Director of Science & Innovation( AfCDC)

Date: Dec 18, 2023

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Organization: African Union

AU Values    

            • Respect for Diversity and Team Work             • Think Africa Above all                     

            • Transparency and Accountability                    • Integrity and Impartiality                       

            • Efficiency and Professionalism                       • Information and Knowledge Sharing

Organization Information

Reports to: Deputy Director General    
Directorate/Department/Organ: Africa CDC 
Division: Office of the Deputy Director General
Number of Direct Reports:          
Number of Indirect Reports:       
Job Grade: D1    
Number of Position: 1
Contract of Position: Regular
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Purpose of Job

The Director of Science and Innovation is responsible for guiding the technical management and strategic direction of public health medical and scientific programs at Africa CDC. This role involves establishing policies, providing expert advice, and overseeing research and innovation initiatives to address public health challenges in Africa.

Main Functions

  • Draw on personal knowledge and expertise in technical management of public health medical/scientific programs to establish overall guidelines and policies.
  •  Develop basic recommendations for research studies and analyses.
  •  Provide medical/scientific advice on critical public health issues, especially those affecting African populations.
  • Serve as a leading authority, integrating knowledge and experience of public health medical/scientific programs and policies for guidance on procedural and policy issues.
  • Oversee implementation and provide guidance for cross-cutting operational, translational, and capacity-development research linked to outcomes and outputs.
  •  Establish the Africa CDC Institutional Review Board (IRB) and ensure compliance with international standards.
  • Develop, coordinate, and collaborate on the development and implementation of remote-learning and sharing of health-related materials.
  • Provide medical/scientific advice and assistance in developing procedures, methods, and strategies for partnering with other nations and global institutions.
  • Provide expert medical, technical, and scientific advice to staff for the planning, conduct, implementation, analysis, and publication of applied scientific projects.
  • Serve on review committees, study groups, public health task groups, or comparable groups, and develop relevant policies, procedures, and guidelines.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Consult on, monitor, and measure the outcomes of programs through studies evaluating effectiveness.
  • Provide the Chief of Staff with recommendations to improve and/or overcome shortfalls and deficiencies in programs.
  • Resolve problems, modify procedures, develop and interpret complex policies to meet new conditions, and defend public health policies.
  • Participate in project and program evaluations, ensuring accurate periodic agency reviews.
  • Independently review reports, scientific papers, memoranda, and provide recommendations on scientific issues.
  • Provide the Office of the Director General with replies to inquiries about specific agency issues and programs.
  • Work closely with Secretariat leadership, Division, and RCCs to adjust programs as needed.
  • Provide advice on human subject protection and linkages to institutional review boards.
  • Identify and respond to ethical issues in scientific and programmatic aspects of the agency. Facilitate linkages to other IRBs for mentorship and information-seeking purposes.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Director General.

Academic Requirements and Relevant Experience

  • Advanced degree (Ph.D., MD, or equivalent) in Public Health, Sciences, Technology, or a related field. 
  • Master’s degree in public health, Sciences, Technology, or a related field.
  • With a minimum of fifteen (15) years of relevant experience. Eight (8) of which should have been served at managerial level and five (5) years at supervisory level.
  • Proven track record in leadership roles within public health or scientific research organizations.
  • Experience in international organizations is preferred.


  • Significant experience of developing senior-level external relationships and securing the highest-level advocacy, including developing and harnessing strong networks across multiple stakeholder groups.
  • Advance understanding of stakeholder engagement. 
  • Extensive experience of leading, motivating and managing teams with the ability to promote a culture of high performance, continuous improvement and innovation.
  •  Experience and successful track record working in a diverse complex fast paced environments and the ability to influence positive change. 
  • Strong leadership and management capabilities.
  • Expertise in public health and scientific research.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Strategic vision and innovative thinking.
  •  Ability to work effectively in a multi-cultural environment.


  •  Experience of working in international affairs in an international organization
  •  Experience of working with external partners, funders, and media.
  • An understanding of changing economic, political, and social environments affecting the Africa CDC.
  • An understanding and analysis of Africa and global political space and atmosphere
  • High level of diplomatic and communication etiquette. 
  •  High level interpersonal skills.

