Job Opening

Posting Title: CHIEF OF STAFF, D1
Job Code Title: CHIEF OF STAFF
Department/Office: Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 16 January 2019 - 14 February 2019
Job Opening Number: 19-Political Affairs-OSE-SYRIA-110165-R-Geneva (M)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Office of the United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria (OSE-Syria) in Geneva, Switzerland. Reporting to the Head of Mission (HoM), the Chief of Staff (CoS) is responsible for ensuring the integrated and coherent functioning of the mission across all areas, components and locations. To that effect, the CoS oversees the core mechanisms and processes that enable the integrated delivery of the mission’s mandate, in particular strategic and operational planning, policy coordination, senior-level decision-making and information management. The CoS may be requested to perform other relevant duties, as required.


Within delegated authority from the HoM, the Chief of Staff will be responsible for the following duties:

- Ensures the effective direction and integrated management of all the mission’s activities and components in line with the strategic vision and guidance of the HoM.
- Oversees the internal management of the mission on behalf of the HoM, including through the development of necessary policies and procedures, taking into account relevant Headquarters policy and best practices.
- Facilitates the translation of mandates, policy intent and high-level direction of mission leadership into viable tasks and priorities.
- Holds the overall management responsibility for the staff working in the immediate office of the HoM and for ensuring that the HoM receives the required support to carry out his/her functions.
- Serves as the focal point in the Office of the HoM for all sensitive personnel and management issues.
- Serves as interface between the HoM and the Chief Mission Support on all personnel matters, and oversees the recruitment of senior staff.
- Provides guidance to the Chief of the Conduct and Discipline Team on all matters relating to conduct and discipline issues in respect of all categories of personnel, including related recommendations on disciplinary or administrative actions.
- Oversees Mission-wide planning processes, ensuring coherence is maintained between mandated tasks, component plans and, where appropriate, United Nations-system-wide integrated planning processes (such as Integrated Strategic Frameworks), as required by policies, guidelines and best practices on planning, and incorporates mandated cross-cutting issues, such as gender mainstreaming.
- Ensures the proper conduct of processes critical to the delivery of mandate implementation, particularly strategic planning, policy coordination and senior level decision-making. The CoS also ensures alignment 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/mission. Facilitates the translation of policy intent and high-level direction by leadership of the operation/mission into viable work plans, and works with all Mission components to ensure the implementation of those work plans.
- In coordination with the Chief Mission Support, 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 as it relates to substantive Mission components, in line with the mandate.
- Periodically review progress and recommend necessary adjustments to enable effective implementation of the Mission mandate.
- Provides guidance on United Nations policies and procedures.
- Coordinates the development and implementation of cross-cutting and management policies among the various components of the Mission, and liaises with the United Nations HC/RC on the same, when required, and in coordination with the HoM, as appropriate.
- Ensures that advice and information on cross-cutting issues is coordinated with all relevant components of the Mission prior to submission to the HoM.
- Ensures effective functioning of coherent communications structures and systems and serves as the focal point for communication with United Nations Headquarters in New York.
- Oversees mission-wide, integrated procedures and systems for information analysis and management, including intra-mission information sharing, reporting requirements, security classification, records management and publication of Intranet content.
- In close consultation with the HoM and Chief Mission Support, facilitates discussions between the mission and national government on issues related to mission’s functions.
- Advises the HoM on protocol matters and supervises and provides guidance on the preparation and coordination of official visits.


Professionalism - Demonstrated ability to: provide advice in a broad range of strategic, policy, management and administrative issues to senior leadership and management; lead integrated processes; and, ensure the timely delivery of a programme of work. Track record of team building, problem solving and continuous organizational improvement for effective programme delivery. 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 audience; Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Planning and Organizing - Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; Uses time efficiently.

Building Trust - Provides an environment in which others can talk and act without fear of repercussion; Manages in a deliberate and predictable way; Operates with transparency; has no hidden agenda; Places confidence in colleagues, staff members and clients; Gives proper credit to others; Follows through on agreed upon actions; Treats sensitive or confidential information appropriately.

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 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.


Advanced University Degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in one of the following disciplines: international relations, political science, business administration, public administration, management, law, or military studies. A first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in such areas as: political, social, civil, military or legal affairs; public or business administration; or management is required. A proven track record of leadership and management in multicultural settings, including coordination of interdisciplinary teams, is required. Experience serving in a senior advisory or managerial capacity at United Nations Headquarters or in a United Nations field operation is required. Experience in inter-agency and operational planning and analysis is desirable. In-depth knowledge of conflict in Syria and the UN-facilitated political process is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of Arabic is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

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.

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 or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, 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.

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.

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.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
Home | Privacy notice | Site map | Fraud alert | Contact Us
Copyright 2019 United Nations. All rights reserved