Vice President, Neglected Tropical Diseases

Helen Keller International
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Mar 14

Position description

Functional Relationships

The VP, NTDs is a member of HKI’s globally distributed headquarters function (Global Management) comprised of senior leaders in Africa, Asia and the US.

Reporting to the Senior Vice President (SVP) Programs, the VP, NTDs will work closely with Regional and Technical VPs, senior technical advisors dedicated to NTDs and cross-­cutting areas such as Monitoring & Evaluation, and relevant regional directors and country directors.

The role directly supervises senior level program staff in the US responsible for the management of specific multi-­country program portfolios. Indirect reports include professional level program and finance staff who provide support to country offices.

HKI’s programs require close relations with governments, partner NGOs, private industry, donors and UN agencies. The VP, NTDs plays a key role in nurturing and overseeing many of these cooperative relationships and representing HKI to donors and the international community, as needed.

HKI has a matrixed reporting structure that respects both the line management and authority within country office and regional hierarchies; and the accountability and oversight duties of subject matter experts and multi-­country program managers wherever they are located. Regular communication and a spirit of team work among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally are essential to make this structure thrive.

Scope of the Position

The VP, NTDs will harness the existing collective expertise within the organization to further enhance the strategic direction and growth of HKI’s NTD portfolio, ensuring that high-­quality programs continue to be developed and are effectively delivered in-­line with the organizational mission and international and scientific norms. As a senior member of HKI’s program team, s/he will lend his/her unique perspective and expertise to organizational strategic planning initiatives..

A major focus for the VP, NTDs will be to proactively identify and lead new business development opportunities in NTDs across HKI’s geographical reach, and to manage these processes across all levels of the organization. Growing the portfolio will be in line with HKI’s overall business plan, including diversification of our donor base. Priority will be given to expanding our portfolios to include relevant prevention strategies including behavior change and WASH.

The ideal candidate will be a recognized global expert in NTDs with a broad mastery of the multiple aspects of NTDs, in-­depth knowledge of one or more specialty areas and a demonstrated ability to rapidly learn new specialty areas. S/he will have a strong commitment to serving country office teams and to supporting their capacity to design and implement high quality NTD programs.

Working in the context of this full team approach, the VP, NTDs will coordinate HKI’s existing internal NTD expertise as well as draw on an extensive network of external experts to guide the development of new cutting-­edge NTD initiatives to ensure HKI maintains a strong leadership position in the global NTD community, especially as new NTD trends emerge. The VP, NTDs will lead the roll out of a new generation of NTD activities in 8 African countries that focus on the integration of chemotherapy into other existing non-­NTD program platforms to achieve long-­ term national buy-­in and sustainability. S/he will work closely with global colleagues to continually refine HKI’s NTD programming standards and guide an ongoing internal capacity-­ building strategy to ensure that all NTD staff maintain state-­of-­the-­art approaches. The position requires both international and domestic US travel.


Leadership, Program Management and Quality Assurance

  • Provide global strategic leadership in NTDs across entire organization and lead strategic planning efforts in this regard. Identify future role of HKI in the prevention of NTDs beyond our current activities, and opportunities to resource this;
  • Provide leadership and support to field teams to implement cutting edge programs across the entire NTD portfolio, and identify lessons learned for dissemination within HKI and the global NTD community;
  • Ensure that the quality, impact, scale and cost-­effectiveness of all NTD programs meet HKI management and program standards. Work with other HKI NTD experts to support further development and refinement of these standards;
  • Lead NTD program monitoring and evaluation to strengthen existing systems to ensure they are state-­of-­the-­art;
  • Proactively collaborate with other experts within HKI working on nutrition and eye health programs to identify ways to integrate field programs to enhance impact, data collection efforts, reach and cost-­effectiveness;
  • Assure the accurate and timely reporting of NTD program quality results via HKI’s Strategic Metrics and Shared Indicator systems.

