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Public Health Nutrition Scientist or Senior Public Health Nutrition Scientist

Vitamin Angels (VA) is a global public health organization working towards ending malnutrition worldwide by distributing life-changing vitamins and minerals to at-risk mothers and children under five in the U.S. and around the world. In 2019, Vitamin Angels will provide vitamins and minerals to nearly 70 million mothers and children in more than 70 countries around the world, including the U.S.

POSITION:  Public Health Nutrition Scientist or Senior Public Health Nutrition Scientist 
EMPLOYER: The Vitamin Angels Alliance, Inc. (VA) 
LOCATION:  On-site or remote Vitamin Angels (VA)

Vitamin Angels (VA) is a global public health nutrition organization that promotes health and economic equity across the lifespan by ensuring that nutritionally vulnerable, underserved populations have access to evidence-based nutrition interventions. VA focuses on interventions that target the first 1,000 days of life (i.e., from conception through 24 months of age) and children up to 5 years of age.  

VA’s approach is premised on the reality that at least half of the global population still lacks access to essential health services. 1 VA works with governments, academia, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), at both the national and local level, to reduce common barriers to access across a range of nutrition-specific interventions. By reducing barriers to access, VA’s work contributes to breaking the cycle of undernutrition which ultimately promotes health and economic equity across the lifespan for underserved populations.

VA supports the delivery of evidence-based nutrition interventions to 70M nutritionally vulnerable mothers and children in underserved communities in 70 countries (including the US, Canada, and the UK) through a network of over 2,500 program partners.  


ROLE OR PURPOSE OF POSITION

The role of the Public Health Nutrition Scientist is to work in collaboration with the Senior Vice President for Nutrition and the Associate Director of Program Operations on the execution of each annual operational plan. The major duties of the Public Health Nutrition Scientist are to: i) provide real time technical advice and guidance to VA’s program staff and country program advisors; ii) represent VA as directed by the Senior Vice President for Nutrition to advocate for our cause, advance country programs including governmental relationship important to our country programs, and further relationships with technical counterpart agencies. The activities and actions of the Public Health Nutrition Scientist will support and result in: 

  • Ongoing maintenance/improvement of Vitamin Angels’ credibility as a technical agency delivering high quality programs. Specific results in this category include:
    • Strengthened program monitoring & evaluation capacity as asset for: i) improving program decision-making, ii) validating VA is achieving its mission, and iii) supporting decision-making by donors,
    • Increased capacity for implementation research and related advisory services including capacity to: i) design/execute implementation research, ii) deliver advisory services, and iii) generate funding to support implementation research, and
    • Strengthen overall learning solutions to and through field partners, to support delivery of VA interventions consistent with best practice.
       
  • Professional development of VA staff and country advisors (i.e., support efforts of staff and country advisors to participate in professional association meetings, write and submit publications to peer-reviewed journals, write and submit grant applications for foundation funding to support key program activities or initiatives, and participate in public health nutrition related task forces/committees, and
     
  • Improved coordination between VA programs and national government health services and support efforts of multi-lateral organizations.

Key responsibilities of the position are to: i) provide real time technical (i.e., public health nutrition practice) advice and guidance; ii) facilitate ongoing maintenance and improvement of program quality; iii) participate in technical representation of Vitamin Angels; and iv) undertake other initiatives as directed by the Senior Vice President for Nutrition. S/he applies expertise in all aspects of Program Division technical operations while working to promote, exemplify and further the mission2 and values of VA.


MAJOR DUTIES AND ILLUSTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES

Provide real time mentorship/technical (i.e., public health nutrition practice) advice and guidance to the Program Division’s staff/operations and VA’s country advisors. 

  • Leadership/Mentorship/Technical Advice/Guidance 
    • Provide leadership to the Program Division by guiding and supporting design and implementation of a portfolio of innovative, high quality programs,
    • Mentor staff and country program advisors toward improved performance by modeling appropriate behaviors and giving hands-on assistance (e.g., through: i) technical orientation of new staff/advisors; ii) guidance to (or developing tools for) less experienced staff/advisors to enable activation of new country programs or to facilitate expansion of existing country programs; iii) professional development guidance to all divisional staff members/advisors; and iv) guidance to staff/advisors for appropriate
      interaction/collaboration with counterpart agencies, etc.), and
    • Engage in technical problem-solving in country-level programs, especially through field visits with regional program officers to high priority countries.
       
  • Facilitate ongoing maintenance and improvement of program quality. 
    • Provide oversight to learning solutions, monitoring and evaluation and implementation research activities to ensure strengthening of overall quality of VA programs,
    • Ensure that the quality, impact, scale and cost-effectiveness of VA’s programs meet VA management and program standards,
    • Work with Senior VP for Nutrition to advance development and refinement of quality standards,
    • Review/ensure projects and interventions are viable, well-defined, evidence-based, and consistent with VA technical guidelines, and
    • Regularly assess capacity of VA’s Technical Assistance Units (M&E, Implementation Research, Learning Solutions) to deliver robust program management and technical services.


