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Head of Operations

Kyiv (Ukraine)

  • Organization: OSCE - Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
  • Location: Kyiv (Ukraine)
  • Grade: S-4, Seconded Position - Open for OSCE's 57 participating States - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Managerial positions
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-28

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The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) is an unarmed, civilian mission, present on the ground 24/7 throughout Ukraine. Its main tasks are to observe and report in an impartial and objective way on the situation in Ukraine; and to facilitate dialogue among all parties to the crisis. The Mission contributes to reducing tensions and to fostering peace, stability and security. The Mission engages with authorities at all levels, as well as civil society, ethnic and religious groups and local communities. The Mission gathers information and reports on the security situation; and establishes and reports facts in response to specific incidents, including those concerning alleged violations of fundamental OSCE principles. The Mission currently foresees around 1,500 mission members spread across 10 Monitoring Teams and budgetary resources of about EUR 100 million.

For more detailed information on the structure and work of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, please see

The Mission, in line with the OSCE SMM Gender Equality Action Plan, is committed to improving the gender balance among staff in all areas and levels within the SMM. Currently female professionals are underrepresented within the SMM, including in management roles. Female candidates are therefore strongly encouraged to apply for this management opportunity.

If applicable, deployment is subject to attendance to and successful completion of pre-deployment training and assessment.

Applicants are hereby notified that the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) is designated by the OSCE as a nonfamily duty station. This designation is based on the fluid and dynamic working environment in the SMM. The currently prevailing working conditions in the duty station may include working in a hazardous location with extended hours of service, and possibly curtailed freedom of movement. Successful candidates who are appointed to locations deemed by the OSCE as hazardous will receive hazard pay. In addition, all successful candidates will be required to participate in the OSCE accident and life insurance scheme in accordance with the OSCE Staff Regulations and Staff Rules.


Tasks and Responsibilities:

  1. Guiding and ensuring the overall management of the OSCE SMM Operations Unit, including provision of the operational guidance to the Monitoring Teams leadership;
  2. Co-ordinating and directing all aspects relating to operational planning, required for the Mission in line with its mandate and the overall strategic direction provided by the Chief Monitor;
  3. Guiding, instructing and supervising the Monitoring Teams in matters related to operations conducted in their respective Area of Responsibilities; promoting compliance with all operational guidelines including security, financial, administrative instructions and procedures;
  4. Contributing to the management and core activities of the Mission and advising on the development and implementation of operational policies and procedures;
  5. Supervising the process of operational planning for the patrolling effort in co-ordination with relevant Units;
  6. Ensuring that all operational activities are in conformity with the internal standard operating procedures, Code of Conduct and overall management of a professional working environment;
  7. Leading strategic planning and policy recommendations in the area of operations;
  8. Taking an active role in the SMM senior management team and co-operating closely with all members;
  9. Tracking the overall security situation in the Mission area in close co-ordination with the SMM Safety and Security Unit;
  10. Ensuring that crisis and emergency procedures in the Monitoring Teams are established and adhered to;
  11. Ensuring implementation of the Mission's work plan in the field and establishing her/his regular presence in the field with the OSCE SMM Monitoring Teams;
  12. Performing other tasks as assigned.

Qualification and Experience:


  • Minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in an operational environment, political and security issues, resources management skills, including at least five years of senior management experience;
  • Sustained success as manager and team player. Demonstrated experience as a senior manager in a civilian field operation of a similar political and operational complexity, and scale of resources, as the SMM. This experience will include providing effective leadership and management in a high-risk operational environment, including coordinating related actions with multiple field offices and mission components; and ensuring that outcomes are successfully delivered without compromise to the safety and security of staff;
  • Excellent management, organizational and influencing skills, with the ability to adapt and to take corrective action, where appropriate;
  • Experience in programme and project management and in change management;
  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to establish and manage effective relationships with persons of diverse professional, cultural and religious backgrounds, and diverse political views, while maintaining impartiality and objectivity;
  • Political judgement, cultural and security sensitivity and gender awareness;
  • Negotiating/Mediation experience, preferably in the area of monitoring operations and/or related activities;
  • Ability to work and cooperate under pressure and with limited supervision;
  • Proven resilience in high stress environments;
  • Professional fluency in English, both oral and written, ability to communicate clearly and concisely with a wide variety of audiences;
  • Possession of a valid automobile driving license and ability to drive using a manual transmission.


  • Experience in working in Eastern Europe and/or knowledge of the region;
  • Working knowledge of Ukrainian and/or Russian language(s).


A second-level university degree in political sciences, public or international law, international relations or another related field; a first-level university degree in combination with two years of additional qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the second-level university degree.


Required competencies:

Core values

  • Commitment: Actively contributes to achieving organizational goals 
  • Diversity: Respects others and values their diverse perspectives and contributions 
  • Integrity: Acts in a manner consistent with the Organization's core values and organizational principles 
  • Accountability: Takes responsibility for own action and delegated work

Core competencies

  • Communication: Actively works to achieve clear and transparent communication with colleagues and with stakeholders of the Organization 
  • Collaboration: Works effectively with others on common goals and fosters a positive, trust-based working environment 
  • Planning: Works towards the achievement of goals in a structured and measured manner 
  • Analysis and decision-making: Analyses available information, draws well-founded conclusions and takes appropriate decisions 
  • Initiative-taking: Proposes and initiates new ideas, activities and projects 
  • Flexibility: Responds positively and effectively to changing circumstances

Managerial competencies

  • Leadership: Provides a clear sense of direction, builds trust and creates an enabling environment
  • Strategic thinking: Identifies goals that advance the organizational agenda and develops plans for achieving them
  • Managing performance: Helps to maximize team performance by providing active feedback and skill development opportunities

The OSCE is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages the nomination of qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious, ethnic and social backgrounds. Please note that nationals or permanent residents of the country of the duty station are not eligible to apply.

Candidates should, prior to applying, verify with their respective nominating authority to which extent financial remuneration and/or benefit packages will be offered.

Please apply to your relevant authorities several days prior to the deadline expiration to ensure timely processing of your application. Delayed nominations will not be considered.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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