Head of Office, ESCAP Subregional Office for East and North-East Asia, D1

UN ESCAP - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Incheon City, Republic of Korea

Org. Setting and Reporting

The Head of SOENEA serves as the lead United Nations official in the Republic of Korea and takes on the responsibility of senior certifying officer for United Nations offices and agencies in the country. This role includes setting rental subsidy ceilings, official holidays, overseeing the coordination with United Nations Headquarters on surveys to determine DSA rates, local salaries and cost-of-living. The Head of SOENEA currently serves as the Designated Official for Safety and Security in the Republic of Korea and may be asked to do so in the future as well.

The Head of SOENEA under the oversight of the Executive Secretary of ESCAP manages staff of the SOENEA which supports member States to strengthen regional cooperation in East and North-East Asia and across other ESCAP members.


Under the general supervision of the ESCAP Executive Secretary the Head of Office will be responsible for the following functions:

  • Formulates and implements in consultation with the concerned entities at ESCAP headquarters, the programme of work of the Subregional Office by determining subregional priorities and utilizing resources effectively for the timely delivery of mandated outputs;
  • Leads, supervises, carries out and delivers analytical work on macroeconomic and sector development emerging issues and concerns in the subregion for its eventual integration in the UN ESCAP flagships publications, including those gathered from consultations/discussions with government officials and representatives of other key intergovernmental organizations, institutions, and stakeholders; Co-ordinates, contributes and facilitates work programmes of functional divisions in all technical areas where ESCAP is engaged in the subregion, in particular, regional connectivity, trade, information and communications, technology, disaster risk reduction and disaster risk management;
  • Co-ordinates and oversees the preparation of reports provides consistent and coherent advice toward developing ESCAP policies, programmes and courses of action, taking into consideration the socio-economic and political context of the subregion;
  • Reports and provides inputs to the ESCAP Headquarters entities, including the concerned substantive divisions on the development, formulation and implementation of the ESCAP work programme related to the countries of the subregion through: a) Coordinating with relevant government officials, UN entities, UN Country Teams, sub-regional organizations and other stakeholders, to identify needs and priorities for technical assistance and cooperation and to facilitate the implementation of those programmes; b) Providing support for missions, intergovernmental meetings, workshops, ESCAP flagship publications, training and other relevant activities held in the subregion; c) Acting as knowledge sharing centre in the subregion for ESCAP matters and activities;
  • Assists governments in designing sustainable development strategies focusing on poverty reduction and strategies in reducing inequalities;
  • Undertakes the programmatic tasks necessary for the functioning of ENEA, and supports proactively resource mobilization for ESCAP from ENEA members with support of Strategic Programme and Management Division and ensures effective management of the extra budgetary resources allocated to the ENEA office and its programmes including the deployment of funds for technical cooperation and capacity building programmes delegated to the ENEAFormulates and implements, in consultation with the concerned entities at ESCAP Headquarters, the programme of work of the Subregional Office by determining subregional priorities and utilizing resources effectively for the timely delivery of mandated outputs;
  • Recruits staff, taking due account of gender and geographical balance;
  • Manages, the operations of the Subregional Office and provides guidance, and supervision to all staff;
  • Fosters and actively promotes south-south cooperation through harnessing the subregion’s member States’ best practices in achieving sustainable development, taking into account the green growth approach, and energy efficiency, including the North-East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation (NEASPEC), and acting as NEASPEC’s dedicated secretariat;
  • Participates in international, regional or national meetings and promotes partnership and knowledge-sharing among member countries, private sector, civil society and other relevant development partners in addressing priority areas of the subregion;
  • Represents ESCAP in the East and North-East Asian subregion, including promoting the active participation of member governments in the subregion in the work of ESCAP;
  • Performs other related duties as necessary.


Core Competencies:

  • Professionalism: Knowledge of the substantive field of work in general and of specific areas being supervised. Ability to produce analytical reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others. Ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrated professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing;
  • Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed;
  • Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

Managerial competencies

  • Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing;
  • Managing Performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in economics, environmental sciences, social sciences or related area. Ph.D is desirable. A first-level university degree in the above fields in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible experience, including several years of experience at the international level, in economic and social analysis, environment, sustainable development, poverty reduction or policy formulation and implementation in the above fields is required. Research and analysis in the above fields as demonstrated through authored publications is desirable. Experience in leading and managing a sizable work unit is required. Demonstrated experience in establishing and maintaining professional networks required. Working experience in the Asia-Pacific region is highly desirable. Experience in advocacy work and establishing partnerships with key stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.

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