Position Description

Technical Advisor, Policy Development Program - Partnership for Healthy Cities
Location United States
Department Partnership for Healthy Cities
# 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 cardiovascular health, 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. Please visit our website at www.vitalstrategies.org to find out more about our work.

Vital Strategies offers 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 Partnership for Healthy Cities (PHC) is a global network of 70 cities committed to saving lives by preventing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries.  PHC is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, in collaboration with the World Health Organization. Vital Strategies is the implementing partner.

The majority of PHC city initiatives focus on project implementation (e.g., road design projects), enhancing enforcement activities for existing policies (e.g., smoke-free), or conducting surveillance. In contrast, few cities have initiated broader legal or regulatory policy efforts.

To increase the number of cities engaging in and achieving ambitious policy initiatives, and to build capacity for future policy initiatives, Vital Strategies will provide a new policy develop program for select cities enrolled in PHC: a “Policy Academy.”

This intensive, mentored process will engage and guide city government participants from 15 cities through the following steps over a two-year period:

  • Selecting a specific policy intervention to pursue, based on analysis of the jurisdiction’s disease burden, and the government’s policy authority (legislative, regulatory, administrative);
  • Conducting relevant data analysis to describe the problem, and estimate the health and economic impact from the proposed policy;
  • Writing a policy brief outlining the problem, policy solution, and predicted health effects, to be used to support policy adoption;
  • Conducting a stakeholder and political analysis and developing a stepwise plan to enact the policy, including communications opportunities; and
  • Managing the process of policy proposal through adoption.

While this project will be anchored within PHC, it is anticipated to have broader implications for Vital Strategies’ strategic interest in expanding urban health initiatives. This position will be supervised by the Director, PHC.

The Technical Advisor will manage all aspects of the Policy Academy with substantial input and guidance from the SVPs for Public Health Programs and Environmental Health; and in collaboration with colleagues from PHC and other colleagues from PAC, Environmental Health, and Public Health Programs. 

Duties and Responibilities

  • Design a 24-month program (9-12 months of which are dedicated to intensive instruction) addressing the steps described above
  • Adapt, expand, and optimize the teaching curriculum for the Academy
  • Design and oversee an application/selection process to identify participating cities, their policy initiatives
  • Identify, in coordination with senior leadership, the staff and consultant/partner Academy faculty
  • Oversee the organization and delivery of all aspects of the program, including arranging necessary logistical and technical assistance supports from PHC, wider Vital Strategies colleagues, WHO, and other relevant partners/consultants
  • Provide direct technical assistance to city teams throughout the process, including and especially on: data collection, analysis and use for decision making, policy development, and stakeholder engagement
  • Report on activity progress to the PHC Director, SVPs of the EH and PHP Divisions, and other audiences
  • Collaborate and coordinate with PHC regional managers to ensure coherent city engagement in PHC overall
  • Manage the Academy budget, liaising with program and finance as necessary and appropriate
  • Other duties, as requested


Education and degree

  • Master’s degree (MPH, MPP, MPA, or equivalent preferred)


Experience required:

  • A minimum of 10 years of related experience required
  • Working in a multicultural environment and across multiple time zones
  • Government engagement, specifically the policy development process
  • Budget management

Experience preferred:

  • Familiarity with noncommunicable disease and injury prevention policy
  • Experience with donor relations and international partner coordination

Skills & abilities

  • Project management, strong public health skills (policy development, data analysis and use), government relations, communication, and strong interpersonal skills
  • English fluency (spoken and written) required. Professional proficiency in a second language strongly preferred.
  • Microsoft Office 365 proficiency required; Experience with learning management systems preferred
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