Special Assistant to the Director of Programme and Policy Division

UN Women
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Oct 07

Position description

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 is providing strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States’ priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.

The Special Assistant reports to the Director, Programme and Policy Division who provides direction and leadership to the Division. The Special Assistant to the Director will provide coordination and liaison support to the Director in the strategic management of the division; technical support to the Director including analytical information and policy advice; knowledge management and reporting support; and high level administrative support. The Special Assistant will have a proven ability to work and act under pressure and with discretion in a sensitive and challenging environment. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Provide coordination and liaison support to the Director in the strategic management of the Division:

  • Liaise closely with in-house Divisions, sections and field offices as well as key partners and stakeholders on workplans and programme and policy division commitments, alongside reporting of division level results;
  • Process and/or prepare the Director’s participation in meetings and missions/key events;
  • Manage the Director’s agenda; evaluate and keep track of important events;  advise on priorities and critical meetings requiring her presence;  make necessary arrangements for the Director’s participation including the preparation of background papers and high level speaking notes;
  • Assist in the follow-up to meetings and corporate initiatives, including the preparation of relevant notes as appropriate.

Provide technical support to the Director:

  • Provide sound and coherent data and policy inputs on issues as appropriateto facilitate the Director’s representation with UN Women personnel and external partners;
  • Synthesize programmatic data analysis of emergent gender issues to facilitate clear, data-driven contributions with external partners, UN entities, UN Women staff;
  • Provide specialized technical support to the Director in his/ her interactions with other UN entities;
  • Identify, research, analyze, prepare and/or organize information and briefing materials for the Director to facilitate decision-making and leadership in management strategic planning/review;
  • Draft speeches and/or design presentation materials (including multi-media) for delivery by the Director in key events, meetings, publications and other external fora (including social media) ensuring that timely analytical data on key gender issues is incorporated, and so that UN Women’s programmatic and policy goals, objectives and strategies are appropriately reflected in these materials.

Provide substantive knowledge management and reporting support:

  • Establish a system for the timely monitoring and analysis of feedback and synthesize results highlighting critical issues and priorities for the Director’s review and management action in a timely manner;
  • Coordinate efforts to ensure deadlines are met  related to organizational reports including for intergovernmental bodies, ensuring the required quality standards are observed;
  • Ensure the timely follow-up to the Division’s directives, including the effective dissemination of pertinent information to senior management and other relevant personnel at Headquarters and in other offices.

Provide high level administrative and logistical support:

  • Participate with the Director in official engagements such as signatures/ceremonies ensuring that liaison has been maintained within all the different sections in UN Women, determine if adequate representation is present and ensure all protocol arrangements are in place;
  • Provide support to the Senior Management Team (SMT) meetings and retreats, including preparation of agenda and minutes, ensuring the timely submission and circulation of relevant background documents and reports;
  • Manage the planning and organization of the Director’s official travel, including the timely preparation of official travel files and background documents by the relevant divisions and units as well as prepare or ensure the preparation of official travel reports;
  • Work closely with the Director’s Programme Analyst to ensure high-quality and rapid response to e-mail, telephone and written correspondence and an effective and efficient file management system.

Perform other official duties and special assignments which may be requested by the Director.

Key Performance Indicators: 

  • Director’s participation in internal and external meetings are well prepared, on time and on scope;
  • Quality briefing materials for management decision-making;
  • Quality, data-relevantand timelyness of technical inputs on documents;
  • Quality of speeches and presentation materials;
  • Timely monitoring and analysis of feedback and quality synthesis of  results;
  • Protocols are followed as needed and travel is organized in a timely manner.


Core Values:

  • Respect for Diversity;
  • Integrity;
  • Professionalism.

Core Competencies:

  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues;
  • Accountability;
  • Creative Problem Solving;
  • Effective Communication;
  • Inclusive Collaboration;
  • Stakeholder Engagement;
  • Leading by Example.

Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Core Values and Competencies: http://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/about%20us/employment/un-women-employment-values-and-competencies-definitions-en.pdf

Functional Competencies:

  • Excellent skills and substantive knowledge in gender equality and women's empowerment;
  • Strong planning, goal-setting, prioritization and organizational skills;
  • Strong communication skills, both written and oral. excellent drafting skills with the ability to edit and clear reports, speeches and correspondences;
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills;
  • Ability to conceptualize and convey strategic vision from the spectrum of development experience;
  • Demonstrated negotiating, cultural sensitivity and diplomatic skills;
  • Capacity to conduct data analysis and visualize results in digestible communication products;
  • Ability to provide information, tools, resources to support work achievement;
  • Effectiveness orientation and pro-activity;
  • Ability to leverage information technology, executive information systems, management techniques and tools for optimal office performance;
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Strong sense of responsibility, confidentiality and accountability.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in one of the following disciplines: social sciences, political science, international relations, business administration or management, public administration, or other related fields.


  • 7 years of relevant progressively varied responsible experience with international organizations;
  • Experience in the United Nations system will be an advantage;
  • Experience of working on gender equality, women's rights and international development cooperation will be an asset;
  • Experience in preparing speeches, presentations for senior management;
  • Previous experience in supporting head office management and coordination functions.


  • Written and oral proficiency in English is required;
  • Knowledge of another UN working language is desirable.

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on Globaljobs.org

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