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Data and Security Engineer

Washington D.C. (United States of America) | New York City

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners' needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale.

Background information- ECR

Based in Geneva, the Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECR) supports UNOPS offices throughout the region through: management, financial and programmatic oversight of global and country-specific portfolios, clusters and operations centres, including hosting services; fund and management advisory services; project implementation; procuring goods and services; and managing human resources.

ECR ensures that projects are executed to the highest standards, providing a shared knowledge base and ensuring that best practices and lessons learned are disseminated between business units and projects across the entire region.

ECR strategy is to:

  • Strengthen UNOPS role in operationalizing the Sustainable Development Goals with particular emphasis on health, environment and economic development.
  • Position UNOPS in the Balkan sub-region, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
  • Strengthen the implementation of ECR global and regional programmes, with revitalized partnerships in infrastructure, procurement and project management.

ECR operates global portfolios from offices in Geneva, Brussels and New York, and country-specific programmes from its operations and project centres located in Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries.

Background Information - Development Group Cluster

Based in the New York, the UNOPS Development Group Cluster supports diverse partners with their peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. For example, within the United Nations Development Programme, the Cluster works with the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support and the Office of South-South Cooperation.

The cluster also supports the United Nations Secretariat, as well as a broadening community of other New York-based United Nations organizations in the delivery of project management and implementation services

Background Information - Job-specific

Global Pulse is an innovation initiative of the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General, exploring how digital data and real-time analytics can be used to understand and respond to changes in human well-being. To this end, Global Pulse is working to promote awareness of the opportunities Big Data presents for relief and development, forge public-private data sharing partnerships, generate high-impact analytical tools and approaches, and drive broad adoption of useful innovations across the UN System.

Global Pulse operates as a network of Pulse Labs, headquartered in New York with Labs in Kampala and Jakarta, together expertise from UN agencies, governments, academia, and the private sector to research, develop, test and share tools and approaches for harnessing real-time data to support decision-making and policy action. Examples of Global Pulse publications and reports include:, and

Functional Responsibilities

Functional Responsibilities

The Data and Security Engineer will work in the Global Pulse New York Lab responsible for ensuring the confidentiality, availability and integrity of the project’s information assets. He or she must be able to work with a variety of data types, programming languages and platforms, must be comfortable with both hands-on development and research support, and must be adept at both understanding the information content of data and transforming and preparing it for analytical and reporting purposes.

The Data and Security Engineer will provide guidance and support to the data science teams across the Pulse Lab Network - including the labs in Jakarta and Kampala.

Specifically, the incumbent will:

  • Research, evaluate, and deploy new tools, frameworks and patterns to build Big Data and traditional solutions relevant to Global Pulse and UN partners;
  • Identify gaps and opportunities for improvement of existing solutions;
  • Develop and work with APIs for integration with various data services;
  • Develop, document, test and debug applications, software and systems that contain logical and mathematical solutions;
  • Support the research team in the planning, design, development and utilization of data processing systems for development and humanitarian response;
  • Determine system requirements to meet user needs; analyze system capabilities to resolve problems on program intent, output requirements, input data acquisition, programming techniques and controls; prepare operating instructions;
  • Ensure data security standards are met; identify data security issues; define, design and implement their solutions; provide support to the Labs on data security;
  • Conduct background research and make recommendations on data security practices.
  • Provide support to the coordination of testing of solutions and processes by development and humanitarian partners to strengthen, adapt and improve the project’s efficiency and effectiveness;
  • Provide inputs to the feasibility studies and perform data cleaning and preparation that can help the overall understanding of data sets and problem statements relevant to Global Pulse and UN partners.




  • Demonstrable ability to work independently with minimal supervision, but also to function effectively as part of a team.
  • Comfortable working with diverse programming languages, design patterns, frameworks, libraries and platforms.
  • Flexible, adaptable, and comfortable working in a start-up environment.
  • Ability to work directly with internal and external clients to define requirements for analysis and reporting.
  • Passion for Big Data, computers, software engineering, architecture design, and application development.
  • Experience with big data in the development or humanitarian contexts is a plus;

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.
  • Demonstrable ability to meet deadlines, work under pressure, manage workflows and operate as part of a dispersed team with members across various time zones.
  • Good organizational skills, with timely and detail-oriented implementation of tasks.

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Shares knowledge and experience; actively works towards continuing personal learning, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills.


  • 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

Education/Experience/Language requirements


Advanced university degree in computer science, math, engineering, design, data science, international development, business administration, economics or other relevant discipline. A first-level university degree in combination with an additional two years qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • A minimum of two years of work experience in big data techniques, internet technology, design or software development;
  • Experience with system security development and implementation (risk analysis, forensic analysis, PKI, certificate management, encryption, etc) is required;
  • Experience with AWS (EC2, S3, CloudFront, VPC, Route 53, CloudWatch, CloudTrail, CloudFormation, IAM, WAF, EMR) is required;
  • Experience in high availability server/client setup, management and programming using open source solutions, specifically Hadoop ecosystem (HDFS, Spark, MapReduce, Pig, Hive, HBase, Cassandra, Zookeeper, Hue, Kafka, NiFi, Zeppelin, Knox) is required
  • Experience with public and hybrid cloud network planning, setup, configuration, security, supervision and management with other provider experience (Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform or IBM Bluemix) is desirable;
  • Knowledge of relevant security certifications such as CISSP, GCIA, GCIH, GREM, CEH, etc. is desirable;

Fluency in English (written and oral). Working knowledge of another UN language is a plus.

Contract type, level and duration
Contract type: International ICA
Contract level: IICA-1
Contract duration: 3 months (with possibility of extension)

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Please apply on the external site below:

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: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Washington D.C. (United States of America) | New York City
  • Grade: Mid level - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Security and Safety
    • Statistics
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2017-01-25

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