Director, External Relations and Communications

Jerusalem, Israel

About the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA)

For over 65 years, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) has been working on the ground in five fields of operations in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip providing direct assistance and protection for some 5 million Palestine refugees in the Middle East. UNRWA is mandated by the UN General Assembly to provide this assistance and its mission is to help Palestine refugees achieve their full potential in human development until there is a just and lasting solution for their plight. UNRWA restores safety, dignity and hope to millions who have been uprooted by conflict with services encompassing education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA, the largest United Nations operation in the Middle East with over 30,000 staff working across five areas of operation, is looking for highly committed professionals wishing to make a change.

For more details on UNRWA, please visit: www.unrwa.org

UNRWA’s strategic objectives 

The mission of UNRWA is to help Palestine refugees achieve their full potential in human development under the difficult circumstances in which they live. In line with this mission, the Agency works towards five strategic outcomes: (a) Palestine refugee rights under international law are protected and promoted; (b) Palestine refugee health is protected and disease burden is reduced; (c) school-age children complete quality, equitable and inclusive basic education; (d) Palestine refugee capabilities are strengthened for increased livelihood opportunities; and (e) Palestine refugees are able to meet their basic human needs of food, shelter and environmental health. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states, regional bodies, business foundations and individual contributions.

Do you want to make a lasting difference? 

If you are looking for a rewarding opportunity to make a tangible difference for one of the most vulnerable communities in the world, UNRWA would like to hear from you. In this role, you will be the Commissioner-General’s principal support in the effort to mobilize the high volumes of funds and resources needed to assure the achievement of UNRWA’s mission

Director, External Relations and Communications

The main responsibilities include:

  • Leading initiatives and activities to obtain the funds and resources needed to sustain and improve UNRWA’s programmes, operations and services, as these are outlined in the Medium Term Strategy 2012-2015, in Fields and Headquarters Implementation Plans, and in other planning documents;
  • Leading and coordinating the Agency-wide implementation of the Resource Mobilization Agenda, and other strategies and activities that relate to fundraising and resource mobilization, incorporating the principles and practice of synchronized efforts and coherent messaging;
  • Refining and enhancing on a regular basis UNRWA’s resource mobilization strategies and developing new ones as required, keeping in view the evolving global fundraising situation as it pertains to UNRWA and its needs;

In pursuance of the above, the incumbent will be exploring the following, among other approaches:

  • the establishment of new donor agreement modalities, including multi-year, performance-based understandings;
  • the realization of a net increase in contributions to UNRWA, particularly to the General Fund;
  • the strategic use of multi-lateral fora, including UNRWA’s Advisory Commission,
  • the Arab League, the EU and UN General Assembly, to advance the achievement of UNRWA’s fundraising goals;
  • the nurturing of public private partnerships and the utilization of networks with
  • the private sector, Arab diaspora, foundations, UN agencies, etc.;
  • the development of new partnership capacity within UNRWA, including the
  • establishment of partnership guidelines, a code of ethics, partnership templates
  • and other mechanisms for raising funds and resources through partnerships;
  • enhancing the effectiveness of existing friends of UNRWA bodies and developing new ones wherever feasible;

Leading and managing the External Relations and Communications Department, ensuring that its staff and units function coherently and contribute effectively toUNRWA’s external relations, fundraising and resource mobilization goal;

In pursuance to the above point, the incumbent will be:

1. supervising the operations of ERCD’s through:

  • Resource Mobilization Function – which is responsible for donor relations; partnership development and fundraising;
  • Market Intelligence Function – to underpin the efforts of the resource mobilization and communications division;
  • Communications Function – including developing common messaging and materials development to be conveyed in print, broadcast, internet and social media;

2. working closely and cooperatively with the Director, UNRWA Representative Office, New York, Director, UNRWA Representative Office to the European Union, Brussels and Geneva, Director, UNRWA Representative Office, Washington, DC to ensure coherence and maximum impact of the fundraising, resource mobilization and communications work of these UNRWA Offices;

3. working closely and cooperatively with Field, Programme and Support Directors to ensure that fundraising and resource mobilization efforts are well-coordinated, and also underpinned by the strengths of UNRWA’s

