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Programme Management - Senior Associate

New York City

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: New York City
  • Grade: Administrative support - GS-7, General Service - No need for Higher Education - Locally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Administrative support
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: Closed

Background Information - Job-specific

New York Service Cluster (NYSC) supports the United Nations Secretariat, as well as other New York-based United Nations organizations, bilateral and multilateral partners in the delivery of UNOPS mandate in project management, infrastructure management, and procurement management.

Sustainable Development Cluster (SDC) supports diverse partners with their peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. It was formed by combining the following portfolios: Grants Management Services (GMS), UN Technology Support Services (UNTSS), Development and Special Initiatives Portfolio (DSIP) It provides Services to partners' programmes that are designed, structured, and managed with a global perspective and primarily serving partners that are headquartered in New York.  The SDC has a footprint of approximately 125 countries.

UNOPS has signed an agreement with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG) of the United Nations to implement the activities of the Climate Action Team (CAT) Project. 

Following COP26 in Glasgow and COP27 in Sharm el-Sheik, there is less than a decade to prevent a climate breakdown. Without deep emissions cuts, the world is heading towards 2.4-degrees Celsius of warming with catastrophic consequences. At current levels of warming the world is experiencing unprecedented climate impacts.

An increase in global average temperature above 1.5˚C would mean extreme weather and climate disasters increasing in frequency and intensity, putting billions of people at immediate risk with significant parts of Africa becoming unlivable and whole countries ceasing to exist. The Secretary-General’s call to all countries, cities, companies and institutions to go into emergency mode on climate is needed more than ever.

While climate change risks undermining the 2030 Agenda, as well as the social, economic, and environmental pillars of sustainable development, climate action also presents an opportunity. Green investments boost growth and jobs; just transitions are inclusive and help to eradicate poverty; and enhancing carbon sinks strengthen biodiversity and resilience. It will be essential to ensure that the transformation of economies and societies takes place to enable accelerated climate action in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The objective of the Secretary-General’s climate action strategy throughout his second term will be to accelerate this decade, the transition towards a resilient, net zero world, that keeps the 1.5˚C goal alive, to secure the alignment of public and private finance, of technological transfers and capacity building to enable the necessary cooperation and support needed by developing countries, to significantly enhance the credibility and accountability of commitments taken by governments and non-state actors to reach the Paris Agreement goals.

It will be critical to build on progress made at COP26 and COP27. The two-year period from Glasgow in November 2021 to the Global Stocktake in November 2023 will be essential to meeting this goal and is aligned with the complementary push for accelerated efforts during the Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs by 2030. This will require enhanced coordination and collaboration across the United Nations System especially at the country level.

The Secretary- General’s Climate Action Team will focus on the following:

  • Raising ambition levels and concrete mitigation commitments by the major emitters, particularly the G20.
  • Contributing to the reform of the international climate finance architecture and the multilateral development banks including through the design and operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund decided at COP27.
  • Delivering tangible results to scale up adaptation and resilience finance and projects in developing countries including through cooperative initiatives. 
  • Developing and implementing targeted strategies for fossil fuel phase-out and renewable energy scale-up including through the Just Energy Transition Partnerships and other cooperative initiatives.
  • Strengthening and verifying short-term and longer-term commitments made by non-state actors to reach net zero by 2050 through the implementation of the guidelines recommended to the Secretary-General at COP27 by the High-Level Group of Experts on Net Zero pledges
  • Enhancing UN system support to countries to deliver on the climate and environment-related Sustainable Development Goals this decade.
  • Providing up-to-date analytics and policy guidance for the Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General, UN leadership and Member States.
  • Designing and executing a cross-UN global communications campaign and movement focused on SG and UN leadership on climate action at all levels, and messaging and storytelling to build political will, elevate local solutions and mobilize individual actions.

The incumbent of this position will be a staff member of UNOPS under its full responsibility.

Functional Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Senior Programme Manager, the Programme Management - Senior Associate will be responsible for the following duties: 
  • Independently provides full range of programme/project management and implementation assistance at all phases of the follow up to the High-Level Expert Group, and other Climate Action Team projects including for the Climate Action Team itself as needed including HR, finance, and tasking flows, seeking guidance where necessary.
  • Researches, compiles, analyses, summarizes, and presents basic information/data on a wide range of programmes/projects and related topics, highlighting noteworthy issues/trends for the Climate Action Team.
  • Prepares updates notes to the Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General; drafts inputs for a wide range of documents/reports, briefings/debriefings, correspondence, etc.
  • Supports the Director of the Climate Action Team, serving as focal point for coordination, monitoring and expedition of implementation activities and participates in programme/project evaluation; monitors implementation at all stages to ensure work is proceeding according to established plans, including analyzing implementation difficulties and initiating remedial action; obtains necessary clearances, processes and follows-up on administrative actions and resolves issues related to project implementation, e.g. recruitment and appointment of personnel, travel arrangements, organization of and participation in training/study tours, authorization of payments, disbursement of funds, procurement of equipment and services, etc.
  • Arranges for formal closures of projects, final budget revision, transfer of equipment, clearance, publication and distribution of final report.
  • May undertake mission/field work in support of above activities, e.g. specific administrative, operational/control tasks for programme/project activities.
  • Establishes internal databases; sets up, files, stores, and manages data and information relevant to the scope of programme/project activities.
  • Focal point for the Climate Action Team for correspondence, working with team members to prepare notes, letters, invitations and other documentation from the Climate Action Team to the Deputy Secretary-General, Chef de Cabinet and Secretary-General’s office.
  • Responsible for organizing in person meetings as needed for the Climate Action Team, including accommodation, processing DSA and setting up their programme.
  • Performs other duties as may be reasonably required and in line with the incumbent’s scope of services above.
Impact of Results The effective and successful achievement of results by the incumbent directly impacts on the development and performance of the Climate Action Team, visibility and image of CAT, ensuring that the project is aligned with the overall priorities on the UN agenda.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • Secondary education/High school diploma is required.
  • University degree (Bachelor’s or Master’s), will be considered an asset and may substitute for some of the required years of experience.

  • A minimum of seven (7) years experience in programme or project administration, technical cooperation or related area is required.

Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in oral and written English is required.


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.

Contract type, level and duration

  1. Contract type: Fixed -Term Staff Contract
  2. Contract level: G7 
  3. Contract duration: 'One year initially, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability'
For more details about United Nations staff contracts, please follow this link:

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 

  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post. 

  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (they take around 4 hours to complete) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS. For more information on a retainer contract here.

  • 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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