Professional Secretary


Helsinki, Finland 🇫🇮

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for the post of Professional Secretary for the Working Group on the State of the Environment and Nature Conservation and the Group on the Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach at the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) Secretariat. The post, which is based in Helsinki, Finland, at the Commission’s Secretariat, will become vacant on 1 July 2017.

The post is open to nationals of the Contracting Parties to the Helsinki Convention and nationals of any other state which is a Member State of the European Union.

HELCOM is an intergovernmental organization established for the purposes of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, 1992, consisting of Denmark, Estonia, the European Union, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden. The aim of the Convention is to restore the ecosystems of the Baltic Sea Area and preserve its ecological balance by preventing pollution from all sources reaching the Baltic Sea and ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources within the Baltic Sea Area.

The Commission is administered by its international Secretariat based in Helsinki, Finland. The Secretariat consists of an Executive Secretary, three Professional Secretaries, Communication Secretary, Administrative Officer and general and project staff. The Commission works in English.

HELCOM has over 40 years of experience of unique cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region bringing together the Contracting Parties and engaging actors from different institutions, sectors and interest groups in a common mission to reach a good environmental status of the Baltic Sea. The main duty of HELCOM is to make policies and recommendations on relevant measures to be implemented by the Contracting Parties. HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP), including its follow-up commitments, is the main programme for action.

The Working Group on the State of the Environment and Nature Conservation (State & Conservation) covers monitoring and assessment functions as well as issues related to nature conservation and biodiversity protection in HELCOM. A major aim of the group is to work across the monitoring-indicators-assessment chain in order to provide a stronger basis for coordinated development of the HELCOM thematic assessment tools and a coherent holistic assessment of the ecosystems health, including Baltic Sea Pressure Index and Impact Index. The State & Conservation group integrates – on technical and scientific level – the outcomes of various expert groups and projects covering most of all eutrophication, hazardous substances and biodiversity, but also linking the relevant results produced by other subsidiary bodies (e.g. pressures from shipping) into a one coherent system.

The Group on the Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach (Gear) initiates and strengthens actions to implement the Baltic Sea Action Plan. The ecosystem approach is about using scientific knowledge as the basis of protection and the sustainable use of the marine environment as well as prioritizing and applying management actions. The Gear group relies on strong, regional coordination and steers HELCOM’s efforts to restore the Good Environmental Status of the sea. The Group complements HELCOM’s scientific-technical activities.


The Professional Secretary is responsible for:

  • the management and facilitation of the work of the HELCOM State & Conservation and Gear Working Groups as well as projects related to these;
  • the compilation, analysis, assessment and presentation of information related to monitoring, environmental indicators and assessment as well as nature conservation, and drawing of  appropriate conclusions;
  • relating monitoring, assessment and nature conservation issues to the overall priorities and other areas in HELCOM’s work;
  • linking, especially on technical and scientific level, the implementation of HELCOM’s activities related to the above mentioned fields to other international frameworks and marine environment protection policies to address these; and
  • other tasks entrusted to him/her by the Executive Secretary.

The common requirements and duties for the Professional Secretaries as well as the post description of the vacancy are attached.

Qualifications and experience

The person to be appointed shall have:

  • knowledge from the work carried out in HELCOM and sound understanding of the role of HELCOM and its Secretariat;
  • an advanced university degree in environmental science or other related field and a minimum of five years of relevant professional experience on national level, including in the fields of monitoring, assessment and nature conservation;
  •  proven strong team-orientated skills;
  • excellent organizational and administrative skills and proven ability to deliver to tight timelines.

A thorough knowledge of the language and the ability to draft quickly and concisely in English are essential, as is computer literacy. Professional experience from international policy-making is an asset.

Terms of appointment

The salary, which is non-incremental, is approximately 5.800 EUR per month. The salaries paid by the Commission are exempt from Finnish income tax. In addition, certain allowances may be payable depending on personal circumstances.

The initial appointment is for three years, the first six months of which shall be a probationary period, with the possibility of a prolongation for another period not exceeding three years (3+3 years, maximum 6 consecutive years altogether).

The selected candidate is expected to take up his/her duties on 1 July 2017.


Applications consisting of a cover letter with motivation and a CV should be sent, preferably by e-mail, to Administrative Officer Satu Raisamo ([email protected]) on 19 December 2016 at the latest. Applications received after that date will not be taken into consideration.

The interviews are planned to take place in February 2017.