Chief, UN System Affairs

Application Deadline :05-Mar-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-5
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year


UN System Affairs (UNSA) Office of UN Volunteers (UNV) in New York ensures key partnership services for all UN entities, as well as advocacy within UN intergovernmental mechanisms and Permanent Missions to the UN based in New York, in addition to facilitating all partner relations in the US and Canada. UNSA contributes to UN Volunteer mobilization by developing and promoting volunteer solutions within the UN system, through partnership management approach and coordinating closely with UNV HQ, Regional Offices and Field Units. While ensuring the strategic positioning of volunteerism for peace and development within relevant intergovernmental processes, UNSA supports UNV’s governance arrangements, liaising with the UNDP Executive Board and UNDP headquarters.

Reporting to the Deputy Executive Coordinator, the Chief of UNSA leads and manages the UNV relations with all UN partners globally, as well as \in the context of intergovernmental processes.  In particular, he/she is responsible to: lead UNV-UN partnerships and promote the strategic positioning of UNV and the integration of volunteerism in development, peace and humanitarian action; represent UNV and perform liaison and coordination functions in support of relationship management and partnership development between UNV and the UNDP Executive Board, member states and other US based partners; ensure effective management and accountability of the UNSA, and support UNV Headquarters in managing the administrative relationship with UNDP, as a host entity of UNV.

Duties and Responsibilities

UN-UNV partnerships and UN system relations leadership and development for UN Volunteer mobilization

  • Develop, build and nurture strategic relationships with UN System partners at HQ level, globally, to advocate and promote UNV’s mandate, raise awareness and strengthen UNV’s positioning for meeting their demands and critical needs;  
  • Establish new partnerships with UN partners, showcasing UNV’s products and services to facilitate implementation of projects and programming as well as its contributions to interagency efforts that facilitate positioning UN initiatives; 
  • Generate and coordinate dissemination of UN System partner intelligence (including interests, priorities, political and aid environment) to relevant UNV organizational units to promote business development opportunities;
  • Integrate and consolidate UN System partner portfolios (NY and Bonn based) through adequate work planning, analysis and reporting;
  • Synthesize knowledge emerging from the development and implementation of strategic UN partnerships to facilitate coordination and mainstreaming of key issues;
  • Oversee management of UN partner relationships, in the context of peace and humanitarian action and development programmes, including multi-year demand forecasts, new service line development and roll out, standby arrangements, Memoranda of Understanding, Standard Operations Procedures, etc.;
  • On behalf of UNV Executive Office, manage an effective liaison with UN system partners and other inter-agency coordination efforts to ensure UNV contributes to UN coherence and coordination.

UNDP Executive Board, Member State and other US and Canada-based partnership relationship management for the positioning of UNV and volunteerism in peace and development (including 2030 Agenda)

  • Coordinate preparation for and support  Executive Board sessions and side events of relevance for UNV and General Assembly resolutions in close collaboration with the Executive Office and UNV’s External Relations and Communications Section, as well as provide general information and communication outreach;
  • Convene and inform discussions with key stakeholders in close partnership and consultation with the Volunteer Advisory Services Section – in particular with respect to the Plan of Action (POA) on Volunteerism;
  • Support the Secretariat for the POA in strategically engaging with Member States through consultative mechanisms and a steering committee;
  • Engage in intergovernmental SDG discourse around Agenda 2030 and innovation ensuring relevant UNV sections and personnel are adequately informed about progress and salient changes as appropriate;
  • Represent UNV Executive Coordinator as delegated/appropriate in relevant intergovernmental fora to engage partners and other allies and encourage greater commitment and collaboration in advancing UNV’s strategic agenda;
  • Represent UNV with all other US and Canada-based stakeholders, including partner engagement and resource mobilization within the US and Canada.

Management and liaison for UNV-HQ

  • Lead and empower the UNSA team to ensure coordinated and effective delivery of services;
  • Provide intellectual leadership and technical guidance, and foster a supportive and collaborative work environment;
  • Manage the staff of the team including supervision, performance assessment and capacity development;
  • Establish and monitor implementation of the Office’s annual work plan and set performance indicators;
  • Develop and manage the office’s operating budget;
  • Facilitate liaison with/serve as focal point for preparation for events and incoming UNV missions to New York;
  • Support UNV-HQ in the liaison with UNDP for corporate functions as a host entity of UNV - including liaison with UNDP’s Executive Office, as well as Central and Regional Bureaux.


Core competencies: 

  • Leadership 
  • Innovation
  • People Management 
  • Communication 
  • Delivery 

Functional competencies: 

  • Substantive positioning of UNV

Knowledge of global institutions (such as the UN, IFIs), processes (such as G20 and various UN initiatives), good grasp of UNV’s niche, and ability to engage and foster strong networks with those institutions

  • Representation

Ability to productively share UNV knowledge and activities (at UN and other venues)

  • Intergovernmental Institutions

Knowledge of intergovernmental bodies (General Assembly, ECOSOC, UNDESA, etc.), including respective mandates and ways of working

  • Partnerships

Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships

  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Knowledge of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 20130 and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations

  • Results-based Management

Ability to manage programmes and projects with a strategy aimed at improved performance and demonstrable results

  • Relationship Management

Ability to engage and foster strategic partnerships with other parties, Inter-Agency Coordination and forge productive working relationships

  • Priority setting

Ability to scan and synthesize diverse sets of information to arrive at strategic priorities and positioning recommendations

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s degree in international relations, development or a related field.
  • A minimum of 10 years of relevant experience in progressively responsible positions. This experience should include managerial or senior coordinating roles;
  • Sound knowledge of the workings of the United Nations system in general and UNDP, in particular at headquarters and in programme countries;
  • Good understanding of and commitment to volunteerism and volunteer action and familiarity with civil society organizations at both international and national levels.
  • Fluency in English;
  • Proficiency in either French or Spanish is an asset.

Click here for important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders).
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact

© 2016 United Nations Development Programme