Director, Procurement

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) New York, NY, United States

About UNDP

UNDP works in nearly 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. They help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.

In line with UNDP’s Strategic Plan, BMS aims to provide effective, improved and customer-focused procurement services to clients both internal and external to UNDP. UNDP’s procurement functions lie within the Procurement Office (PO), BMS and are managed through two units – the Procurement Services Unit (PSU) and the Procurement Oversight Unit (POU). PSU is responsible for managing the procurement functions with the primary mandate of covering development and updating of procurement policy. PSU supports UNDP’s programme delivery in line with UNDP's Strategic Plan 2018-2021. POU is responsible for managing the procurement oversight functions, which include the Advisory Committee on Procurement (ACP) and 5 Regional ACPs. 

The Bureau for Management Services (BMS) is the central operations Bureau in UNDP that supports the organization in the provision of management services. Drawing on client needs, user experience, sound analytics, and a risk-informed approach, BMS provides policy, oversight, advisory and transactional services and solutions for UNDP to deliver fully integrated development solutions. In doing so, BMS keeps pace with the evolving needs and expectations of development partners and international best practice through strengthening and innovating business operations.

UNDP is working to strengthen new frameworks for development, disaster risk reduction and climate change. They support countries' efforts to achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals, which will guide global development priorities for the next 10 years. 


You can find further details on their website https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home.html

Director, Procurement Office Role Profile 

The Director, PO advises the BMS Director, who is also the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO). The Director, Procurement Office is responsible for providing expert advice and guidance on procurement matters and for ensuring the application of best practices in public procurement. In addition, she/he is also responsible for ensuring that proper internal oversight and risk mitigation controls are in place. The Director, PO will be responsible for the digitalization and promotion of UNDP’s clustering of procurement services in the UNDP’s Global Shared Service Centre (GSSC) in (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and (Copenhagen, Denmark), with support provided by Regional Hubs. The Director, PO will also be responsible for leading performance enhancements to PO’s policies, processes and practices to ensure timely and cost-effective procurement services to stakeholders.

Duties and Responsibilities


Summary of key functions:

  • Develop an efficient, client-oriented procurement strategy with a focus on transparency, risk management, and innovation;

  • Plans, manages and coordinates an integrated procurement and contract management programme;

  • Establishes, monitors and enhances UNDP’s procurement and contract standards and guidelines ensuring compliance with best practices and provides overall advice and guidance on procurement matters to UNDP offices;

  • Provides leadership to the development of innovative and change management projects that include the collaborative engagement of other UN entities;

  • Manages and develops strategic partnerships with key internal and external stakeholders

  • Leads and manages the PO, PSU, POU teams across geographic locations;

  • Represents UNDP in internal and external working groups and other related Bodies; 

Plans, directs, coordinates and modernizes UNDP’s procurement and contract management programme with the following key responsibilities;

  • Implements market leading procurement strategies, policies and tools across UNDP, including via the use of new technologies; 

  • Ensure that the PO is optimally structured to deliver best value to UNDP and its partners;

  • Leads the PO in defining goals, priorities, requirements and key performance indicators for the substantive work programme;

  • Coordinates collaborative team processes across units and delineates team results, work processes, resource allocations and monitoring tools, and produces the integrated PO business plan;

  • Oversees and monitors the effective and efficient implementation of the business plan by creating a strategic framework to identify and assign human, financial and technological resources and ensure quality, responsive and efficient deployment of resources;

  • Oversees performance management, financial management and procurement services evaluation;

  • Oversees service standards through key performance indicators and ensures adequate cost recovery where applicable.

Establishes, implements and monitors UNDP’s procurement and contract standards and guidelines ensuring the highest level of compliance and professionalism across procurement practices with the following key responsibilities:

  • Ensures full implementation of UN/UNDP policies, procedures, rules and regulations, and guidelines concerning procurement of goods and services;

  • Develops new and improved techniques and methods where appropriate procedures and guidelines are lacking;

  • Modernizes and establishes new policy positions for UNDP procurement and contract programmes;

  • Establishes, monitors and revises procurement and contract standards concerning specification requirements, identification of procurement sources, determination of contract types to be used on major contracts and ways and means of settling contractual disputes and production problems;

  • Analyzes Country Office and HQ-based procurement results and experience, including Contracts, Assets and Procurement (CAP) and the Advisory Committee on Procurement ACP and Regional Oversight (Regional Advisory Committee on Procurement RACP);

  • Reports, and mobilizes effective responses to procurement programme requirements in collaboration with PO and other senior UNDP HQ managers;

  • Provides advice and intervenes in negotiating difficult contracts and ensures that quality and cost requirements are fully safeguarded; 

  • Resolves situations involving significant or controversial issues;

  • Ensures an effective risk management and control framework is in place to support a procurement practice that is consistently proactive and high performing.

