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Director Emergency Programmes, D-2, Office of Emergency Programmes (EMOPS), NYHQ

New York City

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: New York City
  • Grade: Senior Executive level - D-2, Director - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Medical Practitioners
    • Humanitarian Aid and Coordination
    • Emergency Aid and Response
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2023-02-15

UNICEF is seeking to recruit Director, Emergency Programmes! The Director of Emergency Programmes (EMOPS) leads efforts to mobilize the organization to fulfill its core commitments for children in complex emergencies. He/she ensures that UNICEF's humanitarian work is undertaken in close coordination and collaboration with other partners.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. And we never give up.

For every child, dedication.

The Director of Emergency Programmes (EMOPS) leads efforts to mobilize the organization to fulfill its core commitments for children in complex emergencies. The incumbent directs and coordinates humanitarian policy development and standard-setting, capacity building, technical support and quality assurance. Within the humanitarian community, he/she advocates for crisis-affected children, including children affected by armed conflict, and undertakes and supports advocacy in relevant humanitarian, human rights and peace and security fora, as well as through the media and publications. The EMOPS Director oversees the implementation of UNICEF's security policy, monitors the emergence of crisis situations and ensures that associated needs for information exchange are efficiently met. As a member of IASC’s emergency directors’ group, the incumbent ensures that UNICEF's humanitarian work is undertaken in close coordination and collaboration with other partners.

How can you make a difference?

Under the direct supervision of the Deputy Executive Director, the incumbent’s responsibilities will include:

  1. Vision & Strategy
  • Provide input into organizational strategic planning and advise the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director on the development, updating and dissemination of policies, strategies and guidelines on UNICEF's humanitarian work.
  • Strengthen the protection and promotion of children's and women's rights within the humanitarian, human rights and peace and security agendas of the UN system, through advocacy with NGOs, other UN humanitarian agencies, the SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict and political entities including IGOs.
  1. Management of people and resources:
  • Identify, analyze and disseminate good practices in UNICEF response in emergencies, establish performance standards in support of the application of humanitarian principles and codes of conduct in emergency action and ensure the monitoring of UNICEF's programmatic and operations response in emergencies.
  • Contribute to the development of UNICEF capacity to address the needs of children and women in emergencies, including provision of input to technical guidance on preparedness, programme and operational response for timely and effective implementation of the CCCs; training and the deployment of staff; and implementation of improved management operations systems and procedures.
  1. Representation & Networking
  • Work closely with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to ensure that (a) children’s needs and rights are considered in the elaboration of consolidated UN system responses; and (b) optimal cooperation is achieved between UNICEF, the agencies of the UN system, donor governments, NGOs, the Red Cross Movement and other organizations concerned with humanitarian policy, advocacy and response. Represent UNICEF in IASC’s emergency director’s group and other relevant forum.
  • Oversee the establishment of UNICEF security policy and the global management of security activities, including gathering and analyzing of incident data and coordination with the UN Security Coordinator and security focal points of other UN agencies.
  • Contribute to the establishment and review of funding priorities for emergency programmes and to decisions on needs and allocations from the EPF and CERF. Assist partnership divisions in presenting UNICEF's humanitarian work to the donor community and in advocating for emergency funding with the Heads of the emergency units of donor governments, inter-governmental organizations and NGOs.
  1. Policy Development and Advice
  • The Director, Emergency Programmes, makes policy and programming decisions affecting emergency programmes on a global basis, inter alia through participation in UNICEF's senior management meetings as well as inter-agency, bilateral and NGO fora.
  • The Director leads the development and implementation of annual management and work plans in line with organizational strategic priorities, monitors the plans, ensures achievement of the objectives, and reports on results, whilst maximizing the effective and efficient use of UNICEF's resources in accordance with established policies, standards, rules and procedures.
  • The incumbent advises senior management and makes recommendations on global emergency planning, response, funding and programme execution. The Director guides the development of UNICEF’s global humanitarian policies and procedures.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…


  • An Advanced University Degree in social sciences, international relations, government and public relations, public or social policy, sociology, social or community development or other related fields, is required.
  • A minimum of 15 years of professional work experience (including 10 years at the international level) in posts of increasing managerial responsibility in an organization or function  concerned with emergency relief, rehabilitation and development programmes. A broad range of UNICEF or UN  experience in programme planning and operations at the field as well as headquarters level is required. Prior service in a leadership capacity in a complex emergency or humanitarian setting is a strong asset.
  • Proficiency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) is a strong asset.

Preferred technical expertise of Successful Candidate:

  • High-level managerial advocacy, negotiating and communication skills are essential for the job.
  • High-level of leadership, analytical and negotiation skills and ability to conceptualize ideas and influence policies, strategies and priorities.
  • Strong problem-solving skills and ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships.
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices with respect to international humanitarian action.
  • Managerial, organizational, negotiation and communication skills, maturity, ability to take decisions under pressure.
  • Thorough knowledge of the organization' s major emergency programmes and operations including a strong understanding of political dynamics, and foreign polices relating to issues and problem areas.
  • Experience advocating on behalf of vulnerable groups and mobilizing resources to support them.
  • Experience as a UNICEF Representative or similar leadership role in an emergency duty station/environment highly desirable.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS)underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter:

UNICEF competencies required for this post are...

(1) Builds and maintains partnerships (2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3)Drive to achieve results for impact(4)Innovates and embraces change(5) Manages ambiguity and complexity (6) Thinks and acts strategically(7)Works collaboratively with others(8)Nurtures, leads and manages people.

To view our competency framework, please visit here


NYHQ-based post with frequent travel to countries in crisis, to analyze situations and advise on possible solutions, as well as to Geneva and other donor centres and capitals.

Work requires interpretation of Executive Board resolutions concerning emergency programmes. More broadly, knowledge is required of resolutions of the Security Council, UNGA and other bodies concerning humanitarian assistance and staff security issues that have impact on the well-being of children and others in countries affected by crisis.

This position is classified as “rotational” which means the incumbent is expected to rotate to another duty station upon completion of their tour of duty.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.

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.