Head of External Affairs

Head of External Affairs

Organization: Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi)

Apply By: 14 Apr 2023

Location: Delhi(Delhi)

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About the Organization

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is an international, not-for-profit research and development (R&D) organization developing life-saving medicines with a focus on neglected infectious diseases.

Established in 2004, DNDi South Asia mobilises and collaborates with regional research and academic institutions and the pharmaceutical industry to develop an end-to-end approach to R&D and access of neglected diseases. It aims to co-create sustainable solutions with Indian partners, accompanying public research while sharing expertise with the Indian biotechnology industry, and strengthening access for patients. Its R&D projects target visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis, hepatitis C, filariasis, paediatric HIV, dengue, antimicrobial resistance and other neglected diseases.  DNDi South Asia also represents the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP).

Job Description

The role is primarily responsible for the external affairs strategy development and regional implementation within South Asia. The role at DNDi will serve as the key steward of External Affairs activities in the region, leading and guiding teams to success in stakeholders’ engagement (expanding the network of champions among science and health policy makers, key institutions and potential donors), strategic initiatives related to partnerships, positioning and visibility, policy advocacy and resource mobilisation.

The role is part of the regional leadership team (SMT) and works closely with the Regional Director and SMT.

The position is also part of DNDi global External Affairs leadership, and contributes to external affairs innovation, expertise development and strategic implementation.

Job Responsibilities

The candidate is expected to fulfil following responsibilities:

 External Affairs Strategy Development

  • Envisions and execute plans to progressively develop the reach, policy influence, and fundraising capacity of DNDi South Asia. With support of the Regional Director, and in collaboration with the regional leadership team as well as global expertise leaders (external affairs directors), participates in the development, implementation and monitoring of the regional multi-year roadmaps and yearly action plans, and specifically contributes to the external affairs perspective by identifying paths to enhance visibility, policy influence and resources.

Stakeholders' engagement

  • Expands the reach and influence of DNDi and its champions to help support the implementation of DNDi strategic plan in South Asia. This entails leading and partnering with senior colleagues in the region to build an effective network of policy makers, civil society groups, and private sector players in the areas of drug research and development, public health, NTDs and access to medicines; designing and implementing strategies for engagement and network management; representing DNDi in high level meetings and enabling effective representation by Regional Director and senior leaders.

Resource mobilisation

  • Builds the capacity and develops the conditions to generate income opportunities in and for the region. Oversees the mapping of prospective public, philanthropic and corporate donors and the design of other elements of a regional fundraising strategy. Identifies opportunities and leads prospect outreach and donor stewardship with support from science colleagues, to create the conditions necessary for long-term relationships. Informs the global strategy and leverages DNDi’s global expertise to guide and support mobilisation activities.

Policy Advocacy

  • Helps promote regional policies enhancing access to treatment for neglected diseases, while supporting regional initiatives to enable a sustainable R&D environment for neglected population. Develops a strong understanding of DNDi’s policy advocacy tenets and aims to inform the regional policy advocacy strategy and its supportive tools (articles, briefing documents, e-resources).  Identifies and engage with key advocacy partners to help build strong coalitions (see stakeholders engagement). Seeks to advance opportunities for the use of innovative mechanisms (pro-access IP management, regulatory, coordination & funding) in the region. Informs the DNDi global policy advocacy strategy and leverages DNDi’sglobal expertise to guide and support these activities.


  • Develops communication strategies to enhance regional positioning efforts,  support policy advocacy and  stakeholders engagement, including partners and donors outreach and recognition. Supervises the  communication staff  and partners with other colleagues  to deliver these strategies. Informs the DNDi global communication strategy and leverages DNDi’s global expertise to guide and support these activities.

Team and partners management

  • Supervises the DNDi South Asia regional communication staff and ensure their effective. The role could be asked to supervise with a  secondary reporting line, additional policy team in India. Will oversee and monitor performance of external partners and vendors supporting the external affairs activities.
  • The above list of responsibilities is not exhaustive, and you may be required to undertake other responsibilities appropriate to your grade. This job description may be subject to review.

Education Qualification/Required Skills & Experience

Skills and attributes

  • High ability to demonstrate initiative, prioritize, multi-task, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Clear and systematic thinking that demonstrates strong judgment and problem-solving competencies.
  • Excellent communication, and public speaking skills, ability to convince and represent DNDi at events.
  • High ability to "articulate clearly" how DNDi model works and DNDi’s capacity to impact patients, health systems and medical innovation ecosystems.
  • Knowledge of working with and leading global multicultural teams.
  • Proven ability to interact with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Highly organized and structured.
  • Ability to lead large strategic projects and budget management.
  • Very strong strategic thinking and leadership abilities
  • Excellent management, negotiation, and advocacy skills
  • High ability to exercise high degree of independence to ensure programme delivery and explore new areas of activities.
  • Ability to collaborate across discipline with experts in other areas


  • Over 10 years of experience in fundraising and / or policy advocacy preferred.
  • Understanding of Communications as a leverage to Fundraising efforts.
  • Senior executive experience, preferably in an international setting
  • A solid  understanding of India’s global health/ R&D institutions and policies .
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a team environment (and matrix structure a plus)
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Track record of success in fundraising and/or advocacy, especially in public health, will be preferred.
  • Education
  • Advanced post graduate degree or graduate degree with equivalent in experience to reach Master level.

Other requirements

  • High proficiency in English and Hindi
  • Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Suite
How to apply

  • Please submit your application using the online form
  • Deadline for application: Accepting applications until 14 April 2023.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted
  • Application submission for this position may close early if we have enough suitable applicants

For more information please check the Link



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