Chief of Section (Hydrological Systems and Water Scarcity)

United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Paris, , FR


Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences (ADG/SC) and direct supervision of the Director of Division and the Secretary of International Hydrological Programme (IHP), the incumbent, as Chief of Section will be responsible for designing, leading and coordinating the implementation of UNESCO’s work in the field of  Water Sciences and IHP Programme, specifically on Water-related Disasters and Hydrological Change including interlinkages in the source to sea continium to improve assessment/management of hydrological cycle.The incumbent will deliver to Member States visible and high quality expected results of section associated to IHP themes. S/he will design the relevant strategies, policies, objectives and deliverables and define priorities and agenda for staff and Section and locate and pursue resources. The incumbent will ensure the implementation of work plans and the achievement of related outcomes described in UNESCO’s medium term strategy and in the IHP implementation strategy.

In particular, the incumbent will:

  • Provide intellectual leadership and guidance to the Section to ensure delivery of the expected results stated in the C/4, C/5 and IHP Council and Bureau decisions and design relevant strategies, policies, objectives and deliverables.
  • Direct and design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of work plans and regular and extra budgetary initiatives and activities, ensuring the continuous optimization of resources.
  • Oversee and manage activities and events in IHP; coordinate publications and dissemination of guidelines and other policy and capacity development materials, documents and other technical products and information.
  • Facilitate dialogue across expertise and throughout networks, discussing emerging trends, application of best practices and exchanging ideas between decision-makers and experts on fresh water systems to contribute to the on-demand knowledge, support, advice and guidance on policy development and implementation in coherence with source-to-sea approach.
  • Seek extrabudgetary funding to complement available UNESCO regular budget resources and supervise the entire funding process, including developing and writing proposals.
  • Act as focal point for IHP activities and represent UNESCO and IHP interests at other international organizations and relevant bodies.
  • Promote the IHP, the Section and its programmes to internal and external networks, such as universities, agencies, organizations and ministries; provide advice to create synergies, strengthen and identify key partnerships for increased visibility for the programme.
  • Establish and pursue alliances on cross–organizational and –sectional issues and develop working frameworks and systemic approaches to increase capacity
COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)
Accountability (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Building partnerships (M)
Leading and empowering others (M)
Making quality decisions (M)
Managing performance (M)
Strategic thinking (M)
Planning and organizing (C)
Innovation (C)
Driving and managing change (M)
Communication (C)
For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.

• Advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) in one of the fields of water sciences or environmental sciences with specialization in water.   
Work Experience

• A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible and relevant professional experience in the field of water resources or hydrology.

• Relevant experience acquired at the international level.

• Experience in water-related disasters and hydrological changes.

• Experience in water resources development.

• Experience in resources and partnerships mobilization.

• Demonstrated experience in management of staff and budget.

Skills and competencies 

• Knowledge of, and commitment to, UNESCO’s mandate, vision, strategic direction and priorities.

• Demonstrated strategic planning and management abilities, including capacity to administer extensive programmes, human and financial resources.

• Capacity to provide intellectual leadership to guide staff, as well as ability to build trust, manage, lead and motivate a diversified body of staff in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

• Proven ability to work collaboratively and to build and maintain partnerships with internal and external stakeholders.

• Demonstrated skills in science communication and advocacy.

• Ability in planning and setting up training courses. 


• Excellent knowledge of English.



  • Ph.D. or equivalent in Natural Sciences.
  • Other degrees or training in water sciences, environmental sciences with specialization in water or any other disciplines relevant to the post.

Work Experience

  • University teaching experience and/or service in developing countries.
  • Experience in the water sector within a governmental or similar public institution.
  •  Experience within the United Nations system.

Skills and Competencies

  • Good knowledge of UNESCO programmes and policies in water sciences and of international development policies and institutions. 


  • Good knowledge of French.
  • Knowledge of another official language of UNESCO (Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish). 





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