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Portfolio Support Manager (maternity cover)


  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Copenhagen
  • Grade: Mid level - IICA-3, International Individual Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed

Background Information - Job-specific

General Background 

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 5,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,400 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

Background information - IPS 

IPS is responsible for the UNOPS delivery practices delivery thought leadership, standards and oversight as support to the successful delivery of programmes and projects within UNOPS service lines of infrastructure, procurement, project management, and human resources and financial management services. IPS is comprised of the Infrastructure and Project Management Group and the Procurement Group which aims to reduce organizational risks, improve project performance, and promote excellence across UNOPS projects through the Standards Management Framework; and provides organisational oversight on the application of standards. These Groups also support the positioning of UNOPS in the UN system and development sector in Infrastructure, Project Management and Procurement 

The Portfolio Support Unit is responsible for building up and managing aspects of the organisational readiness of UNOPS, in particular a pool of retainers (experts) that can be deployed to any UNOPS country office or project, on an ad-hoc basis (the Corporate Retainer Pool). This unit within IPS also provides operational support to IPS while working in close relationship with other Headquarter (HQ) units, notably the Shared Services Center (SSC).  The unit is headed by the Portfolio Support Manager, supervising a team of personnel in different fields.  

Background information - Job-specific

The Portfolio Support Manager (PSM) will contribute to development, and execution of the IPS strategy and the IPS Business Plan. He/she will be reporting to the Implementation Practices and Standards Office Director, OIC and is a member of the management team of IPS. The PSM fosters collaboration within all units in IPS, and ensures close cooperation with, and a strong service-oriented approach to, other internal and external stakeholders. The position holder will be managing a team (Project Management Support Specialist, Project Management Support Senior Assistant, Communications Senior Officer, Portfolio Support Intern (Focus on communications), Learning and Training Coordinator, Corporate Retainer Pool Coordinator). 

This is a maternity covers that is expected to start at mid March 2023 and last 18 to 26 weeks. The position is based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Depending on visa restrictions, the successful incumbent can be based in different time-zones for a portion of the assignment, however s/he should be able and willing to ensure a degree of time overlap with the team based in HQ in Copenhagen.

Functional Responsibilities

The  Portfolio Support Manager (maternity cover) will perform the following duties and responsibilities: 

1. Team Management/Leadership
  • Leadership of the personnel under the team, including a small number of communication, HR, learning retainers, and direct supervision of the Project Management Support Specialist, the Communications Senior Officer, and the Corporate Retainer Pool Coordinator.

  • Development, planning, and execution of the work plan for the team within the agreed timeline and quality standards. The 2023 workplan will be already in place when the maternity cover starts, but may need quarterly updates.

  • As a member of IPS management team, contributes to development, and execution of the IPS strategy and Business Plan, within allocated budget.

  • Provision of management reports to the IPS MT as required.

2. Organisational Readiness, Technical Leadership

With the guidance of the IPSO Director OIC and in collaboration with the regional stakeholders and the UNOPS Surge capacity team, the PSM will implement the plan for organisational readiness defined in January 2023, and completed as necessary  by further  needs assessment, in line with corporate strategy and allocated resources.  In doing so, the incumbent needs to demonstrate a strong capacity for innovation and creativity in providing strategic advice and direction in regards to organisational readiness.

More specifically, the incumbent will:

  • Develop and implement the plan for organisational readiness by assessing the needs and the resources, in line with the corporate strategy.

  • Manage resources of the organisational readiness function with a primary focus on infrastructure, project management and procurement areas for the global portfolio support, building on the existing internal capacity, including UNOPS retainer pools, rosters, list of endorsed candidates, skill mapping, Long-Term Agreements (LTAs) or partnerships.

  • Lead on the development and management of resources such as retainers, partnerships and LTAs to supplement UNOPS internal engagement implementation capacity by establishing the process of mapping and associated planning for improving a corporate retainer roster and implementation services Long Term Agreements (LTAs).

  • Manage the development of tools and processes supporting the retainer and LTA/partnership management. 

  • Contribute actively to policy improvements and increase process efficiencies by collaborating closely with other UNOPS units to enable an environment for an effective implementation of the UNOPS corporate readiness.

  • Establish an effective assessment approach to monitor the results of the resources developed to support the UNOPS Global portfolio.

3. Provision of operational management to IPS  

The incumbent is responsible for supporting the IPS Management Team (including the Directors of IPMG/IPSO and PG) on operational aspects of the IPS. More specifically, the incumbent will: 

  • Prepare the IPS financial plan and manage the budget process/cycle to ensure timely revisions and reallocation of funds, as well as budget corrections, as necessary. This also includes to monitor, track, control and reporting on expenditures to ensure optimum and appropriate use of resources, and compliance with standards of accountability framework.

  • Take a coordination function for all IPS procurement requests. He/she will be responsible for IPS liaison with other units such as SSC for the establishment, review and administration of IPS related contracts and other agreements. 

  • Oversee the personnel planning and management for IPS, and provide data analysis related to IPS Personnel to enable informed decision making by the IPS Management Team, and in consideration with the corporate strategy(ies). 

  • Take a leading role in ensuring communication of IPS is effective and up to date, such as the intranet, internal publications, and external communication. 

