Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC) in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in New York. OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response efforts. OCHA’s mission is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies; advocate the rights of people in need; promote preparedness and prevention and facilitate sustainable solutions.
The Chief of Staff reports to the USG/ERC and will be responsible to support the USG/ERC in all of his functions, including by ensuring the efficient and effective functioning of OCHA.
Within the delegated authority, and under the overall supervision of the USG/ERC, the Chief of Staff will be responsible for the following duties:
•Ensures the effective direction and coordinated management of all the Office’s activities in line with the strategic vision and guidance of the USG/ERC in line with the Secretary-General’s vision and corporate priorities;
•Supports the USG/ERC in the development of programmes, projects and issues of significant impact on humanitarian, emergency relief and disaster response/management efforts according to OCHA’s overall strategy and plan of action to ensure results-oriented fulfillment of OCHA’s mandate under General Assembly, Security Council and ECOSOC resolutions, including on humanitarian coordination, advocacy, information management, humanitarian finance and policy development;
•Oversees the internal management of OCHA on behalf of the USG/ERC including the development of, advice on promotion of policies on management issues, including risk management;
•Facilitates the translation of policy intent and high-level direction of OCHA senior leadership into viable tasks, and works with Offices/Branches/Divisions to ensure their effective implementation;
•Oversees the activities in the Office of the USG as appropriate; Serves as the focal point in the Office of the USG for all sensitive personnel and management issues;
•Serves as interface between the Office of the USG and the Human Resources Section on all personnel matters, and oversees the recruitment of senior management appointments; fosters teamwork and communication among staff ;
•Serves as primary liaison with non-UN entities, including senior host government officials, donor representatives, NGO officials, the media, etc., in emergency situations;
Planning and Budgeting
•Oversees OCHA-wide planning processes, ensuring coherence is maintained between mandated tasks, workplans/concepts of operations and, where appropriate, United Nations-system-wide integrated planning processes, as required by policies, guidelines and best practices on planning, in particular risk management, and incorporates mandated cross-cutting issues, such as gender mainstreaming; and, supervises and provides managerial guidance to staff to this effect;
•Design strategies to ensure the proper conduct of processes critical to the delivery of mandate implementation, particularly strategic planning, policy coordination and senior level decision-making.
•The Chie of Staff also ensures a clear understanding between substantive priorities and support capacities; and, liaises with all components to advise and ensure the use of the best methods for achieving the objectives and priorities of the operation.
•Facilitates the translation of policy intent and high-level direction by leadership of the operation into viable workplans, and works with Offices/Branches/Divisions to ensure the implementation of those work plans;
•In coordination with the Executive Officer, ensures an integrated approach to the results based budget process, including alignment with strategic and operational plans and adequate provisions to meet resource requirements, and oversees the process;
•Oversee the evaluation of OCHA’s activities, including monitoring of programme performance; appraises official reports and documentation prepared by OCHA and ensures their accuracy and consistency with OCHA strategy before approval by the USG/ERC
•Provides guidance on United Nations policies and procedures. Provides authoritative substantive, technical, administrative and policy advice to the USG/ERC and senior management in OCHA and other agencies in the UN system, Member States, international and regional organizations on the implementation of OCHA’s mandate in line with the humanitarian principles;
•Monitors the performance of the institution’s humanitarian mandate; influences the development and evolution of the UN approach to humanitarian affairs; implements significant policy and programme changes to address country, regional, global humanitarian affairs, including gender considerations; conceptualizes the linkages with the political and peacekeeping functions in the Secretariat.
Professionalism: Knowledge of full range of humanitarian and emergency relief assistance and related human rights issues. Ability to advise senior management and other senior officials on approaches and techniques to address highly complex/sensitive issues; Demonstrated capacity for intellectual leadership; conceptual and strategic analytical capacity and ability to thoroughly analyze and evaluate critical matters pertaining to a broad spectrum of humanitarian and emergency relief issues/problems; Demonstrated capacity for original and creative thinking, independent judgment and discretion in advising on and handling major policy, project and other issues/problems. Ability to negotiate and ability to influence others to reach agreement on difficult issues. Ability to work under extreme pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment (e.g. civil strife, natural disasters and human misery); Knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines related to humanitarian affairs and seasoned knowledge of the institutions of the UN system; Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations; Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately. Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services. Offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs. Promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas. Takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box.” Takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things. Is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.
Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow. Empowers others to translate vision into results. Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives. Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support. Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions. Drives for change and improvement; does not accept the status quo. Shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
Judgement/decision making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly. Gathers relevant information before making a decision. Considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them. Takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization. Proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information. Checks assumptions against facts. Determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision. Makes tough decisions when necessary.
An advanced university degree (Master’s or Doctorate degree, or equivalent) in political science, social science, public administration, international studies, economics, engineering, earth sciences or a related field is required. A first-level degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in such areas as: humanitarian, political, social, civil, military or legal affairs; public or business administration; or management is required.
Proven track record of leadership and management in multicultural settings, including coordination of interdisciplinary teams is required.
Experience in both inter-agency and operational planning and analysis is highly desirable.
Experience working within the United Nations Common System or in support of or in a field operation of the United Nations Common System or a comparable international organization is desirable.
Relevant experience working in a front office is desirable.
At least two years of experience advising and supporting senior public officials is desirable.
A minimum of four years of field experience in the last ten years within the UN common System or comparable international organization or non governmental organization in a conflict, post-conflict or natural disaster setting is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN language is desirable.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 August 2021, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential.
Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.
United Nations Considerations
According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.