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Director, UNESCO/UNRWA Department of Education


Post Number : 5JOED0001RP

Grade : D-2

Parent Sector : Education Sector (ED)

Duty Station: Amman

Job Family: Education

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 16-MAR-2021


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism




UNESCO, in close collaboration with UNRWA, is currently seeking a pro-active, visionary Director for the Department of Education in UNRWA. The right candidate will be a seasoned leader, able to foster trust through an inclusive approach and to inspire others.  


In conformity with the Memoranda of Understanding between the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and UNESCO, UNESCO shall provide high –level management support to UNRWA through the loan of a staff member at D2 level in accordance with UNESCO’s Staff Rules and Regulations and with the Inter-organization Agreement concerning Transfer, Secondment or Loan of staff among the Organizations applying to the United Nations system organizations.


In compliance with these terms, the Director of Education will be administratively responsible to the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, while the Assistant Director-General for Education of UNESCO will supervise the substantive aspects of the programme.

The Director of Education at UNRWA provides strategic leadership to a large and complex school system of basic, secondary, technical, vocational and teacher-degree level education to over 540,000 Palestine refugee children and young people in four locations: Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, Jordan and Palestine.


She/he will provide strategic leadership and technical support over the UNRWA Education Programme across the locations covered. She/he will provide day-to-day overall leadership to the education staff at UNRWA’s Headquarters and ensure technical leadership to the Chiefs of Education of the different locations.


The incumbent will be a member of the UNRWA Management Committee (MC), supporting the Agency in its overall planning and reporting processes, advocacy, and the implementation of any reforms taking place in UNRWA, as well as of the Leadership Team of UNESCO’s Education Sector.

Long Description

Specifically, the incumbent shall:

  • Strategically direct the UNRWA Education Programme, with the objective of improving access, quality, equity and inclusion of, education for Palestine refugees.
  • Serve as authoritative adviser to the UNRWA Commissioner-General and Executive Office on all aspects of the Education Programme and in response to challenges and opportunities, based on the strategic orientations, priorities and positions in the field of education set by UNRWA and UNESCO.
  • Constantly liaise with UNESCO in order to ensure coherence in the provision of support to Palestine refugees in the field of education, based on UNESCO’s data, practices, guidelines and positions.
  • Oversee and support the strategic and technical perspective of operational decisions in all locations, and with regards to over 700 schools and 8 vocational training centres and two teacher training institutions.
  • Provide strategic vision and guidance to ensure that the Education Programme is managed in a cohesive and integrated way, on the basis of available funds and in conformity with relevant UNRWA policies, rules and regulations.

  • Lead on the UNRWA Agency-wide reporting and analysis with regard to technical support to the Field, collection and quality assurance of data, in line with Agency monitoring frameworks.
  • As a member of the UNRWA Management Committee, participate in the formulation of the general UNRWA policy, planning and reporting mechanisms.
  • As a member of the Leadership Team of the Education Sector in UNESCO, participate in, and contribute to, the formulation of policy, strategies and implementation approaches to UNESCO priorities.
  • Provide advice to UNESCO in matters relating to education for Palestine refugees and Education in Emergencies (EiE).
  • Establish, develop and maintain working relations with key partners, most specifically Host Countries, other UN agencies, INGOs, other partners of UNRWA and UNESCO, to share and promote the work of UNRWA and to contribute to broader educational development.
  • Maintain motivated and effective staff in the department for the purpose of formulating, planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating its programmes.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Communication (C)
Accountability (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Building partnerships (M)
Driving and managing change (M)
Leading and empowering others (M)
Making quality decisions (M)
Managing performance (M)
Strategic thinking (M)


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.




  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in education, education planning or related social sciences fields.


Work Experience

  • Minimum 15 years of progressively responsible relevant professional experience in the field of education both at national and international level, of which several years of experience in senior management positions.
  • Experience in resources mobilization and partnership development.

Long Description

Skills and Competencies  

  • Strong commitment to the mandate, vision and priorities of UNESCO and UNRWA.
  • Sound understanding of regional/international political trends, and United Nations, UNESCO and UNRWA policy and practice, within the larger context of humanitarian and development agencies in general.
  •  Knowledge of education systems in different countries, including the Arab Region.
  •  Excellent understanding of global trends and developments in education.
  • Proven intellectual leadership and managerial skills, as well as capacity to motivate multidisciplinary teams in a multicultural environment and ensure coaching and development of staff.
  • Broad general culture and sound analytical capacities, high sense of objectivity, professional integrity and political astuteness.
  • Demonstrated strategic planning, management skills and capacity to administer financial resources.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in introducing innovation and change to enhance capacity and programme effectiveness.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively and persuasively, orally and in writing, with strong representational abilities in national, regional and international settings.



  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English. 




  • A PhD in education, sciences or other related social science fields.


Work Experience

  • Experience in the field of international relations and diplomacy, multilateral cooperation and development.
  • Experience within the United Nations System.
  • Strong global professional network.



  • Knowledge (written and spoken) of French or Arabic.


UNESCO’s salaries consist of a basic salary and other benefits which may include if applicable: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, medical insurance, pension plan etc.

For more information in benefits and entitlements, please consult ICSC website and UNESCO's career website.


Evaluation of qualified applicants may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.



UNESCO applies a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment

UNESCO is committed to promoting geographical distribution (last update) and gender equality within its Secretariat. Therefore, women candidates are strongly encouraged to apply, as well as nationals from non- and under-represented Member States. Persons with disabilities are also encouraged to apply. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.