Job Opening

Posting Title: CHIEF OF STAFF, D1
Job Code Title: CHIEF OF STAFF
Department/Office: United Nations Office to the African Union
Duty Station: ADDIS ABABA
Posting Period: 07 July 2022 - 20 August 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Political Affairs-UNOAU-185874-R-Addis Ababa (M)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Org. Setting and Reporting

The Chief of Staff (CoS) position is based in Addis Ababa and reports to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG and Head of Office (HoO) of the United Nations office to the African Union / UNOAU).


Within the limits of delegated authority from the SRSG and HoO UNOAU, the Chief of Staff, will be responsible for performing the following duties:


• Ensures the effective direction and integrated management of the Office’s activities in line with the strategic vision and guidance of the SRSG and in coordination with the Deputy Head of Office / Director of Political Affairs.

• Oversees the internal management of the Office on behalf of the SRSG, including the development of, advice on and promotion of policies on management issues and risk management.
• Facilitates the translation of policy intent and high-level direction of the Office leadership into viable tasks and works with components to ensure their effective implementation.

• Under the direction of the SRSG and within the delegated authority, oversees and coordinates core integrated processes and mechanisms that enable the integrated delivery of the Office's mandate, including programme management, reform/change management, information management and crisis management.

• Oversees the activities of all staff located in the Office of the Chief of Staff.

• Serves as the focal point in the Office of the SRSG for all sensitive personnel and management issues, as well as for contacts with the Office of Internal Oversight Services and Audit Queries in coordination with Administrative Support Section.

• Serves as interface between the Office of the SRSG and Administrative Support Section within Delegated Authority on all personnel matters and the recruitment of senior mission management appointments.

• Ensures that the Office complies with UN Standards with regards to crosscutting matters, such as gender parity, as well as sexual abuse and exploitation, sexual harassment; and climate change compliance.

Planning and budgeting:

• In coordination with the Deputy Head of Office / Director Political Affairs, oversees office-wide planning processes, ensuring coherence is maintained between mandated tasks, component plans/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 the Policy on Integrated Assessment and Planning, and risk management, and incorporates mandated cross-cutting issues, such as gender mainstreaming, and supervises and provides managerial guidance to mission planning staff to this effect.

• Ensures the proper conduct of processes critical to the delivery of mandate implementation, particularly strategic planning, policy coordination and senior level decision-making.

• Ensures alignment between substantive priorities and support capacities; and, liaises with all components to advise and ensure the use of best practices for achieving the objectives and priorities of the Office.

• In coordination with Administrative 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 Office components.

• Periodically reviews, with the Office leadership team, the delivery of component work plans, identifying necessary adjustments to mission plans and/or revised assumptions, as appropriate.

• Provides guidance on United Nations policies, standards and procedures; including strategic planning.

• Coordinates the development and implementation of cross-cutting and management policies among the various components of the office and liaises with the United Nations – African Union Partnership Team when required and in coordination with the Deputy Head of Office / Director Political Affairs as appropriate.

• Ensures that advice and information on cross-cutting issues are coordinated with all relevant components of the Office prior to submission to the OSRSG.

• Ensures effective functioning of coherent communications structures and systems and serves as the focal point for communications.

• Oversees Office-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.

• Provides direct oversight to the Public Information team, security and office planning capacity.

• Oversees the implementation of knowledge management approaches throughout the mission, such as handover notes, after-action reviews and end-of-assignment reports.

• In close consultation with the SRSG and Administrative Support, facilitates discussions between the Office and national authorities on issues related to the Office’s functions.

• Advises the SRSG on protocol matters in coordination with Administrative Support and provides guidance on the preparation and coordination of official visits.


Ability to identify problems and propose policy options. Drafting ability and negotiation skills. Ability to use diplomacy and judgment in dealing with others. 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, despite their sexual orientation, religion or ethnicity.

Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, ability to defend and explain difficult issues with respect to key decisions and positions to staff, senior official and members of inter-governmental bodies; ability to communicate complex management decisions; ability to prepare written reports that are clear, concise and meaningful. 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.

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.

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.

Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors commitments; Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards, operates in compliance with organizational rules and regulations, supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of work unit, where applicable.


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 in combination with two additional years qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible experience in areas such 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 policy and strategic planning is required.

Experience working for the UN in Africa is desirable.

Experience in programme management and/or planning and analysis is desirable.

Experience in preparing budgetary documents for the United Nations legislative bodies or similar in a comparable international organization is desirable.


Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of a second UN language is desirable.


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

Special Notice

The United Nations Secretariat maintains rosters of qualified and available candidates to fill anticipated job openings in peacekeeping operations, special political missions, and other field operations.

The entire assessment process takes an average of six months; all applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application (whether successful or unsuccessful) within 14 days of the conclusion of the process. Roster membership does not guarantee selection.

As per the Secretary General´s Gender Parity Strategy, the United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance. 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, 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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