Special Assistant to the Commissioner-General, P-4, Jerusalem

Jerusalem | Gaza




UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions. For its international team, UNRWA is seeking to employ a qualified:

Special Assistant to the Commissioner-General

Vacancy Announcement Number




Deadline for Applications

29 October 2016

(16 October 2016 for internal applicants)

Duty Station


UNRWA encourages applications from qualified women and welcomes applications from qualified candidates with disabilities.

Under the direct supervision of the Commissioner-General, the Special Assistant to the Commissioner-General is responsible for providing support and assistance to the Commissioner-General in the day-to-day performance of his/her management, supervision and leadership functions. The Special Assistant supports the Commissioner-General on protocol, correspondence, quality assurance, and coordination matters. He/she also provides specific assistance on such matters to the Chief of Staff and the Senior Advisers to the Commissioner-General. He/she provides specific external liaison support in Palestine and Israel.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

· Provide the Commissioner-General with analysis and support with regards to his/her management of the largest UN organization operating in the Middle East, principally on organizational and coordination-related issues; draft, for review and signature by the Commissioner-General, correspondence on matters of concern to his/her Office, including, but not limited to, correspondence with high ranking State officials and senior staff of UN and other international bodies; support the document clearance function of the Executive Office, including for correspondence, press releases, reports to UN bodies such as the Commissioner-General’s Annual Report and Report on the Financing of UNRWA, management responses to audits and evaluations, and other substantive reports;

· Ensure optimal preparation for and follow up on the Commissioner-General’s contacts with internal and external interlocutors, specifically in Palestine and Israel; provide support to the Senior Adviser of the Commissioner-General on mission preparations;

· Undertake research and preparation (including talking points, minutes, and notes for the record), proactively engage in the processing of briefings for the Commissioner-General’s attention and contribute to certain projects on programmatic and operational issues of concern to the Office of the Commissioner-General;

· Follow-up as required on the implementation of decisions and on other matters referred by the Commissioner-General to departments and offices at headquarters and the fields and contribute to the optimal flow of information to, from and within the Executive Office and the rest of the Agency; provide advice and assistance on organizational and managerial effectiveness and efficiency;

· Maintain contacts and liaise with UN offices, specialized agencies, non-governmental organizations and other external UNRWA interlocutors; act as the point of contact in the Executive Office for the Commissioner-General's outreach to the diplomatic and UN community in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Tel Aviv as well as Israeli and Palestinian Governments; act as secretary for specific meetings. In this regard, liaise closely with UNRWA External Relations and Communications Department, the Commissioner-General's Senior Adviser and the Senior Advisor Staff Relations and Communications.

Professional Knowledge and Experience

· Advanced university degree from an accredited educational institution in political science, a related social science, law or any other related subject;

· A minimum of eight years of relevant professional experience, including at least three years of international experience outside one’s home country;

· Excellent command of written and spoken English.


· Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;

· Ability to independently plan and prioritize own work, work well under tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent activities;

· Positive attitude and strong analytical, interpersonal and communication skills;

· Proven excellence in drafting, particularly in analytical writing, report writing and written communication on policy, operational and organizational development matters;

· High level of political and organizational awareness;

· Proven ability to exercise initiative and resourcefulness necessary for prioritizing multiple clusters/components;

· Ability to develop clear goals and identify priority activities and assignments;

· Knowledge of contemporary issues of the Middle East.


When the minimum requirements are not fully met, the Human Resources Department may substitute part of the unmet requirements under UNRWA’s equivalency determination guidelines with a combination of relevant academic qualification, additional professional training and/or progressive relevant work experience. Note: Work experience alone or formal qualifications with no relevant work experience are not considered sufficient for an equivalency determination.

Desirable Qualifications

· Knowledge of UN Rules and Directives, and of the sources from which they are compiled;

· Good command of Arabic or French or other UN languages;

· Familiarity with UN and NGO operations and resource mobilization efforts, including with emerging donors and public communications;

· Working knowledge and experience of the Agency’s operations in the Middle East, and knowledge of Middle Eastern culture.

Additional Information

The incumbent will be based in Jerusalem and will be required to travel within UNRWA’s area of operations in the Middle East as well as internationally.

Conditions of Service

UNRWA offers an attractive compensation package including annual salary starting at $74,130** net tax free with dependants or $69,032 single, plus post adjustment of 52.9% (subject to change without notice). Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include education grant, dependency allowance, home leave, pension fund, health insurance and 6 weeks of annual leave. All UNRWA duty stations (with the exception of Gaza and Syria) are family duty stations. Initial contract is for two years**,** with the possibility of further extensions subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory performance and the continuing need for the post.

How to Apply

To start the application process, applicants are required to register at http://jobs.unrwa.org by creating a personal profile and completing UNRWA Personal History Form. Please note that UNRWA only accepts degrees from accredited educational institutions. Only applications received through http://jobs.unrwa.org will be considered. Due to the large number of applications received for UNRWA vacancies, only short-listed applicants will be contacted.

The United Nations does not charge fees at any stage of the recruitment process (application, testing, interviewing, etc). The United Nations does not concern itself with information related to bank accounts.

General Information

UNRWA is a United Nations organization whose staff are expected to uphold the highest standards of integrity, neutrality and impartiality. This includes respect for and commitment to human rights, diversity, and non-violent means of dealing with all kinds of conflict. UNRWA staff are expected to uphold these values at all times, both at work and outside. Only persons who fully and unconditionally commit to these values should consider applying for UNRWA jobs. UNRWA is a non-smoking work environment.

The statutory retirement age for staff entering or re-entering service in the UN Common System after 1 January 1990 is 62 and 65 after 1 January 2014. For external applicants, only those who are expected to complete a term of appointment will normally be considered.

The Agency reserves the right not to make an appointment, to make an appointment at a lower grade, or to make an appointment with a modified job description.

On appointment, all individuals will be asked to sign a self-attestation, confirming that they have not committed, been convicted of, or prosecuted for, any criminal offence and that they have not been involved, by act or omission, in the commission of any violation of international human rights law or international humanitarian law.

How to Apply

To start the application process, applicants are required to register at http://jobs.unrwa.org by creating a personal profile and completing UNRWA Personal History Form. Please note that UNRWA only accepts degrees from accredited educational institutions. Only applications received through http://jobs.unrwa.org will be considered. Due to the large number of applications received for UNRWA vacancies, only short-listed applicants will be contacted.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: UNRWA - United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees
  • Location: Jerusalem | Gaza
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Administrative support
  • Closing Date: 2016-10-29

Similar Jobs

Executive Associate

WHO - World Health Organization

Senior Fleet Assistant

WHO - World Health Organization

Finance Assistant

ESRF-European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

Budget and Finance Assistant

CEPOL - European Police College

Executive Assistant to Vice President, CHS

MSH - Management Sciences for Health

Associate General Counsel

Habitat for Humanity

Senior New Business Associate



NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

NATIONAL POST: Driver, Kampala, Uganda, G-2

UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund

NATIONAL POST: Driver, Mbarara, Uganda, G-2

UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund