By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy

Permanent Observer, Head of Delegation to the United Nations and other International Organizations (internationally recruited)

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: IDLO - International Development Law Organization
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: Band C - Executive Management level - Senior Executive level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • Legal - International Law
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
  • Closing Date: 2020-11-18

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.


The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) enables governments, empowers people, and strengthens institutions to realize justice and promote peace and sustainable development. IDLO is the only global intergovernmental organization exclusively devoted to promoting the rule of law and access to justice.

With its Headquarters in Rome, Italy, a Branch Office in The Hague, and United Nations Liaison Offices in New York and Geneva, IDLO carries out policy advocacy, research and learning, as well as rule of law and justice programmes in countries through some 17 Country Offices operating in every region of the world. 

This position of Permanent Observer and Head of Delegation to the United Nations and other International Organizations is based in IDLO’s Liaison Office in Geneva.

The IDLO Liaison Office in Geneva – with two full-time staff and also interns -- builds and maintains diplomatic relations with the United Nations System, other international organizations, bilateral diplomatic missions, civil society and other stakeholders in Geneva.

With its formal Observer status with the United Nations through a UN General Assembly resolution, IDLO enjoys Observer status also in the UN Human Rights Council and engages in other multilateral forums in Geneva where it champions greater investment in the rule of law and justice, both as a right in itself and as an essential enabler of peaceful and inclusive societies and sustainable development. The Office provides policy advocacy, liaison, information and support to IDLO departments and other offices throughout the organization. The Office also supports IDLO’s cooperation with the Swiss authorities in Bern, including in their capacity as an IDLO programme partner and as host country to the Geneva Liaison Office. 


The Permanent Observer reports to and supports the IDLO Director-General in carrying out her responsibilities. Within the overall strategic vision and direction set by the Director-General, the incumbent will represent IDLO in Geneva, supervise the work of the Liaison Office, and provide leadership within the Organization, including as a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

The incumbent will be delegated relevant responsibilities and authorities in the following areas: 

  • Lead, initiate, and manage the policy advocacy, partnerships and other external relations work of the Liaison Office, including in the substantive areas of human rights, humanitarian issues, public health law, among others, as well as programme development, resource mobilization and communications.
  • Plan, develop, and ensure the effective implementation of innovative strategies and activities to develop constituencies and build support and cooperation among Geneva-based organizations and actors to promote the rule of law and access to justice, to highlight and raise the visibility of IDLO’s work, and to identify opportunities for engagement.
  • Lead in building and maintaining institutional relationships with key UN system partners (e.g., OHCHR, the World Health Organization, UNHCR, IOM, UNAIDS, UN Women, UNDP, and Unitar) and expand partnership and stakeholder networks and collaboration including with international organizations, bilateral diplomatic missions, parliamentarians (including through partnership with the Inter-Parliamentary Union),  civil society, academia, think-tanks and public-private partnerships, positioning IDLO as an established and trusted partner in international development and as a leading intergovernmental actor in building a culture of the rule of law and promoting access to justice.

  • Initiate, conceptualize, coordinate and implement public and private events and activities to champion a culture of the rule of law, promote greater international, national and local investment in strengthening rule of law and the justice sector, and promote IDLO’s work at country, regional and global levels.
  • Lead research and development of IDLO’s statements and interventions in Geneva-based forums, and related communications and publications conveying IDLO’s key policy advocacy messages.
  • Represent IDLO, and upon request the Director-General, in external public and private meetings and events with external stakeholders (e.g. governments, the United Nations Secretariat and partner UN agencies, other multilateral organizations including other UN Observer delegations, and other development partners including in civil society) to promote IDLO’s mission and support the achievement of its goals and objectives.
  • Advise the Director-General and Senior Leadership Team on strategies to mobilize interest in the rule of law and justice and engagement with IDLO among Geneva-based UN system agencies, international organizations, civil society, and academia to promote and mobilize political will and support to ensure that the rule of law and access to justice remain high on  global, regional and national agendas.
  • Identify, plan, and develop opportunities for concrete programmatic cooperation with Geneva-based partners, including through the implementation of existing inter-organizational agreements (e.g., Memoranda of Understanding with WHO, UNHCR, UNAIDS and Unitar) and through the development of new agreements as needed and indicated by the Director-General.
  • Support the Department of External Relations and Partnerships, the Programs Department and other IDLO departments and offices through liaison with IDLO Member Party and programme country bilateral missions in Geneva and through effective knowledge management and the timely and regular flow of strategic information from Geneva-based forums, deliberations and discussions to other IDLO offices, including country offices.
  • Support and contribute to the policy advocacy activities undertaken by other IDLO offices, particularly the Liaison Office in New York, the Hague Office, IDLO’s Rome Headquarters, as well as Country Offices.
  • Serve as a member of the IDLO Senior Leadership Team and contribute to the definition and implementation of IDLO’s vision and strategy.
  • Lead a small staffing complement in the Liaison Office by providing clear direction, fostering staff development, and implementing performance management through ongoing dialogue, feedback, and mentoring; motivate and support staff with a view to fostering a team approach; encourage individual and team initiative; and maintain effective working relationships within a multi-cultural setting.
  • Lead the development, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of an annual program of work and budget for the Liaison Office.


Education and Professional Experience

  • Advanced university degree in International Relations, Diplomacy, Law, Development Studies, Political or Social Sciences, or a related field. 
  • Minimum 15 years of experience in relevant senior positions of increasing scope and responsibility, including leadership experience in external relations in international development, rule of law and justice, human rights, humanitarian, or other relevant sectors.
  • Solid international development credentials and demonstrated commitment to the rule of law and justice.
  • Strong professional networks, preferably in Geneva, to enable partnership building and strategic advocacy opportunities.
  • Relevant experience and public presence to work with officials at a senior level in partner organizations.
  • Field experience would be an asset.


  • Outstanding written and verbal skills in English. Knowledge of French would be desirable.

Skills, Knowledge and Technical Competencies

  • Strong leadership, diplomatic and advocacy skills and competencies.
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong commitment to gender equality, cultural diversity, and inclusive approaches.
  • Proven ability to deliver high-quality and timely results.
  • Ability to work under pressure with tight deadlines, flexibility, and an innovative and entrepreneurial approach.
  • Collaborative approach and excellent team-building capacities.
  • Proficiency in all relevant technologies.
  • Keen sense of ethics, integrity, and commitment to IDLO’s mandate and values.


For this internationally recruited position, IDLO will offer the selected candidate a Professional Fixed-Term Contract of 24 months, with the possibility of extension subject to performance and availability of funding, at an annual basic salary of EUR 105,400, a leave and benefit package including home leave, provident fund, and health insurance in accordance with IDLO Employee Regulations and Rules. Relocation, installation, expatriate and educational allowances are also available for internationally recruited employees in accordance with IDLO Employee Regulations and Rules.

Salaries paid by IDLO to employees are exempt from taxation in Switzerland. IDLO employees are responsible for compliance with the income tax laws of their country of nationality or residence and/or any other relevant fiscal jurisdiction.

In the interest of making most effective use of resources, only the short-listed candidates will be contacted during the selection process.


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by the staff member assigned to this work. This is not an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities.  

The Director-General of IDLO reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities or even to cancel the recruitment to meet business and organizational needs as necessary.

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.

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.