Senior Vice-Rector (ASG)

Applications procedure
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    Assistant Secretary-General
    Tokyo, Japan
    UTC +9

    United Nations University

    The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations and for the last four decades 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 12 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 SDGs, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions.

    Senior Vice-Rector responsibilities

    The Senior Vice-Rector will assist the Rector in ensuring the overall integration and coherence of UNU academic activities.  In particular, the Senior Vice-Rector will be charged with seeking to strengthen collaboration between UNU and the Japanese academic community. S/he will also be a key interlocutor with Japanese government ministries to enhance knowledge of and support for UNU’s research and postgraduate teaching activities.  The Senior Vice-Rector will take the lead on fundraising from Japanese and other sources for UNU.

    In consultation with the Rector, the Senior Vice Rector might operate full-time out of UNU, or work there part-time while maintaining some professional activities within another university or institution.

    Required and desirable qualifications

    Required qualifications and experience for the position are:

    • a Ph.D. in an academic field relevant to the academic programmes of the UNU preferably focused on issues related to international development and/or sustainability
    • a strong research background and publication record in a relevant area of development and/or sustainability
    • at least 15 years of work experience, including a minimum of 10 years demonstrated senior management experience in a research and/or academic teaching institution
    • demonstrated capacities in building and sustaining international networks and partnerships
    • strong international fundraising skills and experience
    • fluency in English
    • the ability to interact with colleagues of diverse ages, national, cultural, and religious backgrounds and with political representatives and diverse communities in both industrialised and developing countries
    • proven commitment to issues of human development and welfare

    Desirable qualifications and experience for the position include:

    • demonstrable familiarity with leading higher education and research institutions globally, including in Japan
    • a good understanding of the Japanese language as well as knowledge of French or of other official languages of the United Nations
    • experience in policy research or work in a think tank

    UNU is an inclusive employer and endeavors to create a culture of inclusiveness. Applications from suitably qualified women candidates or underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged.


    Approximate net annual salary of US$135,891 (for the full-time position) including post adjustment, which is subject to change. The post carries the standard set of United Nations 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: The Rector reserves the right to appoint suitable candidates at a lower category and on either a part-time or full-time basis. 

    Duration of contract

    The period of initial contract is for a two-year term with the possibility of renewal, up to a maximum of 8 years, and subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance 

    Starting date

    It is expected that the appointee will take up the position by 1 April 2021.

  • Application procedure

    Interested applicants are encouraged to apply by email (to and should submit:

    1. A cover letter setting out: (1) the motivations for applying for the post and (2) how the candidate’s qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
    2. Full curriculum vitae (including applicant’s date of birth and nationality as well as a publications list)
    3. A United Nations University Personal History Form (P.11 form)

    Human rights screening

    Individuals 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

    All United Nations staff members are expected to uphold the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity.  Senior leaders in particular, have the responsibility to serve as role models in upholding the organisation’s ethical standards. A conflict of interest occurs when, by act or omission, a staff member’s personal interests interfere with the performance of his/her official duties and responsibilities, or call into question his/her integrity, independence and impartiality. Risk for conflicts of interest may arise from a staff member’s engagement in outside (non-UN) employment or occupation; outside activities, including political activities; receipt of gifts, honours, awards, favours or remuneration from external (non-UN) sources; or personal investment. In particular, no staff member shall accept any honour, decoration, favour, gift or remuneration from any Government (staff regulation 1.2 (j)). Where a real or perceived conflict of interest does arise, senior leaders are obligated to disclose this to the organisation without delay.  In order to avoid real or perceived family influence or preferential treatment and conflicts of interest that could stem from such situations, the UN Staff Rules provide that appointments “shall not be granted to anyone who is the father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister of a staff member” (staff rule 4.7(a)).

    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 interests of the United Nations, should the individual be appointed to this position.

  • UNU Senior Vice-Rector Selection Committee

    By Email: