Position Description

Special Assistant - Department of Tobacco Control
Location United States
Department Tobacco Control Subgrants & Non Mass Media
# of openings 1
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Vital Strategies, headquartered in New York City, is an international public health organization. Our programs strengthen public health systems and address the world’s leading causes of illness, injury and death. We currently work in 73 countries, supporting data-driven decision making in government, advancing evidence-based public health policies and mounting strategic communication campaigns. Vital Strategies’ priorities are driven by the greatest potential to improve and save lives. They include non-communicable disease prevention, cardiovascular health promotion, tobacco control, road safety, obesity prevention, epidemic prevention, overdose prevention, environmental health, vital statistics systems building and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis treatment research. Our programs are primarily concentrated in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific; the Overdose Prevention Program is our first initiative in the U.S. Please visit our website at www.vitalstrategies.org to find out more about our work.

Vital Strategies offers highly competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits. Vital welcomes and supports a diverse, inclusive work environment. As such, our commitment is to promote equal employment opportunities (EEO) for all applicants seeking employment.

The Union

The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), headquartered in Paris, France since 1920, has regional and country offices in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, North America and South-East Asia. The Union provides expertise in project implementation and management, epidemiology and surveillance, and other core public health capacities on a variety of global health challenges. For more information about The Union please visit www.theunion.org and about The Union’s Tobacco Control Department please visit www.tobaccofreeunion.org.


This position will be involved in the tobacco control work of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union). This program is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and is designed to implement best practices of tobacco control policies at the global level. The position will be based in the Vital Strategies offices in New York City. Applicants must have a valid work permit to work in New York City. This is a two-year fixed term position with the potential of extension, contingent upon program funds.

Specific Duties:

  • Reporting to the Director of Tobacco Control Department, the Special Assistant will perform duties to maintain the day-to-day functioning of the Tobacco Control Department such as, but not limited to: 

Program support:

  • Help organize and plan meetings and events, at times attending, taking notes, helping to synthesize key action items, follow-up and tracking needed for their progress and completion;
  • Schedule and attend calls and meetings for projects and country programs at the Department and keep minutes.
  • Coordinate closely with other Department staff responsible for scheduling and logistics;
  • Help to craft and update documents as needed;
  • Provide editorial support to reports and proposals developed at the Tobacco Control Department.
  • Interact with internal and external stakeholders on the Director’s and Deputy Director’s behalf, regarding program content, communication needs and meeting preparations;
  • Assist in monthly, quarterly, and annual reporting to Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Operations support:

  • Liaise internally with Department staff and externally with HR, Communications, IT, and Travel departments at The Union and Vital Strategies.
  • Support the Director of Tobacco Control and HR in recruiting new staff to the Department. Maintain an onboarding procedure for new Tobacco Control staff hired to the Department and coordinate the induction session for new staff.
  • Coordinate the day-to-day operations of the New York team, including procurement, office management, and finance support.
  • Optimize and maintain Department-wide document sharing platform.
  • Assist with registration and coordination of international conferences that Department staff attend.
  • This position will be based in New York City;
  • Other duties as required by the Director of the Tobacco Control Department;
  • Competitive compensation commensurate with education and experience will be provided.

Qualifications and skill set:

  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred with at least 2 years’ work experience;
  • Flexible, positive and great disposition;
  • Excellent communication skills, both face-to-face and in writing;
  • Fluency in written and spoken English fluency in another foreign language a plus;
  • Organized, responsive, attentive to details, and collaborative.
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