Under the direction of the CDC Ethiopia Laboratory Branch Chief, the Associate Director for Laboratory Services (job holder) serves as a senior scientific and technical advisor to the Branch Chief and all CDC supported programs, assisting agency officials, host country national and regional public health institutes and Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, implementing partners and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the planning and strengthening of laboratory programs to effectively support HIV, TB, other opportunistic infections, antimicrobial drug resistance, strengthening of laboratory systems for survey and surveillance, and implementation of biosafety and biosecurity programs, in Ethiopia.
Responsibilities include program development, monitoring, reporting and close collaboration with partners to ensure that all lab systems development, surveillance, research and analysis in laboratories are carried out in accordance with program objectives and internationally recognized best practices. The incumbent is also responsible for leading a portfolio of programming supporting the government of Ethiopia (GOE), including all relevant line ministries, to combat antimicrobial resistance, laboratory strengthening for diagnosis of zoonotic diseases, laboratory capacity development for survey and surveillance of emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. Partners include other United States government (USG) agencies, host government ministries, national and regional public health institutes, animal diagnostic facilities, national and regional referral hospitals including military hospitals, international laboratory-focused organizations and NGOs involved in implementing the Global Health Security Agenda, controlling HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other priority diseases in country.
Duties and Responsibilities: I. Program Management & Technical Assistance
Incumbent serves as principal coordinator for laboratory systems and services within the host country and is responsible for planning and implementation of capacity building of all laboratories to ensure consistency of results. In general, reviews individual laboratory procedures, weighing against accepted protocols and develops programs to ensure consistency. Participates in developing major initiatives including the country program plan and planning of all cooperative agreements that require research and diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, STDs, TB, malaria, and (re-)emerging diseases in laboratories throughout the host country. This includes providing technical advice to partners and supporting the identification of new partners. The CDC Ethiopia laboratory program currently supports 11national level institutions within the GOE’s FMOH and Ministry of Livestock and Agriculture, with 12 additional sub-national institutions and has 4 U.S. based international technical partners. In addition, CDC is closely working with African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) and Africa CDC, and also has cooperative agreement with Uniformed Services of Ethiopia (National Defense, Police and Prison Administration of Ethiopia). Job holder provides technical evaluation of all proposals for laboratory capacity building projects of partners, ensuring that protocols are being followed appropriately and recommends amendments/approval to supervisor and supports the implementation of international laboratory standards including international certification of laboratories. The incumbent is responsible for supporting the planning and drafting the laboratory portion of the Country Operational Plan (COP) each year and working with Counseling & Testing, Care and Treatment, Prevention and Strategic Information colleagues to ensure that programs are working together to complement support and capacity building. Incumbent provides guidance and direction to grantees, program collaborators and contractors on management and implementation of activities to be consistent with USG and international policies and guidance.
Job holder collaborates with host government Ministry of Health, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations on their activities to ensure programs are being carried out as designed. In building laboratory capacity, collaborates with host country senior scientists on the design of new public health laboratory diagnostic approaches that are based on latest research findings. Works closely with staff of host country government Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defense and cooperating partners to ensure that tasks are carried out correctly and in a timely manner. Recommends procedural modifications as warranted to align with investigative protocols.
Assesses national referral and regional laboratory capacity to support surveillance and diagnostics for HIV/AIDS and HIV-related risk behaviors, STI, TB, malaria, and other opportunistic infections (OIs) as well as international emerging infections. Develops strategies to strengthen capacities and capabilities based on assessment findings. Support capacity establishment at national reference laboratory for the development of protocol and strategies to introduce new diagnostic technologies and point of care tests as they becomes available. Develops training plans and arranges for competent instructors to provide training for personnel at laboratories for which responsible. Provides technical and logistical support in organizing training courses and scientific meetings related to laboratory program activities. This includes developing the exact focus of technical meetings and creation of agendas for technical conferences and workshops.
Plans, oversees and coordinates cooperative agreements with the host government for activities in areas of laboratory diagnostics, including the establishment and maintenance of a national quality assurance system. Institutes Quality Assurance (QA) programs, including internal and external quality control standards for development of a national level testing program for HIV serology and molecular-based assays. Ensures USG supported testing in Ethiopia is performed to an internationally accepted standard of quality. Conducts literature searches and shares information with the Laboratory TWG, CDC and the broader PEPFAR Ethiopia Team for upcoming and on-going projects.
Develops standards to enhance capacities of regional and referral hospital laboratories and to support surveillance for HIV/AIDS, STD, AI, TB, malaria, and emerging diseases. Standardizes testing protocols for diagnostics and surveillance. Develops and updates national guidelines for laboratory systems at all levels of operation. Designs safety and strategies according to international standards.
Supports CDC and FMOH collaborators to prepare technical papers that report on laboratory assessments and operational research studies for presentations at national and international meetings on improving laboratory capacity throughout the country. Supports execution of the CDC Ethiopia research agenda through coaching and mentorship of junior scientists.
II. Program Management
Promotes the standardization of lab equipment and maintenance assistance and provides technical specifications for procurement of essential laboratory equipment and supplies.
Provides technical assistance on the architectural, structural, security, and biohazard design aspects of ongoing work related to laboratory renovation and establishment of new laboratories.
Ensures proper budgeting of all national referral and regional laboratory activities supported by grants, partnerships, and cooperative agreements. Ensures validity of data and authorizes entry in appropriate data base.
Facilitates procurement of equipment and supplies through agency channels to enhance laboratories operating within the host country. Provides guidance to laboratories requisitioning equipment and supplies on the international market. Works with host country to develop forecasting capacity for laboratory commodities.
Serves as project officer and main point of contact for laboratory branch cooperative agreements and contracts. Once cooperative agreement is in place, oversees performance of cooperating partners/contractors, carries out technical reviews, reviews progress, identifies potential issues and informs supervisor, recommending actions for amelioration. Provide oversight and site level technical support include Site Improvement Monitoring Systems (SIMS) and participate in Partner Support and Monitoring Teams (PSMTs) to increase efficiency and effectiveness of CDC-funded implementing partners
III. Interagency Coordination
As a regional and international expert on matters pertaining to testing and operations of a variety of laboratories located within the host country, job holder represents CDC Ethiopia at technical, policy and strategic planning meetings, including meetings with collaborators and donor agencies. Briefs agency officials on the results of such meetings and prepares written reports for submission to other interested parties.
Represents the agency in discussing and developing financial commitment proposals for laboratory programs at administrative and strategic planning meetings. This includes all USG implementing agencies.
Participates in internal and interagency technical working groups to ensure adherence to internationally accepted/directed standards for laboratories within the host country.