Representation of Program Division 

Technical Representation 

  • Collaborate with the Senior Vice President of Nutrition to: i) ensure that VAmaintains/builds its global leadership position, and ii) manage/extend VA’s existing network of global health partnerships,
  • Represent VA’s technical interests to, or otherwise engage with, national governments, technical counterpart agencies, bi-lateral and multilateral agencies, program partners, and manufacturing partners as directed by the Senior Vice President for Nutrition,
  • Prepare and submit technical articles for publication in peer reviewed or industry journals that help raise awareness to VA, its cause and/or it’s program interventions,
  • Establish or promote collaboration with key partners and university programs, and
  • Participate in key international meetings, global technical review panels, informal WHO consultations, and advisory panels on evidence-based nutrition interventions.

Marketing Responsibilities & Representation 

  • Ensure fulfillment of requests for technical source materials made by the Marketing Division (usually on behalf of donors for use in donor marketing communications),
  • Ensure proper vetting of all VA marketing communications to ensure each communication is technically accurate, and conformant with VA’s technical guidelines,
  • Assess resource needs on an ongoing basis and recommend to the Senior Vice President for Nutrition when appropriate opportunities exist to submit applications for grants to foundations, corporate social responsibility programs, or other agencies,
  • Prepare or oversee preparation of technical sections of project proposals that might be submitted for funding (by the Development or Program Divisions) to outside foundations or other agencies, or assume full responsibility for submission of grants as directed by the Senior Vice President for Nutrition, and
  • Ensure technical oversight/input occurs by the Technical Services Department to all solicitations for GIK by VA or offers of GIK by donors.

LEVEL OF DECISION-MAKING

Within the bounds of VA’s mission, values and policies, and sound professional practices, the Public Health Nutrition Scientist provides day-to-day technical guidance and advice to Program Division staff/operations. S/he is free to manage his/her activities in whatever way best serves VA clients, partners and employees. Specific authorities and implementation procedures will be determined in conjunction with the Senior Vice President for Nutrition.  

ORGANIZATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS

VA operates under a collaborative, matrix management model. The Senior Vice President for Nutrition assigns responsibilities and special initiatives to the Public Health Nutrition Scientist and monitors and supervises his/her overall performance. The Public Health Nutrition Scientist establishes his/her daily work priorities and ensures that all responsibilities are conducted consistent with accepted best practices, sound professional judgment and within established schedule and budget. 

Reports to: 

  • Senior Vice President of Nutrition

Supervises: 

  • None

Primary Working Relationships:

  • Senior Vice President for Programs & Associate Director of Program Operations
  • Senior Manager of Technical Services
  • Unit Managers and their staff
  • Senior country program advisors and their staff
  • Development & Marketing Divisions' staff
  • External technical advisors and short-term independent contractors
  • Staff of counterpart agencies; and manufacturing & program partners
  • Vendors

Travel Required: 

  • Yes (roughly 25% time)

 

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES (REQUIRED AND DESIRED)

Required: 

  • Minimum doctoral degree (e.g., doctor of public health or a related discipline) from an accredited university with significant experience in managing public health programs in LMIC countries,
  • Minimum 8-10 years technical experience associated with performing program/project development, execution and management with an international non-profit organization,
  • Minimum 2 years’ experience working in a LMIC country,
  • Computer literacy,
  • Superior written and oral communications skills,
  • Superior interpersonal skills, and
  • Superior organizational skills.

Highly Desirable: 

  • Fluency in second language, and 
  • Degree in Nutritional Science

 

CHALLENGES OF THE POSITION

The special challenges for the Public Health Nutrition Scientist are multi-fold. S/he must: i) function effectively in an organization under continuing transformation and growth, ii) provide steady, top-level guidance and experience to all Program Division efforts in a collegial/collaborative environment while understanding risk management for non-profits that operate in the health care arena, iii) be comfortable with an organization that seeks to apply, as feasible, market and business oriented solutions to its non-profit work, iv) function within a working environment that demands entrepreneurial orientation, self-initiative and collaboration among many team members both internal and external to VA, v) possess an ability to work effectively/efficiently and thrive in an environment in which many VA team members both internal and external to the Program Division are situated out of a home office in multiple time zones and accessible only by videoconference, phone and email, and vi) understand the need to balance marketing and development requests with the need to ensure that program decisions are not donor driven.  


APPLICATION:

To apply, interested persons should submit a cover letter, resume or curriculum vitae to: Maureen Boyle, Director of Human Resources 
E-mail: [email protected]

Resumes will be accepted until December 15, 2020 or until a qualified applicant is identified. 


BENEFITS:

Comprehensive benefit package includes: Medical, Dental and Vision Care, Life Insurance, 401(k), Paid Time Off, Holidays, Wellness Program and more


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