United Nations University

Chief, Administrative & Programme Services (P-3)

Join United Nations University as they are looking for a Chief, Administrative & Programme Services (P-3)

About UN University (UNU)

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge in furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of UNU is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States.

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on human survival, conflict prevention, sustainable development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 12 countries, UNU's work spans the 17 Sustainable Development Goals' full breadth, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe. For more information, please visit http://unu.edu.

United Nations University Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) is one of 14 research and training Institutes that comprise the think tanks in the UNU system. 

UNU-MERIT, which collaborates closely with Maastricht University, carries out research and training on a range of social, political and economic factors that drive sustainable socio-economic development in a global perspective. Overall, the institute functions as a unique research centre and graduate school for over 100 PhD fellows and 140 Master’s students. It is also a UN think tank addressing a broad range of policy questions, with a particular emphasis on the process of technological change and innovation, including the governance of science and technology and on factors limiting the access to knowledge; on (public) policy analysis and evaluation; on the social aspects of growth and development, in particular the policy challenges posed by low levels of development including the limitations and possibilities for social security and other social policies; and on the relationship between global development and migration.

For more information, in particular on the details of the research themes, please visit https://www.merit.unu.edu.


Under the management of Director of UNU-MERIT, the Chief of Administrative and Programme Services (Chief Administration Officer) is responsible for a variety of operational tasks and services, covering procurement, travel, asset management and general administration. The Chief Administration Officer works in close collaboration with other administrators within UNU-MERIT as well as with personnel from other UNU institutes and UNU headquarters. The Chief Administration Officer will carry out the following functions:

1. Support the operational management of UNU-MERIT

  • Support the implementation of the UNU-MERIT Strategic Plan by reviewing, analysing, and reporting administrative activities
  • Support the formulation and execution of procedures on all administrative management and financial matters
  • Coordinate the preparation and revision of the Institute's biennium programme and budget for approval by the UNU Council
  • Monitor the appropriate and timely use of financial resources and implement the control mechanism for projects through monitoring budget preparation, modifications, and status
  • Produce reports and briefing materials on administration for the UNU-MERIT International Advisory Board and the UNU Centre as required
  • Support office management involving administrative and executive decisions

2. Implement financial strategies, and adapt processes and procedures in full compliance with UN rules, regulations, policies, standard operating procedures, and recording and reporting systems

  • Lead the execution of financial services and administrative processes ensuring timeliness, efficiency, and transparent use of financial resources and delivery of services and promote a client-oriented approach
  • Review and verify financial transactions, activities, and documentation. Take corrective actions as needed and report any unusual activities
  • Collect, verify, and present information and data for use in the planning of financial resources and the formulation of programme work plans, budgets, proposals on implementation arrangements, and execution modalities
  • Respond to instructions from Centre Administration/Finance.Undertake timely corrective actions as requested by Finance to resolve financial data issues or provide information
  • Participate as a member of the team in the internal and external audits, and follow up on audit recommendations to monitor implementation of corrective actions
  • Coordinate the monitoring of agreements and reporting to donors. Manage donor contributions, including liaison with governments and other UN agencies

3. Coordinate and manage UNU-MERIT Administration team members and provide administrative, logistical, and financial support focusing on achievement of the following results

  • Plan, organize, manage, and support the functioning of administrative services and logistics related to the finances, budget, procurement, travel, and inventory of UNU-MERIT
  • Manage internal workflows to support the effective and efficient functioning of UNU-MERIT
  • Maintain the electronic filing system ensuring safekeeping of confidential materials
  • Engage directly and proactively with operational counterparts in other UNU institutes and with UNU Centre Administration
  • Ensure proper management of UNU-MERIT assets, facilities, and logistical services, including full compliance with IPSAS in the accounting for the procurement, utilization, and disposal of UNU-MERIT's assets
  • Ensure provision of efficient procurement services in full compliance with UNU procurement policies and procedures

4. Ensure effective travel management focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Provide advice to UNU personnel on the application of travel policies and procedures
  • Ensure that travel policies and guidelines are regularly updated and effectively communicated to UNU personnel
  • Prepare travel reports, identify trends and recommend improvements for cost savings and efficiency
  • Serve as business process owner for the ERP travel and expense module

