Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Engagement Officer

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent research center at the University of Washington. Its mission is to monitor global health conditions and health systems, as well as to evaluate interventions, initiatives, and reforms. IHME carries out a range of projects within different research areas with the aim to provide policymakers, donors, and researchers with the highest-quality quantitative evidence base to make decisions that achieve better health. IHME accomplishes these aims by working with a range of collaborators across the world. Currently, IHME engages with more than 3,600 collaborators from more than 140 countries.

Job Description

IHME has an outstanding opportunity for an Engagement Officer with a particular focus on Ethiopia and other countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. The primary purpose of this position is to expand IHME’s impact by engaging, collaborating, and communicating with a diverse network of collaborators who contribute to the science, dissemination, and uptake of IHME’s findings. The Engagement Officer will develop and manage relationships with a variety of external collaborators from governments, multilaterals, donor organizations, health care delivery agencies, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions, finding new ways for them to partner with IHME, and helping to drive forward key deliverables with the aid of critical institutional and individual partners.

The Engagement Officer will exhibit a strong command of the principles of collaboration and will build and maintain constructive working relationships with technical and nontechnical organizations, networks, and individuals with interests in health. They will be adept at facilitating communication among stakeholders and project staff from a variety of cultural settings and disciplines and will be comfortable in a multitude of institutional contexts and environments. They will clearly convey and receive information in a manner that engages the listener, and adjust their message and tone to best engage each audience.

This role will manage relationships with a high degree of strategic foresight, tactical creativity, and diplomacy. In the course of advancing key activities and deliverables, the Engagement Officer will adapt to changing priorities, political landscapes, and other factors affecting collaborative endeavors. As problems appear, they will break them down into their components and make sound, well-informed decisions while being cognizant of interdependencies and interrelationships. They will be adept at influencing complex negotiations and interactions in a politically astute manner and will exercise excellent judgment and diplomacy in acting as a representative for the organization as a whole. Overall, the Engagement Officer will be a critical member of an agile, dynamic team.

The individual in this position will support efforts on the Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study with a particular focus on Ethiopia and other countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, playing a central role in the implementation of new and quickly growing collaborations. This collaborative project will produce estimates of the burden of disease in Ethiopia for each of the nine states and two chartered cities, and will support and facilitate the understanding, critique and utilization of these results within Ethiopia. This project represents a deep collaboration and mutual interest of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) in using evidence to drive decisions that improve health. Additionally, this role will develop, manage, and grow collaborations with other institutions and networks within Sub-Saharan Africa more broadly. This position is contingent on project need and funding availability.

Responsibilities include:

Knowledge Command 

  • Understand key aims, concepts, and methods of IHME’s research portfolio, in particular the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study. Develop a command of data sources, key results, messages, and future implications.
  • Understand and speak in a compelling manner about key issues in population health.
  • Understand how decision makers use evidence to develop policies and programs, and to set priorities.
  • Develop understanding of key features of the health information system, relevant sources of data, health policy priorities, and trends in diseases, disabilities, and risk factors for the countries of Eastern Sub-Saharan Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa more broadly.
  • Develop in-depth familiarity with key stakeholders, including their political, intellectual, and financial interests and interrelationships.
  • Make connections between stakeholder needs and research outcomes and opportunities, and translate concepts across different technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Translate collaborator requests into practical steps, and determine with faculty and senior leaders whether and how they are achievable.

Engagement and management 

  • Act as an agile and informed emissary of IHME in complex political settings.
  • Engage with high-level external stakeholders, in particular decision-makers in government, multilaterals, donor organizations, health care delivery agencies, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions with interests in health.
  • Serve as a key liaison between internal and external stakeholders, connecting both to resolve inquiries and improve methods, including access to data sources, discussions of technical questions, and improvement of estimates.
  • Develop project plans and timelines and execute them in order to produce planned deliverables, and meet project objectives on deadline.
  • Expertly carry out communications, relationship building, and project management with IHME faculty and senior leaders from governmental, non-profit, research, academic, and donor organizations in order to attain project goals and facilitate productive collaboration.
  • Cultivate, strengthen, and expand an engaged network of collaborators in order to strengthen research products and maximize their impact on policy and priority setting.
  • Facilitate the involvement of collaborators in key research activities including sharing data, reviewing estimates, and using findings to inform health planning and priority setting.
  • Manage key partnerships, including scoping activities, negotiating funding, developing formal agreements, establishing expectations and responsibilities, facilitating the flow of data, reviewing estimates, and producing agreed deliverables.
  • Understand and anticipate political obstacles that may impact collaborations and adapt tactics and goals accordingly.
  • Design and implement external workshops, trainings, presentations, and meetings with high-level audiences from a variety of cultures and professional backgrounds.
  • Conduct outreach and cultivate new leads; explore opportunities for mutual benefit and potential collaboration.
  • Exercise excellent judgement in response to new situations, political sensitivities, ambiguous requests, and incomplete information.
  • Assess collaborator needs and advise on the development of relevant resources and tools to help better convey results, data, and core research principles and methods.
  • Execute a range of engagement activities including developing workshops and presentations; writing publications, reports, and briefs; acquiring data; responding to inquiries, and developing formal agreements.


  • Speak to diverse technical and nontechnical audiences in a language and manner that connects with their interests while explaining in clear terms IHME’s work and mission.
  • Sense and adapt to different social and intellectual contexts and organizational norms in a variety of settings and carry out communications and relationship management in accord with those norms.
  • Use appropriate interpersonal skills and techniques to gain acceptance for ideas or solutions, negotiate agreements, and resolve disagreements.
  • Craft articulate, professional, and concise correspondence and written materials for stakeholders.
  • Prepare and deliver effective presentations including summaries of research findings, implications, and opportunities to technical and nontechnical audiences.
  • Make connections and translate concepts across different technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Field and obtain answers to inquiries and requests from interested stakeholders.

Other responsibilities

  • Provide support to activities that reinforce and expand IHME’s network and increase the impact of its work as needed.
  • Perform additional duties as assigned that fall within the reasonable scope of this position as member of the Network Engagement Team

As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs.  For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here.


  • Bachelor’s degree in public health, social sciences, political science or related field and three to five years of related experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Additional Requirements

  • Proven ability to quickly learn new intellectual content across different disciplines.
  • Demonstrated high-level relationship management experience with government, multilaterals, donor organizations, health care delivery agencies, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions with interests in health at the national and international levels.
  • Experience identifying and creating mutually beneficial opportunities for collaboration.
  • Experiencing managing projects and producing deliverables on a timeline.
  • Demonstrated ability to make sound, well-informed decisions in response to changing political circumstances or sensitivities.
  • Demonstrated skill managing politically sensitive relationships and creatively devising diplomatic and tactical solutions to problems.
  • Demonstrated success working in diverse social, cultural and intellectual contexts and ability to adapt to organizational norms in a variety of settings.
  • Excellent written, oral, and listening skills with the ability to adjust message and tone for a variety of audiences.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; a cooperative team player, energetic, perceptive, and emotionally intelligent.
  • Demonstrated success and interest at working in a fast-paced, high-volume environment with minimal direction.
  • Ability to show initiative in managing a portfolio independently with desire to be part of a dynamic, cooperative team.
  • Demonstrated success working in Sub-Saharan Africa broadly and/or Eastern Sub-Saharan Africa specifically.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


  • Fluency in Amharic

Conditions of Employment

  • Weekend and evening work sometimes required
  • International and Domestic travel will be required up to 50% of the time. Valid passport or the ability to obtain one is required