Director, Information Centre

U.N Department of Public Information
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Jul 31

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Washington D.C., within the Information Centres Service (ICS), Strategic Communications Division (SCD), Department of Public Information (DPI). The UNIC Washington D.C. is the principal source of information about the United Nations system in the United States of America and is responsible for promoting public understanding and support for the aims and activities of the United Nations by disseminating UN information materials to a local audience in local language; engaging local and regional partners; and, overall, bringing the United Nations closer to the people it serves. The incumbent will report to the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and the Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications.


Within delegated authority, the Director is responsible for United Nations public information activities in Washington, D.C. and the greater United States; and in close coordination with the Executive Office of the Secretary General, for developing and maintaining high-level liaison with officials from the US Government, to include Administration officials and, in particular, members and staff of the US Congress.

The Director advises on current issues and developing policy in Washington, D.C. and its potential implications for the UN and its officials.

Relationship Building

S/he builds and manages working relations with Congress, the administration, the diplomatic community, businesses, think tanks, research centres, cultural and educational institutions, and various international organizations, as well as with US-based media, to strengthen national and local activities highlighting issues before the UN

Engagement & Outreach 

S/he also develops and maintains outreach and advocacy efforts aimed at new and nontraditional target groups, and identifies and establishes networks of partners within the work region. The Director also undertakes external speaking engagements and participates in conferences, panels, round-tables, and seminars, as warranted. The incumbent performs other functions and special duties as required by UN Headquarters, including representing the UN at events and conferences.

Visit Support 

The Director is responsible for supporting the Secretary General, the Deputy-Secretary-General, and senior system-wide UN officials during their official visits to Washington, D.C., including by coordinating and managing meetings with US Government officials / Members of Congress, identifying appropriate opportunities for public engagements, and managing media opportunities. Where necessary, and in an effort to maintain consistency of messaging and information sharing, the Director should also lead the effort to brief visiting officials on the current landscape and policy implications in Washington, and provide follow-up, when requested.


The Director is responsible for developing, planning and implementing a strategic communications and public information programme to keep the public, relevant outreach partners, and key stakeholders in the work region well-informed of UN goals, priorities, activities, and accomplishments. The Director acts as a Spokesperson, presiding, as necessary, over press briefings organized by the UNIC; chairs interagency meetings of the UN representatives in Washington; provides a range of information services to other UN programmes and organs; and, facilitates collaboration with other UN system partners in the work region on public information activities requiring a common approach.


S/he assumes full responsibility for the administration of UNIC Washington; supervises the Centre's personnel; manages UNIC activities and operational requirements, including budget, finance and procurement; monitors outputs and reports to DPI on a regular basis, and EOSG upon request. The Director provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.


PROFESSIONALISM:- Demonstrated knowledge of US Government and US Congressional legislative and budget processes and UN-US relations- Ability to identify communications opportunities as well as to anticipate and pre-empt problems- Demonstrated knowledge of public information techniques, including strategic communications- Ability to implement effective media campaigns and to develop products and activities targeting the media - Familiarity with the non-governmental institutions and the media of the United States- 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. 

COMMUNICATION:-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.

CLIENT ORIENTATION:-Considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients " and seeks to see things from clients' point of view-Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect-Identifies clients' needs and matches them to appropriate solutions-Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep informed and anticipate problems-Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects-Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

LEADERSHIP:- 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 relationhips 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. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.  

JUDGEMENT/ 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 communications, international relations, public policy, public information or a related field. 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 15 years of progressively responsible experience in communications, journalism, public information, or a related field is required, including 5 years at the international level. Experience in managing high-level contacts with Government officials, international organizations, civil society organizations and other target groups, particularly in the United States, is required. In addition, experience working within the US Government is desirable. Experience in dealing with the international and US media is desirable. Work experience relating to political affairs in the United Nations or similar international organization is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 30 April 2018, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belarus, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. 

This job opening is advertised to fill a temporarily vacant position during the absence of the regular incumbent for a period of one year or longer. The regular incumbent is entitled to return to this position at the expiry of the temporary vacancy period. If the regular incumbent exercises the right to return, the appointment or temporary assignment or promotion of the candidate selected for this job opening will not be renewed or extended.

The selection process for this job opening will be conducted pursuant to ST/AI/2010/3 on the “Staff Selection System” and include the compliance review process by a review body described in staff rule 4.15. In case of selection, a staff member of the United Nations Secretariat who meets the definition of “internal candidate” in staff rule 4.10 will be placed on a temporary assignment if he or she holds the same grade as the job opening; and a temporary promotion if he or she holds a lower grade than the job opening. If the regular incumbent vacates the position during such temporary assignment or promotion, the selected staff member will be laterally assigned, promoted or transferred to the position without further selection process under ST/AI/2010/3.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places 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. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

Application instructions

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