Head Of Office, Political Affairs, P5

United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia
  • Location
    Bogota, Colombia
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Oct 12

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located within the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia. The Head of the Office reports to the Chief of Field Coordination Office in Bogotá, which falls under the Deputy Special-Representative of the Secretary-General. The Head of Office is the Mission's most senior representative in his/her geographical area of responsibility and assumes overall responsibility for administering the Regional Office as well as for managing teams at the local level under the authority of the Regional Office, in line with the mandate and strategic guidance provided by Mission headquarters. The Head of Office represents the Mission and is responsible for engaging all relevant governmental and non-governmental actors, as well as the UN system, in the department(s) covered, regarding the Mission´s mandate and activities.


In line with the Mission´s mandate and strategic guidance provided by Mission headquarters, as well as applicable principles, rules and regulation, and within limits of delegated authority, the Head of Office is responsible for the effective running of the Regional Office and for, but not limited to, the following duties:

Management: Ensure that the Regional Office functions in a coordinated, coherent and effective manner across all areas of activity and responsibility; Formulate a work plan for the Regional Office and the field teams (local level) falling under the responsibility of the Regional Office; Serve as first or second reporting officer to staff in the Regional Office and at the local level; Provide strategic direction and guidance to the substantive activities of the Mission within the Regional Office´s area of responsibility; Ensure the operational functioning of the Regional Office and support the operational functioning field teams, as appropriate, in collaboration with national and regional Mission Support personnel; Analysis, Advice and Reporting: Identify, analyze and monitor regional/ local developments and emerging issues with respect to the Mission´s mandate; assess implications and make recommendations to Mission leadership and partners on possible strategies, policies and action to be taken to address issues of concern and to advance mandated objectives and UN principles and values; monitor, and report on outcomes; Ensure regular, timely and high quality reporting to Mission leadership on pertinent developments and issues related to the mandate; Manage the preparation of summary and analytical reports, including situation reports, briefing notes, notes to file and verification reports; Oversee the preparation of contextual information materials, such as background notes and profiles; ensure an effective system of information management designed to guarantee accessibility and utility of information. Planning, Coordination and Facilitation: Develop and maintain productive relationships with departmental and municipal authorities, political and community leaders, civil society representatives, the UN system and other national and international partners on coordination and policy matters; Develop and lead outreach strategies, in collaboration with public information staff, targeting the local population in order to build and maintain trust, manage expectations, consolidate relationships and the public opinion regarding the peace process and the Mission´s work, create/expand political space, foster dialogue and develop an understanding of local perceptions and views on relevant issues, challenges and possible solutions thereto; ensure that perceptions are factored into the Mission's own activities and contribution to policy-making and planning processes; Consult and collaborate with institutional partners to increase understanding of issues and develop strategies and plans of action to address challenges, in pursuit of shared objectives; Provide good offices on behalf of the SRSG, as appropriate. Support and/or facilitate visits to the area of responsibility by Mission delegations and/or external partners.


  • Professionalism: 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; provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work;
  • 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;
  • Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors 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;
  • 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 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;
  • 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.


  • An Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in political science, international relations, social science, economics, law, public administration, or a related field is required. A first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in political affairs, diplomacy, conflict resolution, human rights or related field is required;
  • Five (5) years of relevant experience at the international level is required;
  • A proven track record of leadership in multi-cultural settings, including management and coordination of multi-disciplinary teams, is required;
  • Experience working in a United Nations common system field operation (field experience in peacekeeping, political missions and UN agencies, funds, and programmes) -or similar international organization or non-governmental organization- in a conflict or post-conflict setting is required;
  • Experience in outreach, facilitation, analysis, advice and reporting is required;
  • Experience working in Latin America is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency (oral and written) in English and Spanish is required.

Application instructions

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