Executive Secretary
Executive Secretary

Job description

Organization:WHO - World Health Organization
Category:Administrative support
Grade: G6
Duration: Two years, first year probationary period.
Deadline: 27 January 2017


The Office of the Director of Administration is the administrative office of the Organization and is responsible for providing advice to the Director and senior management on financial and administrative management rules and practices, and for establishing and implementing policies, systems and procedures in order to improve organizational efficiency. The Office of the Director of Administration has specific oversight for five distinct administrative areas: Financial Management and Reporting; General Services Operations; Human Resources Management; Information Technology Services; and Procurement Services and two functions which include Administrative Oversight Services and Information Security.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Director of Administration (AM), the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties:

a) Provide administrative and secretarial support to the Director, AM and team; place and answer telephone calls, handle confidential and sensitive matters with great discretion; screen, with considerable tact, all requests to speak to or see the D, AM; establish the purpose of the request;

b) Bring confidential or important matters to the attention of the Director AM and team when needed; refer routine matters to the appropriate staff; monitor issues to ensure deadlines for responses are met; follow up with relevant entities, staff and other organizational components on the submission of reports and correspondence;

c) Manage the e-mail inbox of the Director, AM; prepare standard replies; bring important matters to the attention of the Director AM; refer routine matters to the appropriate staff;

d) Maintain the confidential files of the D, AM; conduct research of files, reports, and other sources to obtain material requested by the D, AM and, when necessary, compiling summaries;

e) Organize the D, AM's travel plans and make necessary arrangements, including obtaining UN security clearance, airline tickets, required visas, hotel reservations; ensure that all the background materials required by the D, AM for duty travel are available in a timely manner;

f) Serve as liaison regarding logistical and operational processes and activities between the D, AM and the Office of the Director;

g) Assist in the preparation of technical presentations, technical reports and articles by reviewing, correcting and/or rewriting texts to improve clarity, conciseness and coherence; prepare and verify the content of tables, graphs, and charts; follow up with the technical entities under the D, AM on the submission of reports and correspondence in order to meet established deadlines;

h) Promote a cooperative work environment among the support staff under the responsibility of the D, AM's Office to ensure accuracy, quality and completeness of documents required by and/or submitted to the Office;

i) Review, proofread and recommend revisions to correspondence and other material for the Director of Administration's signature; ensure clarity, accuracy and adherence to the Organization's writing standards and policies; prepare confidential correspondence and documentation on administrative matters; ensure that information required by the Director of Administration for decision-making is reviewed in a timely fashion by the appropriate supporting team under the Office of the Director of Administration;

j) Prepare correspondence on own initiative or from verbal instructions for signature of the

D, AM; prepare draft translations of correspondence and other materials from English into Spanish and vice versa;

k) Provide back-up to the Administrative Assistant II as necessary, in his/her absence;

l) Generate standard reports as needed from the PMIS computerized information system on project activities, budgetary allocations, expenditures, and staffing lists; manipulate statistical reports using Excel to support analyses as needed by the Director of Administration, including in support of the preparation of annual and biennial program and budget proposals;

m) Perform other related duties, as assigned.


Essential: High school diploma with formal training in the administrative or secretarial field.

In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: http://www.whed.net/. In addition, PAHO will also use the databases of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation http://www.chea.org/search/default.asp and College Navigator, found on the website of the National Centre for Educational Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator to support the validation process.

Work Experiance

Essential: Six years of general office or administrative work experience, including supervisory responsibilities.

Technical Expertise

- Thorough knowledge of protocol matters and ability to organize and monitor protocol arrangements in accordance with established standards.

- Thorough experience and skills for the provision of administrative support services and the effective functioning of the operations of the Office.

- Effective oral and written communication in a business environment; independently compose correspondence, guidance materials, and other documents; ability to effectively handle multiple assignments, establish and maintain effective working relationships with internal and external partners.

- Ability to coordinate, monitor and control administrative services involving the allocation of work, developing/adjusting operational procedures, evaluating priorities, and coordinating and supporting internal day-to-day activities.

- Ability to supervise, including skills in planning, organizing, evaluating, problem-solving, decision-making on office management matters and coordination of assignment completion by Areas under AM's responsibility.

- The nature of the Office of the Director AM requires sensitivity, confidentiality and respect for all contacts and information processed.

IT Skills

Demonstrated ability to effectively utilize software programs such as Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and SharePoint. Other IT skills and knowledge of other software programs such as Visio, Project, and experience with transaction in corporate Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems would be an asset.


-- Intrainstitutional Action: Displays, through behavior, understanding of PAHO's values and mission. Seeks information on and acts with understanding of the Organization's expectations while advancing further the understanding and application of it's policies. Shows interest and concern for the activities related to his/her work in conjunction with the mission, values, vision and policies of the organization. Behaves consistently in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the Organization.

-- Teamwork: Encourages team members, adds significant contribution when participating in internal and external work teams, and leads through personal example the virtues of team success--collaboration, trust, transparency and joint responsibilities. Builds and maintains mutually beneficial productive interpersonal relations based on trust, inside and outside the Organization. Keeps every team member informed as well as shares relevant and useful information.

-- Information Management: Verifies that relevant information is obtained, processed, selected, and disseminated in area of work. Acquires the training to utilize technologies for processing information relative to the area of work in a logical and organized manner, which facilitates the dissemination of information, resulting in information that is consistent, valid and accurate. Keeps abreast of latest technologies for processing the information relevant to the area of work, and weighs its advantages/disadvantages.

-- Administrative support for technical cooperation interventions: Searches for and furnishes relevant information about resource allocation and deadlines, potential critical points, risks and benefits, and other related aspects of available options to provide support for the technical cooperation teams.

-- Service Orientation: Follows through on the client inquiries, requests and complaints. Keeps client up-to-date about progress of projects. Monitors client satisfaction.

-- Communication: Establishes and proactively engages in productive dialogues in one's work inside and outside the Organization, and assists in the building of consensus. Seeks to share information with others within the organization, both face to face and through communication and information technology systems as appropriate.

-- Accountability: Accurately and objectively provides information, as required, on one's activities. Prepares accurate and objective reports on one's activities and partial/final results. Can account for each of the specific tasks of one's work.


Very good knowledge of English and Spanish.

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