Job Opening

Posting Title: Director, Political Affairs (UNIDIR)
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 20 April 2016 - 08 July 2016
Job Opening Number: 16-Political Affairs-UNOG-59375-B-Geneva (R)
Staffing Exercise SE3(POLNET 2016 Semi-Annual 1)
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Self-Assessment Questionnaire

Is a career at the United Nations right for you? Take the voluntary self-assessment questionnaire and get valuable insight into the working environment of the United Nations as well as the Political, Peace and Humanitarian Network (POLNET). This questionnaire is anonymous and has no impact on your potential candidacy for this position. Upon completion, you will receive feedback to help you decide if working in the United Nations is right for you.
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Special Notice

Extension of the appointment is subject to Extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.

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.

An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential.

This job opening is being  posted for additional days in order to attract a larger pool of qualified candidates. Applicants who have already submitted an application do not need to apply again. Qualified female candidates are highly encouraged to apply.

Org. Setting and Reporting

Under the general directives of its' Board of Trustees and in accordance with its Statute, the Director provides overall executive direction and management of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), an autonomous institution within the framework of the United Nations undertaking independent research on international disarmament, non-proliferation, arms control and security issues. In coordination with the UN system, in particular the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), the Institute works with Governments, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations.


The responsibilities of the Director are:

• To formulate the annual draft work programme and budget of the Institute for approval by the Board of Trustees and consideration by the General Assembly.
• To coordinate all the activities and work of the Institute, i.e. to oversee the implementation of the work programme and be accountable for all expenditures authorized in the budget;
• To formulate project proposals and actively undertake fund-raising efforts in order to support the Institute's staff and activities, and to increase voluntary contributions, the principal source of financing for the Institute, in order to make it financially sustainable;
• To appoint, supervise and direct all staff of the Institute, including research fellows and consultants;
• To establish and maintain effective relationships with Member States, donor governments and foundations, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations and to coordinate the work of the Institute with that of other international and national public and private research, programmes is the field;
• To represent UNIDIR at international conferences, seminars and meetings relevant to the work and activities of the Institute;
• To undertake public information and education activities to promote the work of the Institute and carry out extensive advocacy initiatives.
• To serve as ex officio member of the Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters.


In-depth understanding and awareness of developments and trends in research in international disarmament, arms control, non-proliferation and security issues; familiarity with multilateral disarmament and arms control machinery and organizations; proven ability to formulate grant proposals and raise funds. Strong analytical skills and proven ability to develop policy options and strategies. Ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. Shows pride in work and in achievements; 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.

Demonstrates the values of the United Nations in daily activities and behaviors; acts without consideration of personal gain; resists undue political pressure in decision-making; does not abuse power or authority; stands by decisions that are in the Organization’s interest, even if they are unpopular; takes prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behavior.

Respect for Diversity:
Works effectively with people from all backgrounds; treats all people with dignity and respect; treats men and women equally; shows respect for and understanding of diverse points of view and demonstrates this understanding in daily work and decision-making; examines own biases and behaviors to avoid stereotypical responses; does not discriminate against any individual or group.

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.

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 improvements; 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.

Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks; clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals; generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction; conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.

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.


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in international security, international relations, political science, international law, related science or other related fields. A first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. A PhD is desirable.

Work Experience

Over 15 years of progressively responsible experience in disarmament, non-proliferation, arms control and security research, including at senior level positions at the national or international levels. Experience in grant formulation, proven capacity in fund-raising. Proven managerial experience is required.


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


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview. Core values and competencies will be assessed throughout the evaluation process.

United Nations Considerations

Candidates will be required to meet the requirements of Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter as well as the requirements of the position. The United Nations is committed to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity for all its human resources, including but not limited to respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to whether they have committed, or are alleged to have committed criminal offences and/or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

The United Nations shall place 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. (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8). 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 At-a-Glance on "The Application Process" and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of inspira account-holder homepage.

Applications are pre-screened by the system according to the published requirements of the job opening on the basis of the information provided in the application. In relation to the requirements of the job opening, applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their qualifications, including their education, work experience, and language skills. Each applicant must bear in mind that submission of incomplete or inaccurate applications may render that applicant ineligible for consideration for the job opening. Initial screening and evaluation of applications will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted. Applications cannot be amended following submission. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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