United Nations University Digital Editor
Location New York, USA
Application deadline 16 June 2017
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The Editor will play a central role in a fully funded, multimillion-dollar project to rapidly accelerate the global creation, exchange, and uptake of knowledge about modern slavery, human trafficking, forced labour, and child labour – and how to fight them successfully.

Working within a small team of knowledge professionals, data scientists, and communicators, the Editor will have editorial control of the two central outputs of the Alliance 8.7 Knowledge Platform initiative. In the first year of the project, the Editor will help design and curate, and will lead editing of, a Knowledge Hub with data-oriented and law- & practice-oriented portals. In the second year of the project, the Editor will have a leading editorial role in the establishment and roll-out of a new, online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal, attractive to both scholars and policy practitioners alike, relating to what works in the fight to achieve SDG 8.7.


The United Nations University (UNU) is a global think tank with a mandate to help global policymakers access the best available evidence to fight global problems. UNU has recently received funding from the UK government’s Modern Slavery Innovation Fund and the International Labour Organization to build a Knowledge Platform to support efforts to end forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking, and child labour by 2030. The Knowledge Platform aims to rapidly accelerate and scale up the global scientific knowledge and evidence base on modern slavery risk and vulnerability factors, and on factors in the effectiveness of prevention and response interventions, while also facilitating global uptake of the resulting insights by policymakers, business and other practitioners. The two-year project will lead to the development of an online Knowledge Hub, which will be designed as a global public good and will generate research, policy and practice impact related to modern slavery.

About UN University

The United Nations University is a formal UN agency with a mandate from the UN General Assembly to contribute, through research and capacity building, to solutions to the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States. The UNU Office at the United Nations in New York is a think tank charged with conveying research-based policy ideas from UNU and beyond to key policymakers at the United Nations. Led by Dr James Cockayne, it has established a global profile in recent years on research and policy development on modern slavery, human trafficking, and SDG 8.7, for example through input into the first-ever UN Security Council Resolution on human trafficking in conflict.

About you

You are an experienced and creative commissioning and managing editor. You have a track record of managing complex editorial workflows, and exposure to academic editorial processes. You are comfortable working with data scientists, creatives, policy wonks, and government officials alike. You have superior written communication skills. You have a demonstrated track record of effective personnel management, including in dispersed creative teams. You are comfortable working in multicultural settings.


Working with the Project Director and Project Manager, the Editor will develop an online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal, and curate and edit the Alliance 8.7 Knowledge Hub.

The responsibilities of the successful candidate will include:

  • curating and editing written content for inclusion in the Knowledge Hub
  • overseeing and managing the development of an online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal, including by working to develop collaborative editorial relationships with external academic institutions, managing the content of the journal, developing and implementing editorial guidelines, and commissioning an initial launch issue
  • setting up an Editorial Board and Committee, and consulting and collaborating with editorial assistants and members of the Editorial Board and Committee
  • engaging in outreach with a global academic network of external academic and research partners, including with regard to the journal’s editorial work, commissioning articles, and curating content
  • collaborating with the project team to develop a long-term sustainability plan for the journal and the Knowledge Hub, including by developing a strategic roadmap
  • editorial oversight of all written project outputs

Required qualifications and experience

Required qualifications and experience include:

  • advanced university degree in journalism, creative writing, history, international relations, or a related field
  • minimum of five (5) years of relevant work experience, including three (3) years of professional editorial experience
  • demonstrated experience as a commissioning or managing editor, or in another relevant role in online publishing
  • superior English-language oral and written communication skills; professional experience working in one of the UN’s other official languages is an advantage
  • strong ability to establish priorities, multitask, and work within tight timelines
  • solid interpersonal and problem-solving skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
  • genuine interest in and understanding of modern slavery


Remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications and experience of the successful candidate.

Duration of contract

The successful candidate shall be hired as a fixed-term contractual personnel for a period of one year, renewable for up to one more year. The successful candidate will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

Applications from suitably qualified woman candidates and those from developing countries are particularly encouraged.

Starting date

July–August 2017