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16 Sep 2020

Director, Laboratory Services at HJFMRI

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Job Description


Under the direction and supervision of the Executive Director for the Henry Jackson Foundation Medical Research International (HJFMRI) – Tanzania, the incumbent will direct and manage the successful implementation of laboratory based activities at HJFMRI-supported facilities consistent with the principles of the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The incumbent will be based in Mbeya and will be responsible for coordinating and leveraging WRAIR/HJFMRI Laboratory activities and expertise with other U.S. government, international and host government agencies as it relates to the activities supported in Tanzania and East Africa by the DoD/US MHRP. The incumbent will also coordinate development of laboratory capacity under PEPFAR with laboratory activities conducted in Tanzania. The incumbent will have supervisory and managerial responsibility over personnel hired by HJFMRI for laboratory operations at HJFMRI-supported health facilities in Tanzania. The incumbent will ensure that HJFMRI Laboratory activities are planned and executed with quality, accountability, and measurable impact. S/he will represent the HJFMRI laboratory program activities with other USG agencies, donors, as the site representative for lab operations. Most importantly, the incumbent will develop and maintain strong, collaborative relationships with counterparts and colleagues in the relevant ministries and government entities across the regions supported by HJFMRI.

  • Minimum Qualification: Bachelor
  • Experience Level: Management level
  • Experience Length: 5 years

Job Description

Reports: Executive Director

Location: Mbeya, Tanzania

About HJFMRI Tanzania Program

The Walter Reed Program Tanzania (WRP-T) is a collaborative effort that supports PEPFAR-funded HIV prevention and treatment activities in the Southern Highlands and within the Tanzania People’s Defense Forces (TPDF). HJF Medical Research International, Inc Tanzania (HJFMRI-T) is a local non-profit that has supported these efforts since 2004 for the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). PEPFAR activities are conducted in close collaboration with the Tanzania Ministry of Health, Community

Development, Gender, Elderly and Children; and the President’s Office of the Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG), through the Regional and Council Health Management Teams.

HJFMRI-T HJF Medical Research International, Inc. Tanzania (HJFMRI-T) providing care and treatment to people affected by HIV/AIDS and has been actively involved in HIV and AIDS programming, providing resources, personnel, and services to the Southern Highlands Zone. The program has expanded from supporting the Mbeya Zonal Referral Hospital to becoming a hub for anti-retroviral treatment in the Zone to community support through decentralized services, with the overall objective of implementing research,

clinical HIV, prevention, care, and treatment services. HJFMRI-T currently focuses specifically on four regions in the Southern Highlands Zone, namely Mbeya, Rukwa, Katavi, and Songwe. The program also supports TPDF to implement comprehensive HIV prevention care and treatment program in 21 sites throughout the country.


  • Functions as a critical team member of the HJFMRI Tanzania team supporting care and treatment activities, attending scheduled HJFMRI, as well as ad-hoc, meetings.
  • Ensures there is a robust supply of all necessary commodities and supplies necessary for the successful provision of high-quality lab services in supported region
  • Oversees the sample collection infrastructure needed to ensure successful implementation of lab (diagnosis and suppression) activities supported by HJFMRI
  • Provides senior-level coordination and supervision of laboratory team, ensuring activities in the lab are implemented in sync with the clinical, community, and strategic information teams with an emphasis on collaboration and teamwork for success
  • Leads the development of budgets and work plans for the laboratory services
  • Ensures that laboratory capabilities at all supported facilities are in place with adequate quality controls
  • Ensures that current protocols are running smoothly, prepares interim reports as needed
  • Offers expertise to other potential academic and USG funded partners as required
  • Oversees specimen storage facilities, particularly -80 freezers, ensures correct conditions are met; all stored specimens are correctly documented and are easily retrieved
  • Overseas transport of specimens for repatriation when required
  • Supervises correct transport and reception of specimens and ensures testing in appropriate time scales
  • Provides and resources technical advice/assistance and analysis for improving laboratory services with particular emphasis on quality management in the clinical laboratory.
  • Provides leadership in the development and execution of training programs at the training centre in Mbeya for laboratory management and quality services.
  • Provides technical assistance in the development and strengthening of capabilities in program-supported laboratories across the regions
  • Works with in country USG committees, providing support and undertaking assigned tasks as needed as part of the overall USG effort under PEPFAR.
  • Represents HJFMRI interests in expansion of HIV/AIDS prevention and care and treatment activities in Tanzania and leveraging of relevant areas of DoD expertise to assist other USG and DoD efforts.
  • Serves as active member of Senior Management Team and works collaboratively with other members to ensure program success.
  • Supports the scale up of viral load testing in the program through evaluation and installation of appropriate platforms. Serves as a leading voice in evaluating performance of viral load testing in the program in general.
  • Oversees the setting up and implementation of HIV Drug Resistance testing (HIVDRT) by recruiting, training and mentoring staff on HIVDRT and ensuring daily HIVDRT activities take place at the Mbeya Zonal Referral Hospital Laboratory as required.
  • Supports the continued implementation of quality Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) of HIV in HIV-exposed infants in the program. This involves development of training materials, coordination of training and overseeing the transport mechanisms for EID in the program.
  • Other duties as assigned by Supervisor


  • Ensures the Program is well represented on in-country Technical working groups such as the Lab, HIV Drug Resistance and PMTCT TWGs.
  • Provides collaborative assistance to other program personnel and health scientists that require the incumbent’s expertise.
  • Maintains a safe work environment with appropriate training of other personnel.
  • Completes other projects as needed.


  • Knowledge and experience regarding successful implementation of laboratory operations and activities in resource limited settings.
  • Knowledge of good clinical laboratory science, quality management systems and standards for accreditation.
  • Laboratory management experience and training in international settings. Program monitoring and evaluation.
  • Knowledge of applicable complex technology; an ability to communicate effectively to include excellent verbal, written and interpersonal skills; ability to troubleshoot technical procedures; ability to work independently and supervise others.


  • Master’s degree in related scientific or laboratory science discipline. Doctoral degree preferred.
  • Minimum of 5 years related lab management experience and 3-5 years of PEPFAR experience
  • Incumbent will be expected to live and work in Mbeya, Tanzania and travel to field locations supported by WRAIR/HJFMRI in Tanzania
  • Required Licenses, Certification or Registration: N/A

Supervisory Responsibilities/Controls:

  • Incumbent will work under the supervision of the Executive Director for HJFMRI Tanzania, and will supervise a number of laboratory operations staff in Tanzania.

Work Environment:

  • Office/field environment; may require working evenings and weekends; may involve working with bio-hazardous materials.
  • Any qualifications to be considered as equivalents, in lieu of stated minimums, require the prior approval of Human Resources
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Method of Application

Cover letters and resumes should be sent by mail through post/EMS/DHL/ or any reliable Courier to the Human Resources and Administration Manager, P.O. Box 6396, Mbeya or sent through e-mail to [email protected]

NOTE: To be considered, applicants must put the TITLE OF THE JOB in the SUBJECT LINE. “CVs should not include any reference to marital status, birthplace, or tribal or religious affiliations. Any CVs containing this information will not be considered for employment”. Applications that are hand- delivered will not be accepted.

The deadline for submitting the application is September 30th, 2020.

Those who do not meet the minimum requirements, as detailed in the job description below, will not be considered. HJFMRI is an equal opportunity employer; women are highly encouraged to apply.

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