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Director of the Ethics Office

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: D-1, Director - Internationally recruited position - Senior Executive level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social Affairs
    • Ombudsman and Ethics
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-29

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Before submitting an application, UNHCR staff members intending to apply to this Job Opening are requested to consult the Recruitment and Assignments Policy (RAP, UNHCR/HCP/2017/2 and the Recruitment and Assignments Administrative Instruction (RAAI), UNHCR/AI/2017/7 OF 15 August 2017.

Director of the Ethics Office

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
UNHCR, takes the lead in protecting people forced to flee wars and prosecution around the world, providing life-saving aid including shelter, food and water to ensure their basic safety, rights and dignity. With some 17,000 women and men working in 134 countries, UNHCR works tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of approximately 70.8 million forcibly displaced people worldwide. 
UNHCR is committed to the highest standards of integrity among its staff and other personnel as well as transparency and accountability in its programmes and management. Its core values include diversity, integrity and professionalism. The High Commissioner established the Ethics Office in June 2008 with an overall mandate of cultivating, nurturing and fostering a culture of ethics, respect, integrity, transparency and accountability, and thereby ensuring an environment of openness and fairness in UNHCR and enhancing the trust in, and the credibility of the United Nations, both internally and externally.
The Ethics Office is operationally independent, while complementing the work of other UNHCR Offices that deal with professional conduct. Its mandate includes developing and communicating standards on ethics issues; providing training and education opportunities to personnel with the objective to promote a work environment that is characterized by the highest ethical standards; offering guidance and confidential advice to staff and management to prevent conflicts of interest; administering the financial disclosure programme and protecting staff against retaliation.
UNHCR is also committed to the United Nations system-wide harmonization, coordination, and coherence of ethics-related policies. The Director will collaborate closely with the Ethics Officers of other Agencies and serves as a member of the United Nations Ethics Panel, chaired by the Director of the Secretariat Ethics Office, which has an overall policy coordinating responsibility among United Nations funds and programmes in order to establish a coherent system across the UN. The Director also serves as a participant in the Ethics Network of Multilateral Organizations.
The Director of the Ethics Office reports to the High Commissioner.
The Ethics Director will work closely with Operations, field-based networks and senior managers to ensure staff adheres to the UN regulatory framework and are provided with timely and adequate guidance and support. The Director will further be at the forefront of promoting a strong ethics culture across the Organization and adapted to a changing global operational environment. This work requires engagement with field-based colleagues, knowledge and interest in exploring new and innovative ways of communicating with the workforce, and the ability to work closely with other entities in the integrity family.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.

Policy Advice/Advocacy
- Provide overall leadership, vision and strategy for UNHCR¿s Ethics Programs.
- Formulate, revise, and disseminate ethics related policies, in accordance with the common standards of conduct prescribed for all United Nations personnel.
- Advocate and promote ethical behaviour within UNHCR, both its staff and management, and co-operate with relevant internal units, such as Legal Affairs Section (LAS), Division of Human Resources (DHR), Inspector General¿s Office (IGO), Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), the Ombudsman Office as appropriate, as well as the Ethics Office of the United Nations Secretariat. 
- Participate in relevant inter-agency fora, such as the United Nations Ethics Panel and the Ethics Network of Multilateral Organizations, and facilitate, where practical, a harmonized approach with other UN agencies.

Advice to Management and Personnel
- Provide guidance to UNHCR Management and personnel to ensure practical implementation of UNHCR¿s policies, procedures and practices relating to ethical standards called for under the UN Charter, Staff Rules and Regulations and UNHCR¿s Code of Conduct.
- Assist and advise management in ensuring a coordinated response to instances in which personnel behaviour may not be in line with relevant ethics related policies.
- Ensure that ethical standards pertaining to employment and service with UNHCR are clearly understood. 
- Advise individual personnel who seek advice in confidence regarding ethical behaviour, issues and standards. 
- Foster trust and encourage access to the Ethics Office, reinforce the confidentiality of all matters brought to the attention of the Ethics Office.

