Permanent Observer of IUCN to the United Nations

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

New York, NY, USA 🇺🇸

Vacancy #:  6309
Unit:  International Policy Centre
Organisation:  International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:  Permanent Mission to the UN, New York, N.Y., United States of America
 It is expected that the UN Observer works remotely but able to join the UN headquarters on a regular basis and as needed.
Reporting to:  Director, International Policy Centre
Work percentage:  100%
Grade:  SP
Expected start date:  01 June 2023
Type of contract:  Fixed-term (24 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:  02 March 2023


The International Policy Centre (IPC) is responsible for setting a proactive and cohesive policy agenda across IUCN and driving IUCN’s strategic engagement in the global environmental policy arena to enhance the Union’s influence and impact. The Centre’s staff is both located in the Headquarters of IUCN as well as in New York, US, to service the IUCN Observer Mission to the United Nations. The Director, IPC, reports directly to the Director General.

As part of the IPC team, the Permanent Observer of IUCN to the United Nations (the Permanent Observer) will be responsible for coordinating IUCN’s work and representation in the United Nations in New York and IUCN’s engagement with the UN system. He/she will support the implementation of the IUCN Programme through targeted policy influencing with the UN agencies and networks.



The Permanent Observer will contribute to IUCN’s global policy work, positioning and international visibility efforts for amplifying and scaling up IUCN’s policy and programmatic influence with an emphasis on the United Nations system. More specifically, he/she will be responsible for:

-Providing advice as required to the Director General, the Director, International Policy Centre as well as to IUCN Secretariat leadership on multilateral conservation issues in the framework of the United Nations;

-Acting as IUCN’s representative at the United Nations HQ;

-Coordinating IUCN’s strategic engagement with the United Nations, identifying relevant opportunities for IUCN’s interventions, and guiding IUCN delegations at UN meetings, in particular the yearly sessions of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) and the UN General Assembly;

-Supporting the IUCN Secretariat’s efforts to build strategic partnerships and mobilize resources by profiling IUCN in relevant policy dialogues involving Member States, UN agencies and other relevant partners, particularly IUCN Members, and especially in the context of the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda;

-Leading the drafting of substantive policy documents – including IUCN submissions to relevant UN processes – as requested by the Director General or the Director IPC;

-Producing short influencing strategies, briefs, analytical materials, and communication products relating to the UN and broader international environmental policy and governance;

-Proactively reaching out to the UN Missions, and IUCN constituencies including Members, Commissions, Secretariat and other networks of relevance to IUCN to promote IUCN’s work and increase the Union’s visibility;

-In line with the above, proactively reaching out to relevant UN agencies including UNEP, UNDP, UN Women, UN DESA, UNICEF, and others like the Office of The UN Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General, as required;

-Supporting and expanding IUCN’s partnerships with New York-based UN Agencies, UN Member States, Missions and other relevant stakeholders;

-In consultation with other Units in IUCN Secretariat and under the guidance of the Director of International Policy Centre, proactively organize events at The United Nations headquarters that will enhance the profile and influence of IUCN;

-In consultation with the Director, International Policy Centre, the Director of the Washington DC Office and the Strategic Partnerships Unit as appropriate, proactively engage with New York based Foundations (including The Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, etc.) and Missions located at the UN with the aim of mobilizing resources and building strategic partnerships to enhance IUCN’s profile and influence in New York as a major global policy hub;

-Contributing to expanding the profile of IUCN and the importance of conservation in the UN system and public media;

-Keeping abreast of and internally communicate emerging United Nations’ developments, topics, trends and opportunities, particularly at the global level, that are directly relevant to IUCN’s work and mandate;

-Together with the rest of the IPC team, actively contributing to the regular update, maintenance and dissemination of internal procedures for global policy delivery in collaboration with Programmatic Centres and Regions as well as Commissions and other IUCN constituencies as appropriate (e.g. Council);

-Managing/ working closely with junior staff in the IUCN UN Mission, as appropriate; and

-Contributing to IPC’s workplan development as well as reporting.


-Ability and commitment to act in accordance with the core values of integrity and trust, transparency, professionalism and accountability, equality, inclusiveness, and respect for diversity.

-Proven experience with and knowledge of the United Nations system, its policy processes and expert networks, with demonstrated ability to handle politically and culturally sensitive issues in a diplomatic way.

-Good understanding of global affairs and experience with the workings of the UN, Multilateral Environmental Agreements and governmental and non-governmental institutions.

-Experience in identifying key issues in a complex situation, and consulting, gathering, and analysing relevant information before proposing and implementing decisive actions or recommendations.

-Commitment to nature conservation and sustainable development


• Advanced University Degree in a development or relevant social sciences – i.e. political sciences, law, economics, international relations, etc

• 8-10 years’ experience working with/ in the United Nations system with increasing responsibilities in strategic leadership in areas related to international relations, environmental governance, conservation and/or sustainable development.

• Demonstrated experience in resource mobilisation, partnerships, government relations

• Solid knowledge of conservation and sustainable development policy issues as well as the geopolitical, development and multi-stakeholder contexts, and a sound understanding of how these fit into the global context.

• Strong communication skills including verbally and in writing.

• Full fluency in English is essential, French and Spanish (verbal and written) strongly desired.


Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the “Apply” button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website:

About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations and some 10,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.





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