UN Women: Director of Nordic Liaison Office

Location : Copenhagen, DENMARK
Application Deadline :08-Oct-12 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Management
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :D-1
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :One Year


UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. Placing women’s rights at the center of all its efforts, UN Women leads and coordinates United Nations system efforts to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. It provides strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States’ priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.

The Nordic countries have a steadfast relationship with the UN, and the Nordic countries have historically been strong advocates for Gender Equality both within their own countries and as part of their development cooperation policy. All five countries played an important role in the establishment of UN Women, provided funds for the transition process and remain key supporters, with four of the five countries being among UN women top 12 donors.  
The Nordic countries provide significant financial contributions to development cooperation both multilaterally and bilaterally and are among the top donors in terms of official development aid.

Recognizing the importance of the Nordic Countries in development assistance, a Liaison Office will open in Copenhagen in 2013. A UN Women presence in Copenhagen provides a strategic entry point and an opportunity to liaise with Nordic governments, parliamentarians and key decision makers, the UN Women National Committees in Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, with the private sector, the media and civil society. It is also an opportunity to work closely with the UN Women liaison office in Brussels and with all other UN agencies based in Copenhagen. 

The work of the Liaison Office is shaped to contribute to UN Women’s Strategic Plan 2011-2013. The strategic focus is on resource mobilization and partnership development in the area of public and political advocacy with the Nordic countries on issues pertaining to UN Women’s mandate to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment and rights.

The Director of the Nordic Liaison Office oversees resource mobilization and partnership development in the area of gender equality and the empowerment of women with the Nordic countries. The Director works in close cooperation with the Strategic Partnerships Division (SPD) as well as other sections in HQ, including the Directorate, Thematic and Programme Sections, as well as Regional Programme Directors working in the field.The scope and depth of work of Nordic Liaison Office Director is demanding. It requires good communications skills, knowledge of gender and developmental issues, experience in political analysis and advocacy work, management expertise, skills in formulation of strategic results-oriented programmes that coincide with UN Women’s strategies as well as the priorities of the Nordic countries. It further requires capacity to engage in dialogue and negotiations with government and private sector partners and other strategic partners such as parliamentarians, the media and civil society organizations.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:
  • Resource mobilization and donor relations
  • Public and political advocacy
  • Programme formulation and oversight
  • Representational responsibilities
  • Office capacity and performance
Resource mobilization and donor relations:
  • Conceptualize and develop innovative strategies for enhanced resource mobilization within the Nordic Countries in both the private and public sectors.
  • Identify and enhance existing strategic opportunities for UN Women to mobilize resources within the Nordic Countries in both the private and public sectors.
  • Enhance, expand and nurture donor relations, and act as a well informed mature strategic interface between donors and the SPD, in particular with respect to communicating donors priorities and expectations to the Division.
  • Proactively establish, expand, enhance and nurture positive partnerships with all governments in the Nordic capitals, and through such partnerships initiate evidence- based advocacy to help increase funding for the core budget, but also for existing and new UN Women programmes from the Nordic Countries.
  • Proactively engage with all partners of UN Women, in relevant debate on issues such as standard setting, evaluation, programme relevance and impact, best practice and funding within the areas covered by the mandate of UN Women, and track and sustain this engagement.
  • Conceptualize and develop top quality proposals for funding and partnerships which reflect both the priorities and expectations of the Nordic countries;

Policy and political advocacy:

  • Enhance, expand and nurture existing relations, and act as a well informed mature strategic interface between Nordic Governments and UN Women HQ, especially the SPD to help promote the UN Women mandate.
  • Conceptualize and develop innovative strategies for new enhanced and sustainable relationships with Nordic Governments, parliamentarians, media, NGOs, networks and think tanks as well as with pan-Nordic cooperation, and use such relationships to advocate for stronger focus on gender equality and women’s rights in all development work.
  • Based on well informed political analysis, develop and provide expert policy advice advocating for stronger integration of gender equality and women's rights into Nordic development, foreign and security and defense policies.
  • UN Coordination: Provide strategic leadership within the UN Copenhagen Team on gender equality and women’s rights, and strategically promote and develop UN coordination around these goals.
  • Proactively engage in and stay abreast of cutting edge policy dialogue at Nordic level, tracking over time the different key changes in policy thinking on gender equality and women’s rights, and provide substantive well informed feed back to HQ.
Programme formulation and oversight:
  • Provide expert advice and timely guidance as well as substantive technical support to Programme Sections and Regional Offices, in developing strategic proposals for fundraising from Nordic donors. Also provide advice and guidance to the same UN Women entities in how to foster better strategic partnerships with representatives of the Nordic Countries in the field and New York.
  • Guide and facilitate Steering Committee Meetings, expert group workshops in Copenhagen and enhance linkages between programming and Nordic policy developments.
  • Coordinate, promote and facilitate dialogue with the Nordic countries and selected donors around reporting and evaluation.
Representational responsibilities:
  • Represent UN Women in conferences/events in the Nordic countries (speeches/presentations, contribute to relevant WG, support for gender training)

  • Represent UN Women in strategic conferences and fora in the Nordic countries upon request of SPD and the UN Women Directorate.

