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Director, UNESCO International Bureau of Education


  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Senior Executive level - D-2, Director - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed


Post Number : 1CHED0039IB

Grade : D-2

Parent Sector : Education Sector (ED)

Duty Station: Geneva

Job Family: Education

Type of contract : Fixed Term (maximum term of six years)

Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 15-JUL-2024


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism



UNESCO, as the lead agency for Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Quality Education, is currently seeking a pro-active, visionary Director for the International Bureau of Education (IBE). The right candidate will be a seasoned leader, able to foster trust through an inclusive approach and inspire others. 

The International Bureau of Education (IBE) is an integral part of UNESCO's Education Sector, operating with statutory institutional autonomy under the guidance of its Governing Board.  IBE is mandated to become UNESCO’s global focal point and platform for knowledge, dialogue, and cooperation on curriculum, contributing to UNESCO’s work in education through a holistic, inter-sectoral, and forward-looking vision.

Guided by the Council of IBE and under the direct supervision of the Assistant Director-General for Education, the Director of IBE provides intellectual leadership and strategic vision to IBE’s programme and staff. The incumbent is responsible for leadership of the Institute as well as for planning, implementing and reporting on its Programme and Budget. S/he will oversee the preparation of the Institute’s annual Draft Programme and Budget for submission to the Council and upon approval, draw up a detailed plan of activities, direct their implementation, and report on progress and results.


Specifically, the incumbent shall:


•    Provide intellectual, strategic and operational leadership for the Institute in the pursuit of its goals. Develop activities to strengthen cooperation in the area of capacity-building and technical support for the development of curricular frameworks in the Member States, management of data banks, analyses of trends and dissemination of new knowledge, and promotion and renewal of the policy dialogue on curriculum-related issues, internationally;

•    Lead the planning, execution and reporting of IBE’s programme; 

•    In close cooperation with the appropriate units of the Secretariat at Headquarters and in the field, the incumbent ensures that the IBE contributes fully to the achievement of UNESCO’s objectives; 

•    Manage and design operational mechanisms and/or action plans, required to support and ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the Institute’s operations;

•    Ensures close cooperation with UNESCO's Education Sector and other Sectors, Field Offices, UNESCO's specialized Institutes, and services and units concerned;

•    Oversee the resource mobilization for the Institute’s programmes;

•    Maintain a motivated and effective staff for the purpose of formulating, planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the programmes of the Institute.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial) Communication (C) Accountability (C) Innovation (C) Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C) Planning and organizing (C) Results focus (C) Teamwork (C) Professionalism (C) Building partnerships (M) Driving and managing change (M) Leading and empowering others (M) Managing performance (M) Making quality decisions (M) Strategic thinking (M) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in education, sciences or other related social science fields. 

Work Experience

  • Minimum 15 years of progressively responsible relevant professional experience in the field of education (including some experience in the field of Curriculum related matters) both at national and international level.
  • Proven intellectual leadership experience in the field of Education and Development.    
  • Experience in developing and organizing education research and training programmes, as well as in analysing education and international cooperation policies.
  • Experience in strategic planning, change management and leading teams. 
  • Experience in resources mobilization and partnership development.
  • Strong global professional network. 

Skills and Competencies
•    Commitment to the Organization’s mandate, vision and strategic direction, as well as to its priorities.
•    Excellent knowledge of curriculum development and education policies at a global level and good understanding of global trends and developments in curriculum related issues.  
•    Proven leadership and managerial skills, a broad general culture and sound analytical capacities, high sense of objectivity, professional integrity and political astuteness.
•    Ability to identify key strategic issues, objectives, opportunities and risks.
•    Demonstrated strategic planning and management abilities, including capacity to manage extensive programmes, financial resources and exercise appropriate supervision and control.
•    Organizational skills, including in establishing plans and priorities, as well as in implementing them effectively, and devising implementation strategies.
•    Ability to direct change processes at the management level, and familiarity with the leadership of an institution accountable to governing bodies.
•    Sound judgment and decision-making skills.
•    Ability to engage in networking with diplomacy, tact and a sense of political astuteness.
•    Demonstrated interpersonal skills and ability to provide intellectual leadership and motivate multidisciplinary teams in a multicultural environment, as well as ensure coaching and development of staff.
•    Ability to communicate effectively and persuasively, orally and in writing, with strong representational abilities.

•    Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English or French and good working knowledge of the other.



  • A PhD in education, sciences or other related social science fields.
  • Other degrees or short to medium-term training in disciplines relevant to the post.

Skills and competencies 

  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to take initiative and maintain effective working relationships with partners of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds.
  • Understanding of UNESCO’s strategic direction and familiarity of UNESCO’s operations.


  • Knowledge of other official UNESCO languages (Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish).

UNESCO’s salaries consist of a basic salary and other benefits which may include if applicable: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, medical insurance, pension plan etc.

The approximate annual starting salary for this post is 224, 356 US $.

For full information on benefits and entitlements, please consult our Guide to Staff Benefits.


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


UNESCO recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

This vacancy is now closed.