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Dep Director (Policy & Law)


Deputy Director (Policy and Law)

The Deputy Director is one of three Deputy Directors in the Division of International Protection. These functions are carried out under the management and direction of the Director, DIP. The Deputy Director is responsible for the overall supervision of  legal and policy work related to areas concerning refugee status determination, asylum and migration, protection policy and legal advice, protection and national security issues, including in relation to counter-terrorism and exclusion from refugee status, human rights, and statelessness. He/she also represents the Director in a number of related areas of work, in which capacity he/she may be a member of various steering committees, or may chair ad hoc task forces on behalf of the Director, as required. 

The Deputy Director advises the Director on a range of thematic issues in the area of law and policy and as mentioned above particularly on approaches to protection responses and legal positions on refugee protection, including status determination, providing leadership in the provision of guidance and tools in this context.  He/she keeps regular and frequent contacts with Heads of Sections and Units as well as with individual staff in the Division (some of whom he/she directly supervises) and all parts of UNHCR, in particular in the Bureaux. Frequently, these contacts are made to discuss thematic and operational issues so as to further the development of operational or policy guidance related to persons of concern.

As necessary, the Deputy Director will represent the Director at the Senior Management Committee and other high level meetings, during her absence, or at her request. In addition, frequent contacts are made with high level Governments officials, particularly those of key donor states as well as  with officials of NGO's and other UN and international organizations, in order to foster collaboration in areas of responsibility, including notably the nexus between asylum and migration. The Deputy Director will also be responsible for overseeing the organization of relevant international conferences and expert roundtables.

- UNHCR and states are able, through agile, innovative and legally sound processes and strategies, to identify and ensure the appropriate protection responses are accorded, and that guidance and tools to support these new approaches are available.
- Operations and Bureaux are supported in the implementation of all strategies relevant to the identified areas of responsibility, including refugee protection policy and standard setting, mixed migration/asylum situations and in relation to counter-terrorism and security issues, and operations are provided with timely advice and guidance.
- DIP is adequately staffed to ensure that the responsibilities outlined here can be met.

- Oversee and guide the work of relevant parts of DIP, including those dealing with RSD, PPLA, ExCom, round tables on law and policy issues, relevant conferences, high-level events, the nexus between asylum and migration and protection and national security issues, human rights, and statelessness.
- Provide strategic guidance on thematic areas under his/her responsibility and develop policy and operational guidance for UNHCR staff and other decision-makers, including those in states responsible for refugee status determination.
- Engage various Bureaux and operations with respect to pertinent developments in their regions, and participate in significant forums as necessary so as to influence policy and strategic thinking on thematic and operational areas relating to his/her areas of responsibility.
- Support Bureaux and Operations, through timely advice and guidance, on the implementation of relevant UNHCR standards, protection policies, and protection strategies, in his/her areas of responsibility.
- Coordinate and lead provision of operational support to country offices in the development and implementation of broad-based protection strategies, particularly with respect to processing of individual or group claims for refugee status.
- Attend, convene, or chair, various committee and task force meetings relating to areas of his/her responsibility, ensuring that DIP¿s views and positions are adequately represented, and protection and solutions elements are duly considered.
- Ensure adequate staffing of the areas of DIP under his/her responsibility by undertaking assessments and making recommendations for staffing decisions as well as ensuring compliance with staff performance evaluations.
- Carry out any other duties and responsibilities as required.

- Speak on behalf of DIP/UNHCR, presenting protection and strategic viewpoints and positions in internal and external fora.
- Decide on thematic areas and issues which need further policy and operational guidance and frame policy and operational positions being developed in relation to his/her areas of responsibility.
- Clear legal, policy and guidance documents for publication as UNHCR's positions, including for public information and media purposes.
- Liaise with Bureaux and field operations on all matters relating to areas of his/her responsibility, and organize meetings, workshops and discussions to address challenging areas and to develop policy in key problematic areas, including through court interventions or other mechanisms of judicial engagement.
- Decide on staffing of the Division with respect to the areas under his/her responsibility.

- Advanced university degree in Law with experience in the area of International Protection, Refugee Law, Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law.
- Minimum of 20 years of job experience relevant to the function at International /National level - including 7 years in managerial capacity.
- Articulate and possess strong advocacy and public speaking skills.
- Strong management skills in related areas of protection and solutions.
- Recognized expertise in drafting of policy papers and strategies, including in relation to international protection issues in industrialized states.
- Experience in organizing conferences and expert roundtables.
- Outstanding legal and policy drafting skills in English.

- SMLP and protection learning courses.
- Field experience.
- French or other language skills.

C001L4 - Accountability Level 4
C002L4 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 4
C003L4 - Communication Level 4
C004L4 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 4
C005L4 - Client & Result Orientation Level 4
C006L4 - Organizational Awareness Level 4
M001L4 - Empowering and Building Trust Level 4
M002L4 - Managing Performance Level 4
M006L4 - Managing Resources Level 4
M005L4 - Leadership Level 4
M003L4 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 4
M004L4 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 4
X006L4 - Policy Development & Research Level 4
X005L4 - Planning and Organizing Level 4
X007L4 - Political Awareness Level 4

Please note that the closing date for all vacancies in Add.2 to the September 2015 Compendium is Monday 22 February 2016 (midnight Geneva time).

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: D-1, Director - Senior Executive level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Management, Administration and Finance
  • Closing Date: 2016-02-22

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