Chief of Service, Political Affairs (Team Leader, Integrated Operations Team for Great Lakes), D1

United Nations - Department of Peacekeeping Operations

New York, United States

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Office of Operations, Africa Division II (AD2) in New York. New York is a ‘H’ duty station and is a family duty station. The incumbent reports to the Director of AD2.


Within delegated authority, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:

• Responsible for the executive direction of peacekeeping operations and field missions, monitoring the development and progress of the most difficult and highly active operations, involving a diversity of interest and numerous parties in situations requiring innovative approaches. Identifies and responds to political and operational changes, problems, incidents. Responds to/initiates negotiations with numerous participants and parties to resolve problems and defuse situations. Provides direction and advice to officials in Headquarters and the field on actions, policy, political and operational issues. Prepares frequent documentation for considerations of senior officials and the Security Council.

  • Represents the Secretary-General, USG, ASG and Director to resolves issues, problems and questions during any phase of the operations, and establishes operational commitments of the Secretariat.
  • Monitors and oversees the implementation of operations, ensuring coordination of activities, directing colleagues, confronting and resolving obstacles to meet objectives established by the Security Council.
  • Advises on and participates in planning peacekeeping operations, including the design, difficulties and implications of proposed operational models, in consideration of the numerous dimensions to the circumstances. Drafts planning documents, ensuring the input of all participants and consideration of the issues/concerns of numerous divergent and complicated contributions.
  • Formulates policies and courses of action for the Secretariat to be followed in the design and implementation of peacekeeping operations; implements systems and methods for the effective and timely coordination and delivery of operations.
  • Serves as the original source of information, at the request of the UN Spokesperson, for media contact, clearance of articles, speeches at seminars and lectures.
  • Coordinates and oversees the work of colleagues assigned to assist with such complex operations, planning documents for the Security Council, identifying statements of Principles, conditions of the parties and the response to such conditions, and ensuring the input of all parties to the plan and documentation. Leads fact-finding assessments in the field.
  • Develops guidelines and terms of reference, and operational plans and timeframes for new operations, ensuring the input of and coordination with numerous parties; and resolving issues with the parties, contributors, members of the Security Council, etc. Assist with and advise on the formulation of policies and courses of actions to be followed in implementing peacekeeping operations.
  • Serves as the original sources of information, at the request of the Spokesperson, for media contact, clearance of articles, speeches at seminars and lectures on areas of assignment.
  • Coordinates and oversees the work of colleagues assigned to assist with complex operations.
  • Performs other related duties as required.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge of the substantive field of work in general and of specific areas being supervised, in particular planning for UN or other peace operations in a conflict or post-conflict environment, including in Africa, and specifically in the Great Lakes region. Ability to identify and analyse key issues and conduct independent research and analysis, to formulate options, draw conclusions and make effective and politically sound recommendations. Ability to produce reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others. Ability to apply rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates 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. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • Integrity: Demonstrates the values of the United Nations in daily activities and behaviours; acts without consideration of personal gain; resists undue political pressure in decision-making; does not abuse power or authority; stands by decisions that are in the Organization’s interest, even if they are unpopular; takes prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behaviour.
  • Respect for Diversity: Works effectively with people from all backgrounds; treats all people with dignity and respect; treats men and women equally; shows respect for and understanding of diverse points of view and demonstrates this understanding in daily work and decision-making; examines own biases and behaviours to avoid stereotypical responses; does not discriminate against any individual or group.
  • 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.
  • Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

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.
  • Judgement/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in political or social sciences, international relations, law, history, economics, or related field. A first-level university degree in any of these fields, in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

Required experience:

  • A minimum of fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible experience in peacekeeping, political analysis, international relations, law, diplomacy, conflict resolution or other related area.
  • At least three (3) years of experience in a non-uniformed capacity in peacekeeping in the field or other relevant field experience in a conflict or post-conflict setting.
  • Experience managing multi-disciplinary teams.

Desired experience:

  • At least ten (10) years of international experience.
  • Experience working on political issues on or in Africa, particularly relating to the Great Lakes region.
  • Experience in the integrated planning and support of multi-dimensional operations from Headquarters.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English and knowledge of French is required. Fluency of French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an asset.

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