"Set your priorities, enrich your knowledge and skills, and work hard"

Manal Tahtamouni, Chief of Health and Nutrition, UNICEF Jordan

Manal Tahtamouni, Chief of Health and Nutrition
20 June 2019

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I was born and raised in Jordan. I studied medicine at the University of Jordan, and I’m a proud mother of three boys. I have 15 years of national and regional experience in the management and development of health programmes, with special focus on reproductive health and rights and sexual and gender-based violence. I have managed large-scale projects with multiple international organizations, including the European Union, the UN Refugee Agency, the UN Population Fund and the US Agency for International Development, and worked in roles that go from advocacy and coordination at the national and regional level to health programming.

When did you join UNICEF, and why?

I joined in January 2018 as the first national Chief of Health in the UNICEF Jordan Country Office.  I wanted to use the experience and skills I gained over the years to contribute towards improving the quality and accessibility of health services for women and children in the Kingdom.

Do you think the fact of being a woman has had in impact in your career?

Women used to be judged by their gender. They have had to demonstrate high quality of work and eagerness to learn and develop.  Many of us had to continuously prove that we deserve the position and are capable of achieving results.

Could you give a word of advice for future candidates?

Times are changing and opportunities are increasing for women in the MENA region. If you have the dream, energy and the ambition to succeed, you should set your priorities, enrich your knowledge and skills, and work hard. At the same time, at work we should set aside our small differences and support each other as much as possible.