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Director of UNRWA Operations/Affairs - Talent Pool

Multiple locations (Various)

Senior Female Talent Pool

Director of UNRWA Operations/Affairs, D-1/D-2

Deadline for Applications

31 December 2018


Fixed-term positions of 1 or 2 years, as well as Temporary Appointments

Duty Station(s)

Amman / Beirut / Jerusalem / Gaza / Damascus

Vacancy Announcement Number



UNRWA, the largest United Nations operation in the Middle East with over 30,000 staff working across five areas of operation, is looking for highly committed senior female professionals wishing to make a change.

UNRWA Gender Parity strategic objectives

UNRWA is committed to achieving and sustaining gender parity at all levels of staffing. In line with the United Nations Secretary-General’s system-wide strategy on gender parity and UNRWA’s own Gender Equality Strategy 2016-2021, we have put in place an HR Action Plan to achieve gender parity at all levels of staffing by 2021.

One of the specific measures UNRWA has adopted to achieve parity is the establishment of Senior Female Talent Pools from P-4 to D-2 levels, to ensure a pipeline of qualified female professionals for both programmatic and support areas from middle to senior management.

How do Senior Female Talent Pools work?

The Senior Female Talent Pools are open year-round to enable professionals to express their interest in employment with UNRWA in a particular domain. The expressions of interest received will be reviewed regularly by our recruiters with a view to:

•        Contacting qualified professionals regarding vacancies that match their profile

•        Augmenting shortlists for advertised vacancies where there is an insufficient number of qualified female candidates

•        Sourcing candidates for a second selection exercise where a regular recruitment process has not filled an advertised vacancy

•        Sourcing candidates for temporary opportunities

•        Creating rosters of pre-approved candidates who can be considered for existing/upcoming vacancies through a truncated recruitment process

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. Under the overall supervision of the Commissioner-General, the Director of UNRWA Operations/Affairs, acts as UNRWA’s representative in one of its areas of operations where he/she is assigned. S/he will plan, manage and control all aspects of UNRWA’s activities in a country or area characterized by a large and complex refugee population; difficult, sensitive, and volatile political situations; a large complement of staff in dispersed centres of operations, quasi-government social programmes; complex inter-relationships with governmental and non-governmental organizations and difficult security situations, especially where refugees are involved in conflict situations.

The Director of UNRWA Operations/Affairs administers and directs programmes, operations and resources including education, health, infrastructure and camp improvement and relief and social services rendered to the refugee population in the area and oversees a significant number of Palestine refugee staff. He/she is also responsible for the organizational support functions including finance, human resources, legal, procurement and logistics, general administration, security, IT and public information. S/he will be required to abide by the roles and responsibilities as set out in the United Nations Security Management System Framework of Accountability and the UNRWA Framework of Accountability. He/she will be responsible for fulfilling his/her duties as provided by the United Nations Security Management System and the UNRWA Security and Risk Management System.

The main responsibilities include:

•        Work to directly influence the protection and care of Palestine refugees and support for UNRWA locally, regionally and globally:

o    Oversee vital advocacy, public communication and resource mobilization functions, sourcing and providing, as appropriate, current information on the conditions affecting Palestine refugees and promoting support for UNRWA and Palestine refugees with host and donor governments;

o    Provide oversight for building an effective partnership with local authorities, community leaders, UN agencies and NGOs and in ensuring that programme design and delivery enables the continuation of services in a difficult, frequently hazardous, operating environment; advocate with government representatives, community leaders and the broader public for the Agency’s programme, highlighting its critical importance and the quality and value of its work;

•        Lead UNRWA delivery of public and community services in education, health, relief and social services and infrastructure and camp improvement, ensuring consistency and quality in programmes; oversee the development and delivery of programme and emergency operations, ensuring that refugee needs are met as far as possible and that the services delivered meet Agency and international standards;

•        Lead, motivate and supervise a team of programme and operations managers and specialists, build an effective integrated service delivery capacity which is adapted to the needs of the refugee community and to the particular demands of a volatile environment;

•        Serve as the principal advisor to the Commissioner-General on the programme design, state of operations, the determination of UNRWA priorities and resource needs in the field and on the security and political context;

•        Be responsible for ensuring accountability and rigor in financial and budget management and the maintenance of internal controls:

•        As part of the Senior Management Team, contribute to determining the strategic direction of UNRWA and to accomplishing its mission; advocate for the needs of refugees within the overall programme priorities of the Agency.

Conditions of service 

UNRWA offers an attractive compensation package including annual salary starting at $97,805 for D-1 and 108,189 for D-2 net tax free with post adjustment of (Jordan 44%, West Bank and Gaza 55.2%, Lebanon 49.1% and Syria 35.2%, all are 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 benefits available to staff working in Gaza:

Hardship allowance

Non-family service allowance

R&R leave (currently every 8 weeks)

Family visit travel

Support for settling-in of staff

   members’ families in nearby locations*

While Gaza is a non-family duty station, eligible staff members may set up a second household in a nearby location to have their family nearby. However, Gaza remains the official duty station with any travel outside the duty station being subject to management approval and in accordance to office practices to ensure international staff presence in Gaza at all times.

Additional benefits available to staff working in Syria:

Danger pay

Family visit travel

Hardship allowance

Rest and recuperation leave every 4

Non-family service allowance

   weeks (subject to change without notice)

To qualify for this position, you will need:


Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) from an accredited educational institution in political science, social science, public or business administration, or international relations supplemented by studies in any support field such as procurement and logistics, finance, human resources, etc.; a first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree;



Fifteen years of experience of professional and managerial background  including at least ten years  should have been in a large governmental or international agency dealing with similar programmes to UNRWA’s, five years of which should have been in a senior international position outside one’s home country;


Excellent command of written and spoken English.


•        Professionalism;

•        Communication;

•        Accountability;

•        Creativity;

•        Client Orientation;

•        Commitment to Continuous Learning;

•        Leadership;

•        Vision;

•        Empowering Others;

•        Building Trust;

•        Managing Performance;

•        Judgment/Decision-making.

Desirable Qualifications

•        Knowledge of activities of UNRWA operations and services;

•        Knowledge of Middle East geo-political realities and its socio-culture implications;

•        Knowledge of other UN languages in particular Arabic and/or French is desirable for dealing with host government/authority officials and refugee population representatives, and with delegations from donor countries. Knowledge of other languages is an asset for dealing with delegations from donor countries.

Additional Information

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

How to submit an expression of interest

To submit an expression of interest for this Senior Female Talent Pool, please register at by creating a personal profile and completing UNRWA Personal History Form. 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: 1 March 2018/SA

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: Multiple locations (Various)
  • Grade: D-1, Director - Internationally recruited position - Senior Executive level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Human Resources
    • Managerial positions
    • Refugee rights and well-being
  • Closing Date: 2018-12-31

What does it mean?

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