  • Developing, overseeing and evaluating in coordination with the Spokesperson and Director of Strategic Communications and Advocacy and the Commissioner-General’s Office (CGO) the implementation of communications strategies agency wide and coherent messaging that enhance the effectiveness and impact of UNRWA’s external relations, fundraising and resource mobilization objectives;
  • Strengthening in-house capacity by recruiting, mentoring and training qualified staff, and/or outsourcing required expertise and skills in the areas of:
    1. Fundraising;
    2. Donor relations– including managing contributions; monitoring and evaluation of impact of donor contributions, customer care and contracting;
    3. Marketing – product design
    4. Communication;
    5. Partnership-building;
  • Working closely with the Director of Human Resources and other senior staff to ensure training and continuous learning for Fields and Headquarters staff in their respective roles in fundraising and communications;
  • Overseeing the Head of the Advisory Commission Secretariat in safeguarding the Agency’s interests and gauging the position of stakeholders to ensure consensual results favorable to UNRWA.

Conditions of Service

UNRWA offers an attractive compensation package including annual salary starting at $108,189 net tax free with post adjustment of 53.3% (subject to change without notice). All UNRWA duty stations (with the exception of Gaza and Syria) are family duty stations. Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include:

  • Dependency allowances
  • Rental subsidy
  • Education grant for children
  • Home leave travel
  • 6 weeks (30 working days) annual leave
  • Pension fund entitlements under the

UN Joint Staff Pension Fund

  • International health insurance; optional life insurance
  • Disability protection

Additional Information

The incumbent will be required to travel extensively in the Agency’s area pf operations (Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and West Bank).

Required Experience and Qualifications:


Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) from an accredited educational institution in social science, social development communications, economics, international development, or a related discipline; a first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree

Relevant Experience 

  • Fifteen years of progressively responsible and relevant experience, including at least 8 years in a senior supervisory capacity in large international or governmental organizations, with responsibility for fundraising and/or strategic communications, including two years of relevant experience at international level outside one’s home country.
  • Must have worked outside of home country for at least two years

Language (s)

  • Excellent command of written and spoken English

Desirable qualifications:

  • Knowledge of Middle East culture and environment;
  • Knowledge of the United Nations;
  • Proficiency in Arabic and French

You will also need to demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Excellent fundraising skills, significant knowledge and experience of the global and regional fundraising and resource-mobilization context, encompassing the governmental and private sectors;
  • High level of representational abilities;
  • Proven ability to exercise sound judgment in sensitive, often tense political environments;
  • Excellent strategic planning and communication skills in the fundraising and resource mobilization context, including the ability to persuasively promote institutional goals in multilateral settings;
  • Outstanding management skills, including in the context of leading, supervising and mentoring staff engaged in fundraising and resource mobilization roles in a multi-cultural setting of multiple locations;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain cordial and collegial relations with staff and interlocutors at all levels;
  • Excellent analytical and research skills in the areas of fundraising and resource mobilization;
  • Proven executive writing skills and oral presentation abilities.

General information

UNRWA staff are expected to uphold the highest standards of integrity, neutrality and impartiality at all times. This includes respect for and commitment to human rights, diversity, and non-violent means of dealing with all kinds of conflict. Only persons who fully and unconditionally commit to these values should consider applying for UNRWA jobs. UNRWA is a non-smoking work environment.

The retirement age for staff entering or re-entering service in the UN Common System after 1 January 1990 is 62 and 65 after 1 January 2014. For external applicants, only those who are expected to complete a term of appointment will normally be considered.

The Agency reserves the right not to make an appointment, to make an appointment at a lower grade, or to make an appointment with a modified job description.

Terms of Appointment

2 years, with the possibility of further extension.

How to Apply:

If you wish to be considered for this position, please forward a copy of your CV in Microsoft Word format, along with any relevant documentation to [email protected] by the 31st October 2018. All information will be in the strictest confidence as we pride ourselves on our professional service. We will revert to you as soon as feasible when we have reviewed your application.

Application form