Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences (ADG/SC) and the direct supervision of the Director of the Division of Science Policy and Capacity Building, the incumbent, as Chief of Section, will be responsible for leading the development, formulation and management of programme activities which will address the dual mandate of the Small Islands and Indigenous Knowledge Section (SII), specifically: Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Local & Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS). S/he will be responsible for establishing the priorities and strategies of the Section and for leading staff in the achievement of those priorities. S/he will provide intellectual and strategic leadership and guidance in the development and application of innovative approaches concerning policy, project and programme formulation. Within the context of the Organization’s mandate, the incumbent will contribute to the attainment of sustainable development amongst vulnerable and marginalized countries and communities, with particular attention to priority groups identified in UNESCO’s Medium-Term Strategy (C/4) 2014-2021, notably SIDS and indigenous peoples. Strategic focus will be placed on mobilizing local and indigenous knowledge, alongside science, to enhance resilience and bolster innovation in the face of global change. More specifically the incumbent will be expected to perform the following essential tasks:
- Provide intellectual and strategic leadership to reinforce policies and actions in support of vulnerable and marginalized countries and communities, notably SIDS and indigenous peoples. Develop, drive and ensure the implementation of work plans and the achievement of expected results.
- Promote and strengthen interdisciplinary linkages across natural and social sciences, as well as transdisciplinarity between scientists and local & indigenous knowledge holders, in order to foster innovative, locally-adapted responses to complex challenges at the interface of socio-cultural-ecological systems.
- Maintain and reinforce UNESCO’s unique leadership within the UN System on mobilizing local & indigenous knowledge to address global environmental challenges, such as biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation & adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
- Coordinate and provide Organization-wide leadership for the sustainable development of SIDS, through the implementation of UNESCO’s SIDS Action Plan.
- Develop and nurture collaborative partnerships among indigenous peoples and local communities, relevant national and regional bodies, and international agencies and organizations, in order to work across scales and across sectors.
- Identify resource mobilization opportunities and secure extrabudgetary resources for relevant programmatic and thematic areas of work.
- Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in the natural sciences, social sciences, or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
- Minimum 10 years of progressively responsible experience in natural or social science fields of relevance to local/indigenous knowledge, of which at least 5 years acquired at the international level.
- Proven experience working on building synergies between local/indigenous knowledge and science to address socio-cultural-ecological challenges, such as biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation/mitigation, disaster risk reduction, amongst others.
- Demonstrated in-depth engagement at both the local community and international levels.
- Established publication record.
- Proven experience in leading, managing and motivating interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary teams and staff.
- Proven experience in the development, implementation and management of programmes, projects or research in natural sciences, social sciences or interdisciplinary related fields.
- Demonstrated partnership development and resource mobilization experience.
- Strong conceptual, analytical and organizational skills.
- Sound judgement and decision-making skills.
- Demonstrated leadership and supervisory ability, including the capacity to maintain effective working relations in a multicultural environment.
- Proven ability to communicate, advocate, and negotiate with staff and stakeholders at all levels within and outside the Organization.
- Demonstrated fund-raising and resource mobilization skills.
- Capacity to build, develop and maintain partnerships and interact with a range of partners.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills, with proven ability to provide high quality presentations, documents and reports.
- Good IT Skills including knowledge of office software.
- Excellent knowledge of English and good/fair knowledge of French.
- Ph.D. or equivalent degree in the field of natural sciences, social sciences, or a related field.
- High level research experience, including in developing countries.
- Experience with government policy-making in relevant sectors.
- Work experience within intergovernmental organizations.
- Familiarity with the work and general functioning of international organizations and/or the UN System.
- Knowledge of other official UNESCO languages (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish).