Principal Security Adviser, D1

UN Department of Safety and Security
  • Location
    Baghdad, Iraq
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Aug 07

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The Department of Safety and Security (DSS) is responsible for providing leadership, operational support and oversight of the security management system to enable the safest and most efficient conduct of the security programmes and activities of the United Nations System. The Principal Security Adviser (PSA) reports to both the United Nations Designated Official (DO) and the Senior Management in the Department of Safety and Security at UN Headquarters in New York. This position is located in designated hardship duty station Baghdad, Iraq.


Under the supervision of the United Nations Designated Official (DO) for security and the overall guidance and direction from senior managers in the United Nations Department of Safety and Security, the incumbent of the post will serve as the principal security adviser to the DO and to the Security Management Team (SMT). He/she will advise the DO and the Security Management Team on all aspects of the safety and security of personnel of UNSMS organizations, their eligible dependents as well as premises, assets and operations of United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS) organizations. In particular, the PSA leads and directs security operations with the following duties in the country/mission/designated area under his/her responsibility.

Security Risk Management

Is thoroughly familiar with the UNSMS approach to risk management and ensures timely development and review of the Security Risk Management (SRM) process, the management of resultant security risk management measures and Residential Security Measures, and other relevant requirements of UNSMS security policies and guidelines, to enable the continued delivery of UN programmes particularly in crisis situations while ensuring the safety, security and well-being of personnel, and security of UN premises and assets.

Management of Personnel and Assets

Manages all security personnel under his/her supervision; directs the mission’s security sections and units, including executive protection, investigations and fire safety. In the context of integrated missions, manages security-related budgets, resources and assets, and oversees the performance of security contractors.

Security Coordination

Establishes, chairs and leads the Security Cell comprising of Security Officers of UNSMS organizations; coordinates safety and security arrangements with representatives of UNSMS organizations; establishes and maintains a liaison mechanism with NGOs under the “Saving Lives Together” framework; develops and maintains contacts with appropriate host country authorities on issues related to the safety and security of UNSMS personnel, assets and operations.

Security Planning

Ensures timely development and review of Security Plans and their integral components, including, but not limited to, contingency and crisis response plans, standard operating procedures, emergency communications, warden systems and staff lists, as per requirements of UNSMS security policies and procedures.

Compliance Monitoring

Oversees adherence of all UNSMS personnel and organizations to security policies and procedures, including Security Plan, SRM Process, promoting understanding and support for security requirements and reporting cases of non-compliance to the DO and the SMT; monitors and analyzes trends of security incidents affecting UNSMS personnel and organizations, identifying problems and solutions in a timely fashion.

Security Awareness

Ensures that the DO, SMT and UNDSS are kept regularly updated in a timely manner on security developments, providing required briefings and reports; ensures that all UNSMS personnel receive timely security updates, alerts and warnings when the security situation warrants it; shares security information with NGOs under the “Saving Lives Together” framework, as appropriate.

Security Training

Directs in-country security training programmes, ensuring that all UNSMS personnel and their eligible family members receive the required security trainings and briefings.

Resources for Security

During emergency/crisis situations, is responsible for UNDSS inputs for security resources to Flash Appeals, Consolidated Appeals, Central Emergency Response Funds (CERF) and bilateral donor requests; is responsible and accountable for the management of extra-budgetary (XB) funding and resources relating to security.



  • Ability to plan, organize, coordinate and implement security operations in the field, implement a wide range of UNSMS security measures;
  • As a UN executive leader, serves as a role model with leadership skills and ability to manage and coordinate many different activities/operations, including disaster crisis management, to make difficult decisions under pressure and to implement proposals;
  • Ability to build and manage large and diverse teams;
  • Shows pride in work and in achievements;
  • Demonstrates 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.

Planning and Organizing:

  • Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies;
  • Identifies priority activities and assignments;
  • Adjusts priorities as required;
  • Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work;
  • Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary;
  • Uses time efficiently.


  • Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals;
  • Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others;
  • Places team agenda before personal agenda;
  • Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position;
  • Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.


  • 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 improvement; 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.

Judgment/ Decision-making:

  • 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 risk, disaster or emergency management, social/political science, military science, public administration, law enforcement, law or related area. A first-level university degree in any of these fields, in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen (15) years progressively responsible experience in security, risk and disaster management in the public or private areas, such as national security, military or police, or in a corporate environment is required. Of these, at least ten years of command or leadership experience is required. A minimum of five (5) years senior leadership experience in the field, including contingency planning and crisis management, is required. At least 2 (two) years of Security experience in the field in the United Nations or similar organisation is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in English is required. Fluency in Arabic is desirable.

Application instructions

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