Director of Nutrition & Health Systems — USAID Advancing Nutrition

September 26, 2019
Arlington, Virginia
Post Type
Experience (minimum)
10+ Years
Education (minimum)
Travel Required?
Base Salary
Not specified


H e l e n K e l l e r I n t e r n a t i o n a l



Director of Nutrition & Health Systems -- USAID Advancing Nutrition

(Arlington, VA)


Co-founded in 1915 by Helen Keller, Helen Keller International (HKI) is dedicated to saving and improving the sight and lives of the world’s vulnerable. We combat the causes and consequences of blindness, poor health and malnutrition with more than 120 programs in 20 African and Asian countries, as well as in the United States. Renowned for our reliability, efficiency and high level of technical expertise, HKI promotes the development of large-scale, sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing issues in public health.


HKI is a global leader in developing and promoting evidence-based approaches to prevent and treat blindness, malnutrition and neglected tropical diseases. We build programs based on scientific knowledge and local situational analyses, and rely on ongoing program monitoring and evaluation, as well as operations research, to maximize our impact and develop new scientific and programmatic knowledge. We place high value on documentation and sharing our work particularly through peer-reviewed publications and presentations at scientific fora.



HKI is a partner in USAID Advancing Nutrition, USAID’s flagship nutrition project, led by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI), and a diverse group of experienced partners. Launched in September 2018, USAID Advancing Nutrition implements and provides technical support to nutrition interventions across sectors and disciplines for USAID and its partners. The project’s multi-sectoral approach draws together global nutrition experience to design, implement and evaluate programs that address the root causes of malnutrition. Committed to using a systems approach, USAID Advancing Nutrition strives to sustain positive outcomes by building local capacity, supporting behavior change and strengthening the enabling environment to save lives, improve health, build resilience, increase economic productivity and advance development.


We are seeking a Director of Nutrition & Health Systems to provide leadership, vision and direction to the design and implementation of the USAID Advancing Nutrition technical portfolio on nutrition-specific interventions, integrating early childhood development, and strengthening nutrition in health systems.


Scope of the Position

Reporting to the Deputy Director, the Director of Nutrition & Health Systems will work closely with the Bureau of Global Health and the Center for Children in Adversity at USAID to ensure their priorities are reflected in USAID Advancing Nutrition’s work and to encourage collaboration across and among USAID bureaus, missions and offices to promote multi-sectoral nutrition investments and outcomes world-wide. This position will collaborate closely with other USAID Advancing Nutrition Technical Directors (e.g. Food Systems, Food Security in the Humanitarian Transition, Social Behavior Change) to lead or contribute to jointly funded, multi-sectoral activities. The Director will manage a team of health systems and nutrition experts and ensure the nutrition and health system team’s timely delivery of quality plans and outputs.


Specific Responsibilities

  • Leads and directs the project’s Nutrition in Health Systems and Early Childhood Development teams, comprised of diverse and talented technical Advisors and Specialists in a matrixed environment according to both planned and requested priorities of USAID.
  • Anticipates evolution of assigned portfolio throughout the project lifecycle, driving technical innovation and collaboration while proactively planning for resource and staffing needs.
  • Collaborates closely with other Technical Directors and senior staff to develop the project’s strategic direction to develop and implement core workplans, ensuring alignment with USAID priorities and global best practices.
  • Facilitates communication and cross-sectoral linkages across project activities and between partner organizations; ensures full integration of multi-sectoral approach within activities.
  • Ensures consistency with project direction and strategy, and provides timely, accurate data for USAID reports.
  • Oversees activity portfolio and budgets, collaborating with finance staff to monitor spending and ensure appropriate allocation of resources.
  • Assigns and oversees direct technical assistance to specific work orders, project countries and USAID Missions and their implementing partners, including planning and designing deliverables in collaboration with U.S. and field-based management teams.
  • Mentors and maintains strong relationships with colleagues, including thoughtful alignment of skill-to-activity during work planning, and purposeful cultivation of internal (project staff and partner) talent and capacity.
  • Works closely with the Knowledge Management team to write, edit, review, and disseminate technical content through strategic networks highlighting USAID Advancing Nutrition’s accomplishments.
  • Work closely with the MEL team to ensure measurement, evaluation, and learning are integrated into all design, implementation, and reporting that results contribute to the evidence base throughout the life of project.


Required Competencies

  • Experience providing direct technical assistance to country programs, national entities and/or USAID as required at local, regional, or national level.
  • Experience implementing policy agendas, advocacy, and developing strategic partnerships.
  • Ability to conduct and support research activities, data collection, analysis, and report writing.
  • Exceptional personnel and project management skills; comfortable helping others prioritize.
  • Able to successfully lead a team with multiple competing priorities to consistently submit timely, high quality deliverables.
  • High social/emotional intelligence, and able to give and receive direct feedback professionally and with empathy.
  • Experience interacting with high level officials among government and non-government stakeholders in the U.S. and around the world.
  • Experience preparing and making oral presentations for a range of audiences.
  • Impeccable time management, delegation, and prioritization skills.
  • Experience delivering technical assistance in developing country settings.
  • Experience overseeing technical quality of programs integrating nutrition into maternal and child health, family planning, food security/livelihoods and/or HIV/AIDS.
  • Knowledge of USAID and other donor policies, strategies, and priorities highly preferred.


Minimum Requirements

  • An advanced degree in nutrition, medicine, health systems, or other relevant field. Background in early childhood development a plus; and
  • Ten or more years of experience in international public health programming with an emphasis on nutrition, health systems, or medical sciences; or equivalent combination of skills and experience.
  • Demonstrated experience both in direct supervision of staff and in collaborative team environments is required.
  • Ability to undertake field travel (up to 25%)
  • Excellent written and oral English communication skills. Fluency in French, Portuguese, or other foreign language desirable.


To Apply

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to noting the job title in the subject line.



Helen Keller International is dedicated to building an inclusive workforce where diversity is valued.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer where all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities.

If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need to request an accommodation during the application or interview process, please contact us at the email above or:

Tel: 646-356-1789; Fax: (212) 532-6014