Business Development

  • Lead new business opportunities to proactively grow HKI’s NTD portfolio – both in Africa and Asia Pacific – that meet long-­term funding needs for the national program efforts that HKI supports including:
    • identification and pursuit of new NTD program initiatives; partnership possibilities; and funding opportunities that are consistent with HKI’s mission and strategic plan and also align with control/elimination/prevention efforts in countries where HKI is present;
    • identification and development of restricted grant proposals; and
    • fostering relationships with key donors during international and domestic travel.
  • Direct the NTD proposal development process related to global management initiatives to ensure that technical and management applications are of highest quality, and cost components are in accordance with HKI and donor policies and good financial standards. Provide guidance and support on NTD proposal processes at country levels.


  • Coordinate HKI’s internal network of NTD expertise and complement that with his/her own areas of expertise to ensure that HKI maintains a position of technical excellence and prominence in the global NTD community, particularly in the areas where HKI has an established track record, and expand to areas where HKI’s expertise is emerging;
  • Ensure HKI maintains and builds our leadership position in strategic NTD technical groups;
  • Provide overall coordination of the strategic NTD partnerships with which HKI is already engaged, and complement these partnerships with own network of partners to help advance HKI’s mission in NTDs;
  • Provide strategic direction for promoting HKI’s NTD results in peer review or industry journals, and ensure that HKI is appropriately represented and presents at key international meetings.

Management and Operations

  • Appoint, manage and evaluate directors of centrally-­managed multi-­country NTD project portfolios. Delegate authority, consult with and guide staff to achieve goals and ensure accountability to beneficiaries, partners, colleagues and donors. Provide ongoing feedback in a context of mutual respect. Provide them guidance in supervising their project teams to ensure:
    • Sound planning, implementation and evaluation of all NTD programs and operations to achieve goals and ensure accountability to beneficiaries, partners, colleagues and donors;
    • High-­quality financial planning, management, reporting and auditing of all NTD programs, including thorough budget oversight;
    • Compliance with HKI standards, policies and procedures, and processes across the NTD portfolio, including performance management; and
    • Compliance with donor requirements, including timely and accurate reporting of results and expenditures, and required interim and final reports.
  • Alongside the US-­based teams, develop and maintain strong peer relationships with country-­level project staff who report directly to their respective country directors (or deputy) to ensure alignment of goals and mutual accountability for country level program implementation;
  • Lead process to develop the global NTD budget during annual budget process;
  • Lead establishment of a global plan for staff training, orientation, and development in NTDs within the context of available resources, that fosters organizational learning across NTD projects and across regions.


  • A minimum of 15 years relevant professional hands-­on experience supporting NTD field programs including at least 5 years at a leadership level; plus MPH (PhD or equivalent medical degree preferred), or equivalent combination of education and experience;
  • Must be a recognized global expert in NTDs with a broad mastery of the multiple aspects of NTDs, in-­depth knowledge of one or more specialty areas and a demonstrated ability to rapidly learn new specialty areas;
  • Ability to foster a creative, professional, “open door” management culture; to empower senior staff, managers and staff members to fulfill their potential; and to encourage staff to challenge assumptions;
  • Proven track record leading successful NTD business development and proposals efforts that have secured substantial funding from government, non-­government and private foundation sources;
  • Knowledge and experience overseeing compliance to diverse donors (USAID, DFID, EU, etc.);
  • Strong scientific and research skills, as evidenced by strong track record of peer-­ reviewed publications and presentations at international conferences.
  • Experience with:
    • quality assurance approaches and essential tools required;
    • relevant social and behavior change communication approaches and tools essential; and
    • gender relevant programming highly desirable.
  • Excellent working knowledge of regional NTD landscapes in Africa and Asia Pacific regions, as well as the global level;
  • Demonstrated ability to undertake high-­level representation and advocacy, including ability to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations in English on controversial or complex topics to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors;
  • Ability and willingness to travel in the US and internationally, including to visit project sites in the developing world (approximately 20-­25%).
  • French language skills highly preferable;
  • An ability to maintain balance when under stress;
  • Personal commitment to HKI’s mission and goals and the values embodied by HKI co-­ founder, Helen Keller: compassion, grit, and optimism.

Application instructions

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume noting the job title in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. 

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