Head DNDi Regional Liaison Office

South East Asia (Kuala Lumpur)

[Closing date: 22 February 2016]

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) was established in 2003 in Geneva, Switzerland, by six Founding partners, including the Ministry of Health Malaysia. It is a collaborative, patient-needs driven, non-profit drug research and development (R&D) organization that is developing new treatments for neglected diseases (sleeping sickness (human African trypanosomiasis), Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, filarial infections, malaria, Filarial diseases and pediatric HIV) that afflict millions of the world’s poorest people. DNDi‘s mission is to improve the quality of life and the health of people suffering from neglected diseases by using an alternative model for developing drugs and by ensuring equitable, affordable access to new and field-relevant health tools. As part of its new strategy for the period 2013-2023, DNDi adopted a “dynamic portfolio” approach enabling to address new disease areas with a revised set of operating model. In 2015, the Board of Directors decided to launch a new activity in the field of Hepatitis C (HCV) with a focused program aiming at developing a new treatment affordable and meeting patients’ needs in South East Asia.

In Malaysia, DNDi was established in 2004 for the Region, based in Penang, working closely with the University Sains-Malaysia. Over the years, the office brought a strong support to the malaria program which has now been successfully transferred to the Medicines for Malaria Venture, after registration of two new treatments and effective implementation, enabling DNDi to address new patient needs. DNDi also has currently activities in the field of Pediatric HIV in Thaïland.

The Government of Malaysia has declared its commitment for Hepatitis C patients. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Health, it is willing to engage its research capacities and resources to fight the disease and to partner with DNDi to develop adapted treatments. The Government is also investing in the field of life sciences activities and has decided to launch a Bioparc in Kuala Lumpur where DNDi is expected to move within two to three years.

In the meantime, key activities to launch the new HCV project are based in KL and after many years of duty, the Head of office has decided to retire.

In this context, DNDi is hiring its new Head of Regional Liaison office South East Asia, based in Kuala Lumpur.



Support to R&D projects in the region

  • Initially support HCV program for:
    • The launch of clinical studies
    • Post registration access
    • Relationships with advocacy groups and relevant HCV-specific stakeholders
  • Liaise with institutional partners in Malaysia and Thailand to ensure close follow up of agreed upon action items, maintain trust and secure initial terms of collaboration (MoH, CROs, government agencies…)
  • Organize the transition of DNDi office from Penang to Kuala Lumpur to ensure close interaction with key stakeholders, including set up of a new legal entity, establishing new office in KL and relevant administrative tasks.
  • Building on the example of the HCV project, the office will provide support to future programs/projects involving the region in close coordination with the R&D leadership and the heads of program/diseases (e.g. HIV, filarial diseases).


Regional institutional development, external relations and stakeholders’ engagement

  • To profile and position DNDi as a trusted R&D and health partner and foster relationships with public and private actors in the field of R&D and public health in the region
  • To consolidate and increase resource development by implementing strategies combining public investments in R&D (and access) and private contributions across the region.
  • To liaise with Founding Partner MoH Malaysia and maintain their commitment in DNDi.
  • To strategically manage DNDi stakeholders in the region such as governments and ministries, academia, research institutions, civil society (Patients Groups, NGOs), industry both public and private, WHO/SEARO and others multilateral actors. To build and maintain an effective network with policy- and decision-makers in the areas of (public) health, access to medicines, drug research and development (with a focus on neglected diseases and DNDi portfolio).
  • To represent DNDi at regional level with a focus on Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia and other countries in the region upon specific needs.
  • To implement local/regional policy advocacy as per DNDi global advocacy agenda (e.g., Innovation for access). To guide dissemination of advocacy tools.


Office management and institutional accountability

  • To prepare the annual budget and action plan and risk review for the office; manage and supervise DNDi’s resources.
  • To propose a mid-term regional strategy aligned with the global Business plan, encompassing current priorities and setting the stage for the future (identification of neglected diseases/patients situations, … propositions of policy debates/initiatives relevant to neglected disease R&D and access in the region, fundraising opportunities, etc.).
  • To ensure organizational development accordingly. Supervise human resources, administrative and finance activities. Ensure DNDi office management and to be accountable for the performance of DNDi. Ensure consistency in our vision and our local operating model.
  • To guarantee compliance of the activities of DNDi with legal obligation in relevant jurisdiction where the office is operating. Ensure implementation of DNDi high ethics standards and values within team and partners. Ensure adherence to DNDi policies and relevant processes; develop and maintain policies and key procedures as appropriate.


Reporting and working relationships

Main interactions:

In the current set up, the Head of Office reports to the Director of Operations, based in Geneva. The Head is a member of the Leadership team (composed of Directors and Heads of the organisation).


  • The position will work very closely with the HCV program leadership
  • Ongoing interactions with colleagues from DNDi departments (R&D, External affairs, Operations)


  • Ministry of Health, Malaysia (Founding partner)
  • Government officials and institutional partners in the region
  • Civil Society
  • Academic centres, CROs, Pharmaceutical companies (esp. Generic manufacturers)


  • Advanced degree (ideally combining science, public health and management)
  • At least 15 years’ experience in relevant fields and international exposure
  • Experience in global health (ideally Hepatitis C /neglected diseases)
  • Understanding of drug development activities
  • Significant experience and connections in the South East Asia region.
  • Gravitas/credibility/authority
  • Result oriented, self starter and doer
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Team player and open minded. Collaborative working style, creative and highly motivated
  • Flexibility for travelling in the region or international
  • Fluency in English. Mastering regional languages is a plus.
  • The position is based in Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia.

To apply

  • Please send via email only a letter explaining why you are applying for this post and an up-to-date copy of your CV/resume to hr@dndi.org.
  • Accepting applications until February 22nd 2016
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.