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Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff & Director – UNDP jobs in the USA

United States

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Job Description

United States

Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff & Director – UNDP jobs in the USA

  • Location: New York City, USA
  • Vacancy No: N/A 
  • Salary: N/A
  • Organization: UNDP
  • Gender: Both
  • Deadline:  2024-03-12

Job Description

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP:  we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.
The Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff & Director supports the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff in the advancement of key corporate matters. Notably, the Special Assistant works under the supervision of the Chief of Staff to support the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff with providing strategic, policy and political leadership on behalf of the Administrator, as well as with overall management and internal coordination in full compliance with UNDP’s mandate, accountability and reporting requirements. On specific communication related matters, the Special Assistant works under the supervision of the Strategic Communication and Media Advisor for the Administrator.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Special Assistant ensures cooperation of all stakeholders so that the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff achieve the targeted strategic, policy and political leadership as envisioned by UNDP Senior Management thus ensuring a highly responsive and effective Executive Office function. The Special Assistant also works under the supervision of the Strategic Communication and Media Advisor for the Administrator to support external and internal communication priorities of the Administrator.
1. Support to the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff on corporate matters:
  • Supports Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff advance key corporate matters, including related to corporate reports, Executive Board preparations, management of the Administrator’s reserves, and corporate high-level events;
  • Drafts correspondence and notes to the file, and coordinates and/or contributes to other routine documentation required by the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff;
  • Facilitates the implementation of requests, directives and commitments of the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff in coordination with relevant managers and teams within the office;
  • Maintains regular contact with the Executive Office teams, Regional and Central Bureaux, Country offices and external stakeholders such as Permanent Missions to the UN, UN System partners, IGOs, NGOs, donors and other multilateral agencies to keep the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff abreast of key developments within the organization.
  • Works in close collaboration with the other Special Assistants and backstops them during absences.
  • In close coordination with the Special Assistants to the Administrator, and the Corporate Governance Team, liaises with internal management/policy groups including the Executive Group/Operational Performance Group/Executive Board/Executive Committee (EG/OPG/EB/EC).
  • Provides quality assurance from the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff for management responses to Executive Board decisions in close consultation with the Corporate Governance Team.
  • Supports the organization of regular staff meetings, townhalls and special events.

2. Communication Support:

  • Coordinates the clearance by the Chief of Staff, of submissions and background documentation from Regional and Central Bureaux, including senior management policy groups including the Executive Group (EG), Operational Performance Group (OPG), the Executive Board and the Secretary-General’s Executive Committee (EC).
  • Acts as Secretary for the Chief of Staff’s and Deputy Chief of Staff meetings and is responsible for recording decisions, coordinating the development of the agenda, gathering and analyzing information to support decision-making and communication of relevant decisions to management & staff.

Under the supervision of the Strategic Communication and Media Advisor for the Administrator:

Supports the design and implementation of external communication initiatives for the Administrator, including:

  • Revises press releases on major UNDP initiatives and drafts quotes, video scripts and other communication products.
  • Supports communication and media outreach plans, particularly for missions, in coordination with relevant Bureaus, CO, and partners.
  • Prepares compelling media pitches and supports the drafting of briefing notes for the Administrator for media interviews and media events.
  • Develop compelling social media content.

Supports internal communication initiatives for the Administrator

  • Maps out and ensures the timely distribution of critical internal communication messages for the Administrator.
  • Supports the drafting and elaborations of the internal communication products.
  • Provides innovative content and approaches to drive high visibility engagement through the channels and initiatives managed by the Executive Office.

3. Knowledge Management:

  • Participates in knowledge management and practice networks in order to keep abreast of major global events that are of interest and relevance to the Executive Office.
  • Ensures that the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff are well informed within the working process and documentation of the EG, OPG, and other corporate meetings in close consultation with the Corporate Governance Team.
  • Prepares for the Chief of Staff, speech outlines, concept papers, aide memoires, memoranda and other substantive documents of a broad and complex nature as required.
  • Drafts correspondence as requested;
  • Monitors, analyses and reports on progress/developments of relevant international fora as needed and as directed by the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff.

4. Internal Coordination

  • Support the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff as required to coordinate and participate in internal or external meetings within pre-determined guidelines and as directed by the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff.
  • Works in close collaboration with the Operational team in the Executive Office on a day-to-day basis to ensure efficient running of the Executive Office, and backstops them during absences.

Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities: Oversees 1 GS staff.

  • Achieve Results – LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact
  • Think Innovatively – LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems
  • Learn Continuously – LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
  • Adapt with Agility – LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
  • Act with Determination – LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
  • Engage and Partner – LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion – LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

People Management 

UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies 

Business Direction & Strategy – Strategic Thinking:

  • Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNDP’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities; linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions.
  • Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and possible ways forward look like for UNDP.
Business Direction & Strategy – System Thinking:
  • Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system.

Business Development – Collective Intelligence Design:

  • Ability to bringing together diverse groups of people, data, information or ideas, and technology to design services or solutions.
Business Management – Partnerships Management:
  • Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies.

Business Management – Communication:

  •  Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience.
  • Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media and other appropriate channels.

Digital and Innovation – Futures & foresight:

  •  Ability to look at information from the past and present, identify patterns and trends and use them to inform decision making with a long-term view.
  • Being sensitive and able to scan horizons and pick up weak signals of change, explore their potential implications and assess their impact and urgency.
  • Using creativity and imagination to communicate insights in compelling and engaging ways to challenge current mental models; ability to develop scenarios, speculative designs to present future visions or by making it experiential.
  • Being able to facilitate debate and discussion about possible futures; help people to feel comfortable with the discomfort of uncertainty.
Ethics – Ethical Implication of Policy Development:
  • Consult on the ethical implications within all policy development and standard setting.
Required Skills and Experience
  • Advanced university degree (Masters’) in Social Policy, Economics, Business Administration, Social Sciences or related disciplines, or;
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Social Policy, Economics, Business Administration, Social Sciences or related disciplines with an additional 2 years of relevant work experience will be considered in lieu of the master’s degree.
  • A minimum of seven (7) years with Master’s degree or nine (9) years with Bachelor’s degree of relevant professional work experience with the United Nations system and/or equivalent international organizations, NGOs, and public/private entities, with sound knowledge of UN/UNDP systems, procedures and policies.
  • Strong and effective communication experience is required. Minimum 3 years of experience in the drafting and elaboration of communications products.
  • Experience of planning and organizing high-level UN/government official’s political engagements, including missions and strategic dialogues, is a must.
  • Experience working in developing country settings is an asset.


  • Proficiency in the English language, both oral and written, is required.
  • Working knowledge of another UN language is an advantage.
Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.
Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.
UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.
Applicant information about UNDP rosters
Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.
UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.
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