Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)


            The Secretariat of the United Nations presents its compliments to the Permanent Missions to the United Nations and has the honour to request the nomination of candidates for the position of Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) at the Under-Secretary-General level.

            In accordance with resolution A/RES/56/206 of 26 February 2002, the UN-Habitat Secretariat shall be headed by an Executive Director at the level of Under-Secretary-General, to be elected by the General Assembly for a term of four years upon nomination by the Secretary-General after consultation with Member States.

            UN-Habitat is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future.  Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable and inclusive human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.  The work of the UN-Habitat is guided by three main policy bodies of the United Nations namely, the General Assembly including through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Governing Council of UN-Habitat and the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR).

            The Executive Director supports the Secretary-General in advancing the United Nations system reform and leads in providing the necessary institutional and system changes within UN-Habitat, in accordance with General Assembly mandates to support Member States’ efforts to meet the challenges of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the complementary New Urban Agenda, ensuring national leadership and ownership.  The Executive Director is also a member of the Secretary-General’s Senior Management Group, whose objective is to ensure strategic coherence and direction in the work of the Organization.

            The Executive Director is accountable to the Secretary-General and is responsible for all the activities of the UN-Habitat secretariat, as well as its administration.  The Executive Director, under the authority of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat:

  • Provides overall direction on substantive and managerial matters and leadership to UN-Habitat in the realization of its objectives and the implementation of its programmes;

  • Defines broad strategies to promote and support policy advocacy activities and initiates and coordinates policy dialogue with Governments, local authorities and other partners in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals, and the New Urban Agenda;

  • Promotes partnerships with other United Nations bodies, national, subnational and local governments and other partners to ensure effective coordination of sustainable urbanization and human settlements development activities in the United Nations system;

  • Ensures gender is mainstreamed throughout the work of UN-Habitat by assessing the implications for men and women of any planned action, including policies or programmes in all areas and at all levels, and fosters an enabling environment for gender equality and open communication among staff and across organizational boundaries;

  • Participates in the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination, ensuring effective system-wide coordination and collaboration in activities relating to human settlements and;

  • Is responsible for administering the United Nations Habitat and Human Settlements Foundation and providing technical and financial services related to the Foundation, including the establishment of programmes, guidelines and directives;

  • Seeks innovative financing approaches and the cooperation and support of financial institutions in developed and developing countries, in fulfilment of the objectives of the Foundation;

  • Provides overall direction to partnerships development and resource-mobilization activities of UN-Habitat pursuant to the call by the General Assembly in its resolution 56/206 to increase the Foundation’s resource base and the predictability and sustainability of resources to support countries to meet the challenges of rapid urbanization;

  • Discharges any other duties that may be assigned to him or her by the Secretary-General, including at the Nairobi location.

                Further information on UN-Habitat is available on the following website: https://unhabitat.org/

                In order to ensure a wide pool of candidates for this position, the Secretariat would welcome any nominations to supplement the Secretary General’s own search and consultations.  The nomination of women candidates is strongly encouraged.

                All nominations should include the candidate’s curriculum vitae with contact information (telephone, e-mail) and must be sent to the Secretariat of the United Nations by Monday 23 October 2017.  Nominations may also be sent to eosgapplications201710@un.org

               The Secretary-General is seeking an individual with:

  • Demonstrated leadership experience with strategic vision and proven skills in managing complex organizations, such as an intergovernmental, international non-governmental or multinational private sector entities;

    • Demonstrated understanding of the significance of the pace, scale and the opportunities and challenges of urban transformation for inclusive and sustainable development backed by a track record of high impact interventions to protect and empower women, young people, and urban poor groups.

  • Demonstrated record of setting clear standards for accountability, probity, value for money and risk management and zero tolerance to fraud and corruption; for ensuring sound and transparent financial management; and delivering continuous improvement in the organizational impact, efficiency and effectiveness of UN-Habitat and in system-wide results;

  • Demonstrated intellectual leadership, creativity and proven ability to propose new ideas and lead on new ways of working across silos to address issues of urban planning, legislation, norms and standards, and on national urban policy, as well as the question of urban equity; and developing effective institutions, capacities and resilience in a complementary and synergetic way for inclusive sustainable development and the safety and security of the urban space;

  • Proven track record of change management and accomplishments at the regional, national or international level with strong resource mobilization, political and diplomatic skills;

  • Demonstrated ability to work harmoniously in a multi-cultural team and establish harmonious and effective working relationships both within and outside the organization;

  • Proven ability to inspire, encourage, build trust and confidence and also build consensus, stimulate effective campaigns and drive collective action among a broad spectrum of people and organizations;

  • High commitment to the values and guiding principles of the United Nations and familiarity with the United Nations system, including peacekeeping, human rights, humanitarian and development settings and challenges.

    Human rights screening

                In accordance with the policy for the nomination of candidates, the Secretariat wishes to outline that it is the responsibility of the nominating Government to ensure that each candidate it nominates has not been convicted of, or is not currently under investigation or being prosecuted for, any criminal offence, or any violation of international human rights law or international humanitarian law.  In the case of nominees who have been investigated for, charged with or prosecuted for any criminal offence but were not convicted, the nominating Government is requested to provide information regarding the investigation(s) or prosecutions concerned.  The nominating Government is also requested to certify that it is not aware of any allegations against its nominated candidates that they have been involved, by act or omission, in the commission of any acts that amount to violations of international human rights law or international humanitarian law.

                Individuals who are either nominated by Member States or who seek to serve with the United Nations in any individual capacity will be required, if short-listed, to complete a self-attestation stating that they have not committed, been convicted of, nor prosecuted for, any criminal offence and have not been involved, by act or omission, in the commission of any violation of international human rights law or international humanitarian law.

    Conflicts of interest

                Short-listed individuals will also be required to complete the pre-appointment declaration of interests for senior positions to identify possible conflicts of interest that may arise and to proactively prevent and manage, as much as possible and in a timely manner, situations in which personal interests may conflict or appear to conflict with the interests of the United Nations, should the individual be appointed to this position.

                The Secretariat of the United Nations avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Permanent Missions of Member States to the United Nations the assurances of its highest consideration.