Chief Ombudsperson


Chief Ombudsperson
Resident Position - 100% - Geneva

Purpose of the post

The ICRC's ombuds office was set up in 2005 and has steadily developed since. In line with the institutional strategy, it aims at offering its services to the over 14'000 staff members. It is comprised of four full-time ombudspersons respectively based in Geneva, Amman, Dakar and Jakarta covering distinct geographic areas and a network of "ombuds relays" both at HQ and in field delegations. "Ombuds relays" are resident and mobile employees, occupying regular non-ombuds functions who are trained and offer up to 10% of their work time to support the work of the Ombuds office by providing the first steps in the ombuds process. The ombuds network is placed under the overall responsibility of the chief ombudsperson.

The purpose of the ombuds network is to offer support in disputes or conflicts related to the workplace, be it at an individual or institutional level . The ombudspersons are independent of the ICRC's management. The chief ombudsperson is , for administrative reasons, affiliated to the Office of the Director-General. Ombuds services are confidential, neutral and informal. The chief ombudspersons presents a yearly report to the Joint Commission ("commission paritaire" comprised of representatives of the employer and of the staff association) on the ombuds activities and on issues identified. The same report is subsequently presented to the Directorate and the Governance.

Selection process

The applications will be studied by a selection committee consisting of two representatives of the Staff Association Committee (COMAP) and two representatives of the employer, one of the Office of the Director-General and one of the Department of Human Resources. The Director-General's choice will be based on the committee's proposal.

Main duties and responsibilities

  • Animate and oversee the organisation's network of four full-time ombudspersons (including the position at hand), and ombuds relays at headquarters (HQ) and field level
  • Ability to manage teams remotely and maintain a network of support staff (ombuds relays) around the globe
  • Represent the ombuds network both internally and externally
  • Deliver direct ombuds services for the personnel at HQ as well as for the personnel of the delegations in Europe, Central Asia and the Americas (current set-up, subject to change if need be)
  • Receive individual members of staff, listen to their concerns, and help them find modes of action (formal or informal); stand by to help them during the process of resolving the conflict, and, if necessary, coach them through crises
  • Form constructive and respectful links with ICRC managers and the staff association/staff committees in the area of responsibility
  • Identify critical systemic or managerial problems that harm the well-being of resident and mobile staff, discuss these with the management, and propose practical measures to solve them
  • Work with line mangers and human resources in order to promote training in alternative conflict-resolution skills, prevention and de-escalation of disputes, communication skills, principled conduct, teamwork in culturally and professionally sensitive environments
  • Remain in contact with people occupying other ICRC functions that furnish individual and confidential help for staff members such as those engaged in occupational health work and HIV/AIDS programmes and HR managers
  • Keep accurate statistics in accordance with the standards of the International Ombudsman Association
  • Coordinate the drafting of the annual ICRC ombuds report, an internal document, which is addressed to the "commission paritaire" (joint commission of employer and staff association), the Directorate, Governance and management generally
  • Remain in contact with ombuds persons from other organizations and from private companies as well as with relevant parts of the academic world.

Education and experience required

  • University degree, ideally in social science related to the work of ombuds, or equivalent training
  • Successful working experience, within the ICRC or another humanitarian or international organization or successful experience as an ombuds
  • Experience, knowledge and talent in the field of mediation and coaching
  • Working experience in different geographical and cultural environments
  • Good knowledge of the ICRC and the International Red Cross / Red Crescent Movement an asset.

Desired profile and skills

  • Strong identification with the ICRC's mission, culture and principles
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills (including being a good listener), as well as networking and negotiation skills
  • Strong team leadership skills
  • Open-minded and empathetic, with a solid sense of fairness and justice and a personal set of values that reflect respect and compassion for others
  • Intercultural sensitivity
  • Sense of initiative and the ability to work independently
  • Command of English and French; Spanish and/or Russian an asset

Length of assignment: 3 years (renewable by another 3 years term).
Starting date: January 2017

The post requires readiness to travel and to visit different contexts and delegations as per needs

Application documents required: Motivation letter and CV

Interested persons fulfilling the above criteria should send their applications by Wednesday, 30th November 2016 to to the following address: In the subject line of your email, please put: ''Chief Ombudsperson – Application''.

Only applications sent to this email address will be considered. If you do not receive a reply within one month, then please assume that your application has not been shortlisted.

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: ICRC - International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: USG, Under-Secretary-General
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2016-11-30

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