Special Assistant to Director (G-4)

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Fixed Term Appointment (G-4)
    Tokyo, Japan
    UTC +8

    About UN University

    For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 SDGs, 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 Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)

    UNU-IAS is a UNU institute based at the university’s headquarters in Tokyo, dedicated to advancing global efforts towards a more sustainable future. UNU-IAS serves the international community through policy relevant research and capacity development focused on sustainability, integrating its social, economic, and environmental dimensions. The activities of the institute are in three thematic areas: sustainable societies, natural capital and biodiversity, and global change and resilience. The work of UNU-IAS is directed towards priority issues for the UN system and Member States, contributing to high-level policymaking and debates to address problems of global concern. For more information please visit http://ias.unu.edu.


    Under the direct supervision of the Director of United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), and in close coordination with the Strategy and Management Office, the Office of the Rector, the Special Assistant is expected to undertake the following tasks:

    • provide administrative support to the UNU-IAS Director, including scheduling appointments, receiving visitors, and handling queries
    • manage and handle all forms of correspondence for the Director, in English and Japanese
    • make necessary arrangements for the UNU-IAS Director’s official travels in coordination with the travel section
    • provide logistics support to the UNU-IAS Director in preparation for speeches and presentations in coordination with relevant programme units
    • assist the UNU-IAS Director in preparation of presentation materials for internal and external meetings in collaboration with relevant programme units; be involved in arranging contacts and meetings with government officials and other public figures for UNU-IAS
    • prepare various announcements to be dispatched by the UNU-IAS Director, such as staff announcements and UNU-IAS internal meetings; update the UNU-IAS Global Directory, when necessary
    • coordinate with the Office of the Rector and other units of the University for arranging various meetings and events
    • serve as a liaison with the Office of the Rector in terms of legal agreements concerning UNU-IAS projects and activities
    • serve as a liaison with Director’s Offices of other UNU institutes
    • perform other duties as may be assigned

    Required qualifications

    Required qualifications of the position include:

    • a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification in business, public administration, sustainable development, environment, social sciences, or a related field
    • a minimum of 5 years relevant working experience, preferably in an international setting
    • strong writing and communications skills in both Japanese and English
    • familiarity with the UN system and current issues related to sustainability is an advantage
    • proven ability to efficiently manage a variable workload
    • good team player with strong interpersonal skills, demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
    • good IT skills (MS Office)

    UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organisation.

    UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.


    Remuneration will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate and will be within the salary scale of G-4 level of the General Service salary scale for Japan (duty station) in the UN Common System salary scale, plus benefits. For more information, please visit
    www.un.org/Depts/OHRM/salaries_allowances/salaries/japan.htm (http://bit.ly/Zn7Ns5).

    Appointment duration

    This is a full-time position. Initial appointment will be a fixed-term appointment of one (1) year, with the possibility of renewal subject to satisfactory work performance, with the combined duration of appointments not exceeding six (6) years, subject to funding availability and excellent work performance. The mandatory age of retirement for United Nations staff is 65 years old.

    Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the authority of the Rector and may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University. The Rector reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below that advertised.

    This is a locally recruited post. Suitably qualified women applicants are particularly encouraged to apply.

    Starting date

    As soon as possible.


  • Application procedure

    Interested applicants should submit their applications to Impactpool before the application closing date, and must include the following:

    • a cover letter setting out how your qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
    • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form. Please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations.
    • a curriculum vitae
    • a brief resume in Japanese
    • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2021/UNU/IAS/FTA/SAD/166605)

    Please note that applications received after the closing date will not be considered.