University of Minnesota



Organization: World Health Organization (WHO)


Website and contact information:

Avenue Appia 20

1211 Geneva 27


Telephone: (+ 41 22) 791 21 11

Facsimile (fax): (+ 41 22) 791 3111

Telex: 415 416



Location of headquarters:

Geneva, Switzerland


Year founded:



Mandate and/or mission statement:

WHO's objective, as set out in its Constitution, is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. Health is defined in WHO's Constitution as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.


Relevant programs and projects:


Current head/director (and nationality):

Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General, China


Number of Member States and/or Observer States:

193 Member States


Operating budget:

$3.3 billion (2006-2007)


Number and location of missions or field offices:

147 Country Offices, 6 regional offices


Number of employees:

Over 8,000


Grades descriptions:










Usually 10-15 years of which at least 5 years at the international level

Usually 7 years of which at least 3-5 years at the international level

Usually 3-5 years of which at least 1 years at the international level

Advanced university degree in a relevant field or equivalent professional qualification

A very good command of one official language and a working knowledge of a second. Knowledge of a third would be an advantage. The language requirements depend on the duty station.


General Service Staff










Usually 10-15 years

Usually 8 years

Usually 5-7 years

Usually 2-4 years

Usually 2 years

Secondary, technical or commercial school

Usually require a very good command of one official language and a working knowledge of a second. Knowledge of a third would be an advantage. The language requirements depend on the duty station.


Where does this organization advertise when there are job openings?




What is the job application process?

Online system -Register a personal account through the online system.

New applicants register here.

Returning applicants visit here

WHO staff visit here

Offline system- Interested applicants who do not have Internet access, and are unable to submit an application online, may complete the WHO Personal History Form. (Download the WHO Personal History Form in English / French  All offline applications should be submitted before the vacancy deadline to the address shown on the vacancy notice. All offline applications for general applications of employment should be directed to: Central Human Resources Services (HRC)
World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27
Fax: +41-22-791-4773


Associate Professional Officers (APOs)

APOs are young professionals in various fields at an early stage in their career and who are proposed for specific assignments identified by WHO. The funds to defray their employment costs are covered by the government or other donor concerned. WHO currently has agreements for the employment of APOs with Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Agence Intergouvernementale de la Francophonie, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States of America. Generally, only nationals of the "donor countries" are considered, although certain donors occasionally sponsor candidates from developing countries. If you are interested in APO appointments please contact directly one of the sponsors of APOs.


Does this organization take volunteers? 



What are the expectations, minimum requirements and application procedures for volunteers in this organization?



Does this organization take interns?  



What are the expectations, minimum requirements and application procedures for interns in this organization?

To take part in the programme, we look for the following minimum eligibility criteria:

Applicants must be enrolled in a degree programme in a graduate school (second university degree or higher) both at the time of application and during the internship

Applicants pursuing their studies in countries where higher education is not divided into undergraduate and graduate stages must have completed at least four years of full-time studies at a university or equivalent institution towards the completion of a degree. Undergraduates (for instance, students pursuing a Bachelor's degree) are not eligible to apply

A minimum of 20 years of age

Possess a first degree in a public health, medical or social field related to the technical work of WHO.

Fluent in the working language of the office of assignment


Internship Application Dates

Summer (May to October)
To be considered for a Summer internship, applications are accepted between December 1 - January 31 each year.
Winter (November to April)
To be considered for a Winter internship, applications are accepted between September 1 - October 31 each year.


Internship application process

The application process requires developing an individual profile within WHO's e-Recruitment system. This profile covers your education, current studies, language skills and computer knowledge. You are encouraged to supply a Cover Letter to articulate your motivation for seeking a WHO Internship (maximum length - 3 paragraphs). In this letter state your programme of study and any areas of concentration and how this focus would link with a specific area within WHO, i.e., HIV/AIDS. Please include your dates of availability and any additional information to facilitate the selection process. Choose one area from below:

Communicable Diseases

Family and Community Health

General Management (includes Office of the Director General)

Global Polio Eradication Initiative

Health Action in Crisis

Health Systems and Services

Health, Technology and Pharmaceuticals

HIV / AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Information, Evidence and Research - in english

Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health

Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments


What are the basic requirements for prospective applicants? 

See WHO Global Competency Model

The people we are looking for should:

Demonstrate a high level of technical knowledge.

Be motivated and have a strong commitment to the policies and programmes of WHO.

Possess good analytical skills and a keen interest in and an understanding of policy issues especially in the area of public health.

Be able to work well in a multicultural team.

Have working experience at national and/or international level, preferably in public health.

Be proficient in at least one of the official languages of the Organization (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) and have a working knowledge of a second. Additional languages are an asset.

Smokers and other tobacco users will not be recruited by WHO as and from 1 December 2005. This policy should be seen in the context of the Organization's credibility in promoting the principle of a tobacco-free environment.


Professional Staff

Applicants are normally required to have a university degree as well as a relevant postgraduate specialization, experience at national and/or international level in the required field of public health and development issues. Generally, we seek applications from candidates in the following fields:

Health related : medical officers; epidemiologists; public health specialists; related paramedical fields; environmental health specialists; health scientists; statisticians; health economists; policy analysts.

Non health-related: finance; human resources; informatics; legal; general administration.

Often, the professional technical staff act as advisers in public health to Member states. Candidates should therefore normally have substantial training and experience in this field before they can be considered for an assignment. Because of WHO's particular needs and the keen competition, we are able to offer appointments only to very few applicants. Applications are carefully considered against current and projected vacancies.

General Service Staff

Candidates are required to have graduated from secondary school (or have equivalent work experience), have secretarial/business/commercial qualifications and have the necessary language and computer skills. In addition, high levels of adaptability and good communication skills are desirable. Such openings are filled by recruiting in the area of the duty station. Candidates normally reside in the area in which the office is located.



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