Job Opening

Posting Title: DEPUTY DIRECTOR, D1
Department/Office: United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 04 May 2021 - 02 June 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-Political Affairs-UNIDIR-154248-R-Geneva (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) is an autonomous institution within the United Nations that conducts independent research on disarmament and related problems, particularly international security issues. The vision of UNIDIR is a stable and more secure world in which States and people are protected from threats of arms-related violence. The role of UNIDIR is to support Member States, the United Nations and policy and research communities in advancing ideas and actions that contribute to a more sustainable and peaceful world. UNIDIR is based in the Palais des Nations, Geneva.

The Deputy Director reports to the Director of UNIDIR.


Under the supervision of the Director of UNIDIR, the Deputy Director will perform the following duties:

Research agenda coordination and implementation oversight:
•Supports the Director in delivering the Institute’s mandate and objectives including through the formulation and implementation of its research agenda and substantive work programme.
•Oversees the management of activities undertaken by the Institute, ensures that programmed activities are carried out in a timely fashion and in accordance with organizational objectives and policies.
•Coordinates the work of UNIDIR’s research programmes including determining priorities and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery.
•Supervises the development of analytical and concept papers and policy options to address challenges in disarmament and arms control; develops well-reasoned, innovative approaches to deal with sensitive issues.
•Oversees the substantive review of research reports, policy briefs and other publications produced by UNIDIR.
•Ensures that the outputs produced by the Institute maintain high-quality standards; that reports, and related activities are of a high research standard, evidence-based and contribute to advancing progress in disarmament and international security.
•Develops, drives and oversees cross-cutting Institute-wide research initiatives and activities, including the delivery of public and/or educational activities.

Resource mobilization and outreach:
•Supports the Director in consolidating, diversifying and expanding the Institute’s resource base, including in the development of research and project proposals.
•Coordinates the implementation of resource mobilization priorities including proposals submissions and substantive reporting thereon.
•Acts as spokesperson, develops and maintains close relations and strong partnerships with Permanent Missions of member states, UN legislative bodies, other UN departments, offices, specialized agencies, funds and programmes, other international and regional intergovernmental organizations, as well as representatives of non-governmental and civil society organizations, research institutions and other disarmament and arms control partners to advance the work of UNIDIR.
•Represents UNIDIR in internal and public fora to address disarmament and arms control issues; delivers research papers and presentations; builds and sustains diverse multi-stakeholder networks on disarmament and international security issues.

•Supports the Director where required in the management and administration of the Institute, including preparation of budgets, reporting on budget and programme performance, communications, recruiting qualified personnel and managing staff performance.
•Manages, guides and develops personnel under his/her supervision.
•Fosters teamwork and communication across the Institute.
•Acts as Officer-in-Charge of the Institute in the absence of the Director.
•Performs other duties as required.


Professionalism: Substantive knowledge of arms control and disarmament, security doctrines and international relations theory and disarmament. Proven capacity in management, planning and risk analysis. Ability to manage complex tasks, teams and projects, prioritize quickly in rapidly changing environments and delegate effectively. Excellent judgement and initiative, resourcefulness, energy and tact. Excellent oral and written communication skills. Thorough understanding of the intellectual, diplomatic and political challenges and responsibilities of working in an international research institute working on sensitive foreign policy issues. 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. 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.

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.

Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals. Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others. Places team agenda before personal agenda. Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position. Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

Managing performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority. Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member. Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills. Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines. Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff. Encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative. Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff. Appraises performance fairly.

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.


Advanced university degree (Master’s or Doctorate degree, or equivalent) in political science, international relations, management studies, public administration, law, social sciences or related fields is required. A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in the specified fields of studies with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. A doctoral qualification is desirable.

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, international law, international security, arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament, or related field is required.
Experience in managing policy and research programmes and activities, including responsibility for budget development and human resources, is highly desirable.
Proven experience in mobilising funds for international policy research and activities is highly desirable.
Experience working in and managing diverse international teams is desirable.
Experience in diplomacy and in engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders in the field of disarmament and/or international peace and security is desirable.
Experience in research and drafting policy-relevant materials on international security, arms control or disarmament issues 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 French is desirable. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is also desirable.


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

Special Notice

The appointment against this position is limited to the UN Institute for Disarmament Research.

This position is funded for a period of at least one year and extension of appointment is subject to extension of mandate and availability of funds.

UNIDIR is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

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.

No Fee


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