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Welcome to PAHO'S Career Opportunities

A Proud and Noble History

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) was founded in 1902 and is the world's oldest international public health agency working to improve the health and well being of people in the Americas. PAHO's mission is to provide technical cooperation and advice to its Member States and other partners in order to promote equity in health, combat disease and improve the quality of life of the peoples of the Americas. The Organization is committed to providing the highest level of technical support and leadership to PAHO Member States as they pursue their goal of Health for All. It also serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Human Resources

In order to carry out its mission to strengthen national and local health systems, PAHO is continuously striving to enhance its human capital. The Organization invites applications from persons who meet not only the technical qualifications required for each position, but also have the ability to perform in a multicultural environment and share the Organization's values of excellence, integrity and teamwork.

Requirements and Qualifications

The nature of PAHO's work dictates a preference for candidates who are fluent in both in English and Spanish. Other official languages of the Organization are French and Portuguese. All professional positions require a university degree and, for more senior positions, a graduate or post-graduate degree from an accredited college or university.

Support personnel need a high school diploma and, ideally, post-secondary training in a field of work relevant to the position. Vacancies for administrative/support positions in Washington, D.C. must be filled by local candidates, i.e. candidates residing within the Washington Metropolitan Area (Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia) and who are legally allowed to work in the United States.

Employment Conditions

A career with PAHO promises the staff member a competitive pay and benefits package. Conditions of employment in the Organization conform to those established by the International Civil Service Commission for employment in the United Nations and its specialized agencies. Benefits include 30 working days paid annual leave, comprehensive health insurance coverage and participation in the United Nations Pension Fund. The conditions of employment, while not governed by national laws, promote gender equality, flexible work schedules (for many positions) and a supportive work environment.

Recruitment at PAHO

PAHO makes special efforts to recruit qualified women into its professional ranks. Women are represented at all levels of the organization, from its Headquarters in Washington, D.C. to 28 country offices and eight centers. The Organization also aims to achieve a broad representation of nationals from Member States and other countries. Selection of staff is made on a competitive basis with the objective of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity.

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How to Apply for PAHO Vacancies

All applications for employment in PAHO must now be made via the World Health Organization's (WHO) e-recruitment system. Before completing an application make sure that you have read the qualifications and requirements of the advertised position in which you are interested. All applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the advertised position or of the job category.

You should be aware of the following additional general requirements:

  • Technical skills: Good command of commonly used computer software and quantitative skills are required.
  • Personal qualities: Good communication and interpersonal skills are essential, as are diplomacy, tact, and the ability to work well in a team.
  • Medical clearance: Offers of appointment are contingent upon the candidate passing a pre-employment medical examination.
  • Language: Most of PAHO's position required that the candidate must be bilingual (English and Spanish)

Completing the application

You will be directed automatically to the WHO's e-recruitment system by clicking on a vacancy announcement on the PAHO Professional vacancies or PAHO General administrative/support vacancies pages. Once you have finished completing the requested fields in the e-recruitment form you can apply to vacancies online following the instruction provided within the application form.

When applying

  • Please follow the instructions on the opening page of the electronic application.
  • Be sure to answer all questions completely. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

We receive a large volume of inquiries and applications and are only able to follow up on those that are of interest to PAHO.

Please check periodically for postings of new vacancy announcements.

PAHO/WHO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process. If you have any questions concerning persons or companies claiming to be recruiting on behalf of PAHO/WHO and requesting the payment of a fee, please immediately contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . When applying for a PAHO/WHO vacancy by e-mail, please apply only through this site.

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UN International Vacancies

 

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Internship Opportunities

Thank you for your interest in serving as an Intern with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the Americas. The Organization's technical units (and occasionally its administrative offices) do accept a few of the many individuals who volunteer their services in this manner each year. The distinction made between internship and volunteer assignments is that Interns are actually full time university students while Volunteers are professionals not currently enrolled full time at a college or university.

Under PAHO/WHO regulations, no remuneration is offered to Interns or Volunteers. Also, such individuals cannot be relatives of staff members of PAHO or WHO. Internships are normally for a specific period of time ranging from 6 weeks to 3 months and individuals can only participate once as an Intern. They should be engaged in a course of study (normally at the Master's degree level) related to health work. Volunteer assignments can be for longer periods and there is no "one time" restriction.

Both interns and volunteers must confirm in writing that they, or their sponsor, will meet all expenses for travel and subsistence and that they have adequate health insurance coverage, whether their assignment is in the United States or in another member country. The Organization does provide Interns and Volunteers with a group work-related accident insurance policy but it only provides limited compensation in the case of accidental disablement or death. The coverage of medical expenses resulting from work-related accidents is also limited. The Organization does not process requests for visas for such assignments. Interns who would like to serve in a country other than the one where they are domiciled should inquire what visa is required by the country where they intend to undertake the internship.

PAHO's Headquarters are located in Washington D.C. The Organization also has offices in all the countries of North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Most individuals who work for the Organization are bilingual, usually Spanish & English, Portuguese & English or Spanish & Portuguese. Although not required for a successful internship, having one of these combinations of languages would be quite useful. Generally, it is best if the individual has a good working knowledge of the language of the country where they will serve.

If you are interested in applying for an internship somewhere other than the America's Region (North, Central and South America and the Caribbean) please access the WHO web site at: http://www.who.int/. Once there go to the last label on the left hand side of the page and click on "Employment", and on the next screen click on "Interns".

So, how does one apply for an internship with PAHO? You need to make an impression on the right individual. Think carefully about what background, education and skills you have to offer and what specific area of work you are interested in pursuing. Once you have a good idea of this, investigate our web site to become familiar with the Organization.

Click on the "About PAHO" section in the lower left part of the page and then click on the "What is PAHO?" page. Back at "About PAHO" page click on the "PAHO Structure: Organigram" to see the names and codes (PED, FCH/CA, etc) of our technical units. Note the name of the unit where you think your services could best be utilized. If you are interested in working in an office outside Washington, D.C., go to the "Headquarters and Country Offices" link which takes you to a map with the names of the countries where the Organization has offices. Clicking on the country name will provide contacting information for that office and that is where you would direct your request.

Once you have identified the area of work that interests you, write directly to either: the "Area Manager" (FCH, SDE, etc.), the "Unit Chief" (FCH/IM, SDE/RA, etc) or the "PAHO/WHO Representative" in the country office and offer your services. Your letter should be brief, perhaps one page in length, and specify exactly what services you are offering and why you consider your background would be useful to the Organization. Remember, although an internship or volunteer assignment will provide you with hands-on experience in a very prestigious international organization, the professional staff are very much involved in their technical cooperation work and do not have the time to take someone under their wing unless that person clearly knows what they want to achieve and their vision fits in with the main areas of specialization of that unit. Include a detailed curriculum vitae which indicates your education, skills and language proficiency.

Thank you again for considering the Pan American Health Organization as a place where you might possibly want to undertake an internship and all the best in your future endeavors, regardless of the path you choose.