Special Assistant to the Deputy Executive Director 

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The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level.

Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.

This post is located in UNEP/Executive Office (EO) at the Nairobi duty station.

Under the direct supervision of the Deputy Executive Director (DED), the staff member will:

1. Provide support to the DED:

a) Oversee the management of the DED’s schedule; b) Review all incoming and outgoing correspondence for the DED;

c) Consult with appropriate managers and draft replies as appropriate; prioritize important correspondence and issues for the DED’s attention;

d) Ensure that follow-up systems are in place and functioning effectively.

2. Liaise between the DED and other entities:

a) Manage the flow of relevant information between the DED and the Executive Director (ED), Division Directors, Regional Directors, Convention Heads and other Managers, especially in relation to executive decisions, meeting outcomes, and priorities set by the DED;

b) Follow-up with senior managers and other colleagues on requests made by the DED.

c) Consult staff members on specific matters as requested by the DED;

d) Hold preliminary meetings with staff members on issues they wish to discuss with/call to the attention of the DED;

e) Consult regularly with colleagues in the Executive Office on matters of mutual concern, including decisions taken by the ED, scheduling and the general functioning of the office;

f) Liaise and consult with officials of governments, UN organizations, Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on behalf of the DED;

g) Keep the DED informed of relevant developments.

3.Support the DED’s meetings:

a) Assist the DED in planning for and participating in meetings of the UNEP Governing Council (GC) particularly the Committee of the Whole (COW) and the Committee of Permanent Representatives;

b) Ensure that the DED is effectively able to participate in meetings of the UNEP Senior Management Team, Project Approval Group, Publications Board, and other internal bodies;

c) Ensure that the DED has relevant briefing material for meetings with senior managers, colleagues, members of the Nairobi diplomatic community, and visiting government, UN, IGOs and NGO officials;

d) Support the DED during these meetings; maintain meeting records and ensure necessary follow-up action is undertaken in a timely manner.

4.Support the DED’s missions:

a) Coordinate the preparation of extensive briefing materials and mission files for the DED, ensuring that materials from other offices are submitted in a timely manner and are of high quality;

b) Finalize all speeches and statements to be delivered by the DED, in close consultation with the submitting office;

c) Guide the DED’s Administrative Assistant on all logistical preparations for mission travel, in cooperation with relevant substantive colleagues particularly in regional/out-posted offices and external interlocutors;

d) Assist in follow-up actions arising from missions, including the finalization of the DED’s mission reports and dissemination of relevant information to colleagues in other parts of UNEP.

5.Provide substantive and analytical support; Identify emerging policy issues for the consideration of the DED; Undertake special projects as necessary.

6.Perform any other duties as assigned by the DED/Chief, Executive Office.


  • Professionalism: Demonstrated professional competence in the field of sustainable development and experience in multilateral relations;
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to analyze complex political issues; High degree of flexibility;
  • Willingness to travel and work long hours;
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;
  • Ability to draft documents and express views in a clear and concise manner.
  • Teamwork: Experience and ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds;
  • Proven record in working collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals;
  • Strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to lead and gain the assistance and cooperation of others in a team endeavor;
  • Ability to build trust through operating with transparency and creating an open and positive environment.
  • Planning and organizing: Proven excellent organizational and planning skills;
  • to identify priority activities and assignments and make necessary adjustments as required;
  • Foresee risks and allow for contingencies when planning and ensure timely delivery of results.


  • Advanced University Degree in political science/economics, environmental science or public administration or related area.
  • A first level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

    Work Experience:

    Five years of relevant professional experience with progressively increasing levels of responsibility, including at least three in an international setting.

    Preferably three years of working experience with issues related to the international environmental agenda.

    Prior experience with the United Nations or in a United Nations common system organization as well as familiarity with the United Nations activities and organizational structure an advantage.

    English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat.

    For the advertised post, excellent oral and written English is required.

    Knowledge of another UN official language an asset.

    Excellent computer skills (Microsoft Office, email, internet) are required.

    Deadline: 23rd January

    For more information and application, see: UNEP Website For more: Local Jobs » Job Postings » Jobs in Africa » Jobs in Kenya

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