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Director, United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA)

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Sustainability, Climate, CSR, EMS
Location Ghana - Africa
Town/City Accra
Salary Additional Information Approximate US$126,000
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Board & Executives
Deadline 15/01/2018
Company Name United Nations University
Contact Name Athena Nguyen
Telephone +81 3 5467 1295
Email inra.director@unu.edu
Website Further Details / Applications
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United Nations University mission

For the past four decades, the United nations University (UNU) has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, 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.

UNU-INRA mission

The UNU Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) aims to bridge the gap between science and natural resource management policies in Africa, and to contribute to Africa’s sustainable development in a way that maintains the quality of the natural environment and transforms lives. To this end, the Institute engages in interdisciplinary research and capacity building on the development, management, and governance of Africa’s renewable and non-renewable natural resources as well as on the green economy. The Institute operates from its main office in Accra, Ghana, and carries out some of its programme activities through a network of Operating Units and a College of Research Associates.

Responsibilities of the Director

The Director will oversee the development and strengthening of research programmes and ensure that quality research outputs and policy recommendations are channelled to the wider UN system, policymakers, and other stakeholders, in a manner that is compelling and accessible for maximum uptake and impact.

More specifically, the Director shall:

  • direct the programme of work of the Institute
  • develop and implement a resource mobilisation strategy to diversify funding and to grow the Institute
  • oversee the recruitment of personnel, research associates, fellows, and trainees of the Institute, and ensure academic excellence in all the Institute’s activities
  • promote gender equality and gender mainstreaming throughout the Institute’s research programmes
  • build partnerships with research and training institutions in and outside of Africa
  • report to the Board in accordance with the rules of procedure on the activities of the Institute and the execution of its programme of work

Required qualifications

Candidates must have:

  • a doctoral qualification in the natural sciences, engineering, or economics related to natural resources, agriculture, or other relevant fields
  • a strong research background and publications on issues of natural resources, resources management, agriculture, governance, or other relevant fields
  • strong international fundraising skills and demonstrated success in securing support from funders and diversifying funding sources
  • experience in supervising researchers and supporting them to achieve scientific excellence and impact
  • a distinguished record of effective administration and research programme leadership, with evidence of research excellence, growth, and cost-effectiveness
  • demonstrated experience in sound financial and human resource management
  • the ability to interact with colleagues of diverse cultural backgrounds, and with political representatives and communities in both industrialised and developing countries
  • strong communication skills
  • demonstrated sensitivity to gender issues
  • proven commitment to issues of human development and welfare
  • fluency in English (essential); fluency in other official languages of the United Nations is desirable

Applications from suitably qualified women candidates are particularly encouraged.


Approximate net annual salary of US$126,000 including post adjustment, which is subject to change. The post carries the standard set of UN entitlements/benefits, including participation in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, the possibility of participation in a health insurance programme, education grant for eligible children, removal expenses, and home leave.

For more specific information please visit http://www.un.org/Depts/OHRM/salaries_allowances/index.html.


Application Procedure

The application procedure may be found at: https://unu.edu/about/hr/academic/director-unu-inra.html#applications_procedure.

Selection Process

Shortlisted candidates will be required to complete a written assignment as part of the interview process.

The Director of the Institute shall be appointed by the Rector after consultation with the Advisory Board and the Chair of the UNU Council.

Duration of contract

The Director shall normally serve for four years, and may be eligible for reappointment for one more term of four years or less, subject to satisfactory work performance. Conditions of the service of the Director shall be determined by the Rector in accordance with University practices. The mandatory retirement age in the United Nations is 65 years.

Starting date

It is expected that the appointee will take up the position by 1 October 2018.

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