Liaison Officer (Natural Sciences)


Post Number : 1USSC0002RP

Grade : P-4

Parent Sector : Natural Sciences Sector (SC)

Duty Station: New York

Job Family: Natural Sciences

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 13-MAR-2024


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



Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for the Natural Sciences Sector (ADG/SC), and the direct supervision of the Director of the UNESCO Liaison Office in New York (DIR/NYO), the incumbent will be responsible for ensuring liaison with the United Nations, other specialised agencies, and Permanent Missions of Member States in New York in support of UNESCO's mandate in the field of natural sciences. The incumbent will represent UNESCO in intergovernmental and interagency meetings of the United Nations Systems, promoting the Organization's mandate, programmes and activities and advancing its strategic priorities.


S/he will support the coordination of UNESCO’s contribution as related to sciences to the UN intergovernmental bodies such as UN General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and its subsidiary Commissions, preparing reports and recommending follow-up actions on the contribution of sciences to sustainable development, peace and security, and human rights.


S/he will support the Director for the Liaison with Permanent Missions of Member States to the United Nations in the field of natural sciences, including with the relevant Group(s) of Friends.


S/he will also contribute to strengthening UNESCO's partnerships in natural sciences with public and private US organizations.


The incumbent will work within the frameworks of UNESCO's Medium-Term Strategy (C/4), the approved Programme and Budget (C/5), and global frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and other internationally agreed goals.

Long Description

In particular, the incumbent will: 

  • Provide intellectual leadership in designing and implementing processes and activities to strengthen the participation of UNESCO in science-related functions in the UN system, in particular on issues related to Science Diplomacy, freshwater, biodiversity, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and climate change, Open Science and Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy.
  • Identify and analyze major UN trends and initiatives, including new decisions and resolutions related to UNESCO’s mandate in the field of natural sciences, assess implications and relevance for UNESCO’s work and prepare analytical reports and recommendations for the Organization’s positioning.
  • Analyse relevant UN documents, decisions and processes as well as diplomatic developments taking place at the UN as well as provide inputs for UNESCO's contributions to relevant UN processes, the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • Ensure strategic follow-up and monitoring of UN activities and meetings, in particular the work of ECOSOC, High Level Political Forum (HLPF) and Commission of the Status of Women (CSW).
  • Lead the organization of event and high-level meetings, including global celebration of international days to advance and give visibility to UNESCO's mandate in the field of natural sciences, through partnership approach with Member States and UN sister agencies. 
  • Organize and coordinate events and activities to promote UNESCO's Natural Sciences programmes at the UN.
  • Act as the focal point for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) issues in close collaboration with other members of the NYO team, UNESCO's Headquarters, and in consultation with ADG/SC.
  • Contribute to evaluating and reporting on projects and programmes funded within UNESCO's regular budget and extra-budgetary funding related to the Natural Sciences Sector.


Networking and Partnership:

  • Coordinate with regional networks related to the natural sciences programme to organise regional and national workshops, and promote knowledge sharing through portals and other means.


Resource Mobilisation:

  • Identify, design and facilitate the formulation of extrabudgetary projects based on the country to reinforce resource mobilization to support interdisciplinary programme activities and implement regional sustainable development strategies with UNESCO  Headquarters and other field offices worldwide.
  • Interact with appropriate government institutions, research centres, universities, private sector and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the United States of America, increasing the visibility of UNESCO's science programmes and building partnerships to mobilize financial and capacity resources for UNESCO's initiatives in the field of natural sciences.


Joint Programming Exercises:

  • Liaise with UNESCO Headquarters and regional offices to any call for new joint programming and Delivery as One exercise within the framework of the UN Reform and joint activities of one UN programme in its design and formulation.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Communication (C)
Accountability (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Professionalism (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 (Masters or equivalent) in one of the relevant fields of natural sciences (Environmental Sciences, Ecology, Hydrology, Science Policy/Diplomacy and/or Basic Sciences).


Work Experience 

  • A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in the field of Science Policy/Diplomacy political science, international relations, law or a related field, of which preferably (3) three years acquired at international level.
  • Experience in working with Member States engagement and coordination.


Skills and Competencies

  • Knowledge and understanding of the diplomatic context of the UN System.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with internal and external stakeholders at all levels within and outside the Organization.
  • Demonstrated analytical skills and excellent drafting skills, including demonstrated ability to draft succinct analytical notes.
  • Excellent coordination, organization and planning skills.
  • Ability to deliver a high-quality service in a timely manner.
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a team and establish/maintain effective working relations in a multicultural environment, with sensitivity and respect for diversity.



  • Excellent knowledge of English and good knowledge of French. 



Skills and Competencies

  • Knowledge of the Organization’s mandate, vision, strategic direction, and priorities.



  • Knowledge of another official UNESCO language (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish).


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.

The approximate annual starting salary for this post is 139 573 US $.

For full information on benefits and entitlements, please consult our Guide to Staff Benefits.


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


UNESCO recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

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