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Executive Assistant

Paris (France)

  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Paris (France)
  • Grade: GS-7, General Service - No need for Higher Education - Locally recruited position - Administrative support
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Administrative support
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-03

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Post Number : SHS 155

Grade : G-7

Parent Sector : Social and Human Sciences Sector (SHS)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: General Administrative Support

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 3-OCT-2021


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism


Long Description



Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, (ADG/SHS) the incumbent provides secretarial and administrative support services to the ADG/SHS. This involves ensuring the smooth running of the Office and its flow and management of information. The incumbent is in direct contact with other staff members within and outside the Sector including contacts with high-ranking officials, both within and outside the Organization. The post requires the ability to set priorities and to organize work independently based on established guidelines and general direction from the ADG/SHS.

In particular, the incumbent shall perform the following tasks:

Manage the ADG/SHS’s agenda; schedule/reschedule appointments; foreseeing risks and agenda overlaps; suggesting alternatives as needed; make travel/mission arrangements; organize meetings; prepare correspondence and assemble documents for these meetings/missions in electronic format (briefings, background documents, agenda/programme, speeches, PPT/Prezi presentations, talking points accordingly. Ensure that all the events/meetings/commitments/missions are fully integrated in ADG/SHS’s calendar along with all the documents required. Provide support with ADG/SHS's personal agenda, and other issues that will enable ADG/SHS to perform and optimize time. Organize all preparatory logistical arrangements for official missions and help in ensuring that missions are closed with all required documents submitted.

Organize the work of the ADG’s office; Ensure that the work is done in accordance with priorities and practices and within established deadlines; monitor work progress and administrative cases of priority and concern to the supervisor; identify means and ensures adequate control of communications and correspondence in addition to secretarial support for conferences and meetings; Provide organizational support for virtual events/meetings/ seminars / and video recordings, including logistic arrangements: pre-registration, connection link, technical tests prior the events, liaising with technicians. Evaluate and improve the operation of paper-based and electronic systems to ensure effective access to information and documents either in share-point, O-drive, or other means of storing the institutional memory.

Support the Executive Office (EO) and the Counsellor in organizing the work of the ADG/SHS, ensuring effective follow-up in all the communications and make sure that colleagues receive response in short delay. Send reminders to Chiefs of Section and officials on different requests and tasks assigned by the ADG. Facilitate collaboration with the EO, the Counsellor and Sections on the collection of material for ADG: background documents, revised speeches, revised talking points, in coordination with the Counsellor. Share with Directors and Chiefs of Sections and officials any relevant information that ADG wants to transmit, following her meetings. Respond to telephone and written inquiries from all levels and external sources on a variety of questions; demonstrate integrity, accuracy and elegance when responding to enquiries, when communicating sensitive information to Permanent Delegations, to the Sector/in-house; when interacting with Members States, partners, staff members and any senior management of external sources ; when coordinating and expediting responses to sensitive inquiries on ADG's behalf.

Receive, analyze and distribute correspondence, reports and other documents addressed to the ADG, identifying complex or sensitive subjects for special treatment and bringing them to the attention of the ADG, independently obtaining clarification, proposing deadlines for response, relaying supervisor’s instructions and ensuring follow-up. Effective follow-up on letters, invitations, and memos: verifying that correspondence has been assigned to the respective Section, follow-up with the Sections, to verify outgoing correspondence for completeness, accuracy, and compliance with UNESCO format standards. Maintain electronic files for correspondence and contact lists. Ensure timely preparation and quality control in files submitted for ADG's visa and signature, and of documents, memos, briefings for CAB. Enter and follow up on contracts in DUO system as needed.

Follow up, in cooperation with the Chief of the Executive Office, on the preparation by Sector managers and employees of correspondence, reports, memoranda, briefings notes and other documents for the ADG or the DG; prepare correspondence and memoranda for own signature or for the ADG’s signature and make informal translations in French and/or English. Take notes and prepare minutes of meetings and follow up on required action; establish procedures and filing and tracking systems for correspondence and documents. Develop, contribute and maintain elements within the digital and shared institutional memory of the Sector (including but not limited to a minable database) concerning the work of the professional staff in their individual capacity as well as a team member of the Sector.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial) Accountability (C) Communication (C) Innovation (C) Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C) Planning and organizing (C) Results focus (C) Teamwork (C) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS


  • Completed secondary education, technical or vocational education.


  • At least 10 years of professional, experience in secretarial and/or administrative tasks in an international environment.
  • Experience working for a supervisor with senior managerial responsibility and/or high-level officials.


  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Excellent drafting skills in English or French and ability to make synthesis.
  • Excellent organizational and coordination skills.
  • Good time management skills.
  • Capacity to deal efficiently and tactfully with different partners/institutions and other stakeholders at all levels in a multicultural environment.
  • Ability to deal with complex situations and capacity to adjust work schedules.
  • Ability to set priorities and to organize work autonomously based on established guidelines and general direction from the ADG.
  • Sense of diplomacy, discretion, and professional integrity.
  • Excellent IT skills (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint), including ERP systems (in particular SAP). 


  • Excellent knowledge of either English or French and good knowledge of the other language.


  • Specialized training/certification in administration and/or secretariat.


  • Knowledge of rules, administrative procedures, and standard practices in an international context.
  • Working experience in similar functions within an international organization/institution.


  • Knowledge of another official language of UNESCO (Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish).

UNESCO’s salaries consist of a basic salary and other benefits which may include if applicable: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, medical insurance, pension plan etc.


For more information in benefits and entitlements, please consult ICSC website.


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


UNESCO applies a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment.

UNESCO is committed to achieve and sustain gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities, as well as nationals from non-and under-represented Member States (last update here) are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

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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