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Chief Linguist (P4)

Vienna (Austria)

  • Organization: OSCE - Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
  • Location: Vienna (Austria)
  • Grade: P-4, Internationally contracted - Open for OSCE's 57 participating States - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Translations and Languages
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2021-09-19

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The OSCE has a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects. It therefore addresses a wide range of security-related concerns, including arms control, confidence- and security-building measures, human rights, combating human trafficking, national minorities, democratization, policing strategies, counter-terrorism and economic and environmental activities. All 57 participating States enjoy equal status, and decisions are taken by consensus on a politically, but not legally binding basis.


The OSCE Secretariat in Vienna assists the Chairmanship in its activities, and provides operational and administrative support to the field operations, and, as appropriate, to other institutions.


The Office of the Secretary General (OSG) plays a key role in supporting the Secretary General in the effective implementation of his/her mandate and specific tasks given to him/her by the OSCE participating States. This includes primarily assisting the Secretary General in his/her activities, serving as a focal point for liaison and support to the Chairperson-in-Office, and co-ordinating tasks across the Secretariat. It groups horizontal services such as Executive Management, Communications and Media Relations, Legal Services, External Co-operation, Security Management, Gender Issues, Conference and Language Services, Central Records Management, and oversees the OSCE Documentation Centre in Prague (DCiP). The OSG ensures effective co-ordination of policy advice provided to the Secretary General and the Chairmanship, and management decisions taken by the Secretary General. The OSG is led by a Director who also functions as the Head of Executive Management.


Conference and Language Services, as part of the OSG, provides professional support to the decision-making bodies of the OSCE and the respective delegations on matters dealing with the organization of meetings, including interpretation and translation, documents control, editing and word processing services.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

Under the general supervision of the Head, Conference Services, the incumbent performs the following functions:


1.    Identifying, selecting and recruiting conference interpreters, translators, editors and word processing operators in the six OSCE working languages and continuously reviewing conditions of employment;
2.    Planning and co-ordinating delivery of language services with meeting organizers; ensuring translation/editing and typing of documents and publications as required by the OSCE Secretariat; and providing advice to clients on all aspects of language services delivery;
3.    Providing effective overall management of Language Services, including making and implementing proposals for streamlining and improving operations and ensuring that a gender perspective is taken into account in language services delivery;
4.    Drafting the annual budget submission for the Section; contributing to establishing budgets for major meetings of the OSCE; responding to queries of internal and external auditors and of the Advisory Committee of Management and Finance;
5.    Providing simultaneous and consecutive interpretation, as required, at OSCE and OSCE-related meetings into at least one OSCE working language from at least two other OSCE working languages, and preferably has Russian in his/her language combination;
6.    Managing the implementation of computer assisted translation tools and monitoring the conditions of providing remote simultaneous interpretation at virtual and blended meetings; keeping abreast of the latest technological developments and best practices from other international organizations in these areas; 
7.    Performing other related duties as required including translation or revision into at least one OSCE working language from at least two other OSCE working languages in response to the most urgent or sensitive service requests, or performing terminological work.


For more detailed information on the structure and work of the OSCE Secretariat, please see

Necessary Qualifications:

  • Second-level university degree in languages or other related field is required, with a diploma of a recognized school in the field of conference interpreting and translation;  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;
  • A minimum of eight years of progressively responsible professional experience in conference interpreting into one OSCE working language from the English language and from at least two other OSCE working languages, or into English from two other OSCE working languages and in the management of a Service Section requiring excellent planning, organizational and decision-making skills, preferably in a national or international organization;
  • Professional fluency in English, including excellent writing and presentation skills; a high level of interpreting and translation proficiency from at least two of the other working languages of the OSCE is also required, with Russian preferably part of the incumbent’s language combination;
  • Excellent communication skills and tact in negotiating with delegations of participating States on arrangements for meetings are also required;
  • Several years of experience in conference translation;
  • Demonstrated gender awareness and sensitivity, and an ability to integrate a gender perspective into tasks and activities;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds whilst maintaining impartiality and objectivity; 
  • Computer literate with practical experience with Microsoft applications. 


Remuneration Package:

Monthly remuneration is approximately EUR 9,370, depending on post adjustment and family status. OSCE salaries are exempt from taxation in Austria. Social benefits will include possibility of participation in the Cigna medical insurance  scheme and the OSCE Provident Fund. Other allowances and benefits are similar to those offered under the United Nations Common System.


Please note that appointments are normally made at step 1 of the applicable OSCE salary scale.

If you wish to apply for this position, please use the OSCE's online application link found under


The OSCE retains the discretion to re-advertise/re-post the vacancy, to cancel the recruitment, to offer an appointment at a lower grade or to offer an appointment with a modified job description or for a different duration. 


Only those candidates who are selected to participate in the subsequent stages of recruitment will be contacted.


Please note that vacancies in the OSCE are open for competition only amongst nationals of participating States, please see


The OSCE is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all religious, ethnic and social backgrounds to apply to become a part of the Organization.


Candidates should be aware that OSCE officials shall conduct themselves at all times in a manner befitting the status of an international civil servant. This includes avoiding any action which may adversely reflect on the integrity, independence and impartiality of their position and function as officials of the OSCE. The OSCE is committed to applying the highest ethical standards in carrying out its mandate. For more information on the values set out in OSCE Competency Model, please see


The OSCE is a non-career organization committed to the principle of staff rotation, therefore the maximum period of service in this post is 5 years.


Please be aware that the OSCE does not request payment at any stage of the application and review process.

Additional Information
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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