Bureau Deputy Director at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Protection Officer (RSD) at UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Post Title: Bureau Deputy Director

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Bureau Deputy Director reports directly to the Bureau Director and assists him/her in the full performance of his/her regional management responsibilities. These include providing strategic direction, as well as analysis and policy review, provision of guidance and support to Country Offices and keeping abreast of factors affecting delivery of assistance and implementation of the core mandate.
In addition to these functions, the Bureau Deputy Director may also manage one or more core functional pillars of the Regional Bureau, such as Protection, Operations, Strategic Planning and Management, and/or External Engagement. The incumbent supervises a number of senior professional staff in the Bureau and may also supervise Country Representatives in the geographical area as appropriate.
The incumbent is responsible for overall quality assurance and managerial support to operations, in line with the Bureau’s 2nd line function within the Three Lines of Defence conceptual framework, adopted by the UN system.
S/he will cover the full spectrum of managerial oversight, manage performance and compliance with UNHCR’s rules and regulations and provide regular advice, guidance and technical support to Country Offices. The incumbent will seek to build and manage a coordinated and effective team of staff through results-oriented work planning, providing guidance, direction, supervision and performance assessment in line with strategic directions, results framework, Global Strategic Priorities (GSP’s), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as organizational-wide initiatives and regional burden-sharing initiatives including the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and UN Reform.
In close coordination with the Bureau Director, the incumbent will oversee the evolvement of functional strategies and priorities that are aligned with UNHCR corporate objectives, and thereby will contribute to UNHCR’s global engagement. In this endeavour, the incumbent will seek the cooperation and coordination with a broad array of internal and external stakeholders.
The incumbent also promotes a Bureaux culture that is based on trust and pursues measures to ensure that inclusion, gender balance, and geographical diversity are taken into due consideration in staffing and representation at all levels throughout the region.
S/he will, further, cover the full spectrum of managerial oversight, manage performance and monitor the adherence of Country Operations to UNHCR’s rules and regulations, monitoring, identifying and addressing any emerging issues and risks as appropriate. The incumbent also promotes a culture that is results-oriented, efficient and based on trust and pursues measures to ensure that inclusion, gender balance and diversity are taken into due consideration in staffing, resource allocation and representation at all levels throughout the region.
As a key custodian of the organization’s standards of conduct, s/he will proactively establish a working environment where all personnel feel safe, heard, equipped and empowered to speak up; demonstrate no tolerance for sexism, gender inequality, discrimination of any kind, abuse of power, harassment or sexual harassment; foster ongoing dialogue on those matters; take seriously all issues of inappropriate behaviour and actions reported, whether formally or informally; and seek guidance and support as necessary to ensure that appropriate follow-up is taken, working on the basis of zero tolerance for any form of misconduct.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR’s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.


  • Support the Bureau Director in the discharge of his/her daily functions.
  • Maintain up to date knowledge and analysis of all significant developments affecting the implementation of UNHCR activities in the region of responsibility in close coordination with relevant stakeholders and by keeping abreast on challenges posed to the region by political context, UN and humanitarian reform and institutional developments in the area of forced displacement and humanitarian operations.
  • Guide policies and strategies for adequate preparedness and response, including for likely refugee and IDP emergencies within the Region.
  • Support the Director in ensuring coordination and consistency in the application of policies, operations and core activities across the Region, in one or more of the functional areas of Protection, Operations, Strategic Planning and Partnerships, and/or External Engagement.
  • Guide Country Operations delivering clear and consistent, contextualized strategies, which are in line with the corporate and Bureau vision, strategy and results framework, Global Strategic Priorities (GSPs), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and organizational-wide initiatives, as appropriate, and which are informed by ground realities.
  • Maintain relationships with regional bodies within the region aligned to UNHCR¿s strategic priorities and ensure timely and relevant two-way flow of information with HQ and across the Organization.
  • In close consultation with Operation Managers/Heads of Services/Representatives (including from Risk Management and Controller), review major operational challenges or considerations and decide on an appropriate course of action or make recommendations to the Bureau Director.
  • On behalf of the Bureau Director, guide the work of the Heads of Services and Functional Managers in their discharge of responsibilities and ensure cohesion in their activities.
  • Engage with a wide range of stakeholders such as Government representatives, intergovernmental organizations, diplomatic missions, NGOs, and implementing partners to strengthen relationships, improve service delivery, and advance the UNHCR mandate.
  • Act as Officer-in-Charge in the absence of the Bureau Director.
  • Perform other related duties as required.
  • Minimum Qualifications
    Years of Experience / Degree Level
    For D1 – 17 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 16 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 15 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree
    Field(s) of Education
    Political Science; Social Science; International Relations;
    Law; Business Administration; Human Resources Management;
    or other relevant field.
    (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
    Certificates and/or Licenses
    Not specified.
    (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
  • Relevant Job Experience
  • Essential
    Minimum 8 years of experience in international capacity. Senior positions in a large governmental or international agency. Extensive knowledge of UNHCR operations and services. A high level of skill in management of broad programmes, political decision making and negotiating, as well as demonstrated tolerance to frequently changing and highly charged situations. Demonstrated leadership qualities, integrity, tact, diplomacy, and good management and communication skills. Ability to manage for results: translate strategic aims into achievable plans.
  • Desirable
    Solid UNHCR experience from both the Field (including Hardship Duty stations) and Headquarters. Completion of UNHCR learning programmes, such us Protection Learning Programme, Operations Management Learning Programme, Senior Management Learning Programme. Knowledge of geo-political realities and their socio-cultural implications.
  • Functional Skills
  • MG-Change Management
    PG-Results-Based Management
    MG-UN/UNHCR Management Practices/Standards and Processes
    (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
  • Language Requirements
    For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
    For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
    For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.
  • All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power.
    As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.
  • This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.

Position Competencies

C001L4 – Accountability Level 4
C002L4 – Teamwork & Collaboration Level 4
C003L4 – Communication Level 4
C004L4 – Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 4
C005L4 – Client & Result Orientation Level 4
C006L4 – Organizational Awareness Level 4
M001L4 – Empowering and Building Trust Level 4
M002L4 – Managing Performance Level 4
M006L4 – Managing Resources Level 4
M005L4 – Leadership Level 4
M003L4 – Judgement and Decision Making Level 4
M004L4 – Strategic Planning and Vision Level 4
X006L4 – Policy Development & Research Level 4
X001L4 – Analytical Thinking Level 4
X008L4 – Stakeholder Management Level 4

How to apply

For a full job description and to apply, interested candidates are requested to visit the UNHCR career page – click on the Vacancies tab and enter job ID 36462.

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

Please note that the closing date for positions advertised in the Addendum 1 to March 2022 Compendium is Sunday 15 May 2022 (midnight Geneva time).

More Information

  • Job City Dakar