Senior Environmental Affairs Officer

United Nations Department of Field Support

New York, NY, US


• Duration of need: 364 days with the possibility of extension.

• A current staff member who holds a fixed-term, permanent or continuing appointment may apply for temporary positions no more than one level above his or her current grade. However, a current staff member who holds an appointment at the G-6 or G-7 level may also apply to temporary positions in the Professional category up to and including the P-3 level, subject to meeting all eligibility and other requirements for the position. A staff member holding a temporary appointment shall be regarded as an external candidate when applying for other positions, and may apply for other temporary positions at any level, subject to section 5.7 below and staff rule 4.16 (b) (ii). Therefore, a staff member holding a temporary appointment in the General Service or related categories may only apply to positions within those categories. For full information on eligibility requirements, please refer to section 5 of ST/AI/2010/4Rev.1 on Temporary Appointments. In its resolution 66/234, the General Assembly further “stressed that the Secretary-General should not recur to the practice of temporarily filling posts in the Professional and higher categories with General Service staff members who have not passed the General Service to Professional category examination other than on an exceptional basis, and requests the Secretary-General to ensure that temporary occupation of such posts by the General Service staff shall not exceed a period of one year, effective 1 January 2013…” Consequently, eligible candidates in the General Service or related categories for temporary job openings in the Professional category that have not passed the competitive examination may be selected only on an exceptional basis endorsed by the Office of Human Resources Management where no other suitable candidate could be identified.

• Upon separation from service, including, but not limited to, expiration or termination of, or resignation from, a fixed-term, continuing or permanent appointment, a former staff member will be ineligible for re-employment on the basis of a temporary appointment for a period of 31 days following the separation. In the case of separation from service on retirement, a former staff member will be ineligible for re-employment for a period of three months following the separation. This equally applies, mutatis mutandis, with respect to a former or current staff member who has held or holds an appointment in another entity applying the United Nations Staff Regulations and Rules and who applies for a temporary position with the Secretariat.

• Subject to the funding source of the position, this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.

• While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post. An external candidate selected for this position is bound by the prevailing condition of the staff selection system under ST/AI/2010/3, as amended, and ST/AI/2010/4/Rev.1. A staff member holding a temporary appointment who is recruited in the Professional and above categories on a temporary appointment, and placed on a position authorized for one year or longer may not apply for or be reappointed to his/her current position within six months of the end of his/her current service. This provision does not apply to staff members holding temporary appointments and placed on positions authorized for one year or more in duty stations authorized for peacekeeping operations or special political missions.

• The expression “Internal candidates”, shall mean staff members who have been recruited after a competitive examination under staff rule 4.16 or after the advice of a central review body under staff rule 4.15.

• Please note that candidates will be required to meet the requirements of Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter as well as the requirements of the position. The United Nations is committed to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity for all its human resources, including but not limited to respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to whether they have committed, or are alleged to have committed criminal offences and/or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

• For information on special post allowance, please refer to ST/AI/1999/17. For more details on the administration of temporary appointments please refer to ST/AI/2010/4/Rev.1.

• The Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and administrative issuances governing staff appointments can be viewed at:

• Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply.

• Staff members are not eligible to apply for the current temporary job opening if they are unable to serve the specified duration of temporary need before reaching the mandatory age of separation. Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.

Org. Setting and Reporting

The Senior Environmental Affairs Officer reports to the Chief of the Environment Section, Office of the Under-Secretary-General, Department of Field Support.


Within delegated authority, the Senior Environmental Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

•Leads a project to define and institutionalize an appropriate model for environmental assessment which responds to the need for better life-long environmental performance and environmental risk management and damage control in addition to the imperatives for rapid deployment, light mission support footprint, and cost-efficiency.
•Conducts a desk review of existing guidance on strategic and operational planning to identify where and how guidance on environmental assessment and management could best be inserted (including numerous DPKO/DFS strategic planning guidance documents, Technical Assessment Missions, the DFS Engineering Support Manual, ESDC modularization design and costing templates, DSS assessments of possible UN sites/camps); identify any additional need for standalone guidance.
•Conducts a desk review of approaches, tools and strategies employed by other organisations within the UN family and other counterparts in assessing environmental impact and risks.
•Conducts semi-structured interviews – including through travel to missions to be determined – with experts and practitioners across peacekeeping operations and with a range of internal and external. stakeholders, including the Environmental Engineering & Compliance Unit of the UNGSC as well as other parts of the UN (e.g. MAP-X project based in UNEP Geneva) to review tools and approaches to assess environmental impact and risks, and identify best practices in peacekeeping missions in environmental assessment, including challenges and mitigation strategies taking into consideration the impact on communities and their ecosystems and highlighting opportunities to benefit them.
•Identifies options with DFS-New York, UNGSC and UNEP technical teams for collaborating on geographic information systems (GIS) to support the implementation of the DFS Environment Strategy.
•Develops an appropriate methodology, whether in the form of standalone guidance, training, standard operating procedures, or through integration into existing guidance. Includes guidelines, checklists and procedures that ensure an appropriate and achievable level of environmental assessment by peace operations, in close consultation with practitioners on the ground, so that environmental management is implemented on a daily basis, in an holistic, comprehensive, continuous and integrated manner.
•In cooperation with UNEP and UNGSC as required, organizes and manages a workshop with practitioners and experts from inside and outside peacekeeping with the aim of:
– providing cross-cutting inputs on currently existing practices and tools to assess environment impact and risks within contexts;
– identifying lessons learned and “case studies” based on already existing situations, as well as on established practices to be used as an example by operators on the ground;
– collecting innovative and effective approaches;
– providing feedback on methodology;
•Consults with experts and practitioners across peacekeeping operations and with a range of internal and external stakeholders to solicit feedback on the methodology and approach to institutionalisation, including through travel to missions to be determined.
•Integrates feedback and finalizes products.
•Shepherds relevant guidance documents through the doctrinal approval process at DPKO-DFS.
•Identifies the appropriate approach to targeted training on planning, operational phase and drawdown, as well as priority target audience. Defines steps needed for further implementation.
•Prepares speeches for senior staff and makes presentations on relevant issues at various forums of intergovernmental, governmental, inter-agency, expert or multi-stakeholder nature.
•Provides preliminary advice to start-up missions or others requiring input on environmental assessment, based on research and analysis so far.
•Takes the lead in task forces, working groups, inter-agency groups, as needed on relevant issues.
•Performs other related duties as required.


Professionalism: Proven knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to environmental management, environmental conflict and sustainable development. Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities and risks. Ability to generate and communicate broad and compelling organizational direction. Ability to communicate clearly links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals. Demonstrated ability to provide innovative technical leadership by performing and/or overseeing the planning, development, and management of operation. Demonstrated ability to negotiate and apply good judgment. Proven ability to analyze complex data and produce reports leading to sound policy recommendations for achieving sustainable development; Solid understanding of the political environment and the programmes and activities of the UN system in relevant areas; Ability to think strategically, to identify key emerging sustainable development issues and related policy implications. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; 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.

Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

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 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.

Vision: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks; clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals; generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction; conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in environmental management, environmental engineering, natural resources management, urban planning, development and social sciences or related field. A first-level university degree in combination with 2 years experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in project or programme management, including policy-oriented work, on a broad range of issues relevant to post-conflict intervention, organizational management, environmental management and/or environmental assessment is required. Experience in managing and coordinating environmental issues across a large organisation, or networking environmental issues with various partners is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language is an advantage.


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

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, including but not limited to, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to, whether they have committed or are alleged to have committed criminal offences or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

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.

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

The screening and 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, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: 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 a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.