Executive Assistant at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency

UNHCR was created in 1950, during the aftermath of the Second World War, to help millions of Europeans who had fled or lost their homes. We had three years to complete our work and then disband. Today, over 65 years later, our organization is still hard at work, protecting and assisting refugees around the world.

This position is advertised open to internal and external applicants.

Procedures and Eligibility

interested applicants should consult the Administrative Instruction on Recruitment and Assignment of Locally Recruited Staff (RALS). Applicants must be nationals of, and be locally recruited within the country of their employment.

Duties And Qualifications

Executive Assistant

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Executive Assistant provides support to the supervisor through, among others, management of information and preparation and documentation of meetings; follow-up on actions, deadlines, commitments, maintenance of protocol procedures, and through supporting communications with Country Operations, Bureaux, Divisions, and other stakeholders.

The Executive Assistant helps the supervisor to identify priority matters that needs to be urgently addressed. S/he ensures full confidentiality in all aspects of assignment.

The incumbent receives guidance from the direct supervisor, who could be the Bureau or Division Director, Representative, or any other senior manager as applicable. The incumbent also liaises with colleagues in UNHCR on matters of non-routine significance in order to prepare documents and manage the flow of information. S/he analysis information flows and makes suggestions – and implements procedures -for efficient information management.

Regular contacts with external parties, including government officials, UN agencies and other International organizations, are made to provide the supervisor’s contacts with background information on relevant topics prior to meetings, to respond to queries on behalf of the supervisor at his/her discretions, and to obtain assistance of others on matters of relevance to the office.

The Executive Assistant works closely with the senior management support team, and may supervise staff in the team. He/she also assumes a coordination role within the structure.

Duties

  • Monitor, screen, respond to and distribute incoming communications to the supervisor to identify priority matters that need to be addressed by the supervisor and propose actions; analyse supporting documentation and summarize most relevant points for the supervisor; ensure that appropriate action is taken by responsible senior managers on matters brought to the attention of the supervisor.
  • Contribute to the management and maintenance of the supervisor’s schedules, appointments, correspondence and missions with support of the Principal Secretary if relevant. Follow-up on policies and instructions presented by the supervisor. Keep the supervisor aware of relevant developments in UNHCR and of policy issues directly related to UNHCR or other matters of interest under the broader UN system.
  • Assist the supervisor in the preparation of statements, situation reports, and briefing notes that represent UNHCR’s overall policies and which highlight specific areas of concern. Propose and draft correspondence for the supervisor, also with regard to regular reporting to the High Commissioner. Ensure coordination and compilation of inputs to key reports and documents.
  • Confer with senior managers in the Bureau, Division, or Country Operation to secure timely and authoritative information relevant to matters requiring action, decisions, or the signature of the supervisor.
  • Arrange and coordinate meetings.
  • Ensure that the supervisor is prepared for meetings and missions by drafting talking points, researching relevant information, and establishing internal and external contacts on the subject matters to be discussed.
  • Accompany the supervisor to meetings and missions where relevant, in order to prepare notes on the discussions, and minutes of meetings. Track progress on agreed issues, follow-up with focal points on deadlines, commitments made, actions taken, and coordination of collection and submission of reports and requests for information.
  • Ensure flow of information within the office by disseminating relevant communications to senior managers and all staff in the office as required;
  • Support the supervisor in efforts to raise UNHCR profile and cater to its concerns within the context of the broader United Nations system.
  • As part of a continuous effort to improve the flow of useful information, coordinate with other services, units, etc. in UNHCR to implement systems, policies, procedures, or instruments to improve the process of executive information management.
  • Work with the supervisor in developing, reviewing, and proposing new policies and practices, or adaptations to existing ones. Monitor development and implementation of these policies and practices.
  • Ensure that high-level visitors are appropriately addressed, that they receive background information as necessary, and that protocol is respected.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Years of Experience / Degree Level

NOB – 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education

  • Social Sciences; Political Science; Business Administration; International Relations;
  • or other relevant field.

(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Certificates and/or Licenses
n/a

(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience

Essential

6 years of progressively responsible, coordination, administrative or operational experience

Desirable

Good knowledge of the UNHCR operations in general

Functional Skills

  • MG-Office Management;
  • MG-Planning;
  • MS-Research;
  • MG-Diplomacy;
  • CO-Strategic Communication;
  • MS-Drafting, Documentation, Data Presentation;
  • UN-UNHCR Operations, mandate, principles and policies;
  • CO-Editing;
  • MS-Networking;
  • ER-Inter-Agency External Relations;

(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements

  • For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
  • For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
  • For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.

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