Social Solutions

Senior Scientific Advisor

Job Locations US-DC-GHSI
# of Openings
GHSI - Public Health


Social Solutions International, Inc. (Social Solutions) is a Hispanic and woman-owned business emphasizing 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.

Overview of the Position

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


Title: Senior Scientific Advisor

Location: Washington, DC

Application Deadline: Open until filled

Salary Range: GS-15 equivalent


The Emerging Threats Division (ETD) has programmed more than one billion dollars over the last 15 years as a key component of USAID’s Global Health Security (GHS) efforts. The overall GHS program is projected to program over $100 million per year in the future, including activities related to Emerging Threats and the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA). The GHS portfolio focuses on early identification of, response to, and reduction of infectious disease threats in animals and humans. The GHS portfolio builds on USAID’s successes and draws on expertise from across the animal- and human-health sectors to build regional, national, and local capacities for early disease detection, laboratory-based disease diagnosis, rapid disease response and containment, and risk reduction. These efforts target a limited number of geographic areas, known as “hot spots,” where new disease threats have emerged in the past. A key component of USAID’s GHS efforts is the Global Health Security Agenda Program, a United States Government priority health security initiative focused on preventing, detecting, and responding rapidly and effectively to outbreaks. The GHSA implements a multi-sectoral and multilateral approach to accelerate progress toward implementation of the International Health Regulations, the legally binding instrument adopted by 196 States Parties that set requirements for public health emergencies of all types. Ultimately, GHSA seeks to achieve a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats, whether naturally occurring, accidental, or deliberately released.


The Senior Scientific Advisor (“Advisor”) will provide technical expertise to USAID’s Global Health Security Program within the Emerging Threats Division, Office of Infectious Diseases, Bureau for Global Health (GH/ID/ETD).


The Advisor is responsible for supporting the design of the technical aspects of ETD’s GHS Program activities and coordinating the associated technical staff in USAID/W and Missions to achieve Program goals. This includes working at the country, regional, and international levels to contribute to strategy development and program design, providing expert advice to project implementation, and interacting with high-level representatives among donors to support GHS activities worldwide. The Advisor also monitors outbreaks and epidemics of high-consequence infectious diseases (e.g. Ebola, influenza, Marburg, MERS-CoV, Nipah, SARS) that affect animals and people and provides technical support during outbreaks caused by known or unknown pathogens. The Advisor serves as a support to the project management team for projects managed within the ETD division or as part of the GHS Program, providing critical technical expertise to these projects.


The Advisor will report to the ETD Division Chief and will liaise with USAID Missions, the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), and other relevant Agency/interagency offices


Strengthen USAID’s leadership in Global Health Security and improve stakeholder coordination:


  • Interact with GHS stakeholders including PVOs/NGOs, bilaterals and multilaterals;
  • Provide expert-level consultation to other USG institutions, think tanks, Congressional staff, and other stakeholders;
  • Assess capabilities and identify various organizations to serve as change-agents;
  • Collect data and information for external-facing documents, including responses to requests from Congress and USAID policy documents;
  • Provide technical expertise and guidance to interagency and donor working groups;
  • Articulate the benefits of interventions to effectively reach specific target audiences, from high-level government and opinion leaders to technical audiences and community groups;
  • Prepare and ensure timely submission of reports, briefings, conferences, publications, training, and other means of promoting wide understanding of improved knowledge and methods;
  • Collaborate with other USAID B/IOs and other USG agencies involved in sectoral programs in developing countries; and
  • Attend and present at conferences and meetings in a non-representational capacity, for the purpose of professional and scientific interchange, and establish and maintain effective working relationships with professional colleagues and institutions.


Improve internal technical expertise and coordination in the area of Global Health Security:

  • Advise on the development of policies, strategies, and plans to end preventable infectious disease deaths for global and agency-wide application;
  • Advise USAID Missions and host-country governments on new developments and the most effective approaches to sectoral problems in a region or country;
  • Provide technical advice, guidance, and support to Missions, PVOs/NGOs, and host countries on technical issues regarding the design, implementation, management, and evaluation of public health programs aimed at responding to emerging infectious disease threats;
  • Provide technical guidance and mentorship for worldwide best practices in programs related to emerging infectious disease research, preparedness and response, enabling ID/ETD staff to act on global best practices to align USAID’s programs with global strategies;
  • Provide expert advice and state-of-the-art professional assistance and support to regional and technical bureaus and to Missions on incorporating ETD’s GHS goals and targets into country-level strategies and program designs;
  • Routinely monitor outbreaks and epidemics of high-consequence infectious diseases that affect animals and people and provide analyses and technical support to USAID/W, Missions, and other stakeholders; and
  • Work with Missions and other Bureaus, including all regional Bureaus, to ensure effective coordination and implementation of project activities.


Improve quality of USAID’s GHS projects and programmatic strategic direction

  • Assess the landscape of emerging disease prevention, preparedness and response efforts in order to generate policy recommendations, interventions, and guidance in Agency investments for emerging disease threats;
  • Serve as an advisory member of GHS Project Management Teams (PMT);
  • Advise A/CORs and PMTs to enable projects to reduce risk of disease emergence and spread;
  • Draft major project guidance for use by Mission, NGO/PVO staff and host country officials to ensure project implementation is consistent with global infectious disease strategies;
  • Contribute to the preparation of concept papers and background analyses for new activities, Project Appraisal Documents, program descriptions, scopes of work, project evaluation summaries, and other project planning and management documentation;
  • Contribute to the evaluation of ETD’s GHS projects during or following project completion, to ascertain project and cost effectiveness, including implications for future financing;
  • Coordinate incorporation of research findings into implementable interventions within the sector;
  • Maintain knowledge of current literature and research to advise USAID in its legislative mandate to facilitate and coordinate USG activities in the public health area; and
  • Provide expert technical leadership in the design and implementation of the Agency’s response to emerging disease threats.



Qualification at the GS-15 equivalent Senior Scientific Advisor requires a master's degree in a related field and a minimum of 11 years of relevant experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience. Alternately, an individual may qualify at the GS-15 equivalent Senior Scientific Advisor level with a bachelor's degree and a minimum of 13 yeasr of relevant experience.


Other qualifications include:

  • Applicants selected will be subject to a background investigation and must obtain and maintain a favorable adjudication as applicable to their position/duties.
  • In order to fully evaluate your eligibility, your resume must include relevant paid and non-paid experience showing dates held with month, year and hours worked per week for each position.

Equal Employer

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

Social Solutions is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. 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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