FRANCE, Assitant Director-General For Natural Sciences

Domain : Natural Sciences
Post Number : SC-001
Grade : ADG
Primary Location: FR-Paris
Recruitment open to: Internal and external candidates
Type of contract : Fixed Term
Salary : 192 110 USD
Deadline (Midnight Paris Time): January 10, 2019


Under the authority of the Director-General, the Assistant Director-General for the Natural Sciences is responsible for providing leadership and strategic vision for the Natural Sciences Sector in line with the Organization’s Medium-Term Strategy for 2014-2021 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  To that effect, the Assistant Director-General for the Natural Sciences is responsible for the overall implementation of the Natural Sciences Major Programme including the Category 1 Institute (the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics), as approved by UNESCO’s governing bodies.

The Natural Sciences Sector’s mission is to strengthen science, technology and innovation (STI) systems and policies – nationally, regionally and globally – and to promote international scientific cooperation on the critical challenges to sustainable development. Action will particularly focus on harnessing STI and knowledge for sustainable development, the basic sciences and advancing science for sustainable management of natural resources, disaster risk reduction and climate change action through the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme and the International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme (IGGP) and the International Basic Sciences programme (IBSP).

The Natural Sciences Programme will focus on:

  • strengthening STI policies, governance and the science-policy-society interface;
  • promoting knowledge and building institutional and human capacities in science and engineering, including ecological, water and earth sciences;
  • fostering international science collaboration for earth systems, biodiversity, disaster risk reduction, climate change mitigations and freshwater security;
  • strengthening the role of biosphere reserves;
  • liaise with global and regional scientific unions and institutions; and,
  • mobilizing extrabudgetary resources and establishing partnerships with public and private entities to support the implementation of the Sector’s overall programme.

For further information on the specific above-mentioned programmes, candidates may consult our website:, and/or the following documents: 37 C/4 (UNESCO’s Medium-Term Strategy, 2014–2021) and 39 C/5 (Approved UNESCO’s Programme and Budget for 2018–2019). 


A successful candidate will be required to demonstrate the following competencies:

Core Competencies





Result focus

Planning and organizing

Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement

Managerial Competencies

Driving and managing change

Strategic thinking

Making quality decisions

Building partnerships

Leading and empowering others

Managing performance

For detailed information please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.



  • Advanced University degree (Master’s or equivalent) in a discipline related to the Natural Sciences.

Work Experience

  • Extensive and relevant professional experience from senior leadership/executive positions in areas directly related to UNESCO’s Natural Sciences Programme, including assignments at the regional and/or international levels.
  • Several years of exposure to the requirements of international and inter-governmental cooperation, preferably within the United Nations system context.
  • Extensive and relevant professional experience in scientific research and cooperation.


  • Knowledge of, and commitment to, the Organization’s mandate, vision, strategic directions and priorities.
  • Leadership capacities, a sense of objectivity and neutrality, strong analytical skills and intellectual capabilities, professional integrity and diplomacy.
  • Ability to exercise well-founded and balanced authority, as well as to provide and manage advisory services and functions.
  • Sound knowledge of the scientific research landscape.
  • Sound knowledge of general management practices, including results-based management and budgeting principles, governance and accountability.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and direct change processes at the substantive and management levels.
  • Excellent communication skills with strong representational abilities.
  • Proven ability to interact effectively at the highest governmental levels, as well as with leaders of the private sector and NGOs, and ability to mobilize resources and to build collaborative partnerships and networks with and between a wide variety of stakeholders.
  • Proven knowledge of gender-related issues in science.


  • Excellent knowledge and drafting skills in one of the working languages of the Organization (English or French).



  •   A PhD level degree in the Natural Sciences or one of its sub-disciplines would be an asset.

Work Experience

  • Awareness and knowledge of UNESCO’s strategic objectives and of wider reform and initiatives processes within the United Nations system, especially with regard to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.


  • Skills in administration and the management of financial and human resources.
  • Skills and knowledge should include a solid understanding of global operational risk.
  • Experience in guiding staff and motivating teams in a culturally diverse environment.


  • Working knowledge of the second language (English or French).
  • Knowledge of other United Nations languages (Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish).


UNESCO’s salaries are calculated in US dollars. They consist of a basic salary and a post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates. Other benefits include: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, home travel, education grant for dependent children, pension plan and medical insurance. More details can be found on the ICSC Website. Please note that UNESCO is a non-smoking Organization.


For more information on how to apply, please click the Apply button.