Head of liaison office, P5

Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.

UNISDR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process. If you have any questions concerning persons or companies claiming to be recruiting on behalf of UNISDR and requesting the payment of a fee, please immediately contact isdr@un.org.

Location: New York

Close date: 15 Sep 2013

Job description

Vacancy posting: 13-PGM-UNISDR-29143-R-NEW YORK (X)

United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for diversity

Organization setting and reporting

Created in December 1999, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is the designated focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of disaster reduction and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations and regional organizations and activities in socio-economic and humanitarian fields. Led by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR has over 100 staff located in its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and 5 regional offices and other field presences. Specifically, UNISDR coordinates international efforts in disaster risk reduction, and guides, monitors and reports on the progress of the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action; campaigns to create global awareness of disaster risk reduction benefits and empower people to reduce their vulnerability to hazards; advocates for greater investments in disaster risk reduction to protect people's lives and assets, and for increased and informed participation of men and women in reducing disaster risk; and informs and connects people by providing practical services and tools such as PreventionWeb, publications on good practices, and by leading the preparation of the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction and the organisation of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.This position is located in the UNISDR Liaison Office in New York and the incumbent reports to the Director.


  • Plans, manages, supervises and carries out the work programme of the liaison office under his/her responsibility, determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery; ensures that the outputs produced by the liaison office meet high-quality standards and support relevant UNISDR mandates. Participates in setting the UNISDR strategic direction, planning and monitoring of the achievements.
  • Carries out the managerial, programmatic and administrative tasks necessary for the efficient functioning of the liaison office including preparation of budgets, assigning and monitoring of performance parameters and critical indicators, reporting on budget/programme performance, preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting, evaluation of staff performance, interview and evaluation of candidates for job openings and interaction with service providers and UN partners.
  • Provides substantive backstopping and policy advice on disaster risk reduction issues to Member States in the context of the negotiations of relevant resolutions of UN governance bodies, such as the General Assembly and ECOSOC. Drafts and coordinates the preparation of the Secretary General's report on the Implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, and provides inputs for other relevant reports and documents.
  • Represents UNISDR in inter-governmental and inter-agency processes and meetings, provides substantive and programmatic advice as required and ensures that disaster risk reduction is reflected in the outcome of these processes. Promotes coherence in communication strategies among UN agencies.
  • Provides policy and coordination support to the Executive Office (EOSG) for the Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General through preparation and review of relevant documents, including speeches, talking points, background documents related to disaster risk reduction, and the organization of meetings and events, .
  • Facilitates, as relevant, consultations between stakeholders on the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action and the development of post 2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.
  • In line with the UNISDR strategic framework and work programme, builds and sustains productive partnerships with multiple stakeholders in the disaster risk reduction area and fosters synergies and coherence through working groups, networks, meetings and joint initiatives; enhances coordination and collaboration among disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (CCA) players.
  • Organizes advocacy events, side events and briefings on disaster risk reduction at the UN Headquarters in collaboration with, Member States, civil society organisations and UN agencies by proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparing documents and presentations.
  • Identifies opportunities for advancing the disaster risk reduction agenda and promoting UNISDR work; proposes to headquarter Office new initiatives that aim to foster collective and coherent actions among key players.Carries out any other duties requested by the SRSG or Director.


Core Competencies:


Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities and risks. Ability to generate and communicate broad and compelling organizational direction. Ability to communicate clearly links between the Organizational strategy and the liasion office goals. Demonstrated ability to provide innovative technical leadership by performing and/or overseeing the planning, development, and management of the operation. -Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect. Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep informed and anticipate problems


  • 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 the audience
  • Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed


  • 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:


  • 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


  • Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly
  • Gathers relevant information before making a decision
  • Considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them
  • Takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization
  • Proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information
  • Checks assumptions against facts
  • Determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision
  • Makes tough decisions when necessary


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in international relations, management, economics, social sciences, law or related area. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in project or programme management or related field.Qualifying years of experience are calculated following the receipt of the first level university degree recognised by the United Nations.


Fluency in English, (both oral and written) is required; knowledge of French is desirable.

Assessment method

Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special notice

  • Extension of the appointment is subject to the availability of the funds.
  • This vacancy is subject to availability of post. Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.

United Nations Considerations

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.

No fee


How to apply

Visit the UN Careers portal to search for this job opening and apply online

Additional information


Available here


Climate Change, Governance, Disaster Risk Management
United States of America
The Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2018, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 3-6 July 2018 The Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2018, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 3-6 July 2018.
  • Where We Work Our regional office is in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Where We Work Our regional office is in Cairo, Egypt.
  • Where We Work Our regional office is in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Where We Work Our regional office is in Panama City, Panama.
  • Where We Work Our regional office is in Brussels, Belgium.

Where We Work


See our photos on Flickr Watch our videos on YouTube Follow our Instagram Subscribe to our RSS feed