Director, Political Affairs, D2

UN Department of Political Affairs and Peace-building
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Jun 07

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Policy and Mediation Division (PMD) of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA). The Director reports directly to the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs.


Under the overall supervision of the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, the Director will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Manage, direct and coordinate the work of the Division in response to the Under-Secretary-General's decisions, in line with evolving Organizational and Departmental priorities and in consultation, as appropriate, with key clients, including Senior Officials, Member State representatives, UN Special Representatives and Envoys, and representatives of Regional Organizations;
  • Supervise the work of all staff members in the Division and other personnel including contractors, consultants and experts;
  • Advise the Under-Secretary-General on all cross-cutting policy matters of relevance to the Department, particularly in the area of conflict prevention, mediation, and gender, peace and security;
  • Provide strategic guidance and oversee the work of the Policy and Planning Unit, the Mediation Support Unit, the Gender Peace and Security Unit, the Guidance and Learning Unit, and the Innovation Cell to ensure that their services match the priorities and needs of the Department and the Organization and provide solid and timely products;
  • Lead the partnership efforts of the Division, performing representational and liaison functions with Regional Organizations and the policy and academic communities on behalf of the Secretary-General and Under-Secretary-General, as appropriate;
  • Steer the Division's efforts to establish guidance, codify best practices and develop training;
  • Advise the Under-Secretary-General on interactions between the Department and inter-governmental bodies on issues pertaining to the work of the Division, including relevant discussions of the Security Council, and the General Assembly;
  • Undertake and oversee the programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Division, including preparation of budgets, reporting on budget/programme performance, management and evaluation of staff performance, and recruitment for job openings with due consideration to gender and geographic balance.


  • Professionalism: Extensive knowledge of global policy issues and UN priorities in the area of peace and security; in-depth understanding of the theory and practice of conflict prevention, mediation and peacebuilding; proven analytical skills; track record of providing strategic direction in line with established priorities; ability to integrate the Division's tasks in the Department's broader workplan. Knowledge of UN policies, procedures and operations. Ability to communicate complex concepts; ability to prepare written reports that are clear, concise and meaningful, as well as to review and edit the work of others. 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;
  • 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;
  • Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours 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 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;
  • 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 ail available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines 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 political science, international relations, international law, social sciences or related area is required. 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 fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, conflict resolution, preventive diplomacy, peacebuilding or related field is required;
  • Direct experience in the area of conflict prevention/management and resolution is required;
  • Experience in peacebuilding, mediation or mediation support is required;
  • Managerial experience, including management of large diverse teams, is required;
  • Experience in knowledge management is desirable;
  • Experience in networking with academic institutions, research organizations and think tanks in the area of international peace and security is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For this post, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another official UN language is an advantage.

Application instructions

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