Position Description

Director, Alcohol Policy Initiative
Location Open
Department Other Programs PH
# 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 work in more than 70 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, tobacco control, road safety, food policy, environmental health, civil registration and vital statistics, and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis treatment research. Our programs are concentrated in low- and middle-income countries and cities 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 is committed to helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protecting the safety of our employees. All U.S. employees will be required to be fully vaccinated unless the employee is approved for a reasonable accommodation due to a disability or a religious reason.

Vital Strategies is committed to building a diverse, equitable and inclusive (DEI) organization. We believe our programs are strengthened when they are developed and supported by individuals with diverse life experiences, whose understanding of social and cultural issues can help make our work and workforce more inclusive.

We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or creed, gender, national origin, ancestry, actual or perceived age, physical or mental disability, veteran or military status, marital status, sexual orientation, predisposing genetic characteristics, alienage or citizenship status, gender (including gender identity or expression), partnership status, arrest or conviction record, status as a victim of domestic violence, status as a victim of sex offense or stalking, or any other basis protected by local, state, or federal laws.

Read about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Vital Strategies: https://www.vitalstrategies.org/diversity-equity-and-inclusion-at-vital-strategies/

This is a full time position and the location is negotiable. We offer highly competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits. The salary range for this position in the U.S. will be $145K-$165K. Salary range outside of the U.S. is based on the local market. Candidates in the U.S. must have eligibility to work in the country at time of hire.

The Program - Alcohol Policy Initiative 

Vital Strategies is launching a new global initiative to assist governments in developing and enhancing evidence-based policies to reduce the adverse health and social impacts of alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption contributes to over 3 million deaths globally each year and to substantial negative impacts on health, well-being, and global development,  The specific policies the initiative will promote are those recommended by WHO in the SAFER technical package (https://www.who.int/initiatives/SAFER). In this 3-year initiative, Vital Strategies will lead a consortium of partners who will provide national governments and local nongovernmental organizations in at least 5 countries with technical and financial assistance toward their alcohol policy goals.  

Job Purpose 

The  Director leads and guides the Vital Strategies team and the global consortium on overall Initiative implementation; establishes and maintains government and nongovernmental organization collaborations across multiple countries; provides and oversees technical assistance, training and capacity development, staffing support and targeted grantmaking and procurement for the partner countries; provides expert thought leadership to global and regional alcohol policy efforts and global partnerships beyond the Initiative itself.   

Duties and Responsibilities 

1. Manage, support, and guide Vital Strategies team and collaborators to support the Initiative in the areas of: 

  • Governmental relationships, across multiple agencies 

  • Civil society coalition-building and advocacy  

  • Policy development and advancement 

  • Data system strengthening, public health surveillance, economic analysis, and use of data for policymaking and monitoring 

  • Management support for all program operations including recruitment and hiring for embedded staff, contracting, travel, and finance monitoring and reporting 

  • Initiative communications including press, program media campaigns, digital media, and media technical assistance and support for partners

2. Oversee financial and program monitoring and reporting:

  • Develop and manage Initiative budget 

  • Develop and oversee subcontracts and procurement 

  • Oversee hiring of locally based staff and consultants “embedded” in government agencies 

  • Ensure robust financial management of the grant 

3. Represent the Initiative to the donor, including preparation and delivery of progress reports 

4. Represent the Initiative in meetings, coalitions, and other groups as needed 

5.  Manage and guide collaboration and coordination with:

  • Vital Strategies staff and consultants 

  • Global organization partners 

  • Government partners 

  • Non-governmental technical and civil society organizations 

6.  Supervise and support a Vital Strategies team:

  • Supervise and support technical experts to produce and delivery timely and quality guidance, reporting, and project management 

  • Manage collaborations with team members from across Vital strategies divisions 

  • Mentor junior staff concerning any aspect of their work at Vital Strategies, career advancement, and professional development. Seek – and distribute fairly – opportunities for team members to acquire and display skills and experience. 

  • Promote a team culture of transparent and inclusive decision-making 

  • Foster respectful collaboration and open communication and dialogue among team members and with internal and external colleagues 

7.   Serve as part of the Public Health Programs Division leadership team, contributing to the Division’s and Vital Strategies planning and operations 

8.   Other duties as assigned 


Education and Degree - 

  • PhD, Masters, or other graduate professional degree preferred   

Skills and Abilities - 

  • Excellent organization and time management skills 

  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills 

  • Demonstrated ability to work under pressure and deliver against tight deadlines 

  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively as well as autonomously 

  • Demonstrated sound judgment 

  • Demonstrated record of planning, coordinating, advocating, and achieving meaningful change in country, state or local public health policies for alcohol or related public health issues 

  • Extensive knowledge of alcohol, noncommunicable disease, injury prevention, and substance use policy 

  • Deep understanding of legislative and regulatory processes and levers of influence and change 

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills 

  • Intermediate to advanced knowledge in Microsoft Office including use of pivot tables, V-lookups, and formulas 

  • Ability to provide leadership and coordination to an inter-agency collaboration representing diverse perspectives 

  • Ability to navigate various interests and a operate in a dynamic and complex political environment 

  • Strong management skills, including: staff supervision and performance management; team-building and team management; inclusive decision-making; communication 

  • Comprehensive project management skills  


Required - 

  • 15+ years of related work experience  

Preferred - 

  • Governmental agency work experience   

  • Policy development and/or advocacy experience  

  • Alcohol policy development and/or advocacy experience 

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements

  • The location for this position is negotiable

  • Travel to country and partner locations will be required, to attend critical in-person meetings   

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