Project Manager

United Nations University Project Coordinator
Location New York, USA
Application deadline 31 May 2017
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The Project Manager will oversee 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.

Leading a small team of knowledge professionals, data scientists, and communicators, in the first year the Project Manager will build an online Knowledge Platform supporting and engaging with Alliance 8.7 and stakeholders from around the world. This will include close collaboration with international organisations, states, the private sector, academia, and researchers to assemble and animate existing data sets and knowledge products. In the second year, working closely with these stakeholder groups, the Project Manager will oversee the establishment of an online, peer-reviewed journal engaging both scholars and policymakers; the creation of learning and training tools; and targeted policy outreach. After two years, the state of knowledge creation, exchange, and uptake in the fight to achieve SDG 8.7 will be demonstrably different – and more effective.


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, the International Labour Organization, and the US Department of Labor 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 that conveys 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 the candidate

You are a creative professional with an established track record of managing complex knowledge creation, exchange, and/or uptake projects — for example, in the management consulting, think tank, or development policy world. You have 5 to 7 years of experience and demonstrate exceptional project management skills. You are a people-person with an eye for detail, a leader who imparts a sense of calm in a fast-paced, high-intensity environment. You are comfortable working with data science professionals, creatives, and diplomats alike. You are committed to evidence-based policymaking and to ending modern slavery.


The Project Manager will work closely with the Project Director (Dr James Cockayne, Head of Office at UNU’s Office at the UN in New York). She/he will manage a dedicated project team of 4 to 5 people. She/he will be responsible for effectively managing and supervising financial and human resources, ensuring quality control as well as planning, implementing, and evaluating project activities.

The responsibilities of the successful candidate will include:

  • creating, maintaining, and enforcing project schedules, estimates, and resourcing for a 2-year project, including by planning, monitoring, and managing the budget and ensuring that all contractual obligations are met
  • coordinating the logistical and administrative aspects of the project
  • overseeing monitoring, evaluation, and learning
  • managing and supervising the project team, comprising of 4 to 5 people, including by prioritising tasks and deliverables for the team, ensuring quality control, and issuing monthly status reports of all project activities
  • assisting with the development and promotion of the project, including through the creation of an outreach strategy
  • developing a Project Advisory Group, comprising representatives of relevant project stakeholder groups, including project donors, potential users, academics, and civil society representatives
  • collaborating with the Project Director and the project team to develop a long-term sustainability plan for the project, including by developing a strategic roadmap

Required qualifications and experience

Required qualifications and experience include:

  • advanced university degree in international relations, business administration, public policy, political science, or a related field
    minimum of five (5) years of relevant work experience, for example in management consultancy, think tanks, or the development policy field
    exceptional organisational and project management skills
  • strong ability to establish priorities, multitask, and work within tight timelines
  • demonstrated experience managing human resources and financial supervision
  • superior English-language oral and written communication skills; professional experience working in one of the UN’s other official languages is an advantage
  • 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-day 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
As soon as possible – preferably by 1 July 2017