Chief Operations Officer

United Nations University Chief Operating Officer
Location New York City, United States
Application deadline 13 April 2018
Contract type Fixed term
Hours Full-time
Salary In accordance with the relevant UN salary scale
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For the past four decades, the United Nations University (UNU)has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

About UNU Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR)

UNU’s Centre for Policy Research in New York is an independent think tank within the United Nations system. We combine research excellence with deep knowledge of the multilateral system to generate innovative solutions to current and future global public policy challenges.

This work has been recognised and directly incorporated into key UN reform processes, including the Review by the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO), the Review by the Advisory Group of Experts on the Peacebuilding Architecture, and the process leading up to the World Humanitarian Summit. UNU-CPR is staffed by recognised experts in key areas related to the peace and security, sustainable development, and human rights pillars of the Organisation, with recognised expertise in anti-slavery, anti-trafficking, global drugs policys and migration. Established in 2014 in Tokyo, in July 2018 UNU-CPR will merge with the UNU Office at the United Nations (UNU-ONY) in New York, and operate from New York.

About the position

The Chief Operations Officer (COO) will work closely with the Director of the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), serving as the Director’s primary deputy on all finance, administration, human resources, and operational matters and managing personnel responsible for the back-office support functions across the Centre. S/he will also play a representational role.

Key roles and responsibilities

Representational role

The COO will serve as the primary deputy for the Director in representing the University into the UN system. Under the Director’s supervision and direction, the COO may:

  • Serve as a strategic liaison between UNU Institutes and researchers, including the UNU Migration Network, and ongoing intergovernmental and interagency discussions at the UN in New York, notably the negotiation of and implementation of the Global Compact on Migration;
  • Represent UNU in formal appearances before the Economic and Social Council, Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, and General Assembly’s Fifth Committee;
  • Working with the Advisor to the Director, oversee the coordination of UNU inputs into cross-UN reporting;
  • Substitute for the Director in participation at the UNU Academic Council of Directors, UNU Council, or otherwise; and
  • Represent UNU-CPR at official and informal meetings, events, receptions, conferences, and workshops

Operational role

Working under the supervision and oversight of the Director, the COO will:

  • Manage personnel responsible for the back-office support functions across the Centre, including finance and administration, procurement, and human resources support; event management; and communications management;
  • Working closely with UNU Centre’s Finance & Administration team, oversee the daily administration of all financial, accounting, and budgetary matters across the Centre’s budget, including contract negotiation and management, legal review and sign-off; procurement workflow, including approval of requisitions and purchase orders; cash flow, accounts, and budget monitoring and reporting: and exercising delegated financial authority, if any;
  • Ensure effective administration of the UNU-CPR office(s), including stocking, inventory, reception, telephony, lease management, and any related matters;
  • Working closely with UNU Centre’s Human Resources team, and with UNDP Human Resources personnel as needed, be responsible for the daily
    administration of all HR-related functions at UNU-CPR, including personnel contract management; planning, approval, and recording of leave entitlements;
  • Administration of other entitlements, including insurance coverage; and performance appraisal processes;
  • Supervise UNU-CPR’s Communications Manager and Events Manager, and ensure effective integration of UNU-CPR communications and events with its research functions and execution of UNU-CPR strategy;
  • Provide support to the Director in preparing and pitching fundraising proposals; and
  • Perform any other related operational duties as required for the effective functioning of UNU-CPR.

Experience and skills

Required qualifications and experience include:

  • An advanced university degree (master’s or equivalent) in public policy, political science, or the humanities
  • At least five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in international relations, political affairs, conflict resolution, or economic development
  • Knowledge of and strong networks within UN institutions and policymaking, especially as they relate to multilateral negotiation and migration
  • Proven excellence in writing, editing, and communication
  • Experience providing close support to senior members of a think tank, UN entity, or research organisation
  • The ability to interact with colleagues and others of diverse cultural backgrounds
  • Fluency in English (fluency in at least one other official language of the United Nations is desirable)
  • Excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in a multicultural environment, with demonstrated sensitivity and respect for diversity and gender

UNU is committed to building a pluralistic and culturally diverse personnel. Applications from suitably qualified women candidates are particularly encouraged.

Other relevant information

The position is a P-3 fixed-term appointment and will be remunerated in accordance with the relevant UN salary scale. The post carries the standard set of United Nations benefits and entitlements for international positions in the UN Common Systems, including participation in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, the possibility of participation in a health insurance programme, education grant for eligible children, removal expenses, and home leave.]

Interested applicants should submit their applications by email to [email protected] and must include the following:

  • A cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
  • A single piece of published writing solely authored by the candidate, demonstrating their analytical capacities on issues pertaining to global development
  • A completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11); please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
  • An updated curriculum vitae
  • Full contact information of three (3) referees
  • An indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2018/UNU/CPR/FTA/COO/21)

The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. (Charter of the United Nations – Chapter 3, article 8)