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Director of Human Resources


Vacancy Announcement

Director of Human Resources, D-1/ D-2

Amman, Jordan

Deadline for Applications

15 August 2017

(17 July 2017 for internal applicants)


2 years, with the possibility of further extension, subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory performance and continuing need.

Vacancy Announcement Number


UNRWA encourages applications from qualified women and welcomes applications from qualified candidates with disabilities.

UNRWA, the largest United Nations operation in the Middle East with over 30,000 staff working across five areas of operation, is looking for professionals like you.

UNRWA’s strategic objectives

The mission of UNRWA is to help Palestine refugees achieve their full potential in human development under the difficult circumstances in which they live. In line with this mission, the Agency works towards five strategic outcomes: (a) Palestine refugee rights under international law are protected and promoted; (b) Palestine refugee health is protected and disease burden is reduced; (c) school-age children complete quality, equitable and inclusive basic education; (d) Palestine refugee capabilities are strengthened for increased livelihood opportunities; and (e) Palestine refugees are able to meet their basic human needs of food, shelter and environmental health.

Do you want to make a lasting difference? 

If you are looking for a rewarding opportunity to make a tangible difference for one of the most vulnerable communities in the world, UNRWA would like to hear from you. As Director of Human Resources, you will be the principal Agency adviser on and manager of Human Resources matters affecting a workforce of 260 International Professional and General Service staff and over 30,000 Area staff performing professional or support functions Agency-wide. The Agency’s offices consist of headquarters offices in Amman and Gaza, five areas of operation in the Near East (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, West Bank and Gaza), UNRWA representative offices in New York, Washington, and Brussels and a liaison office in Cairo.    

The main responsibilities include:

•         Directing the development, interpretation and implementation of policies and procedures consistent with the policies, staff rules and regulations of the UN and UNRWA, relating to recruitment, staffing, training and development, job classification, staff relations, benefits and entitlements, personnel support services and related human resources functions (including negotiations with UNESCO, WHO and other agencies on personnel matters relating to staff loaned to UNRWA);

•         Acting as principal adviser to the Commissioner-General on human resources matters in the Agency and advising and/or instructing other Agency executives on human resources matters specifically applicable to their areas of responsibility.  Analyzing and advising on the specific or Agency-wide impact of human resources actions on budget, management or organizational planning;

•         Assuming overall responsibility for the implementation of the Human Resources Strategy and the ongoing review, development and identification of innovative and progressive HR practices, policies and activities in line with general Agency and UN reform initiatives;

•         Serving as a member of the Commissioner-General's Headquarters management corpus and as a member of various Committees, including the Management, Human Resources, Provident Fund, Internal Justice, and Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation;

•         Maintaining close and continuing contacts with Directors of UNRWA Operations/Affairs to keep abreast of current and anticipated conditions in order to assure orderly process of personnel administration and staff relations. In consultation with relevant Directors, determining the impact of political developments on human resources activities in UNRWA. Advising on or takes necessary action as dictated by political change or disruptive influences;

•         Participating in Agency discussions with staff, who are organized into one International Staff Association and several Area Staff Unions;

•         Liaising with officials of the UN Secretariat, UNESCO, WHO and other organizations in the UN common system, and officials of governments, as Agency spokesperson, to present and discuss recurring or special matters relating to the full range of human resources functions of relevance to UNRWA;

•         Directing the development of position papers; representing the Agency and serving as its spokesperson to regular and special proceedings of the International Civil Service Commission, the High-Level Committee on Management and similar activities affecting UNRWA human resources functions.

Conditions of service 

UNRWA offers an attractive compensation package including annual salary starting at for D-1 Level: $96,865 net tax free, and for D-2 Level: $107,150 net tax free, plus post adjustment of 36.4% for both levels (subject to change without notice). All UNRWA duty stations (with the exception of Gaza and Syria) are family duty stations. Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include:

  Dependency allowances

  Rental subsidy

  Education grant for children

  Home leave travel

  6 weeks (30 working days) annual leave

  Pension fund entitlements under the

    UN Joint Staff Pension Fund

  International health insurance; optional

    life insurance

  Disability protection

Additional information

The incumbent will be required to travel frequently throughout the Agency's area of operations in the Middle East.

