Job Opening

Posting Title: Head of Office, ESCAP Subregional Office for East and North-East Asia, D1
Department/Office: Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Duty Station: INCHEON CITY
Posting Period: 28 June 2018 - 11 August 2018
Job Opening Number: 18-Economic Affairs-ESCAP-99853-R-Incheon City (G)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

The mandate of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is to promote sustainable and inclusive development and regional connectivity in the Asian and Pacific region. ESCAP’s role as a regional development arm of the United Nations Secretariat is to support its membership with policy oriented research and analysis, normative support and technical assistance and capacity building, to respond to the development priorities and changing needs of the Asian and Pacific region.

ESCAP Subregional Office for East and North-East Asia (SOENEA) covers the following six countries: China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation. Serving as the development arm of the United Nations ESCAP in North-East Asia, SOENEA is established to enhance multilateral cooperation in North-East Asia in the implementation, follow up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including through regional cooperation and promotion of connectivity.

The Head of SOENEA also serves as the lead United Nations official in the Republic of Korea and takes on the responsibility of senior certifying officer for United Nations offices and agencies in the country. This role includes setting rental subsidy ceilings, official holidays, overseeing the coordination with United Nations Headquarters on surveys to determine DSA rates, local salaries and cost-of-living. The Head of SOENEA currently serves as the Designated Official for Safety and Security in the Republic of Korea and may be asked to do so in the future as well.


Under the overall supervision of the ESCAP Executive Secretary, the Head of Office will be responsible for the following functions:

1. Formulates and implements the programmes of work of ESCAP Subregional Office for East and Northeast Asia by identifying subregional priorities and needs and delivering mandated outputs effectively and in a timely manner.
2. Leads, supervises, carries out and delivers high quality and policy relevant analytical work on issues and concerns in the subregion both for preparation of stand-alone knowledge products and as inputs to ESCAP publications.
3. Contributes to the development of the work programmes of functional divisions and supports their implementation in East and Northeast Asia in all technical areas where ESCAP is engaged, in particular social development, disaster risk reduction and resilience, climate change, management of natural resources, connectivity for the 2030 Agenda, energy and means of implementation.
4. Supports countries through technical assistance and capacity building including through accessing ESCAP wide capacities, products, services and technical experts.
5. Undertakes the programmatic tasks necessary for the functioning of ENEA including ensuring effective management of the extra budgetary resources allocated to the ENEA office and its programmes including the deployment of funds for technical cooperation and capacity building programmes delegated to the ENEA.
6. Supports proactively resource mobilization for ESCAP from ENEA members.
7. Fosters and actively promotes south-south and triangular cooperation through harnessing and promoting the best practices of the subregion’s member States’ in achieving sustainable development, including through the North-East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation (NEASPEC), and acting as NEASPEC’s dedicated secretariat.
8. Acts as a conduit between UN Country Teams in the subregions and ESCAP headquarters, helping to match national needs and requests with ESCAP wide capacities, products and services. Supports the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) processes in the countries of the subregion, providing subregional analysis of priorities, opportunities and challenges, especially on issues where ESCAP member States have identified priorities and plans at the regional level.
9. Undertakes the administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of ENEA, including recruiting staff, taking due account of gender and geographical balance, managing the operations and providing guidance, and supervision to all staff
10. Participates in international, regional or national meetings and promotes partnership and knowledge-sharing among member countries, private sector, civil society and other relevant development partners in addressing priority areas of the subregion.
11. Represents ESCAP in the East and North-East Asian subregion, including promoting the active participation of member governments in the subregion in the work of ESCAP.
12. Performs other related duties as necessary.


Core Competencies:

Professionalism: Knowledge of sustainable development and connectivity issues as they relate to East and Northeast Asia. Demonstrated ability in overseeing and delivering programmes on: policy advocacy, research and analysis; policy oriented research and analysis , normative support and technical assistance and capacity building. Ability to produce analytical reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others. Ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrated 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.

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.

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

Managerial competencies

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 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.

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) in economics, environmental sciences, social sciences, management or related area. A first-level university degree in the above fields in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible experience in sustainable development and connectivity, including several years of experience at the international level. Experience of working in Asia Pacific as demonstrated by living and working in the region outside of home country highly desirable. Experience in leading and managing a sizable work unit is required. Demonstrated experience in establishing and maintaining professional networks required. Experience in advocacy work and establishing partnerships with key stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector is desirable. Experience of fundraising with major donors and government aid agencies desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


Qualified applicants may be evaluated through a competency-based interview and/or other assessment methods.

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.

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 30 April 2018, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belarus, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

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


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