  • Monitors and supports audit and reporting obligations.

Develops and manages strategic partnerships with key internal and external stakeholders with the following key responsibilities: 

  • Provides authoritative technical advice and guidance to UNDP senior managers at HQ, Regional Hubs, Country Offices, and UNDP legislative bodies;

  • Represents the procurement and contract services programme in interagency policy meetings and during UNDP’s planning and budgeting process;

  • Manages the UNDP relationship with External Auditors and the Joint Inspection Unit;

  • Develops and maintains effective partnerships and liaison with senior counterparts from the UN common system, other international organizations, national governments, and corporate enterprises and coordinates related contractual interests and procurement activities;

  • Represents UNDP at international, technical and administrative meetings

Leads and manages the Procurement Office staff team and supports procurement practitioners in the field with the following key responsibilities;

  • Provides inspirational and effective leadership to a diverse staff group with roles and/or responsibilities for procurement tasks - procurement advisors, managers, practitioners and support staff across business units in UNDP HQ, GSSC Hubs, and the Country Office;

  • Refines, through collaborative processes, the development of team and individual roles and responsibilities across UNDP related to procurement, in order to ensure optimal effectiveness in an evolving business environment, including within its Specialized Procurement teams, (Global Procurement Hub – Malaysia); Specialized Procurement Teams - Copenhagen (Elections, Health, Sustainable Energy & Crisis); and Central Procurement Unit (CPU) – New York.

  • Guides and motivates a peer community of PO senior managers and advisors to excel in procurement service delivery, support continual organizational and staff learning, and develop and sustain a dynamic community of procurement practice,

  • Provides a positive PO team environment where unit leaders and team members are able to perform optimally, work interdependently, respond to challenges creatively and collaboratively, and access coaching and mentoring as needed; 

  • Ensures PO group results are achieved within the resources allocated while team morale is high. 

Contribution to knowledge sharing & creation in procurement. The tasks involved are as follows:

  • Establish the PO as a knowledge management leader in the UN system;

  • Works with PO managers and staff and relevant Bureau and corporate units to identify and disseminate best procurement practices;

  • Draws on the synthesis of ACP and CAP experience to inform best practice identification and the priority needs for procurement capacity development; 

  • Ensures that best practices are integrated into common procurement practice and priority capacity development needs are effectively addressed;

  • Provides dynamic leadership to the procurement network and communities of practice by regularly giving feedback and advice on current reports, issues and concerns and creating an active platform for ongoing knowledge sharing and development.

Required Competencies


  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work


  • Ability to persuade others to follow


  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction


  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform


  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement


  • The ability to acquire goods, services or works from an outside external source

Strategic Sourcing

  • Knowledge of strategic sourcing concepts, principles and methods, and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations


  • Knowledge of logistics operations, principles and methods, and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations

Client Relationship Management

  • Ability to develop trust among clients while delivering solutions with integrity and responsiveness


  • Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships.

Qualifications and Experience


  • Advanced degree in Business Administration, Finance, Law, Engineering or related field.


  • Minimum 15 years of relevant experience in operations or procurement in a multilateral organization in a multicultural setting.

  • Experience with working with complex high value financial decisions critical.

  • Knowledge and experience in applying organizational performance improvement an asset.

  • Country Office/Field experience an asset.

  • Knowledge of Procurement within the UN System an asset.

  • Procurement certification?

Language Requirements

  • Fluent in English; knowledge of another UN language an asset.

Terms of Appointment

This is a full-time position with the successful candidate being contracted on an initial 2-year fixed term appointment. Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. A pension plan, life and medical insurances are included in the benefits package.


Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Workforce diversity

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Location: New York, USA


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 Mr. Colm Ashe at [email protected] OR use the Application Form below. All information will be treated 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.


SRI Executive is exclusively retained by UNDP to undertake this assignment.

Application form