The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.
Chief Scientist (D-1)
This post is located in the Executive Office, at the Nairobi duty station. Under the direct supervision of the Executive Director, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:
- Advise the Executive Director and Senior Management on:
- Scientific aspects of UNEP's strategic priorities and programme of work set out in UNEP's Medium Term Strategy;
- Incorporate relevant science in UNEP's work across its thematic priority areas and ensure coherence;
- Strengthen UNEP's credibility and visibility in the scientific arena;
- Ensure use of sound science and technology in UNEP initiatives;
- Ensure appropriate communication and collaboration links between UNEP, and the world science community, and global observing systems of key environmental variables;
- Advise effective methods for ensuring that policy relevant findings are disseminated to various stakeholders;
- Ensure mainstreaming science and technology elements in the implementation of SDGs, and the Bali Strategic Plan on Technology Support and Capacity Building;
- Facilitate the design and implementation of research programmes; Ensure engagement of UNEP with networks of scientists and scientific institutions and with existing scientific panels.
- Contribute to the implementation of UNEP's mandate and programme of work delivery through the following roles and responsibilities:
- Promote science that can integrate the environmental, social and economic pillars of sustainable development;
- Prepare regular briefing notes for the Executive Director and UNEP senior management on science and technology progress and implications for the implementation of UNEP’s Programme of Work;
- Act as the interface between the Executive Director and scientific advisory committees and groups linked to UNEP.
- At the request of the Executive Director, act as the scientific spokesperson for the Executive Director and represent UNEP at high level scientific and technical meetings and intergovernmental/international fora;
- Provide guidance to UNEP staff and research fellows to ensure the scientific credibility of UNEP’s services and products;
- Ensure the scientific credibility and integrity of UNEP's work;
- Provide scientific guidance to the biennial programme of work development process with the Division of Policy and Programme and the Sub-programme Coordinators and other entities that review the scientific and technical merits and consistency of the programme;
- Advocate effective utilization within UNEP of scientific knowledge, based on the best available research and data, in addressing global issues on the environment and sustainable development;
- Perform other related duties as required.
- Professionalism: Expert knowledge of a broad range of environmental issues, demonstrated capabilities as evident from published scientific papers and experience from scientific programming, scientific assessments, and provision of scientific advice, as well as work experience in the policy domain; Familiarity with issues of relevance to both developing and developed countries and at different scales from global to local; Clear understanding of the science that can integrate the environmental, social and economic pillars of sustainable development; 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.
- Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; Listens to other, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; Tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; Demonstrates openness in sharing information keeping people informed.
- Leadership: Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; Serves as a role model that other people want to follow; Empowers others to translate vision into results; Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand and gain support; Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; Drives for change and improvement; Does not accept the status quo; Shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; Demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
- Judgement/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; Gathers relevant information before making a decision;
Considers positive and negative impact of decision prior to making them; Takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the organization; Proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; Checks assumptions against facts; Determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; Makes tough decision when necessary.
- Accountability:Take ownership of responsibilities and honour commitments; Deliver outputs within prescribed time, cost and quality; Operate in compliance with rules; Support subordinates, provide oversight and take responsibility for delegated assignments; Take responsibility for shortcomings
An advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) in environmental science, social science or related field is required. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced degree.
A minimum of 15 years of responsible experience in scientific research, environmental assessment, environmental policy research, scientific programme management or related area is required. Experience in scientific leadership, including a substantial record of publications in leading scientific journals and of providing advisory services to governmental, intergovernmental, scientific or industrial institutions is highly desirable. Experience within the international environment governance system is also highly desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language would be an advantage.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
Method of Application
Interested and qualified? Go to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) career website on careers.un.org to apply