Chief Of Section, Economic Affairs, P5

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
  • Location
    Geneva, Switzerland
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Jul 22

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The post is located in the Forestry and Timber Section of the Forest, Land and Housing Division, Economic Commission for Europe, Geneva.

The joint ECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section supports developing evidence-based policies for sustainable forest management and communicates about the many products and ecosystem services provided to society while assisting countries of the region to monitor and manage forests. The incumbent reports to the Chief of the Division.


Within delegated authority, the Chief of the Section will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Manages, supervises and carries out the work programme of the section under his/her responsibility. Co-ordinates the work carried out by the Section; provides pragmatic and substantial reviews of drafts prepared by others;
  • Acts as the Secretary of the Committee on Forests and the Forests Industry;
  • Plans and oversees the management of the activities undertaken by the Section and ensures substantive work programmes and programmed activities are carried out in a timely fashion, coordinating diverse projects in the Section, and, in, liaison with other organizations of the United Nations System, donors and agencies as appropriate, in particular the FAO given the joint nature of the Section;
  • Ensures that the outputs produced by the Section maintain high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data, ensures that all outputs produced by the Section under his/her supervision meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates;
  • Provides substantial input in the preparation of position papers and reports for presentation to intergovernmental bodies, as appropriate;
  • Carries out programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Section, 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 (PASS), interviews of candidates for job openings and evaluations of candidates;
  • Provides policy guidance to the Director of the Forests, Land and Housing Division, on conceptual strategy development and management of the implementation of the ECE/FAO Integrated Programme of Work on Forests and intra and interdivisional/departmental policies and procedures;
  • Manages, guides, develops and trains staff under his/her supervision;
  • Prepares inputs for the work programme of the Division, determining priorities,and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery;
  • Contributes to the reporting to intergovernmental bodies on budget/programme performance on pragmatic/substantive issues, as appropriate, particularly those presented in biannual and/or annual reports;
  • Represents the Organization at inter-agency meetings, seminars etc. on substantive-related issues;
  • Participates, in international, regional or national meetings and provides pragmatic/substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions;
  • Recruits staff for the Section taking due account of geographical and gender balance and other institutional values;
  • Fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the Section and across organizational boundaries.


  • PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of sustainable development issues, with a particular focus on environmental and forest related matters. Ability to supervise the preparation and draft intergovernmental documents as well as communication material on forest and forest products and service intergovernmental meetings. 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;
  • PLANNING & 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;
  • 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 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 improvements; 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;
  • MANAGING PERFORMANCE: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority. Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member. Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills. Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines. Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff. Encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative. Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff. Appraises performance fairly.


  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or Doctorate degree, or equivalent) in environmental science, sustainable development, environmental economics or related fields is required. A first-level degree in any fields of studies in combination with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree in the specified fields of studies.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in sustainable development, environment or related field is required;
  • At least 10 years of experience in working in an international environment servicing intergovernmental processes and meetings is desirable;
  • Experience in working on forest/forest products related matters is also desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required; knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.


Application instructions

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