Title:    Manager – P5
Unit/Department:     UNOSAT, Research Department
Deadline for applications:     18 December 2012
Date of issuance:     19 November 2012
Duty Station:    Geneva, Switzerland
Type of contract:    Fixed-term one year renewable

Remuneration: Depending on professional background and experience, the Executive Director reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level lower than the advertised level of the post.

Accountabilities: Under the supervision of the Director of the Research Department, the Manager is responsible for UNITAR's Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT), part of the Research Department of UNITAR.

The Manager will have the following duties:

1. Determine, guide and review the strategy of the Programme by:

  • Formulating the work plan of the Programme, determining priorities and the appropriate allocation of human and material resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery
  • Ensuring that the programmatic goals of the Programme are in coherence with the overall strategy of the Institute
  • Contributing strategic vision to the Institute during meetings with the Executive Director, the Director of Research and the Managers’ Meeting
  • Anticipating the evolution of satellite applications and space policies that are relevant for the Programme and assess the need to integrate new elements in the strategic approach of UNOSAT

2. Manage human and financial resources of the Programme by:

  • Administering the financial resources made available to the Programme by donors as voluntary contribution and project funding
  • Conducting the necessary administrative actions relating to the recruitment, evaluation and renewal of UNOSAT staff and consultants, in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Institute
  • Performing the administrative tasks requested from the UNOSAT Manager to ensure the functioning of the Programme, including the preparation of budgets and allotment proposals, the identification and monitoring of performance indicators, the authorization of missions and expenditures
  • Overseeing and reviewing the overall performance of the Programme staff, and determine the required adjustment if necessary
  • Ensuring that human and financial resources of the Programme are used in accordance with UNITAR rules and regulations and in line with the overall orientations and directives emanating from the Executive Director

3. Ensure that outputs produced by the Programme meet high-quality standards; that outputs, reports, and relevant maps, manuals and publications are clear, objective and based on verified data and information by:

  • Assigning clear responsibilities to senior specialists in order to ensure the implementation of UNOSAT programmatic goals, including by delegation of authority as appropriate
  • Distributing specific tasks internally taking account of the special nature of UNOSAT work in the area of emergency response in a way to manage the overall balance between applied research, methodology development, and operational applications
  • Verifying that the quality assurance processes used by the Programme respond to the needs and are applied to all output produced, and fostering a culture of accountability across the Programme
  • Identifying strategic partners within the space sector (space agencies, companies and remote sensing research institutes) and develop rules of cooperation with them in a way to maintain UNOSAT technology hedge and competitive advantage
  • Being responsible for partnership building with entities from the UN system, international and national agencies, national and local expert centres, private companies, academia) having a stake as users in the area of satellite applications
  • Orienting and supervising coordination, synergy and collaboration between UNOSAT and other UNITAR Unites and Programmes operating in areas in which satellite applications may be beneficial

4. Ensure sustainable funding for the Programme by:

  • Maintaining appropriate relations with the typical donors to the Programme while identifying potential donors and developing relations with interested funding agencies
  • Being accountable to donors for all funding disbursed to the Programme for the implantation of research and training projects
  • Coordinating with UNITAR’s Partnership and Resource Mobilization Section and being aware of the overall orientations of UNITAR
  • Undertaking public outreach and awareness raising initiatives/missions as appropriate within and outside the UN system to present and publicise the work of the Programme and attract donor funding
  • Assessing and selecting new initiatives and innovative formulas capable of attracting new forms of funding for the Programme

5. Act as UNITAR’s authoritative expert in space applications and satellite technology within UNITAR by:

  • Representing the Institute in events, processes and jobs related to space and the use of space applications by the international community, and represent the Executive Director is such events and fora upon his request
  • Advising the Executive Director and UNITAR Managers on matters relating to the use of space technology and satellite applications, both in policy and technical terms
  • Contributing opinions and expert advice to the Executive Director and other UNITAR senior officials to allow sound decision making in areas connected to space application
  • Acting as the UNITAR focal point in processes of partnership building and programme implementation having a direct stake in satellite technology
  • Formulate the position of UNITAR in international processes, events, reports and papers relating to the use of space technology and the advancement of space related research and applications

Work implies frequent interaction with the following:

  • Directors of Programmes of other UN agencies and Regional Economic Commissions
  • UNDP Resident Coordinators
  • High-level official in National Space Agencies and the European Space Agency as well as the European Commission
  • Representatives and high-level officials in national governments, Ministries, universities, private sector; Associations of local authorities, local governments
  • Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives
  • Heads of non-governmental organizations and other areas of civil society
  • Staff and managers in private sector firms in satellite observation and telecommunications
  • Counterparts, senior officers and technical staff in related organizational units across the Institute and within UN agencies.


  • Professionalism – Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities and risks. Ability to generate and communicate broad and compelling organizational direction. Ability to communicate clearly links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals.  Demonstrated ability to provide innovative technical leadership by performing and/or overseeing the planning, development, and management of operation.  Demonstrated ability to negotiate and apply good judgment  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. 
  • Planning & Organizing – Sound organizational skills and ability to prioritize own work programme, work under pressure and within tight deadlines.
  • Communications – Excellent communication skills (spoken, written and public speaking), including the ability to produce a variety of written products and to articulate ideas in a clear, concise style. 
  • Teamwork – Strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with diverse people in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with respect for diversity.



  • Advanced University degree in international affairs, political sciences, social and economic sciences, and a background in a specialised discipline relating to space applications, GIS, or remote sensing; professional experience in programme design and management, including fundraising and partnership building, strategy formulation and policy definition, management and administration, and development cooperation.
  • Concrete experience in the application of space and satellite technology to peace & security, humanitarian relief and disaster reduction, as well as environmental and human security areas.
  • At least 10 years of professional experience within the UN system in relevant areas.
  • Strong negotiation skills and proven capacity to raise funds; creativity and self- initiative.


  • Fluency in oral and written English and French; knowledge of one or more additional UN official languages is an important asset.

UNITAR shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8).   English and French are the two working languages of the United Nations Secretariat.  Priority will be given to the applicants from the under represented regions at UNITAR. There will be a probation period of 3 months.

How to apply:

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the vacancy announcement.   A letter of motivation as well as the P11 form/ Curriculum Vitae are to be sent to:

Email: estaffing@unitar.org

UN staff members must submit copies of their latest Performance Appraisal System (PAS) report at the time of application.

Download the PDF version of the announcement.