Prevention & Outreach
- Raise personnel awareness of expected ethical standards and behaviour, including the policies and procedures related thereto, in close cooperation with DHR, LAS, IGO, and the Ombudsman Office. 
- Continually reinforce a culture of ethics in UNHCR through appropriate orientation, learning and induction programmes, communications engagement with values-based ethics and information dissemination activities.

Receiving complaints against Retaliation
- Receive complaints against retaliation and treat them in accordance with UNHCR¿s policy on protection against retaliation.

Financial Disclosure
- Implement UNHCR policy on Financial Disclosure ensuring understanding of and UNHCR¿s full compliance with the financial disclosure requirements and objectives.

- Provide issue-specific reports to the High Commissioner as and when required and maintain strong functional links to other parts of the Executive Office, including the Chef de Cabinet and Deputy High Commissioner.
- Submit to the High Commissioner an annual report including recommendations on how to address recurring or systemic ethics problems within UNHCR.

- Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For D1 - 17 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 16 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 15 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education
Law,         International Relation        Political Science,
Criminal Justice, Sociology,                Anthropology,
Psychology, Human Resource Management;
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses
International Law
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience
- 15 years of professional experiences showing progressively responsible management work experience.
- Demonstrated leadership experience including strategy development, management and team building.
- Experience working directly at both policy and case level with UN HR and ethical rules and standards.
- Experience with policy and management work from headquarters of an international organization.
- Solid experience working with organizational ethics, including value and compliance approaches.
- Demonstrated experience with organizational change processes and building ethics culture, such as developing learning and communication strategy, ethical standards, values and behaviour.
- Direct experience with ethical decision-making and ethics case work, including ethical guidance, conflict of interest, financial disclosure, and protection against retaliation.
- Demonstrated ability and experience with building partnerships and/or networks across functional boundaries, such as inter-agency/coalition experience preferable in ethics or related fields.
- Experience and demonstrated sensitivity in working with cross cultural aspects of human relations; self-awareness and self-regulation; strong interpersonal skills. A track record of successfully creating, leading and motivating teams to deliver on ethics related strategic and operational priorities.
- Experience in developing ethics related strategy, policies, programs and guidelines in large institutions and ability to effectively translate ideas into action.
- Proven capability in implementing ethics projects and new initiatives across functions and various locations.
- Experience in handling protection against retaliation cases.
- A track record in building partnerships and/or networks across functional boundaries, including good skills in conflict management.
- Demonstrated ability to influence organizational behaviour or culture, to drive change and make a difference on this agenda in a truly global organisation.
- Commitment to UNHCR and its mission and mandate.
- Experience working in the virtual space and excellent computer skills.

- Skills/experience with Industrial/Organisational Psychology, Behaviour Economics/Psychology, Industrial Labour Relations, Public or Business Administration and Corporate Ethics.
- Experience with prevention of harassment, including sexual harassment.
- Recognized relevant certification and knowledge of current industry best practices relating to corporate ethics and business conduct/practice.
- Field experience from UN or other humanitarian agency.
- Experience with design of ethical standards, ethics and compliance programmes, code of conduct training, accountability and compliance frameworks, management of financial disclosure policies and/ or whistle-blower protection policies.

Functional Skills
LE-International Law
HR-Managing ethical dilemmas
MG-Experience in corporate ethics design, standards, policies, and compliance programmes
CO-Cross-cultural communication
TR-Training, Coaching and Facilitation
MS- Organisational Culture
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates. C001L4 - Accountability Level 4
C002L4 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 4
C003L4 - Communication Level 4
C004L4 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 4
C005L4 - Client & Result Orientation Level 4
C006L4 - Organizational Awareness Level 4
M001L4 - Empowering and Building Trust Level 4
M002L4 - Managing Performance Level 4
M006L4 - Managing Resources Level 4
M005L4 - Leadership Level 4
M003L4 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 4
M004L4 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 4
X005L4 - Planning and Organizing Level 4
X003L4 - Technological Awareness Level 4
X008L4 - Stakeholder Management Level 4

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

Please note that the closing date for vacancies in this addendum is Thursday 29 October 2020 (midnight Geneva time).

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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