Social Solutions

  • Assistant to the Coordinator/Innovation Advisor

    Job Locations US-VA-Crystal City
    # of Openings
    GHSI - Public Health
  • Overview

    Social Solutions International, Inc. is a woman and minority-owned company. Social Solutions emphasizes quality research and evaluation, training and technical assistance, and institutional support services. We are a mission-driven organization that believes that superior science can improve the world. Social Solutions is dedicated to the creation of social and health solutions to improve the welfare of underserved populations worldwide. 


    The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has contracted through Social Solutions International to recruit and hire qualified individuals for the following position:



    Assistant to the Coordinator/Innovation Advisor

    United States Agency for International Development, President’s Malaria Initiative


    Salary Range: $96,970 – $126,062 (GS-13 equivalent)


    Application Deadline:  Open Until Filled


    BACKGROUND: When it was launched in 2005, the goal of the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) was to reduce malaria-related mortality by 50 percent across 15 high-burden countries in sub-Saharan Africa through a rapid scale-up of four proven and highly effective malaria prevention and treatment measures: insecticide-treated mosquito nets; indoor residual spraying; accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapies; and intermittent preventive treatment of pregnant women.

    With the passage of the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde Global Leadership against HIV/AIDS, the position of a USG Global Malaria Coordinator (the Malaria Coordinator) was established within the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Appointed by the President of the United States, the Malaria Coordinator has primary responsibility for the oversight and coordination of all resources and international activities of the United States Government relating to efforts to combat malaria. In response to the Lantos-Hyde Act, PMI developed a U.S. Government Malaria Strategy for 2009–2014. Consistent with this strategy and the increase in annual appropriations supporting PMI, four new countries in sub-Saharan Africa and one regional program in the Greater Mekong Sub-region of Southeast Asia were added in 2011.

    PMI’s Strategy for 2015–2020 takes into account the progress over the past decade and the new challenges that have arisen. Malaria prevention and control remains a major In FY 2017, PMI announced plans for a five-country expansion adding programs in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger and Sierra Leone, which grew PMI’s reach to 24 malaria-endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including those with the highest burden, and three programs in the Greater Mekong Sub-region of Southeast Asia.

    From the start of the Initiative to 2017, Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer served as the US Global Malaria Coordinator (Malaria Coordinator). Dr. Kenneth Staley, the current Malaria Coordinator, was appointed In April 2018.

    Specifics of Position: The US Global Malaria Coordinator is seeking an Innovation Advisor to provide full-time assistance to him as he leads the US President’s Malaria Initiative.  The Innovation Advisor will have day-to-day responsibilities assisting the Coordinator and serving as a member of the Coordinator’s Senior Staff, as well as leading special projects for PMI with a focus on innovation. 

    In a unique partnership, the Innovation Advisor will spend approximately 10% of time working in partnership with USAID’s Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact (CII), within the Bureau for Global Health.  CII was developed to accelerate the development, introduction and scale-up of priority global health interventions. To do so, CII promotes and reinforces innovative, business-minded approaches to address the key bottlenecks in development, introduction and scale-up, applying business and marketplace principles to accelerate impact against some of the world’s most important health challenges. The advisor will draw on the expertise housed in CII to advance the PMI Coordinator’s priorities. CII:

    • Serves as a catalyst, driving innovation and partnerships;
    • Works with the Bureau’s technical offices to help prioritize existing and new innovations and interventions that align directly with the Agency’s priorities in global health;
    • Supports rapid introduction of and/or access to these priority interventions; and
    • Seeks not only to develop best practices in innovation, introduction and uptake across sectors, but to push the boundaries of current thinking to improve the health and efficiency of the marketplace.


    The Innovation Advisor will leverage the experience, networks, and business-minded approaches of CII while serving on the Senior Staff of PMI, focused on defined special projects and providing overall assistance to the PMI Coordinator.


