United nations relief and works agency for palestine refugees in the near east

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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. UNRWA is the largest UN operation in the Middle East with more than 30,000 staff. UNRWA seeks the services of a seasoned and innovative professional, highly motivated to provide leadership in the position of:
Director of Human Resources

Vacancy Announcement Number




Deadline for Applications

9 January 2016

Duty Station

Amman, Jordan

The Director of Human Resources is the principal Agency adviser on and manager of Human Resources matters affecting a work force of 260 International Professional and General Service staff and over 30,000 Area staff, performing professional or support functions Agency-wide. Staff serve in two headquarters offices (Gaza and Amman, Jordan), five areas of operation in the Near East (the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic), and at UNRWA representative offices in New York, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and in our liaison office in Cairo. The Director of Human Resources is the principal Agency representative in discussing with International Staff Association (ISA) and Area Staff Unions (ASUs) all staff-related matters, and in the application of UN and UNRWA policies and staff rules and regulations applicable to the UNRWA Area and International staff. The Director of Human Resources manages and oversees the work of the Divisions which make up the Department of Human Resources. In accordance with Agency policy, the Director of Human Resources will:

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Plan, direct, coordinate and control functions of the Department, with delegated authority for such responsibilities and specifically:

  • Direct the development, interpretation and implementation of policies and procedures consistent with the policies, staff rules and regulations of the UN and UNRWA, relating to recruitment, staffing, training and development, job classification, staff relations, benefits and entitlements, personnel support services and related human resources functions (including negotiations with UNESCO, WHO and other agencies on personnel matters relating to staff loaned to UNRWA);

  • Act as principal adviser to the Commissioner-General on human resources matters in the Agency and advise and/or instruct other Agency executives on human resources matters specifically applicable to their areas of responsibility. Analyse and advise on the specific or Agency-wide impact of human resources actions on budget, management or organizational planning;

  • Assume overall responsibility for the implementation of the Human Resources Strategy and the ongoing review, development and identification of innovative and progressive HR practices, policies and activities in line with general Agency and UN reform initiatives;

  • Serve as a member of the Commissioner-General's Headquarters management corpus and as a member of various Committees, including the Management, Human Resources, Provident Fund, Internal Justice, ERP Steering, and Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation;

  • Maintain close and continuing contacts with Directors of UNRWA Operations/Affairs to keep abreast of current and anticipated conditions in order to assure orderly process of personnel administration and staff relations. In consultation with relevant Directors, determine the impact of political developments on human resources activities in UNRWA. Advise on or take necessary action as dictated by political change or disruptive influences;

  • Participate in Agency discussions with staff, who are organized into one International Staff Association and several Area Staff Unions;

  • Liaise with officials of the UN Secretariat, UNESCO, WHO and other organizations in the UN common system, and officials of governments, as Agency spokesperson, to present and discuss recurring or special matters relating to the full range of human resources functions of relevance to UNRWA;

  • Direct the development of position papers; represent the Agency and serve as its spokesperson to regular and special proceedings of the International Civil Service Commission, the High-Level Committee on Management and similar activities affecting UNRWA human resources functions.

Professional Knowledge and Experience

  • An advanced university degree from an accredited educational institution, in human resources management, public or business administration, law or a related field;

  • At least fifteen years of progressively responsible and varied management experience at the international level including in senior positions in the UN or large institutions in the public or private sector of which at least ten years should have been in human resources management; experience in managing multi-cultural teams and staff in off-site locations;

  • Excellent command of written and spoken English.


  • Leadership and Management: Demonstrated ability in change management (structural, technical or office culture change). Ability to lead teams through complex crisis (i.e., emergencies, budgetary, conflicts etc.) and contribute a member of a multi-functional management team. Demonstrated initiative to analyze and resolve problems quickly, efficiently and collaboratively. Demonstrated confidence and determination that s/he can influence events and organizational behavior;

  • Formulating strategies and concepts: Ability to lead the development of a clear Agency strategy for human resources (including workforce analysis, salary scale reviews and performance management). Capacity to anticipate and understanding staff needs, formulating clear and achievable plans and positioning human resources within the organization as a strategic partner to programme delivery in the field, rather than an administrative service;

  • Planning and organizing: Ability to plan and work to tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent activities; demonstrated participation in strategic planning that ensures implementation of key goals;

  • Teamwork: Strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relations at all levels; demonstrated capability for multitasking continuously, resisting stress and ensuring that subordinates to do not suffer burnout; ability to contribute to assuring healthy intra and inter-department relationships and helping staff initiate and manage change. Ability to coach and give feedback to staff and senior members of management team;

  • Innovation: Demonstrated innovation in the development and implementation of change management initiatives, towards improved effectiveness and efficiency, including in resource-constrained operational environments. Ability to anticipate future trends/consequences and create innovative and flexible plans;

  • Professionalism: Ability to resolve complex and/or sensitive issues; ability to negotiate and influence within a collaborative framework; willingness to listen to others and encouragement of creative ideas, regardless of the source;

  • Communication: Articulate and persuasive communicator (spoken, written and presentation) skills; Ability to provide senior-level and sensitive counseling and strategic advice to the senior management committee, as well as to the Commissioner-General and the Deputy Commissioner-General;

  • Political awareness: Sound and unbiased understanding of regional/international political trends;

  • Diversity and inclusion: Ability to work with individuals from all backgrounds and proactive in ensuring fair and equitable treatment for all; willingness to challenge inequalities and inappropriate behavior of individuals at all levels.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Proficiency in a second UN language such as French or Arabic;

  • Knowledge of UN HR management; rules and regulations and practices, or similarly complex governance frameworks;

  • Experience with Unions, staff negotiations and managing industrial relations;

  • Knowledge of Middle Eastern cultures and employment practices;

  • Service in field operations.

Additional Information

The incumbent will be required to travel frequently throughout the Agency's area of operations in 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.

Conditions of Service

UNRWA offers an attractive compensation package including annual salary starting at $113,443 net tax free with dependants or $104,219 single, plus post adjustment of 47.2% (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, 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 applicants short-listed for interview 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 encourages applications from qualified women.

UNRWA welcomes applications from qualified candidates with disabilities.
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.
Date of issue: 9 November 2015 / LAN
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