5.Contribute to the management of human resources services

  • Serve as human resources focal point for UNU-MERIT
  • Assist in the hiring of UNU personnel units, including communicating on hiring process with UNU Central, creating and posting vacancy announcements, and assisting in the recruitment and interview process
  • Support the onboarding process for new personnel, such as liaising with UNU Central and UNDP, and with local personnel regarding such things as security matters and IT equipment
  • Handle staff inquiries specific to the Dutch environment such as housing, education, and banking
  • Act as liaison with the Dutch MoFA for protocol matters such as Note Verbale for Visa, residential status, and ID cards
  • Acts as a focal point for Dutch visa enquiries regarding recruitment and extension of the stay for contractors

6. Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor

Key performance indicators

  • Timely, complete and accurate financialtransactions/activities/documentation
  • Timely and accurate advice on UN financial rules andregulations
  • Timely and regular monitoring of financial resourcesmanagement system and timely expenditure of financial resources
  • Timely and accurate support to budget formulation andaudits
  • Timely and compliant procurement results
  • Timely, efficient and compliant travel management
  • Timely, organized and compliant asset management
  • Timely implementation of audit recommendations



  • Inclusion — Take action to create an environment of dignity and respect for all, regardless of age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, geography, grade, language, nationality, racial identity, religion, sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, social origin or any other aspect of identity
  • Integrity — Act ethically, demonstrating the standards of conduct of the United Nations and taking prompt action in case of witnessing unprofessional or unethical behaviour, or any other breach of UN standards
  • Humility — Demonstrate self-awareness and willingness to learn from others
  • Humanity — Act according to the purposes of the United Nations: peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet


  • Connect and collaborate — Build positive relationships with others to advance the work of the United Nations and work coherently as One UN
  • Analyse and plan — Seek out and use data from a wide range of sources to understand problems, inform decision-making, propose evidence-based solutions and plan action
  • Deliver results with positive impact — Hold oneself and others accountable for delivering results and making a positive difference to the people and causes that the United Nations serves
  • Learn and develop — Pursue own learning and development and contribute to the learning and development of others
  • Adapt and innovate — Demonstrate flexibility, agility and the ability to think and act in novel ways

Education and certification

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in business or public administration, finance, accounting, law or related area.
  • A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.



  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in administration, budget, finance, human resources management or related field.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills.
  • Strong understanding of project management and results-based management
  • Excellent analytical skills, including analysis of systematic problems and recommending plans of action
  • Ability to take initiative and translate knowledge, ideas and strategies into concrete action and results
  • Experience in drafting reports, communications, and presentations
  • Proven interpersonal skills, ability to work in a multi-cultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity


  • Knowledge of United Nations Finance, Procurement and HR rules and regulations
  • Demonstrated experience in managing diverse teams, coaching and mentoring personnel.
  • Experience with ERP systems
  • Demonstrated negotiating, cultural sensitivity and diplomatic skills
  • Proven ability to handle sensitive and confidential information

Language Requirements

  • Fluency in English
  • Knowledge of Dutch is highly desirable
  • Knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset


UNU offers an attractive, tax exempt compensation package including an annual net salary and post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance). Other benefits include: 30 days annual leave, dependency benefits, pension plan and health insurance scheme. Benefits for internationally recruited staff may include home leave, travel and removal expenses on appointment and separation, education grant for dependent children, assignment grant and rental subsidy.

For more information please see:  https://careers.un.org/lbw/home.aspx?viewtype=SAL

Duration of contract

This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment. The initial appointment will be for one (1) year with the possibility of renewal on a fixed-term appointment basis, subject to satisfactory work performance. For academic positions, the combined duration of fixed-term appointments with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for United Nations staff is 65 years.

Expected start date: 01 September 2023

How to Apply:

To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you:

  • Fill out the UNU P11 form (please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations);
  • provide a motivation statement (in the P11 form);
  • provide a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position; 
  • answer a few questions that are tailored to the position; and
  • apply via the apply link.

You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.

Application Deadline:  31 May 2023


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview, background checks and references.

Special notice

Staff members of the United Nations University are international
civil servants subject to the Rector's authority. They may be assigned to any
of the activities or offices of the United Nations University. The Rector
reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below that advertised.

UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its
workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality,
religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to
apply and become part of the organisation. Applications from developing
countries, and from women are strongly encouraged. Eligible internal applicants
are also encouraged to apply.

UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible
with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual
exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and

Information about UNU rosters

UNU reserves the right to select one or more candidates from
this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider
candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNU at the
same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational

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