Head of Unit - Partnerships Development Copenhagen
United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Close on 13 Jul 2020
Location: Copenhagen (Denmark)
Grade: IICA-3, Mid-level Professional
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Job Description

The Partnerships and Liaison Group (PLG) supports UNOPS efforts to build closer ties with partners across the full spectrum of UNOPS activities. By forging strategic relationships and working with partners, both in the field and at headquarters, PLG seeks to not only ensure high partners satisfaction with UNOPS project implementation and support, but also to integrate best practices and innovative solutions from experienced non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector into UNOPS operations. PLG has a unit in Copenhagen and liaison offices in Amman, Bangkok, Brussels, Geneva, Nairobi, Tokyo and Washington DC. PLG deals with partners such as the World Bank, the European Union, the United Nations Environment Programme, UNHCR, WHO, UN-Habitat,, Islamic Development Bank and national governments.

The role reports to the Director of PLG and will be responsible for developing and managing all contacts, events, and initiatives with strategic partners (governments, DFIs, UN agencies, private sector, etc) to position and engage UNOPS at the earliest and highest level of discussions. The incumbent will achieve this by leveraging the existing network of contacts, and developing new where necessary, in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Trade Commissions, Donor Agencies, and Diplomatic Missions of the selected target countries, in addition to sister agencies, and the existing portfolio of private sector and academic partners. In order to further develop these relationships the Head of Unit - Partnerships will work closely with the regional offices to engage the respective management teams in defining needs and matching opportunities with actors cited above. The incumbent will exercise a strong sense of commercial diplomacy, articulate the operationalization of the sustainable development goals as partnering opportunities, understand policy and operations as well as represent the value of the organization in his/her personal interaction and communications. He/she shall also manage a team of specialists and analysts to fulfill the role, and travel regularly to the partner locations and regions as required. In some occasions, he/she might be required to act as officer-in-charge for the PLG team as part of his support role to the Director.

Under the direct responsibility of the Director of PLG, the Head of Unit - Partnerships Development Copenhagen shall be responsible for:

  • Supporting Partnerships Director in establishing relationships at the highest level with government entities to develop strategic partnerships and alliances
  • Establishing strategic partnerships with selected private sector partners and academia to support the global agenda
  • Coordinating with the regional leadership team to develop the partnerships and anchor them at the local level
  • Coordinating with the regional leadership team to match donors and partners with their needs and opportunities in the field
  • Coordinating in close collaboration with all the relevant parties globally the formulation of briefing packages for the executive office’s meetings to be cleared by the Director of PLG in a timely fashion
  • Leading the implementation of the Corporate Action Plan in response to feedback received from the partner survey in close coordination with all the relevant units and regions
  • Managing the rollout and analysis of the partner survey with the support of external suppliers
  • Coordinating with the regions reporting and oversight of all engagement forecast and partner relations
  • Conducting analysis on the trends and key indicators of the related to UNOPS partners and the ongoing engagement activities
  • Supporting the regions in meeting their learning objectives by coordinating and implementing the relevant programs within budget and timelines
  • Serving as an advisor for submissions to the Engagement Acceptance Committee as the policy co-owner for partnerships engagements
  • Continuously reviewing and updating, in close collaboration with the legal team, the policies and delegations of authority related to partnership engagements.
  • Liaising with the other practices to identify and develop strategic partners for the organization at the global level
  • Producing and disseminating internal reports on the strategic partners to support decision making at the different levels
  • Providing intelligence and analysis on the strategic partners to support meeting, projects, and negotiations
  • Managing directly the HQ based teams of (1) analytics; (2) partnerships outreach and development; (3) HR partner services; (4) Nordics
  • Serving as the focal point for HR partner managed personnel clients, while managing the team in addressing the partners’ needs and requirements
  • Communicating proactively UNOPS role and experience at public events and conferences
  • Traveling to regions and partners as required

Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.


  • Masters or PhD level academic work in business administration, operations, policy, legal, international affairs, or related field is required


  • Minimum 7 years of experience in the area of international development is required

  • Extensive knowledge of procurement or HR and partnerships policy, as well as regulatory frameworks for international organizations is an asset

  • Proven track record in strategy determination, in business development and in establishing cross-sector partnerships, negotiating commercial and legal agreements is required

  • Proven track record in external communications and/or public relations to manage high-level and diplomatic relations to improve the positioning of UNOPS is required

  • Capable of representing the organization in public events, debates, and external communication is desirable

  • People leadership skills to effectively manage a team is desirable

Language requirements:

  • Fluency in English required.

  • Knowledge of another UN official Language (French/Spanish/Arabic) would be considered an asset)

Contract type: International Individual Agreement
Contract level:IICA 3
Contract duration:Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.


UNOPS helps the UN and its partners provide peace and security, humanitarian and development solutions. 

Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve peace and sustainable development. We are focused on implementation, with a commitment to UN values and private sector efficiency.

UNOPS is a service provider, a technical advisor and an implementer of projects. We help the UN and other partners provide peace and security, humanitarian and development solutions.

Our mission

Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve peace and sustainable development. 

Our vision 

Our vision is a world where people can live full lives supported by appropriate, sustainable and resilient infrastructure and by the efficient, transparent use of public resources in procurement and project management.

Our purpose

We help people build better lives and countries achieve peace and sustainable development.

We bring to this task the values and principles of the United Nations and the innovation, boldness, speed and efficiency of a self-financed institution. 

We bring the highest international standards to what we do, while respecting local contexts. We do this as our contribution to tackling the huge challenges of the 21st century.

We provide practical solutions to assist our partners to save lives, protect people and their rights, and to build a better world. 

We aspire to be a leader in the efforts to channel private sector investments for social and environmental impact while addressing the immense needs for sustainable development. 

What drives us is a passion to fight inequalities and to provide opportunities to those most vulnerable. This means we often work in the most challenging environments, building foundations for communities to function and people to live with dignity and respect. 

We are passionate about quality: In our people and in what we do. 

We earn the trust of those we work with by caring about what they value, and by delivering on our promise to always act in the service of people in need.