Principal Advisor — Country Preparedness and Collaboration for Epidemic Prevention

Prevent Epidemics, Resolve to Save Lives 


Resolve to Save Lives’ Prevent Epidemics program works closely with Ministries of Health and national public health institutes in Africa to strengthen epidemic preparedness capacity, accelerate disease detection and response, and to use data effectively to inform action. In addition to direct partnership with governments, we also work with implementing partners including US CDC, the World Health Organization, World Bank, and Global Health Advocacy Incubator to implement programs, prototype new innovations, and ensure sustainability through increased national ownership, including domestic budget allocations.

Our Leadership, Governance, and Financing (LGF) team amplifies these efforts by concentrating on enhancing program management capabilities across vital public sector institutions. Our evidence-based approach highlights that effective epidemic response is intrinsically tied to cross-sectoral partnerships, national and sub-national coordination, community engagement, and ongoing strengthening of public health systems. To that end, we partner closely with national and sub-national teams in countries like Nigeria, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda through a range of different staffing and partnership models. We empower these institutions to embrace strategic management practices, institute consistent quality improvement protocols, and cultivate an environment conducive to epidemic preparedness. One of our primary interventions is to fund and support dedicated in-house preparedness units, known as “Acceleration Teams.” With a commitment to connect, simplify, and scale proven approaches, we create opportunities for shared learning, support, and collaboration across country teams to elevate their experiences and inform regional and global initiatives.

Position Summary: 

The Principal Advisor will report to the Director of Leadership, Governance, and Financing. They will collaborate with HQ-based staff and in-country embedded teams, overseeing the Country Preparedness and Collaboration work stream. This role involves managing and supporting staff of varying seniority levels and disciplines to ensure that RTSL’s programming is strategic and effective in our focus countries (e.g., Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria, and DRC) aligns with our values. This position will require navigating complex technical, political, and operational challenges and balancing diverse stakeholder expectations. This includes initiating new partnership agreements for future acceleration teams and refining and optimizing existing ones. Furthermore, the Principal Advisor will assist in establishing a unifying results framework and partner with country teams and global staff to synthesize learning, facilitate peer exchange between countries and enable strategic advocacy and engagement with country government and RTSL leadership.

This is a full-time employment position. The incumbent is expected to work remotely in GMT or US EST time zones. This position requires international travel. The typical salary range for this role in the US is $140,000 – $168,000. The exact offer will be determined by a variety of factors such as the candidate’s individual skills and experience relative to the requirements of the role. Outside the US, salaries are set according to national labor rates for the international NGO sector.

Core Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Strategic Oversight: Ensure that RTSL’s programming in focus countries is strategic, effective and aligned with organizational values

  • Supervise and support HQ-based staff and in-country teams to oversee the Country Preparedness and Collaboration workstream and systematize RTSL interventions within and across countries.
  •  Partner with RTSL subject matter experts (e.g., IHR implementation, surveillance, financing, legislation, infection prevention and control, and strategic advocacy) to create a well-aligned approach to enable the success of preparedness initiatives.
  • Synthesize and apply strategic learning to improve program delivery and management decision making.
  • Support strategic advocacy and alignment with  country government and RTSL leadership to advance program goals.
  • Develop clear, evidence-informed proposals and budgets to support new initiatives.
  • Ensure that assigned staff receive clear guidance and sufficient space to lead, learn and innovate.

2. Partnership Management

  • Refine and tailor Acceleration team conceptual model in partnership with global and country colleagues, including a maturity model for longer-term country ownership and sustainability
  • Examine and initiate new country-level partnership agreements (e.g., MoUs) for future Acceleration teams and refine and optimize existing models.
  • Generate alignment with and buy-in from national and international partners to advance country-level leadership, governance, and financing for health security.
  • Partner with RTSL operations team to ensure that country-level operations are effective, efficient, consistent and sustainable.

3. Knowledge management and learning

  • Enable country preparedness and collaboration work stream to establish a unified results framework for country programs; oversee relevant data collection, analysis and reporting systems.
  • Direct efforts to synthesize learning and engage in peer exchange across countries with embedded staff.
  • Partner strategically with RTSL communications team to document and disseminate relevant learning and accomplishments through appropriate channels.

4. Targeted technical assistance as needed to country governments and technical partners

  • Support design and facilitation of efficient assessment and planning exercises (e.g., strategic risk assessments, joint external evaluations, prioritization, operational planning, after action reviews) that result in quality deliverables and strong stakeholder ownership.
  • Support and advise on adoption of in-country mutual accountability and performance tracking processes and tools.
  • Facilitate rapid prototyping of solutions (e.g., subnational assessments and action plans).

Required skills and qualifications: 

Education and experience: 

  • Master’s degree or higher in Public Health or related field.
  • 10+ years at the nexus of health systems strengthening and program management in low or middle-income countries.
  • 5+ years working closely with government entities in low or middle-income countries on public health issues.
  • Experience facilitating capacity assessments, strategic planning, and capacity development with governmental stakeholders.

Leadership skills:

  • Proven ability to coach, guide, and supervise senior and junior staff from diverse backgrounds.
  •  Experience leading multifaceted, multinational projects, with and without formal authority.
  • Resilience and adaptability when confronted with complexity, paradox, or ambiguity.

Management skills:

  • Proficient in workflow oversight, objective setting, and promoting team agility.
  • Expertise in budget creation, oversight, and financial reporting for substantial projects.

Data and Quality Improvement skills:

  • Skilled in performance metrics, monitoring, and evaluation to drive informed decisions.
  • Experience with program evaluation, knowledge management, and quality improvement techniques.
  • Proficient in data analysis, including generating summary statistics, charts, and offering actionable insights.

Communication skills: 

  • Articulate and responsive in both verbal and written communication.
  • Exhibits cultural competence; empathy, humility, and discernment when interacting across different cultures.

Preferred (not required) characteristics that will make your application stand out: 

  • Proficient in French; have worked in francophone Africa.
  • Have management or quality improvement credentials (e.g., MBA, PMI, Lean Six Sigma).
  • Have experience in epidemic response and preparedness e.g., in an emergency operations center, or participated in Joint External Evaluations or After-Action Review exercises.
  • Have worked with or within multilateral organizations (e.g., WHO, World Bank, Africa CDC).

Travel: This role may require up to 25% travel.

Duration: 2 years, with the possibility for renewal

Setting: Fully remote with in-country travel; qualified candidates can be based in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Ethiopia, or Nigeria

We are grateful for your interest in our work and for your application. Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications typically received, we can only reply to shortlisted candidates.

About Resolve to Save Lives

Resolve to Save Lives (RTSL) is a US-based, global public health organization with a mission to prevent 100 million deaths from heart disease and to make the world safer from epidemics. We are led by Dr Tom Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since 2017, Resolve to Save Lives has partnered with low- and middle-income country governments, multi-lateral agencies, academic and other civil society partners, and communities to build capacity for and support implementation of enabling policies and effective programs to treat and control hypertension, reduce sodium intake, eliminate artificial trans fat, and strengthen systems for epidemic prevention. To find out more about our work, visit: https://www.resolvetosavelives.org and https://preventepidemics.org/