  • Oversee the management of the Project of the Year Award (POTYA) from nomination to award and related promotion of the best practices in project management.

  • Take a coordination function for all IPS learning activities, in alignment with the allocated learning budget and UNOPS learning strategy.

  • Oversee other administrative tasks, such as control of inventory belonging to IPS, maintenance of IPS records, travel and mission planning and security related tasks such as warden assignment.  

Knowledge management and innovation

  • Contribute to the development and introduction of innovation to ensure UNOPS is continually incorporating best practice approaches in IPS.

  • Contribute to the dissemination and sharing of best practices and lessons learned for corporate development planning and knowledge building.

  • At the request of the IPS MT and in collaboration with the team, plan, implement and organise strategic capacity building of personnel and stakeholders.

  • Promote and support a learning culture in IPS by empowering individuals and teams to identify critical learning needs and plan/provide easy access to learning opportunities to maintain personnel competency and flexibility and foster innovation.

  • At the request of the IPSO Director OIC participate in any UNOPS forum discussions and planning to ensure IPS position, interests and priorities are fully considered.

Monitoring and Progress Controls

  • Setting standard, personal and development objectives for self and direct reports. Ongoing assessment of task completion, which meets quality expectations;

  • Achievement of the targets and workplan assigned to the Portfolio Support Manager;

  • Successfully meeting time, cost and quality expectations of the business unit work plan; escalate issues to IPSO Director OIC when applicable;

  • Completing progress reports as required.


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

a. Education 

  • An Advanced University degree (Master’s or equivalent) in a relevant related field, including but not limited to business administration, economics, HR management, finance, procurement is required

  • A Bachelor’s Degree with two additional years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of a Master’s degree (total 9 years of experience) 

b. Work Experience 

  • A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience covering at least two of the following operations functions: procurement, finance, logistics or human resources is required, in combination with a Master’s degree (9 years in combination with a Bachelor’s degree). Knowledge of the other functions is desirable.

  • A minimum of 1 year of leadership experience, including a proven track record managing personnel and operational systems is required. This can be embedded in the above experience. 

  • Some experience in UN system organizations is desirable.

  • Experience dealing with UN regulations, rules and policies in the areas of procurement, finance and human resources is desirable. Knowledge of UNOPS policies, rules and processes is a distinct advantage.

  • Experience in the development sector is an asset.

  • Relevant experience working in developing countries is an asset.

  • Experience in project or portfolio management is an asset.

  • Experience with gender, diversity and inclusion issues is an asset.

  • Knowledge of or experience using Google Suite, ERP, BiqQuery or other data management systems is an asset.

c. Languages 

  • Full working knowledge of English, including excellent drafting and editing skills;

  • Knowledge of French or Spanish is highly desirable.

  • Knowledge of another official UNOPS language is an asset.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International ICA 
Contract level: IICA-3 ICS-11
Contract duration: This is a maternity covers that is expected to start at mid March 2023 and last 18 to 26 weeks.

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

Additional Information

IPS offers a unique work environment in UNOPS headquarters, in Copenhagen, Denmark, located in the UN City building, one of Copenhagen’s landmarks. UNOPS HQ offers a safe, family-friendly lifestyle environment with multiple opportunities for networking and an active lifestyle, in a city known for its excellent urban design and planning.

The IPS team is a diverse team in terms of age, nationalities and family situations. The team is inclusive and values social and athletic activities like team breakfast, Friday evening networking or sports such as sailing, climbing, running and squash. IPS is very dynamic and welcomes agility, autonomy and self-drive. The work of IPS is oriented towards exciting opportunities which have a corporate, global impact and is in touch with the whole of UNOPS. UNOPS has a hosting agreement with the Government of Denmark, and as such both national and international candidates are eligible for HQ-based positions. UNOPS officials are exempt fromDanish taxes on UN incomes. EU citizens may opt to be registered with the Danish State Administration as EU migrant worker and keep the rights associated with that status or register through UNOPS with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. EU Citizens may apply for the public Danish health insurance or special health card depending on their choice of registration, while the non-EU citizens will be registered by UNOPS under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

IPS is very respectful of the UNOPS policy on work life balance, including flexible working hours and remote working arrangements. IPMG is keen on improving diversity in the team with a current focus on gender equality and equal representation.

Additional Information

  • Please note that UNOPS does not accept unsolicited resumes.

  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.

  • Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process, which involves various assessments.

  • UNOPS embraces diversity and is committed to equal employment opportunity. Our workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures,  languages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. UNOPS seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. 

  • Qualified women and candidates from groups which are underrepresented in the UNOPS workforce are encouraged to apply. These include in particular candidates from racialized and/or indigenous groups, members of minority gender identities and sexual orientations, and people with disabilities.

  • We would like to ensure all candidates perform at their best during the assessment process.  If you are shortlisted and require additional assistance to complete any assessment, including reasonable accommodation, please inform our human resources team when you receive an invitation.

Terms and Conditions 

  • All UNOPS personnel are responsible for performing their duties in accordance with the UN Charter and UNOPS Policies and Instructions, as well as other relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, all personnel must demonstrate an understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a manner consistent with UN core values and the UN Common Agenda.

  • It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential personnel. Recruitment in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

This vacancy is now closed.
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