Director, Economic Affairs

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Geneva, Switzerland

Skill Required:, Finance and Accounts
Preferred Experience: 
Above 15 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
9th January, 2021

Job Description

Within delegated authority and under the guidance of the Secretary-General (SG) and the Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) of UNCTAD, the Director will be responsible for the following duties:

  •  Directs and manages the Division on International Trade and Commodities.
  •  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 SG and DSG; contributes to the overall management of the Department’s activities and operations.
  •  Provides leadership to the development of innovative and/or change management programmes, including inter alia, through conducting trade policy analysis and developing policy proposals in the field of international trade, in consultation with the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD.
  •  Provides strategic direction and implements the substantive work programme of the Division under his/her supervision, determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs for research, technical cooperation and inter-governmental activities, 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 UNCTAD , and with other organizations of the United Nations System, donors and agencies as appropriate.
  •  Co-ordinates and oversees the preparation of reports for presentation to intergovernmental bodies such as the General Assembly, Trade and Development Board and other United Nations decision and policy-making organs , as appropriate.
  •  Reports to the General Assembly, Trade and Development Board and to other United Nations 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 office/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 , interviews of candidates for job openings and evaluation of candidates.
  •  Oversees the recruitment of staff for the Division, taking due account geographical and gender balance and other institutional values.
  •  Manages, guides, develops and trains staff under his/her supervision; foster teamwork and communication among staff in the Division and across organizational boundaries.
  •  Chairs meetings, seminars, etc., on substantive-related issues; represents the Organization at international, regional, inter-agency meetings, seminars and conference; 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 Organization.


  •  Professionalism: In-depth knowledge of international trade issues and trade policy, including of trade negotiations and their implications to development and to the Organization's mandate. Thorough knowledge of international economic issues and their implications to development. Ability to relate and integrate political, social and economic developments and perspectives into the programme of work of the Division. Demonstrated ability to analyze, interpret and formulate trade and development -related issues, policies and strategies. Ability to communicate complex international trade issues, policies and strategies. Demonstrated capacity to establish strategic partnerships within and outside the organization to deliver on the programme of work. Ability to produce reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others. Capacity to lead the continual improvement of work processes and ability to apply best management practices, including results based management, to obtain the optimum performance of the Division. 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.
  •  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& 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.
  •  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.
  •  Vision: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks; clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals; generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction; conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in economics, public administration, political science or related area is required. A post-graduate degree (PhD or equivalent) in economics or related field is desirable. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • Over fifteen years of progressively responsible professional experience at the national and international levels dealing with international trade and development is required.
  • At least five years of experience managing complex programmes of work and large teams is required.
  • At least five years of experience leading or coordinating analytical publications in the area of development is desirable.
  • At least five years of experience leading or coordinating trade-related technical assistance projects in developing countries is desirable.
  • Experience in providing substantive support to intergovernmental meetings related to trade and development related areas 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 French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.


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