Director Public Health Division

Noumea, New Caledonia

  • Noumea based position
  • Attractive expatriate package
  • Join the principal development organisation in the region



The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our unique organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Public Health Division (PHD) supports members in developing healthier Pacific Island communities by providing assistance in public health surveillance, and in the prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases. The primary focus of the division is to provide scientific and technical assistance and to support the implementation of plans and programmes in member countries and territories. The primary goal for all PHD activities is to promote population health and well-being, help communities prevent disease and restore and/or maintain health, and reduce inequalities in health. PHD is primarily concerned with improving and protecting public (population) health, rather than providing individual treatment services. PHD is comprised of three programmes: Surveillance, Preparedness and Response (SPR), Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Prevention and Control; and Clinical Services (CS).


The role – the Director, Public Health Division will be responsible for the leadership and management of the Public Health Division, comprising multi-disciplinary, international team.


The key responsibilities of the role include the following:

  1. Provide vision, leadership and management of the Public Health Division to maximise the impact of regionally delivered services to SPC member countries and territories
  • Lead development and implementation of Business Plan and Annual Work Plans and ensure they are linked to regional and organisational priorities.
  • Coordinate the work programmes and key functions of the Public Health Division.
  • Lead analytical work that informs SPC’s development agenda in the health sector.
  • Lead engagement with Pacific Health Ministers Meeting (PHMM) and Pacific Heads of Health (PHOH) to identify strategic priorities.
  • Assess and respond to the evolving needs and priorities of the SPC membership.
  1. Drive, in concert with the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) the achievement of SPC’s goals including policy innovation and change management
  • Co-lead with the SLT the development of SPC’s Strategic Plan and direction.
  • Lead divisional involvement in broad multi-sectorial and cross-cutting initiatives, particularly in the areas of non-communicable diseases, climate change, food security and gender.
  • Contribute to the operations and discussions to the peer-based, SPC-wide programme.
  • Proactively monitor the implementation of the division’s strategic plan in supporting SPC’s Strategic Plan objectives, and contribute to decisions at the executive level.
  1. Lead partner engagement efforts with countries, development partners and implementing agencies
  • Lead the work of PHD to strengthen the regional health architecture through existing fora.
  • Oversee planning for PHOH meeting and coordinate input from countries and partners.
  • Work closely with WHO is planning of PHMM.
  • Oversight of engagement by programmes with countries and responding to their needs and requests.
  • Maintain regular contact with other sectorial counterparts through the Quints Plus mechanism as well as other means.
  • Oversight of role delineation between PHD and other partners involved in the same areas of work to avoid duplication.
  • Nurture existing partnerships and develop new ones to augment / complement the technical capacity of the Division, as well as its outreach and knowledge and influencing networks.
  1. Lead with the senior team resource mobilisation efforts – including strategic communications, advocacy, mobilization of external support and fundraising
  • Lead and oversee PHD’s resource mobilisation efforts aiming at a diversity of donor partners.
  • Develop and pursue with other relevant SPC divisions multi-sectorial / divisional proposals funding.
  • Develop as appropriate multi-agency funding proposals with other implementing agencies.
  • Develop and pursue opportunities for increased project and long-term programme funding
  • Contribute to a better understanding of leading public health challenges and opportunities in the region.
  1. People management and development
  • Foster and maintain a safe and secure learning environment that encourages the resolution of performance issues.
  • Plan, monitor, and appraise position requirements and results.
  • Along with the HR business partner, leads the People Management Cycle in the Division.
  1. Sound, accountable and ethical financial management of resources
  • Manage the Division’s budget.
  • Provide accurate reports to partners in required format.
  • Ensure partners are satisfied with the use and effectiveness of their funding.
  • Develop and pursue the case for increased long-term funding for core activities.


For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description.


Key selection criteria


  1. Qualifications
  • Undergraduate Medical qualification (MBBS).
  • A master’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant field, such as Medicine, Public Health, or Health Management.
  1. Technical expertise
  • At least 15 years of demonstrated depth of knowledge and expertise regarding current and emerging issues and priorities in the health sector and how to address them; have a track record of strategically responding to change and developing successful policies and solutions.
  • High-level and broad-ranging knowledge of the principles and practices of public health, including prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases, epidemiology and surveillance, maternal and child health, environmental health, and health determinants.
  • Demonstrate a clear vision for the division, act as a role model to lead, inspire, motivate and develop others; make staff in the division feel trusted and valued; develop and lead multi-sectorial initiatives contributing to SPC’s goals.
  • Excellent advocate, communicator and negotiator.
  • Proven track record in strategic thinking, policy analysis and development in the disciplines covered by the Public Health Division.
  1. Language skills
  • Advanced written and oral communication skills in English Dynamic, innovative, outcomes driven leader.
  • High-level written and verbal communication skills.
  1. Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
  • Excellent representational and interpersonal relationship skills – capacity to effectively represent SPC at external meetings and conferences.
  • High level of cultural sensitivity and awareness, and the ability to effectively work with team members from different cultural backgrounds. Demonstrated work experience in the Pacific region or in similar settings.


Salary, terms and conditions


Contract Duration – This vacant position is budgeted for 3 years and is subject to renewal depending on funding and performance.

Due to the current travel restrictions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the priority SPC places on its staff safety, health and well-being, please note that there may be delays in taking up the appointment. These matters will be discussed thoroughly with successful candidates. In most cases, any appointment and on-boarding would only commence when relocation to the duty station is permitted.

Remuneration – the Director, Public Health Division is a band 15 position in SPC’s 2021 salary scale, with a starting salary range of SDR (special drawing rights) 7,190-8,892 per month, which converts to approximately XPF 1,052,517-1,301,558 (USD 9,995 -12,359 ; EUR 8,820-10,907). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration being given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale is based on annual performance reviews. SPC salaries are not presently subject to income tax in New Caledonia.

Benefits for international staff employees based in New Caledonia – SPC provides subsidised housing in Noumea. Establishment and repatriation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave travel, health and life and disability insurances and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 working days of annual leave per annum and other types of leave, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8 % of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

Recruitment principles – SPC’s recruitment is based on merit and fairness, and candidates are competing in a selection process that is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilinguism, and will seek to attract and appoint candidates who respect these values. Due attention is given to gender equity and the maintenance of strong representation from Pacific Island professionals.  If two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection panel, preference will begiven to the Pacific Islander. Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s private policy.


Application procedure


Closing date: 28 February 2021 – 11:00 pm (Noumea time).

Job Reference: AL000361

Applicants must apply online at

Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

  • an updated resume with contact details for three professional referees
  • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
  • responses to all screening questions

Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

All positions at SPC have specific screening questions. If you do not respond to all of the screening questions, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage.


Screening questions (maximum of 2.000 characters per question):

  1. What do you think are the top three Health priorities for the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) and why did you choose them?
  2. Can you explain to us how you were involved in the COVID-19 response in your current (or most recent) role and what has been the three most important lessons you learnt from the COVID-19 experience?
  3. Can you give us an outline of your experience with resource mobilisation? What worked and what didn’t for you?

Final_JD - PHD Director - 2021.docx

Type: Contract - International

Category: Public Health

Reference ID: AL000361

Date Posted: 28/01/2021