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Director, Division for Research, Ethics and Inclusion (Social and Human Sciences)
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
D-1 Director and Top Executive Full-time Internationallly Recruited
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Posted 1 month ago
Job Description


Post Number : SHS 143

Grade : D-1

Parent Sector : Social and Human Sciences Sector (SHS)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Social and Human Sciences

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 15-MAY-2024

UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism


Under the direct supervision of the Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences (ADG/SHS), the incumbent will be responsible for the following:

  • Provides strategic direction and intellectual leadership to the work of UNESCO’s to leverage the social and human sciences to build inclusive societies, through the deployment of ethical standards on science and emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence and neuro-technologies; the fight against racism and discrimination, and the promotion and protection of human rights; empowerment of youth and women, and intercultural dialogue, as well as other designated SHS thematic programme activities.
  • Manages the Division and ensures effective planning and follow up of this agenda, including through programs in the Field Offices. Ensures resource mobilization to deliver on the Division’s mandate.
  • Oversees the work to implement the Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence and ensures that the analytical work carried out by the ethics committees of UNESCO deliver change. Advances the development of the Recommendation on the Ethics of Neurotechnology, and the work on the ethics of climate engineering, internet of things, and upcoming emerging issues.
  • She/he is in charge of the annual Global Forum on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence and the Global Forum against Racism and Discrimination, as well as the Network of policy officials in charge of this agenda. She/he is also in charge of the biannual Youth Forum.
  • She/he ensures the intra-/inter sectoral cooperation and synergies working closely with BSP, PAX, IOS and ADM/BFM as well as collaboration with Field Offices to ensure efficient and effective implementation of Major Programme III.
  • As required, she/he represents SHS in various working groups and taskforces, preparing documents on policy issues, reports and analytical reviews. The Director oversees and contributes to the delivery of the Sections under the Division’s direct responsibility, including the Bioethics section, the Inclusion and Rights, and the Youth Section.

The incumbent works within the framework of UNESCO’s Medium-Term Strategy (C/4), approved Programme and Budget (C/5), Global Priority Africa and Global Priority Gender, as well as UN development initiatives such as Agenda 2030.

Long Description

In particular, she/he will:

Align SHS programmes to support UNESCO’s global priorities:

  • Guide, steer and oversee SHS programmes to promote and scale up research and inclusion, including but not limited to SHS flagship programmes on anti-racism and the fight against discriminations, UNESCO’s programme on the protection of science and scientists, UNESCO’s Global Youth Grant Scheme, Transfoming MENtalities, as well as the Sector’s mandate on UNESCO’s global priorities and priority groups (i.e. Africa, gender equality, youth, and SIDS).
  • Provide leadership to drive the outreach of SHS Programmes through establishing and fostering key partnerships and joint projects with Member States’ representatives, UNESCO’s intergovernmental bodies, civil society, and the private sector.
  • Reinforce the Sector’s capacity for research on issues under her/his mandate, including the Sector’s contributions to global priorities and responding to the needs of priority groups.

Leadership and Programme management:

  • Provide overall operational direction and guidance to the Sector and take timely decisions to meet objectives, deliver impact, and create opportunities for desired change for research and inclusion.
  • Direct the design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of programmes (including regular and extra-budgetary initiatives and activities), ensuring the continuous optimization of resources, particularly with regard to value-adding activities for research and inclusion.
  • Manage the establishment of biannual workplans and set outcomes, outputs, expected results, and performance indicators in collaboration with all programme sections, the Executive Office, and SHS programme specialists in UNESCO Field Offices.

Management of the designated sections:

  • Provide intellectual, strategic and operational leadership and guidance.
  • Promote teamwork to ensure coordination, collaboration, and synergies with and through senior managers; provide information, guidance and support to staff members to ensure SHS sections deliver timely and high-quality results.
  • Ensure that staff members meet appropriate organizational, efficiency, accountability and integrity standards while delivering high-quality, impactful outcomes.
  • Ensure quality, impact and visibility for SHS flagships under this Division.
  • Support ADG/SHS on all matters, as required.

Establish mechanisms and frameworks to foster teamwork in coordination with the SHS Executive Office:

  • Promote and ensure effective communication between SHS sections/units at HQ and in Field Offices. particularly in relation to research and inclusion, as well as global priorities and priority groups.
  • Advise and inform ADG/SHS on programme and staff matters.
  • Ensure appropriate communication on activities with all stakeholders.

Assume other duties as requested, such as:

  • Represent UNESCO in high-level internal and external meetings and conferences.
  • Replace ADG/SHS whenever necessary.
  • Participate in senior management mechanisms within the SHS Sector, UNESCO, and the UN system where relevant.
  • Additional activities that may be required to ensure the success of the Sector.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Communication (C)
Accountability (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Professionalism (C)
Building partnerships (M)
Driving and managing change (M)
Leading and empowering others (M)
Making quality decisions (M)
Managing performance (M)
Strategic thinking (M)


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.



  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in the field of social and human sciences, public policies, economics, technology, or other related fields.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of 15 years of progressive relevant professional experience, with a focus on policy development, including at least five years at the international level.
  • Strong experience in conducting, overseeing and publishing innovative research in leading journals on social and human issues to promote inclusive societies, including through quantitative methods, data analysis and state of the art analytical frameworks.
  • A proven track record of successfully establishing and maintaining partnerships at a global, local and community level.
  • A proven capacity to connect with leading institutions on social and human agendas and a strong knowledge of state-of-the-art research in the field of countering inequalities
  • Demonstrated experience in advocacy and resource mobilization.
  • A strong and proven record of innovative applied research.


Skills and competencies

  • Commitment to the Organization’s mandate, vision, strategic direction, and priorities.
  • Capacity for institutional leadership, a high sense of objectivity and professional integrity, diplomacy, tact and political astuteness.
  • Capacity to provide intellectual leadership to guide staff, and an ability to build trust, manage, lead and motivate a large and diverse body of staff in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity, and to oversee ongoing training and staff development.
  • Ability to identify key strategic issues and opportunities, and associated risks.
  • Demonstrated strategic planning and excellent management abilities, including a capacity to administer multiple programmes and projects, financial and human resources, while exercising appropriate supervision and controls.
  • Excellent organizational skills, including the capacity to establish plans and priorities and to implement them effectively.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to manage relationships at all levels.
  • Excellent communication skills, both orally and in writing; and demonstrated ability to interact with a wide range of high-level partners.


  • Excellent knowledge of English or French and working knowledge of the other language.



  • PhD in social and human sciences, economics, public policies, or related fields.

Work Experience

  • Professional experience in a multilateral setting, with good knowledge of international cooperation and promotion of development agendas.


  • Knowledge of another official language of UNESCO (Arabic, Chinese, Russian and/or Spanish).


UNESCO’s salaries consist of a basic salary and other benefits which may include if applicable: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, medical insurance, pension plan etc. The approximate annual starting salary for this position is US $ 164,441.

For full information on benefits and entitlements, please consult our Guide to Staff Benefits.
Please note that UNESCO is a non-smoking Organization.


Please note that all candidates must complete an online application and provide complete and accurate information.
To apply, please visit the UNESCO Careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.
The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview.
UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.
Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


UNESCO recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

This position is no longer open.