Director, Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development, D-2

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Feb 07

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The position is located in the Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development (OISC), a subprogramme of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Under the overall guidance of the Under-Secretary-General (USG) for Economic and Social Affairs and in cooperation with the Assistant Secretaries-General (ASGs), and within delegated authorities, the Director of OISC is responsible for ensuring and enhancing the substantive capacity of the Office to advance the roles of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and its functional commissions and expert committees, and the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development in the integrated implementation of and follow-up to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the outcomes of other United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social, environmental and related fields.


Within delegated authority, the Director will be responsible for the following:

  • Directs and manages the work of the Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination, as the substantive secretariat of ECOSOC, to assist the Council in the exercise of its role for providing overall guidance, monitoring and coordination of the UN development system, and in promoting integrated follow-up to the outcomes of major UN conferences, working closely with the substantive secretariats of the Council's subsidiary bodies to promote complementarity, fill gaps and avoid overlaps,
  • Plans and directs the substantive support to and servicing of the HLPF under the auspices of ECOSOC and of the General Assembly, in collaboration with other relevant DESA divisions, including the organization and holding of workshops to prepare Member States participating in the voluntary national reviews.
  • Promotes the system-wide implementation of intergovernmental policies on operational activities for development through the UN System Chief Executives Board (CEB) and the UN Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG), and greater interaction between ECOSOC and the CEB.
  • Directs substantive support to the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) with particular focus on facilitating their effective contribution to the work of ECOSOC and its subsidiary machinery.
  • Contributes to the formulation of the Department's overall strategies and policies by participating in various committees, preparing documents on policy issues, and acting, as required, in an advisory capacity to the USG/ASGs; contributes to the overall management of the Department's activities and operations.
  • Provides leadership to the development of innovative and/or change management programmes.
  • Formulates and implements the substantive work programme of the Office under his/her supervision, determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery.
  • Oversees the management of activities undertaken by the Division, ensuring that programmed activities are carried out in a timely fashion and co-ordinates work in the different areas both within the Office and Department, and with other organizations of the United Nations System, donors and agencies as appropriate.
  • Supports the Under-Secretary-General in implementing mandates and initiatives that enhance internal coordination and the effective, efficient and accountable delivery of the Department's work.
  • Co-ordinates and oversees the preparation of publications and parliamentary reports for presentation to intergovernmental bodies such as the Economic and Social Council, the General Assembly and other policy-making organs, as appropriate.
  • Reports to intergovernmental bodies on budget/programme performance or on programmatic/substantive issues, as appropriate, particularly those presented in biannual and/or annual reports.
  • Ensures that the outputs produced by the Office maintain high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive and relevant data. Ensures that all outputs produced by the Office meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates.
  • Undertakes or oversees the programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Office, 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 (PAS), interviews of candidates for job openings and evaluation of candidates.
  • Oversees the recruitment of staff for the Office taking due account to geographical and gender balance and other institutional values.
  • Manages, guides, develops and trains staff under his/her supervision; fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the Office and across organizational boundaries.
  • Chairs meetings, seminars, etc., on substantive-related issues; represents the Organization at international, regional, inter-agency meetings, seminars and conference; provides programmatic/substantive expertise on an issue or holds programmatic/substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions.
  • Performs other related duties as requested by the senior management of the Organization.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge of the substantive field of work in general and of specific areas being supervised. Shows ability to produce reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others. Shows ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. 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; takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • 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.
  • 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 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. 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 degree) in economics, social sciences, sustainable development, international relations, public administration or related area is required. A first-level university degree in combination with additional two years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • Over fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in analytical policy-oriented work on a broad range of development issues in which at least ten years at the international level is required.
  • Experience in the work and functioning of the UN intergovernmental bodies and the provision of substantive support to international bodies and conferences is required.
  • Experience in managing large and diverse teams is required.
  • Experience in the work of the UN system is required.
  • Experience and exposure in inter-agency coordination is required.
  • Experience in coordinating engagement with stakeholders within an intergovernmental setting is desirable.
  • Experience in developing innovative approaches to programme delivery with significant impact on the overall effectiveness of an office or organization is desirable.
  • Experience in a senior management role in the United Nations is desirable.
  • Experience in multilateral diplomacy, as well as experience in handling a multi-disciplinary portfolio of tasks and duties is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.

Application instructions

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