Office capacity and performance:

  • Establish mutually agreed results and performance indicators for the UN Women Nordic Liaison Office in line with UN Women's accountability framework. Promote and oversee the ongoing use of these performance metrics within the Office, and ensure a working environment which is focused on producing evidence based results.
  • Oversee the financial and administrative management of the Nordic Liaison Office, including special programmes assigned to be managed by the office.
  • Oversee the proper management of Human Resources, including the recruitment of staff and consultants, performance management, and the development of a fully functioning team.
  • Oversee and manage staff/ supervisor/management dialogue in the identification of staff development needs and ensure adequate staff access to appropriate capacity-building/ and learning opportunities.
Impact of Results:

As a member of the team defining strategies to meet UN Women's objectives, the results expected from the position of Director of the Nordic Liaison Office are critical to: 
  • The success of UN Women in building and nurturing successful strategic partnerships with both the public and private sector in the Nordic Countries, and thereby critical to increasing advocacy, funding and policy dialogue with these countries on gender equality and women’s rights and the role of UN Women therein.
  • The success of UN Women in mobilizing resources within the Nordic Countries to help advance the mandate of UN Women on gender equality and women’s rights


Core values and Guiding principles:

  • Integrity:    Demonstrate consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.
  • Professionalism:   Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work.
  • Cultural sensitivity and valuing diversity:Demonstrate an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrate an international outlook, appreciating difference in values and learning from cultural diversity.
Core Competencies:
  • Ethics and Values:  Demonstrate and promote ethics and integrity by creating organizational precedents.
  • Organizational Awareness: Build support for the organization and ensure political acumen.
  • Development and Innovation:   Support staff competence development, and contribute to an environment of creativity and innovation.
  • Work in teams:   Build and promote effective teams. Demonstrate ability to work in a multicultural, multi ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.
  • Communication and Information Sharing:   Create and promote an environment for open and effective communication.
  • Self-management and Emotional Intelligence:  Stay composed and positive even in difficult moments, handle tense situations with diplomacy and tact, and have a consistent behavior towards others

Conflict Management:

  • Surface conflicts and address them proactively acknowledging different feelings and views and directing energy towards a mutually acceptable solution.
  • Continuous Learning and Knowledge Sharing: Share knowledge across the organization and build a culture of knowledge sharing and learning.
  • Appropriate and Transparent Decision Making:   Ensure fair and transparent decision making processes and manage risk
  • Knowledge Management: Demonstrates ability to conceptualize, develop and use knowledge management strategies to promote effective decision-making, and a coherent approach to policy making, and intra/inter-organizational collaboration, applies knowledge, information, and best practices from within and outside of UN Women.Leadership and Management Skills: Has strong leadership and management skills with a proven record of building and managing teams and creating an enabling work environment, including the ability to effectively lead, develop, mentor, coach and evaluate staff.
Managing Relationships:
  • Displays a high level of respect, diplomacy and tact when dealing with government officials, donors and other stakeholders.

  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, able to establish and maintain effective partnerships and working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment.

  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.

  • Outstanding coordination skills, with ability to manage multiple activities concurrently, works under pressure, and to tight deadlines

  • Demonstrates strong impactful oral and written communication skills, including the ability to convey complex concepts to different stakeholders in a clear concise and masterful style

Functional Competencies:
  • Has substantive and demonstrated professional experience and record of accomplishment in the area of gender equality and women's human rights.
  • Has knowledge of UN Women and the UN system
  • Has proven ability to advocate and provide policy advice
  • Has a successful track record in developing strong partnerships with donors, networking and mobilizing significant resources for development assistance programmes.
  • Has ability to lead strategic planning, change processes, results-based management and reporting
  • Has ability to lead formulation, oversight of implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes 

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in a development-related area of study, communication or international relations.
  • Experience with managing, supporting and overseeing development policy-making, programme and operations management, resource mobilization and partnership creation.

  • 15 years minimum of relevant experience

  • Excellent negotiating and communication skills and ability to mobilize support from a wide range of partners (public, private, academic, civil society, business community leaders


  • Fluency in written and spoken English.

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