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Senior Director, PCT Legal and International Affairs Department

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: WIPO - World Intellectual Property Organization
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: D-2, Director - Internationally recruited position - Senior Executive level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
    • Managerial positions
    • Political Affairs
  • Closing Date: 2021-06-22

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IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING APPLICATION DEADLINE\:  please note that the deadline for applications is indicated in local time as per the time zone of the applicant’s location.



1.     Organizational Context


  1. Organizational Setting


The post is located in the PCT Legal and International Affairs Department of the Patents and Technology Sector.  This Department is responsible for the development of policies and the provision of strategic direction to preserve and strengthen the role of the PCT as the central node in the international patent system, and to support the PCT system stakeholders, including Member States (receiving Offices, International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authorities, and designated and elected Offices), the user community, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.  The Department's optimal functioning is paramount to the international patent system and to supporting and encouraging the many users of that system, as well as States considering accession to the PCT.


  1. Purpose Statement


As Senior Director of the Department, the incumbent takes full responsibility for the management and development of PCT stakeholder relations, the PCT legal framework, systemic standards and improvements, training and capacity building, and information sharing and associated resources, including IT systems.  With significant delegation, the Director leads a team of managers in diverse operational and service areas who share decision making on program priorities and policy initiatives, leveraging the organizational position of the PCT with rapidly evolving technologies and diverse client communities and beneficiaries.


  1. Reporting Lines


The incumbent works under the supervision of the Deputy Director General responsible for the Patents and Technology Sector.



2.      Duties and Responsibilities


The incumbent will perform the following principal duties\:


a.   Chart the direction for PCT service and system development and delivery, and strengthen WIPO's strategic position in the international patent system by driving initiatives to maintain and strengthen the PCT system as the premier global IP service and by managing change and the development of improved organizational response capacities.  Anticipate future challenges and adjust to changes in the international patent environment.


b.   Sustain, expand and improve a PCT service platform that meets and exceeds the needs of clients and beneficiaries and anticipates new requirements to maintain the platform as a cutting edge resource.


c.   Direct the Department's portfolio of work, exercise strategic asset management and deploy resources into value-added activities and initiatives in accordance with results-based management principles.


d.   Manage the entire spectrum of the Department's highly visible areas of work and activities, empower an integrated management team to act creatively and deliver a world class PCT system with critical operational and financial consequences within a scrutinized and dynamic environment, and ensure that all relevant stakeholders continue to rely upon the PCT system as the world's leading route for obtaining patent protection at the international level.


e.   Lead and motivate the Department's staff, and foster an organizational culture oriented towards the continual search for innovative approaches to complex PCT challenges and quality service delivery in a constantly changing and evolving operational environment.


f.    Lead strategic engagement with WIPO Member States.  Advance understanding, build confidence in, and enthusiasm for, the Organization's capacity to lead and deliver a reliable state-of-the-art PCT system with a view to enlarge the user base.


g.   Represent WIPO at high-level international, regional and national meetings.  Provide strategic and authoritative advice regarding organizational position, opportunities and risks, and demonstrate the highest value to clients, stakeholders and beneficiaries in relation to their interest and investment.


h.   Perform other related duties as required.



3.      Requirements


Education (Essential)

Advanced university degree in Law, Science, Engineering or related field.  A first-level university degree plus two years of relevant experience in addition to the experience required below may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


Experience (Essential)

At least fifteen years of progressively responsible professional experience in intellectual property, either in public or private sectors, preferably at least twelve years, as a subject matter expert, in an international environment in the field of substantive PCT procedures and programme management or administration, including in a senior managerial capacity.


Experience (Desirable)

Experience working with national IP offices and in the private sector.


Language (Essential)

Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English.


Language (Desirable)

Ability to work in other PCT languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish).


Job Related Competencies (Essential)

Good understanding of the strategic priorities of WIPO.


Excellent knowledge of, and experience with, the PCT from either the perspective of an industrial property office, an intergovernmental organization or a user of the system;  skills in formulating policy and developing and implementing new strategies and procedures; skills in managing change.


Ability to gain and advance organization traction among clients and stakeholders by demonstrating innovation, effectiveness and value.


Strategic planning skills; results-based and ability to anticipate constraints in the delivery of services and identify solutions; accountability in delivering results.


Proven managerial and leadership skills; ability to advise and lead large and diverse work teams, motivating staff, promoting interest and engagement.


Excellent decision-making and problem-solving skills.


Excellent and proven knowledge of operational, administrative and financial procedures, practices and rules in organizations of similar size and complexity.


Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to build and maintain strong partnerships and working relations in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.



4.      Organizational Competencies


  1. Communicating effectively.
  2. Showing team spirit.
  3. Demonstrating integrity.
  4. Valuing diversity.
  5. Producing results.
  6. Showing service orientation.
  7. Seeing the big picture.
  8. Seeking change and innovation.
  9. Developing yourself and others.



5.      Information


Mobility\:  WIPO staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the Director General and may be assigned to any activities, office or duty station of the Organization.  Accordingly, the selected candidate may be required to move from time to time to new functions and/or to another duty station.


Annual salary\:

Total annual salary consists of a net annual salary (net of taxes and before medical insurance and pension fund deductions) in US dollars and a post adjustment.  Please note that this estimate is for information only.  The post adjustment multiplier (cost of living allowance) is variable and subject to change (increase or decrease) without notice.  The figures quoted below are based on the May 2021 rate of 85.0%





Annual salary



Post adjustment



Total Salary



Currency USD





Salaries and allowances are paid in Swiss francs at the official rate of exchange of the United Nations.


Please refer to WIPO’s Staff Regulation and Rules for detailed information concerning salaries, benefits and allowances.


Additional Information


Initial period of one year, renewable, subject to satisfactory performance.  No fixed-term appointment or any extension hereof shall carry with it any expectancy of, nor imply any right to, (further) extensions or conversion to a permanent appointment.


This vacancy announcement may be used to fill other posts at the same grade with similar functions in accordance with Staff Rule 4.9.5.


Applications from qualified women as well as from qualified nationals of unrepresented Member States of WIPO and underrepresented geographical regions are encouraged. Please click on the following links for the list of unrepresented Member States and the list of underrepresented regions and the WIPO Member States in these regions.


The Organization reserves the right to make an appointment at a grade lower than that advertised.




By completing an application, candidates understand that any willful misrepresentation made on this web site, or on any other documents submitted to WIPO during the application, may result in disqualification from the recruitment process, or termination of employment with WIPO at a later date, if that employment resulted from such willful misrepresentations.


In the event that your candidature is shortlisted, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of an identification and of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WIPO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link\: http\:// Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and these will be reviewed individually.


Additional testing/interviewing may be used as a form of screening.  Initial appointment is subject to satisfactory professional references.


Additional background checks may be required.

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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