Required Skills

Result Oriented: 

  •  Strategic thinker, capable of working at a senior level and contributing at Board/Council level 
  •  Entrepreneurial with the ability to input on strategic planning from a commercial standpoint 
  •  Ability to anticipate future opportunities and problems, taking strategic and pre-emptive action 
  •  Ability to set and achieve comprehensive goals for performance and growth 
  •  Passion for working in the developing world and creating positive change 


  •   Inspire confidence and promote shared values that underpin the ethos of the African Union and Africa CDC
  •  Inspires others, is visible, adaptive, authentic and engenders trust 
  • Visible leadership, promoting collective leadership for taking teams through significant programmes of change.
  •  Passion and commitment for continuous improvement 
  • Ambitious individual who has personal drive to succeed and develop their own career, and support their teams to strive for excellence.
  •  Political and diplomatic prowess

Building and Managing Teams: 

  • Directs and coaches’ others throughout the organisation and enables people to perform at their best. 
  • Ability to recognise and cultivate rising talent. 
  • Creates a positive team environment.
  • Creates cohesion, developing synergies and achieves through common goals.
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills: 
  • High emotional and social intelligence. 
  • Collaborative, supportive, calm under pressure, solution focused and able to lead others effectively in such a way that encourages maximum performance and engagement.
  •  Exceptional communicator both in writing and in person to a range of audiences. 

Relationship Management: 

  •  Exceptional relationship-building and interpersonal skills with the ability to influence and negotiate with a wide range of stakeholders and partners. 
  •  The gravitas and credibility to influence both within and beyond the organisation 

Analytical Skills: 

  •  Conceptual thinker, innovative and capable of complex problem solving 
  • The ability to work well under pressure and take a considered, measured position 

Results Orientated:

  •  Desire for success and the motivation to constantly seek improvement 
  • Ability and drive to manage organisational complexity 
  •  A high level of resilience with the ability to initiate and drive decisions 
  •  Tenacious, adaptable and the ability to get things done 
  • The highest levels of self-awareness, commitment, and integrity 
  • A proven commitment to fairness, inclusion, equality, diversity, and transparency

Values:  A strong commitment to the African Union and Africa CDC values

Leadership Competencies

Strategic Perspective:

Developing Others

Change Management

Managing Risk:

Core Competencies

Building Partnership:

Fosters Accountability Culture

Learning Orientation

Communicating with impact

Functional Competencies

Conceptual thinking ….

Job Knowledge and information sharing:

Drive for result:

Fosters Innovation:


The appointment will be made on a regular term contract for a period of three (3) years, of which the first twelve months shall be considered as a probationary period. Thereafter, the contract will be for a period of two years renewable, subject to satisfactory performance and deliverables.


The AU Commission is an equal opportunity employer and qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply.

Proficiency in one of the AU working languages (Arabic, English, French, Kiswahili, Portuguese, and Spanish) is mandatory and fluency in another AU language is an added advantage


Indicative basic salary of US$ 78,138.00 (D1 Step1) per annum plus other related entitlements e.g. Post adjustment (46% of basic salary), Housing allowance US$ 26,208.00 (per annum), and education allowance (100% of tuition and other education-related expenses for every eligible dependent up to a maximum of US$ 10,000.00 per child per annum), for internationally recruited staff and a maximum of $3,300 per child per annum for locally recruited staff.

Applications must be submitted no later than January 18, 2024 11h59 p.m. EAT.
-Only candidates who meet all job requirements and are selected for interviews will be contacted.
-Consideration will be given only to those candidates who have submitted a fully completed online application with a curriculum vitae (CV), an African passport, and the required academic qualifications, such as Diplomas, Bachelor’s degrees, Master’s degrees and any relevant certificate in line with the area of expertise.
-The African Union is an equal opportunity employer, and female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
-Candidates from less represented countries within the African Union are strongly encouraged to apply for positions that fit their profiles. These countries include Algeria, Angola, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Comoros, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Sahrawi D.R., Sao Tome and Principe., Seychelles, Somalia and Tunisia.

Requisition ID: [[2086]]