Director, Division for Sustainable Development Goals, D2

Director, Division for Sustainable Development Goals, D2

UN DESA - United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

New York, United States

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG) in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Under the overall guidance of the Under-Secretary-General (USG) for Economic and Social Affairs, and in cooperation with the Assistant Secretaries-General (ASGs), and within delegated authorities, the Director of the Division for Sustainable Development Goals is responsible for directing and managing the programme supporting UN processes related to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Technology Facilitation Mechanism and the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway. The Director is responsible for the Division's capacity development activities, including the supervision of project offices.


Within delegated authority, the Director of DSDG is responsible for the following:

  • Directs and manages the Division for Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on providing substantive support, integrated policy analysis, building multi-stakeholder partnerships, facilitating synergies and capacity development in thematic areas of sustainable development, such as natural resources, water, energy, climate, oceans, transport, science and technology.
  • Contributes to the formulation of the Department’s overall strategies and policies by participating in various committees, preparing documents on policy issues, and acting, as required, in an advisory capacity to the Under-Secretary-General/Assistant Secretaries-General; contributes to the overall management of the Department’s activities and operations.
  • Provides leadership to the development of innovative and/or change management programmes.
  • Formulates and implements the substantive and capacity development work programme of the Division under his/her supervision, determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery.
  • Oversees the management of activities undertaken by the Division, ensuring that programmed activities are carried out in a timely fashion and co-ordinates work in the different areas both within the Division and the Department, and with other organizations of the United Nations system, donors and agencies, as appropriate.
  • Supports the Under-Secretary-General in implementing mandates and initiatives that enhance internal coordination and the effective, efficient, and accountable delivery of the Department’s work.
  • Co-ordinates and oversees the preparation of publications, including the Global Sustainable Development Report and parliamentary reports for presentation to intergovernmental and expert bodies such as the Economic and Social Council, the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs, the General Assembly and other policy-making organs, as appropriate.
  • Reports to intergovernmental bodies on budget/programme performance or on programmatic/substantive issues, as appropriate, particularly those presented in biannual and/or annual reports.
  • Ensures that the outputs produced by the Division maintain high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data. Ensures that all outputs produced by the Division under his/her supervision meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates.
  • Undertakes or oversees the programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Division, including preparation of budgets, assigning and monitoring of performance parameters and critical indicators, reporting on budget/programme performance, preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting, evaluation of staff performance (PAS), interviews of candidates for job openings and evaluation of candidates.
  • Oversees the recruitment of staff for the Division, taking due account of geographical and gender balance and other institutional values.
  • Manages, guides, develops and trains staff under his/her supervision; fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the Division and across organizational boundaries.
  • Chairs meetings, seminars, etc., on substantive-related issues; represents the Organization and/or the Department at international, regional, inter-agency meetings, seminars and conferences; provides programmatic/substantive expertise on an issue or holds programmatic/substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions.
  • Performs other related duties as requested by the senior management of the Department.


  • Professionalism: Demonstrated competence in the field of sustainable development in the broad context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; proven analysis and research competence. Shows ability to produce reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others. Shows ability to apply UN 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.
  • 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.
  • 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) in sustainable development, economics, public policy, public administration, finance, natural resources management, engineering, environment, social sciences or related area is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • Over fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in sustainable development, in which at least five years at the senior leadership level in international organizations and/or government is required.
  • Experience in research and analysis, policy formulation, application of sustainable development principles in development programmes or related fields is required.
  • Experience in managing complex programmes of work and large diverse teams in required.
  • Experience leading or coordinating analytical publications in the area of sustainable development is desirable.
  • Experience in providing substantive support to intergovernmental processes and meetings in development-related areas is desirable.
  • Experience in leading or coordinating technical assistance projects in sustainable development is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required; knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.

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© EuroJobsites 2020

EuroJobsites is a registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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