To qualify for this position, you will need:


An advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) from an accredited educational institution in human resources management, public or business administration, law or a related field; a first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.



At least 15 years of progressively responsible and varied management experience at the international level including in senior positions in the UN or large institutions in the public or private sector of which at least eight years should have been in human resources management; experience in managing multi-cultural teams and staff in off-site locations.


Excellent command of written and spoken English.

Desirable qualifications:

•         Proficiency in a second UN language such as French or Arabic;

•         Knowledge of UN HR management; rules and regulations and practices, or similarly complex governance frameworks;

•         Experience with Unions, staff negotiations and managing industrial relations;

•         Knowledge of Middle Eastern cultures and employment practices;

•         Service in field operations.

You will also need to demonstrate the following competencies:

•         Leadership and Management: Demonstrated ability in change management (structural, technical or office culture change). Ability to lead teams through complex crisis (i.e., emergencies, budgetary, conflicts etc.) and contribute a member of a multi-functional management team. Demonstrated initiative to analyze and resolve problems quickly, efficiently and collaboratively. Demonstrated confidence and determination that s/he can influence events and organizational behavior.

•         Formulating strategies and concepts: Ability to lead the development of a clear Agency strategy for human resources (including workforce analysis, salary scale reviews, performance management). Capacity to anticipate and understanding staff needs, formulating clear and achievable plans and positioning human resources within the organization as a strategic partner to programme delivery in the field, rather than an administrative service;

•         Planning and organizing: Ability to plan and work to tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent activities; demonstrated participation in strategic planning that ensures implementation of key goals;

•         Teamwork: Strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relations at all levels; demonstrated capability for multitasking continuously, resisting stress and ensuring that subordinates to do not suffer burnout; able to contribute to assuring healthy intra and inter-department relationships and can help staff initiate and manage change. Ability to coach and give feedback to staff and senior members of management team;

•         Innovation: Demonstrated innovation in the development and implementation of change management initiatives, towards improved effectiveness and efficiency; including in resource-constrained operational environments. Ability to anticipate future trends/consequences and create innovative and flexible plans;

•         Professionalism: Ability to resolve complex and/or sensitive issues; ability to negotiate and influence within a collaborative framework; willingness to listen to others and encouragement of creative ideas, regardless of the source;

•         Communication: Articulate and persuasive communicator (spoken, written and presentation) skills; Ability to provide senior-level and sensitive counseling and strategic advice to the senior management committee, as well as the Commissioner-General and the Deputy Commissioner-General;

•         Political awareness: Sound and unbiased understanding of regional/international political trends;

•         Diversity and inclusion: Ability to work with individuals from all backgrounds and proactive in ensuring fair and equitable treatment for all; willingness to challenge inequalities and inappropriate behavior of individuals at all levels;

For guidance on how to prepare for competency-based interviews:


How to apply

To start the application process, applicants are required to register at by creating a personal profile and completing UNRWA Personal History Form. Only applications received through will be considered. Due to the large number of applications received for UNRWA vacancies, only applicants short-listed for interview will be contacted. The United Nations does not charge fees at any stage of the recruitment process. The United Nations does not concern itself with information related to bank accounts.

General information

UNRWA staff are expected to uphold the highest standards of integrity, neutrality and impartiality at all times. This includes respect for and commitment to human rights, diversity, and non-violent means of dealing with all kinds of conflict. Only persons who fully and unconditionally commit to these values should consider applying for UNRWA jobs. UNRWA is a non-smoking work environment.

The retirement age for staff entering or re-entering service in the UN Common System after 1 January 1990 is 62 and 65 after 1 January 2014. For external applicants, only those who are expected to complete a term of appointment will normally be considered.

The Agency reserves the right not to make an appointment, to make an appointment at a lower grade, or to make an appointment with a modified job description.

Date of issue: 3 July 2017/ NH

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: UNRWA - United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees
  • Location: Amman
  • Grade: D-1, Director - Senior Executive level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Resources
  • Closing Date: 2017-08-15

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