UNDP is the UN's global development programme, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. UNDP works in nearly 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.

Agenda 2030 remains at the centre of the UNs engagement, including in LDCs, crisis and fragile settings. Underpinning the agenda is the commitment to “Leave No One Behind”, with many of the most marginalized living in protracted crisis settings. As the lead UN development agency working on the sustainable development agenda, UNDP is central in supporting the UN development system, engaging at the global policy level and through its programmatic interventions.

Under the overall guidance of the Administrator and in coordination with the Executive Office, the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy (BERA) is responsible to support UNDP’s external relations, advocacy, resource mobilization and communication functions. The Bureau leads and supports the organization in cultivating, building and nurturing strategic relationships and alliances that are essential for advancing and successfully achieving the mission of UNDP. These relationships encompass a wide range and number of key constituencies and development partners, especially those related to resource mobilization and donor relations, intergovernmental affairs with member states, programme countries, existing and prospective donor countries/emerging economies, multilateral institutions such as the IFIs, the European Commission, civil society, the private sector, foundations, academia and think tanks, the wider UN system, and various UN inter-governmental bodies. BERA also supports the Organisation’s external communications functions, interfacing with global, regional and national media. The Bureau coordinates and acts as a facilitator of information exchange network building and dissemination of best practices throughout the UNDP in resource mobilization, intergovernmental and inter-agency affairs, and external communications. In addition to the Headquarters team, the Director, in coordination with the Executive Office, oversees UNDP’s Representation Offices in major donor and partner capitals.

Duties and Responsibilities

As well as leading the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy, the Bureau Director is a member of UNDP’s corporate leadership, the Executive Group, and contributes to shaping and monitoring overall corporate strategic directions.  S/he directs and manages the overall work of the Bureau to contribute to the achievements of organizational priorities and achieve identified outcomes.  The following scope and principal functions of the position include:

  • Participates in UNDP’s highest corporate level decision making body, the Executive Group, helping to identify and implement strategic directions for the organization as a whole;  
  • Manages the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy, including Representation Offices and works collaboratively and collegiately across UNDP to achieve outcomes and results in line with UNDP’s Strategic Plan;
  • Develops, advises on and regularly updates UNDP’s corporate resource mobilization strategy and supports UNDP’s core and non-core resource mobilization efforts across Bureaux;
  • Advises the Administrator on UN Inter-Agency Affairs, and supports UNDP’s activities and initiatives to support UN Reform or on any strategic tasks as is necessary in coordination with the Executive Office;
  • Manages and coordinates UNDP engagement in other inter-agency affairs and fora, representation at interagency meetings and UN inter-governmental fora, including the UN General Assembly (GA), the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and related bodies, in coordination with the Executive Office;
  • Coordinates and updates organization-wide partnership strategy development, maintains, tracks and advises on key organisational partnerships, including in relation to:
    • The wider UN system;
    • Relevant multilateral and international organizations;
    • OECD/DAC;
    • Strategic partnerships with emerging economies;
    • Other groups including civil society, the private sector, foundations and think tanks; and
    • Developing new, innovative partnerships.

The Director: 

  • Leads and supports a professional external communications function for the whole organization, develops and coordinates UNDP’s medium term and annual external communications and branding strategy, and supports specific Bureaux communications and communication products;
  • Represents UNDP in other international fora as appropriate;
  • Leads by example and encourages excellence, professionalism, competence, integrity and ethics and values enshrined in the UN Charter;
  • Guides, mentors and develops a team of senior managers in New York and Representation Offices;
  • Oversees and is responsible for Bureau’s operations in financial, human resources, procurement and general administration.


The Secretary-General is seeking an individual with:

  • A strong record of progressively responsible, substantive and results achievement experience at the international level, including in development programming, resource mobilization and advocacy;
  • Experience in interagency and international development co-operation, negotiation of partnerships, mobilization of resources and management of programmes. The candidates will have held leadership roles and demonstrated their ability to advocate for effective and innovative solutions;
  • In-depth knowledge of the sustainable development agenda, managing related complex situations, interagency and international cooperation, negotiation of partnerships, mobilization of resources and /or management of programmes in a variety of geographical and political contexts with national, regional, international entities, including the ability to influence/advance dialogue and present such material at global and regional fora;
  • Experience of the UN and/or other intergovernmental institutions and international entities.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced University degree in development related disciplines, Economics, Law, International Relations, Rural Development, Public Policy, Business Administration, or other relevant disciplines.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations. For this position, fluency in English is required. Proficiency in another United Nations official language is a distinct advantage.