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Chief of Section Education for Sustainable Development


  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Paris
  • Grade: Senior level - P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • Environment
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed


Post Number : ED 109

Grade : P-5

Parent Sector : Education Sector (ED)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Education

Type of contract : Fixed Term

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



Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General of Education (ADG/ED), and the direct supervision of the Director of the Division for Peace and Sustainable Development (ED/PSD), the incumbent will lead the design, coordination and execution for programme  and projects in the Section of Education for Sustainable Development, and play a significant  role in policy  and strategy direction, development  and integration, and resource optimization. S/he will coordinate with other parts of the Education Sector including its  Category I Institutes, as well as UNESCO’s other Programme Sectors, to ensure that technical support and backstopping is provided to UNESCO Field Offices in implementing the Section’s programme aiming at reinforcing Member States capacity to develop and implement policies and strategies related to the Education for Sustainable Development.

In particular the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:


  • Lead the development and implementation of the Section’s programmes and be further accountable for implementing a results-based approach and ensure efficiency and effectiveness in operations;
  • Provide support to reforms, policy development and capacity building of Members States in the field oeducation for sustainable development in cooperation with other parts of the Education Sector and its Category I Institutes, coordinate with relevant UNESCO Chairs and UNESCO’s other Programme Sectors, and other partners and relevant entities;
  • Be responsible for all issues regarding international normative instruments related to education for sustainable developmen
  • Generate evidence of the effectiveness, efficiency and impact of UNESCO support to Member States in the area of ESD, and programmes implemented by the Organisation in the field of education for sustainable development;
  • Lead on the flagship Greening Education Partnership , and including the  partnership and  cooperation with the Science Sector. Lead and engage actively in the organisation of global debates and advocacy initiatives including international debate fora, and other initiatives related to education for sustainable development and the visibility of the programme;
  • Lead and manage the staff of the Section for the purpose of formulating, planning, implementing, monitoring and reporting, and evaluating the programmes, as well as support to Member States and other development partners;
  • Establish, develop and sustain strong working relations and partnership with governments, agencies, NGOs, private sector, civil society and other partners of UNESCO;
  • Lead and coordinate the resource mobilization for the Section’s programmes.
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) Making quality decisions (M) Strategic thinking (M) Managing performance (M) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS


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

Work Experience

  • Minimum 10 years of progressively responsible relevant professional experience in the field of education, of which at least 5 years acquired at the international level, including policy analysis and development related to education for sustainable development.
  • Proven work experience in designing and implementing national and/or international large-scale programmes in education for sustainable development.
  • Proven experience in resources mobilization and partnership development.
  • A minimum of 3 years of experience in leading and managing teams of professionals in multicultural environment.

Skills and Competencies 

  • Good understanding of global trends and developments related to education for sustainable development.
  • Proven conceptual, analytical and technical skills including the ability to provide advice on educational policy, strategic planning and management.
  • Ability in engaging in policy dialogue with high-level government officials, international education partners, civil society representatives, researchers and educators.
  • Ability to accompany and lead change initiatives and persist in times of challenges.
  • Proven leadership and managerial skills, a broad general culture and sound analytical capacities, high sense of objectivity, professional integrity and 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. 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to prepare, present and discuss findings and recommendations on education issues clearly and concisely.


  • 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.

Work Experience

  • Experience in the field of international relations and diplomacy, multilateral cooperation and development.
  • Experience working in an agile environment.
  • Strong global professional network.
  • Experience in providing support to countries in implementation of  education projects and programmes at a national or regional scale. 

Skills and Competencies 

  • Understanding of UNESCO’s strategic direction and familiarity of UNESCO’s operations.
  • Knowledge of agile working methodology.


  • 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 151, 244 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.