Chief, Commodities Branch, D1

Chief, Commodities Branch, D1

UNCTAD - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Geneva, Switzerland

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Commodities Branch of Division on International Trade and Commodities (DITC) in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The Chief of Branch reports to the Director of DITC.


The Chief of Branch is responsible for formulating and implementing the substantive work programme of the Commodities Branch under his/her supervision. S/he oversees the management of activities undertaken by the Branch, ensures that programmed activities are carried out in a timely fashion and co-ordinates work in the area of commodities both within the Branch, the Division and UNCTAD, and with other organizations of the United Nations System, as appropriate. Concretely, the future incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Leads, supervises and carries out UNCTAD's work programme on commoditie under his/her responsibility and ensure its timely and effective implementation to address the special needs and challenges of commodity-dependent developing countries. Co-ordinates the work carried out by different work units under the Branch and by other agencies and bodies of the United Nations system; provides programmatic/substantive reviews of the drafts prepared by others;
  • Co-ordinates and oversees the preparation of reports in relation to commodities for presentation to intergovernmental bodies such as the UNCTAD ministerial Conference, the Trade and Development Board and the Commission on Trade and Development, as appropriate;
  • Coordinate and oversees the technical cooperation activities of the Unit, including defining priority areas, scale and scope in order to maximize their impact;
  • Ensures that the outputs produced by the Branch maintain high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data. Ensures that all outputs produced by the teams under his/her supervision meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates;
  • Assists the Secretary-General of UNCTAD in preparing the work programme of the Branch, determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery;
  • Undertakes or oversees the programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Branch, including preparation of budgets, reporting on budget/programme performance, evaluation of staff performance, interviews of candidates for job openings, evaluation of candidates and preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting;
  • Recruits staff, taking due account of geographical balance;
  • Manages, guides, develops and trains staff under his/her supervision;
  • Fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the Branch and across organizational boundaries;
  • Leads and supervises the organization of meetings, seminars, etc. on substantive issues. Manages the substantive preparation and organization of such meetings or seminars;
  • Participates in international, regional or national meetings and provides programmatic/substantive expertise on an issue, or holds programmatic/substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions;
  • Represents UNCTAD at international, regional or national meetings and contributes substantively to their discussions and their outcome.


  • Professionalism: Expert knowledge of international commodity markets, and the opportunities and risks associated with such markets. Demonstrated ability to identify key and emerging issues related to commodities and development. Ability to lead research and policy analysis, and to review and edit reports and studies. Ability to provide high-level advice to the intergovernmental machinery and developing country governments on commodities. Ability to effectively lead the design and implementation of multiple programmes. Proven ability in forging strategic partnerships. 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;
  • Planning & 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;
  • 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;
  • 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 degree) in economics 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. A PhD in a field related to commodities is desirable.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible professional experience dealing with international economic issues is required;
  • Out of these, at least 10 years of experience in the area of commodities is desirable;
  • Experience of policy analysis and technical assistance in the area of commodities is desirable;
  • Experience in the management of teams is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required; knowledge of French or another UN official language is desirable.

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© EuroJobsites 2021

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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