Development & Policy Advisor

New York City, USA
[Closing date: October 13, 2017]


The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a patient-needs driven, not-for-profit research and development (R&D) organization that discovers and develops new treatments for a range of neglected patients. DNDi’s primary objective is to deliver 16 to 18 new treatments by 2023 to patients suffering from neglected tropical diseases (sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, filarial infections, and mycetoma) and viral infections (pediatric HIV and hepatitis C) as well as 4-5 new treatments by 2023 targeting serious drug-resistant infections via the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP), a joint initiative with the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance.
DNDi was born out of the frustration of doctors working with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) who were increasingly unable to treat their patients because the medicines they were using were ineffective, toxic, or no longer produced. MSF committed a portion of its 1999 Nobel Peace Prize funds to develop a new model for R&D for neglected diseases and joined forces with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation from Brazil, Indian Council of Medical Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Ministry of Health of Malaysia, and the Institut Pasteur of France to create DNDi in 2003. To date, DNDi has delivered seven new treatments or therapeutic advances that are already in the hands of millions of patients.
DNDi is supported by a range of donors, including MSF as a founding partner; national governments, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States; and private philanthropic organizations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, and other foundations and individuals. To ensure the greatest possible independence, DNDi seeks to diversify its funding sources, maintain a balance of public and private support, and ensure that no single donor contributes more than 25% of DNDi’s budget.
Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, DNDi also has offices in Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, and the US. In 2008, DNDi opened an affiliate office in New York City to serve as the headquarters for DNDi North America. A registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, DNDi North America (DNDi NA) works to strengthen and expand scientific, policy advocacy, partner development, communications, and fundraising efforts in North America and enhance DNDi’s global impact.


Overall purpose

The Development & Policy Advisor is responsible for identifying, securing, and managing public funding for all of DNDi’s disease initiatives and R&D programs from US government agencies, Canadian government agencies, and/or US-based multilateral institutions, working closely with the Regional Executive Director as well as key fundraising staff in the US, Switzerland, and other DNDi offices. The Development & Policy Advisor is also responsible for supporting specific advocacy activities, including engagement with key groups and coalitions in Washington, DC and Ottawa to increase public responsibility, public financing, and sound public policies, including global norms to ensure innovation and access to affordable health technologies for global health R&D generally and DNDi/GARDP disease priorities specifically.


Tasks and responsibilities

Resource mobilization

  • Lead efforts to identify and secure public funding opportunities in the US and Canada
  • Manage public funding with relevant staff and/or consultants, in particular, oversee management of USAID Global Development Alliance ($10 million over 5 years)
  • Explore new funding opportunities from key US-based multilateral institutions and oversee management of any funding from these institutions

Policy & Advocacy

  • Provide support, lead and/or participate in North America-specific policy advocacy activities aimed at the US and Canadian governments
  • Lead, participate in and/or coordinate with other groups and coalitions as relevant, including: NTD Roundtable, Global Health Technologies Coalition, Global Health Council, InterAction, Canadian groups, etc.
  • Manage relationship with Drinker Biddle & Reath, District Policy Group

Reporting line

  • The Development & Policy Advisor reports to the Regional Executive Director of DNDi North America


  • The Development & Policy Advisor works with the North America Fundraising team and key fundraising staff located in Switzerland and other DNDi offices.


Job requirements

Skills and attributes

  • Ability to analyze and synthesize complex and sensitive scientific/medical and policy material and use it to develop compelling proposals and reports, and to present appropriate, well-informed messages to donors
  • Strong understanding of and appreciation for DNDi’s mission, values, and goals
  • Strong ability to use initiative, prioritize, multi-task, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines
  • Clear and systematic thinking that demonstrates good judgment and problem solving competencies
  • Strong communication skills in multicultural, multi-lingual environments
  • Strong ability to work effectively as part of a multicultural team
  • Well organized and structured
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Strong ability to provide high level support in project/program delivery
  • Strong ability to manage medium/large projects with budget management responsibilities
  • Strategic thinking and leadership abilities
  • Strong management, negotiation, and advocacy skills
  • Has autonomy for taking actions and decisions
  • Strong ability to interact with external stakeholders
  • Lead and motivate a small team for optimum performance, supervising junior staff


  • Minimum 7 years of professional experience in similar position, ideally with an international NGO or research/science organization
  • Experience in all aspects of development, grant management, and donor stewardship (preferably with bilateral public donors, e.g. USAID or NIH, and/or multilateral donors), including prospect research, grant-writing/reporting, relationship management, etc.
  • Experience with, understanding of, and commitment to policy and advocacy issues related to global health, scientific research, medical innovation, and access to medicines issues
  • Proven ability to work effectively as part of a small North America-based team, as well as a large, virtual, international, matrixial organization
  • Experience of working in public and private sector is highly desirable


  • Master’s degree in development, public health, global health, nonprofit management, or related field.  Equivalent work experience could be considered.

Other requirements

  • Language: Fluent written and spoken English required, Spanish or French a plus
  • Strong computer literacy, including high level of proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite


  • Time Commitment: Approximately 4 days/week (80%) to be tracked and invoiced monthly (daily rate TBD)
  • Consultant – equivalent to internal DNDi level M1


To apply

  • Deadline for application: Accepting applications until October 13th.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.