Director (UNCCD Liaison Office)

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

New York, NY, USA 🇺🇸

Org. Setting and Reporting

The objective of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification around the world, particularly in Africa, through effective action at all levels, supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements with a view to contributing to the achievement of sustainable development in affected areas.

The functions of the secretariat are, among others, to make arrangements for sessions of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and its subsidiary bodies; to compile and transmit reports submitted to it; to facilitate assistance to affected developing country Parties, on request, in the compilation and communication of information required under the Convention; to coordinate its activities with the secretariats of other relevant international bodies and conventions.


Under the general supervision of the USG, Executive Secretary of UNCCD, the incumbent of this position will formulate and implement the substantive work programme of the New York Liaison Office (NYLO) under his/her supervision, overseeing the management of activities undertaken by the NYLO, ensuring that programmed activities are carried out in a timely fashion and co-ordinate work in the different areas both within the NYLO and Secretariat:

• Leads, supervises, and carries out the work programme of the NYLO under his/her responsibility by providing intellectual, strategic and operational leadership in planning and implementing the UNCCD activities. Leads at the General Assembly and ECOSOC levels the coordination of efforts to promote Sustainable Development Goal, Target 15.3 on land degradation neutrality (LDN) and core emerging issues, such as drought, building strong partnerships in support of UNCCD priorities.
• Provides strategic advice to the Executive Secretary on matters related to the institutional development of the Convention through agenda-setting and substantive support to the Conference of the Parties.
• Coordinates the preparation of the Secretary-General annual report on the Implementation of the Convention.
• Directs substantive support to UNCCD New York-based partners, including Non-Governmental Organizations, Local Authorities, Women Organizations, Youth, Academia and the Private Sector, developing and maintaining active contacts with UN-affiliated non-governmental organizations (NGOs), foundations, the private sector, academic institutions and others relevant partners, building support among these partners for the UNCCD Agenda and promoting collaborative initiatives. Ensure close and effective collaboration with the UN Department of Public Information (DPI), and the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on matters related to UNCCD and its mandate.
• Ensures that the outputs produced by the NYLO maintain high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data. Ensures that all outputs produced by the NYLO under his/her supervision meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates.
• Assists the Executive Secretary in preparing the work programme of the NYLO, determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery.
• Manages, guides, develops and trains staff under his/her supervision.
• Fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the Liaison Office and across organizational boundaries.
• Leads and supervises the organization of meetings, seminars, etc. on substantive issues. Manages the substantive preparation and organization of such meetings or seminars, Ambassadors retreats or workshops.
• Participates in international, regional, or national meetings and provides programmatic/substantive expertise on an issue or holds programmatic/substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions, notably the Global Environment Facility, the World Bank.
• Represents the Liaison Office at international, regional, or national meetings.
• Directs and manages the work of the NY Liaison Office by providing intellectual, strategic, and operational leadership in planning and implementing the UNCCD activities.
• Undertakes or oversees the programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the New York Office, including reporting on budget/programme performance, evaluation of staff performance (PAS) and preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting.
• Organizes, prepares and contributes to written outputs, including reports, background briefs, talking points, correspondence, and other communications products as required on developments and partnerships with stakeholders and other actors.
• Represent UNCCD on behalf of Executive Secretary and provide leadership in communications, advocacy and partnership activities of DLDD at the NYHQ and in North America.
• Performs any other job-related activity required to achieve the goals and objectives of the UNCCD and as required by the Executive Secretary.


Professionalism: Demonstrates in-depth knowledge and understanding of the substantive field of land degradation, environment and natural resource management in general and in the specific areas being supervised and their impact on the implementation of a mission’s mandate has the knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines related to land degradation, mitigation and climate change in the UN system. 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; Expert knowledge and demonstrated ability in analysing, interpreting, formulating and communicating complex policy and strategic issues on a broad range of development areas; Demonstrated ability to facilitate inter-agency coordination; Knowledge of the workings of the United Nations system; Ability to apply UN rules, regulations and procedures in workstations. Shows pride in work and in achievements; 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.

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 improvements; 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.

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.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in the social and political sciences, economics, development or related areas, is required. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible experience in economic or social development relevant to desertification, land degradation and drought, is required.

Exposure to, and demonstrated effectiveness in, high-level diplomatic contacts and official representation is required.

Experience of the UN system and its inter-governmental bodies in charge of economic and social development, including programming and planning, monitoring, performance assessment process is desirable.


For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written in both English and French is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which will be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This position is available for an initial period of one year. Extension of appointment is subject to the availability of funds.

Individual contractors and consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions and their applications will not be considered.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places 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. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee







IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development