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Deputy Director - Policy & Law

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:
    • Legal - Broad
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2021-03-08

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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.

Deputy Director - Policy and Law

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Deputy Director is one of three Deputy Directors in the Division of International Protection. These functions are carried out under the management and direction of the Director, DIP. The Deputy Director is responsible for the overall supervision of  legal and policy work related to areas concerning refugee status determination, asylum and migration, protection policy and legal advice, protection and national security issues, including in relation to counter-terrorism and exclusion from refugee status, human rights, and statelessness. He/she also represents the Director in a number of related areas of work, in which capacity he/she may be a member of various steering committees or may chair ad hoc task forces on behalf of the Director, as required. 
The Deputy Director advises the Director on a range of thematic issues in the area of law and policy and as mentioned above particularly on approaches to protection responses and legal positions on refugee protection, including status determination, providing leadership in the provision of guidance and tools in this context.  He/she keeps regular and frequent contacts with Heads of Sections and Units as well as with individual staff in the Division (some of whom he/she directly supervises) and all parts of UNHCR, in particular in the Bureaux. Frequently, these contacts are made to discuss thematic and operational issues to further the development of operational or policy guidance related to persons of concern.
As necessary, the Deputy Director will represent the Director at the Senior Management Committee and other high level meetings, during her absence, or at her request. In addition, frequent contacts are made with high level Governments officials, particularly those of key donor states as well as with officials of NGO's and other UN and international organizations, in order to foster collaboration in areas of responsibility, including notably the nexus between asylum and migration. The Deputy Director will also be responsible for overseeing the organization of relevant international conferences and expert roundtables.

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.

- Oversee and guide the work of relevant parts of DIP, including those dealing with RSD, PPLA, ExCom, round tables on law and policy issues, relevant conferences, high-level events, the nexus between asylum and migration and protection and national security issues, human rights, and statelessness.
- Provide strategic guidance on thematic areas under his/her responsibility and develop policy and operational guidance for UNHCR staff and other decision-makers, including those in states responsible for refugee status determination.
- Engage various Bureaux and operations with respect to pertinent developments in their regions, and participate in significant forums as necessary so as to influence policy and strategic thinking on thematic and operational areas relating to his/her areas of responsibility.
- Support Bureaux and Operations, through timely advice and guidance, on the implementation of relevant UNHCR standards, protection policies, and protection strategies, in his/her areas of responsibility.
- Coordinate and lead provision of operational support to country offices in the development and implementation of broad-based protection strategies, particularly with respect to processing of individual or group claims for refugee status.
- Attend, convene, or chair, various committee and task force meetings relating to areas of his/her responsibility, ensuring that DIP¿s views and positions are adequately represented, and protection and solutions elements are duly considered.
- Ensure adequate staffing of the areas of DIP under his/her responsibility by undertaking assessments and making recommendations for staffing decisions as well as ensuring compliance with staff performance evaluations.
- Carry out any other duties and responsibilities as required.
- Speak on behalf of DIP/UNHCR, presenting protection and strategic viewpoints and positions in internal and external fora.
- Decide on thematic areas and issues which need further policy and operational guidance and frame policy and operational positions being developed in relation to his/her areas of responsibility.
- Clear legal, policy and guidance documents for publication as UNHCR's positions, including for public information and media purposes.
- Liaise with Bureaux and field operations on matters relating to areas of his/her responsibility, and organize meetings, workshops and discussions to address challenging areas and to develop policy in key problematic areas, including through court interventions or other mechanisms of judicial engagement.
- Decide on staffing of the Division with respect to the areas under his/her responsibility.
- 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,    Refugee Law,    Humanitarian Law,           Human Rights Law.
or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses
HCR Management Lrng Prg
HCR Protection Learning Prg
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience
Experience in the area of International Protection.
17 years of job experience relevant to the function at International /National level - including 7 years in managerial capacity.
Articulate and possess strong advocacy and public speaking skills.
Strong management skills in related areas of protection and solutions.
Recognized expertise in drafting of policy papers and strategies, including in relation to international protection issues in industrialized states.
Experience in organizing conferences and expert roundtables.

Field experience.

Functional Skills
IT-Computer Literacy
CO-Drafting and Documentation
LE-Human Rights Law
LE-International Refugee Law
PO-Policy Advocacy in UNHCR
PR-Protection promotional activities
PR-Protection - Durable Solutions
PR-International protection concepts and principles
PR-International Humanitarian Law
PR-Policy and Protection/Legal related issues
MG-7 years managerial experience
(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
M006L4 - Managing Resources Level 4
M005L4 - Leadership Level 4
M002L4 - Managing Performance Level 4
M004L4 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 4
X006L4 - Policy Development & Research Level 4
X005L4 - Planning and Organizing Level 4
X007L4 - Political Awareness 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 the closing date for vacancies in this addendum is Monday 7 December 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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