reviews
  • Identify research and operational questions/issues requiring attention related to pharmaceutical systems strengthening to better support USG objectives in maternal, neonatal and child health, and infectious diseases
  • Participate in designing strategic approaches and scopes of work for new programs to address challenges affecting health program development and sustainability as regards access to and appropriate use of medicines of assured quality
  • Keep abreast of new developments, research, and emerging issues in drug policy, management and regulation, pharmaceutical services, patient safety, and quality assurance of medicines in the evolving international health environment and formulate recommendations for USAID action
  • Conduct research and literature reviews, create and deliver presentations, attend meetings, workshops, and conferences, sharing relevant information with colleagues and other interested parties
  • Provide technical support to USAID bureaus and missions, presidential initiatives, and other donors and contractors in the development of strategies and approaches related to pharmaceutical governance and management, quality assurance of medicines, pharmacovigilance, and systems strengthening
  • Provide technical support to health sector activities in selected USAID countries by participating on country teams, reviewing strategies and annual reports, and helping to meet technical assistance needs
  • Participate on agency task forces, work groups, and/or design teams based on interest and expertise

Other tasks or responsibilities may be assigned based on (a) organizational and programming need and/or (b) the Pharmaceutical Management Advisor’s own interests.


  • Master’s degree in public health, pharmacy, nursing or related discipline 
  • Minimum five years’ relevant experience working with developing country health systems, with at least two years in an international or resource-challenged setting
  • Demonstrated understanding of public health issues in developing countries
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of overall pharmaceutical management, systems strengthening, regulatory, and medicines-related issues
  • Project design, management and implementation experience in developing countries highly desirable
  • Demonstrated flexibility and openness in responding to changing work priorities and environment
  • Experience interacting with other development projects, host country governments and international agencies is highly desirable.
  • Excellent team work, networking, facilitation and negotiation skills
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • A high degree of initiative, a commitment to quality, and a willingness to participate in a broad range of activities and work on a large number of tasks simultaneously
  • Excellent organizational and management skills, and analytical and problem-solving orientation
  • Knowledge of USAID policies, procedures, and reporting requirements highly desired
  • Capable of acting as liaison with different stakeholders and representing USAID’s perspective in a multi-donor setting
  • Demonstrated computer skills in MS Office Suite
  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally (up to 25% time)
  • Proficiency in a second language desirable
  • US Citizenship or US Permanent Residency required


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


All applicants are required to apply for this position through GHFP’s online recruitment system at, 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 5:00 pm Eastern Time, December 4,2012.