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Senior Policy Officer and Special Assistant to the Secretary-General. 



The post is located within the Executive Office of the Secretary-General at the Headquarters of the International Seabed Authority located in Kingston, Jamaica, and reports directly to the Secretary-General.


Within delegated authority, the incumbent will be responsible for the following:

  1. Serve as a recognized expert in one or more areas of concentration, and independently handle a wide range of multi-disciplinary, highly complex and often sensitive legal and political matters involving issues relating to international affairs and public international law.
  2. Support the Secretary-General in overseeing and ensuring strategic coordination, coherence and integrated information and analysis in the work of the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA); Office of Environmental and Mineral Resources (OEMMR); and Office of Administrative Services (OAS).
  3. Coordinate with the relevant ISA offices the progress, timely delivery and accomplishments of the programmatic mandate by ensuring that there is a clear and timely communication between the Secretary-General and other senior officials. This interaction is on behalf of the Secretary-General and may take the form of regular, periodic meetings or ad-hoc briefings aimed at ensuring that the relevant stakeholders are appropriately informed on the work of ISA. Assist in the preparation and follow up of meetings of senior officials, including the Senior Management Group.
  4. Provide substantive and analytical input in the preparation of position papers and reports for presentation to intergovernmental bodies; prepare various written outputs for the Secretary-General (e.g. notes, policy statements, guidelines, speeches, articles and correspondence) and review materials produced by the Office, including briefing notes, background papers, analysis, substantial sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, responses to Member States and guidance for senior officials on sensitive political issues.
  5. Support the Secretary-General in developing priority setting, forward planning, strategic analysis, and enterprise risk management;
  6. Contribute to the formulation of the ISA’s overall strategies, policies, programme of work, planning and budgetary processes;
  7. In close coordination with the Secretary-General, design, develop and implement ISA’s resource mobilization plan by:
    1. Identifying immediate funding opportunities, facilitate lobbying with existing and potential donors whilst ensuring grant compliance with ISA strategic framework;
    2. Building, reinvigorating and cementing alliances with organizations, foundations and CSOs with whom ISA had, has or might have strategic cooperation;
    3. Planning and organizing special events that may contribute in fostering partnerships whilst mobilizing the attention around ISA agenda;
    4. Establishing an external network of strategic contacts and partnerships to help execute the overall resource mobilization plan;
    5. Translating the resource mobilization and partnership building strategy into budgeted and results-driven work plans, with the corresponding market analysis, coordination and prioritization of events, initiatives and projects;
    6. Serving as an effective spokesperson and establish collaboration and partnerships with key officials at all levels inside and outside the Authority.
    7. Developing a business plan to operationalize the resource mobilization action plan mentioned above.
  8. Liaise with Member States, academic institutions and think tanks concerning the substance of the Secretary-General’s public appearances and activities on behalf of ISA and with UN departments, UN system entities, other international organizations, representatives of Member States, the media, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia, and other representatives of civil society on the furtherance of the work of ISA.
  9. Serve on various standing boards, committees, ad hoc working groups and task forces as required; promote the work of ISA and represent ISA at meetings, conferences, seminars etc.
  10. Perform other duties as requested by the Secretary-General.


Professionalism: Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities and risks. Ability to lead and coordinate priority setting, forward planning, and strategic analysis. Advanced knowledge of programme implementation processes in International Organizations (ie. the United Nations). Familiarity with the substantive mandate of ISA. Ability to gather large quantities of information from networks of contacts, and present the appropriate information succinctly to a target audience. Shows persistence when faced with difficult challenges. Ability to work under pressure and produce output that is accurate, timely and of high quality; Ability to effectively organize multiple priority assignments. Ability to build relationships across complex organizational structures.

Communication:  Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Planning & Organising:  Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

Managing Performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision making authority. Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member. Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills. Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines. Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff. Encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative. Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff. Appraises performance fairly.

Judgement / Decision-Making: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow; Empowers others to translate vision into results; Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; Drives for change and improvement, does not accept the status quo; Shows the courage to take unpopular stands; Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.


Advanced University Degree (Master’s degree or equivalent), preferably in social sciences, economics, business administration, international affairs, communication, law or a related field.

A first-level university degree in combination with additional two year of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in political analysis, policy and planning, international relations, change management or related fields is required.

Experience with the preparation of analytical reports, background papers, and talking points for senior management is required.

Experience in conceptualizing and organizing proposals is required.

Experience in presenting and representing the work of an organization both in writing and orally is required.

Experience in strategic formulation in an international public sector organization is required. Five years of field experience obtained outside the applicant’s country of nationality in a transitional, developmental, conflict or post conflict setting is highly desirable.

Experience in liaising with Member States, Corporate, UN agencies, Foundations is highly desirable.


English and French are the working languages of ISA. For this post, fluency in written and oral English is required. Knowledge of other United Nations official languages is highly desirable.


Candidates may undergo a substantive and a competency-based interview. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.


  1. The selected candidate will be subject to a reference verification process in accordance with the ISA policy. The process will include but is not limited to, verification of the information provided in the personal history form and a criminal record check. All candidates should be in a position to submit electronic copy of their passport and all diplomas listed on their profile when requested;
  2. Applicants may check the status of vacancies on ISA web-site;
  3. Only nationals of ISA Member States are eligible for consideration;
  4. Consideration is given to achieving diverse gender, geographical and economic representation at the ISA, to the extent possible;
  5. The ISA reserves the right to not make any appointment to the vacancy, and/or to make an appointment at a lower level from the one advertised.



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