    This role will require creative thinking, business-acumen, and experience to both develop and implement innovative and impactful programs that accelerate progress towards PMI’s global health priorities. The Innovation Advisor will be expected to have substantial experience in global health entrepreneurship, innovation, and commercialization, and will leverage his/her background to develop and execute strategies in supporting the goals of malaria control and elimination. He/she will possess, or will be expected to rapidly develop, deep knowledge and strategic perspectives on particular innovations and interventions that have been selected, and to think creatively on partnerships and collaborations that would help to foster their success and maximize their impact.


    Additionally, he/she will have experience with human-centered design and its application to global health programming, from products and services to program and business-model design.


    The Innovation Advisor should expect to perform the following duties and responsibilities in support of PMI:


    • Support the Malaria Coordinator with global health engagements, research, policy analysis, and issues management;
    • Provide highly organized support to the Malaria Coordinator, including attending internal and external global health meetings;
    • Serve as a technical innovation advisor within the Malaria Coordinator’s senior staff, providing advice and technical coordination with leadership at USAID and CDC as well as in-country staff;
    • Serve as a catalyst, driving innovation and partnerships;
    • Work with the PMI team to help prioritize existing and new innovations and interventions that align directly with PMI’s priorities;
    • Support rapid introduction of and/or access to these priority interventions; and
    • Seek not only to develop best practices in innovation, introduction and uptake across sectors, but to push the boundaries of current thinking to improve the health and efficiency of the marketplace;
    • Document and follow up with senior leadership on decisions and directed actions; track implementation and completion of follow-ups;
    • Prepare/coordinate briefing materials, in consultation with PMI subject matter experts and senior leadership, for high-level meetings;
    • Handle and manage various special assignments as needed;
    • Prepare reports, project plans and templates as needed;
    • Conduct other activities as required;


    In addition to the above, the Innovation Advisor will also work closely with CII’s Innovation and Market Access Teams to:

    • Support priority projects, applying innovative financing, market shaping, strategy and human-centered design to support accelerated access to priority interventions;
    • help build and support a community of innovators, including contributing ideas and resources;
    • Manage key relationships with manufacturers, developers and other implementing organizations, as well as senior officials from foundations and governmental, multilateral and nongovernmental organizations to advance product introduction and uptake priorities;
    • Keep abreast of major developments in global health innovations, including programming, science and technology, service delivery approaches, and demand-side creation, both internal and external to USAID and its partners;
    • Identify opportunities and new initiatives as priorities to expand within the Center;
    • Develop, synthesize and share best practices across PMI and CII’s work across the bureau with other health offices and external stakeholders.


    The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.


    • The position requires a master’s degree and at least seven (7+) years of relevant professional experience or equivalent combination of education and experience OR a bachelor’s degree and at least nine (9+) years of relevant professional experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
    • Entrepreneurial mindset, with a demonstrated ability to operate independently, self- motivate, be flexible, and set and achieve ambitious targets;
    • Ability to be effective in high-pressure situations, juggle multiple tasks simultaneously, problem solve in a fast-paced environment and set priorities;
    • Exceptional strategy development and analytical skills;
    • Demonstrated ability to analyze and synthesize information, and to develop priorities, solutions, and strategies to address issues and gaps;
    • Demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality of work related information and materials;
    • Strong written and verbal communication skills;
    • Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to build relationships and work effectively with people of varied professional, cultural, and educational backgrounds;
    • Experience developing presentations for a wide variety of audiences;
    • Experience managing change in a complex bureaucratic environment;
    • Familiarity with global health innovation strongly desired;
    • Knowledge of monitoring and evaluation of public health programs as well as the research-to-practice continuum for new technologies;
    • Detail-oriented with strong organization skills;
    • High level of proficiency in Microsoft Office, particularly Excel and PowerPoint;
    • Willingness to travel both domestically and internationally;
    • Ability to obtain and maintain, at a minimum, a secret security clearance;
    • United States Citizenship or permanent residency required.
    • International travel approximately 20%.

    Social Solutions International offer competitive salaries and comprehensive benefits. Please submit your resume online at


    Social Solutions is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other characteristic protected by law.



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