Programme Management Officer (Liaison Officer)

New York, NY, United States 🇺🇸

Special Notice

Extension of the appointment is subject to the extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Org. Setting and Reporting

Created in December 1999, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is the designated focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of efforts to reduce disasters and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations and regional organizations and activities in both developed and less developed countries. Led by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (SRSG), UNISDR has over 100 staff located in its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and in regional offices. Specifically, UNISDR guides, monitors, analyses and reports on progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, supports regional and national implementation of the Framework and catalyses action and increases global awareness to reduce disaster risk working with UN Member States and a broad range of partners and stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector, parliamentarians and the science and technology community.


Under the overall guidance of the Chief of Branch (D-1) based in Geneva, and the direct supervision of the Chief, New York Office (P-5), the incumbent carries out the following duties and responsibilities:

Participates in the planning and carries out parts of the annual work plan of the Liaison Office under his/her responsibility, determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery; ensures that the outputs produced by the Liaison Office meet high-quality standards and support relevant UNISDR mandates. Takes a lead role and actively contributes to the management of programmatic and administrative tasks necessary for the efficient functioning of the Liaison Office including preparation of budgets, assigning and monitoring of performance parameters and critical indicators, reporting on budget/programme performance, preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting, evaluation of staff performance, interview and evaluation of candidates for job openings and interaction with service providers and UN partners. Acts as Deputy to the Chief of Office.
Within delegated authority, provides substantive backstopping and policy advice on disaster risk reduction issues to Member States in the context of the negotiations of relevant resolutions of UN governance bodies, such as the General Assembly and ECOSOC. Drafts the preparation of the Secretary General’s report on the Implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, and provides inputs for other relevant reports and documents.

When requested, represents UNISDR in inter-governmental and inter-agency processes and meetings, provides substantive and programmatic advice as required and ensures that disaster risk reduction is reflected in the outcome of these processes. Provides analysis and reports on relevant inter-governmental and inter-agency discussions bearing relevance to advancing the disaster risk reduction agenda and UNISDR mandate. Coordinates UNISDR contribution to the High-Level Political Forum for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change; under the guidance of the Chief of Office, provides support to the Groups of Friends of Disaster Risk Reduction in New York.

Supports the Chief of Office in providing policy and coordination support to the Executive Office (EOSG) for the Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General through preparation and review of relevant documents, including speeches, talking points, background documents related to disaster risk reduction, and the organization of meetings and events.

Facilitates, as relevant, consultations between stakeholders on the implementation and monitoring of the 2015-2030 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Contributes to the organization of advocacy events, side events and briefings on disaster risk reduction at the UN Headquarters in collaboration with Member States, civil society organisations and UN agencies by proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparing documents and presentations.
Identifies opportunities for advancing the disaster risk reduction agenda and promoting UNISDR work; proposes to headquarters, through the Chief of Office, new initiatives that aim to foster collective and coherent actions among key players.

Carries out any other duties requested by the Chief Office and Chief of Branch.


– Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and other risk management topics;
– Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems.
– Ability to establish and foster successful partnerships and collaborations;
– Ability to identify strategic opportunities for achieving the agenda of the Department;
– Well developed political acumen and analysis;
– Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities;
– 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;
– Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

– 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.

– Works collaboratively with colleagues and partners to achieve common goals;
– Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others;
– Places team agenda before personal agenda;
– Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position;
– Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

– 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 degree) in international relations, management, economics, social sciences, law or related area. 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 seven years of progressively responsible experience in project or programme management is required. Experience in building strategic alliances, partnerships and in disaster risk reduction is required. International work experience is required, preferably including a minimum of three years in international organizations. Experience managing or coordinating inter-governmental and/or inter-agency processes is required, preferably for a minimum of two years. At least one year experience in representation functions in international organizations is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English 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 interviews.

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.