United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian, and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.


UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management, and human resources.



With over 5,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 6,500 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address the multiple needs of our partners.


Work-life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We see ourselves as part of the UN effort to both understand and shape the future of work.


To learn more, please visit www.unops.org

Role purpose

The Deputy Executive Director (DED) is a senior member of the UNOPS management team, working under the leadership of the Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General, in close collaboration with the other DED in charge of Policy and Management. The DED strategically leads UNOPS partnerships and the delivery of projects and programmes in the regions.


The DED drives UNOPS engagement in the implementation of Agenda 2030 and ensures operational alignment in its contributions to the achievement of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. UNOPS is committed to, and proactively and substantively supports the United Nations Secretary-General’s reform agenda to improve the delivery of mandates in the areas of Sustainable Development, Management, Peace, and Security.


Duties and Responsibilities:

Strategic Advisory and Organizational Vision

  • Advise the Executive Director on partnerships and delivery in the regions.
  • Scan the external environment for trends and changes to continuously shape and align UNOPS strategy and plans for operational effectiveness and results.
  • Partner strategically with other members of the management team regarding operational performance including implementation of the UNOPS expanded results framework to achieve impact for the most vulnerable people and accelerate achievement of the SDGs.
  • Champion corporate priorities on zero tolerance towards inaction in sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment; promote health and safety, and support the implementation of the organization’s strategy on gender, diversity and inclusion.
  • Provide effective and inspiring leadership and stewardship of the organization through active involvement, regular communication, championing reforms for service excellence, and strengthening organizational capabilities and capacity.
  • Foster a positive work culture and environment, model collaboration across organizational units and ensure that the highest standards of conduct are observed.


Leadership of Partnerships and Liaison Offices

  • Oversee the development and implementation of UNOPS partnerships and resource mobilization strategy in close collaboration with the Executive Director, and in alignment with the 4-year Strategic Plan.
  • Provide strategic leadership and guidance to the Partnerships and Liaison Offices to promote strong relationships with key stakeholders, including governments, multilateral organizations, other parts of the UN system, private sector entities, academia, and civil society organizations.
  • Ensure strategic alignment of the Partnership and Liaison offices to strengthen UNOPS performance and ensure that portfolio delivery and business development are mutually reinforcing, upholding high standards of integrity, ethics, transparency and accountability.
  • Ensure that the Partnerships and Liaison offices effectively build and maintain public/media relations, actively engaging their interest and support in promoting and communicating UNOPS achievements and impact, competencies, and interest in global development.
  • Promote and leverage synergies across the UN system, and with multilateral and development sectors to support implementation and enhance delivery of operations on the ground.


Coordination of Regional Delivery in Africa, Asia, Europe and Central Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean, New York Service Cluster, and Hosted Entities

  • Ensure the strategic alignment of the Regional Delivery with the 4-year Strategic Plan, sustaining the organization's ability to adapt and respond to the external environment.
  • Advise the Executive Director on short- and longer-term regional opportunities, assessing risks and ensuring decisions align with the organization’s strategies and partnerships.
  • Develop strategies and initiatives to promote regional development and ensure sustained impact of UNOPS interventions that uphold the highest standards of integrity, ethics, transparency and accountability
  • Empower, oversee, and guide the Regional Directors in designing and delivering strategies and objectives, ensuring organizational alignment and attainment of planned results according to partners’ expectations.
  • Lead efforts, and make recommendations to the Executive Director, to ensure organizational structures across the regions are effectively supporting the delivery of UNOPS interventions on the ground and that practices and processes are streamlined through effective coordination and communication between Headquarters and Regional offices. Oversees relations with the Heads of Secretariats of Hosted Entities to ensure high-quality, timely, and cost-effective delivery of sustainable results of their respective programmes and ensuring alignment with UNOPS policies, practices and standards.



  • Partner with the Executive Director to represent UNOPS with external constituency groups. Promote UNOPS, its mandate, mission, and vision to key external partners and stakeholders.
  • Represent the organization in senior and high-level United Nations fora the Executive Board, the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, the High-Level Committee on Management, and in other international and intergovernmental settings.
  • Represent UNOPS on the Boards of Hosted Entities, and at other key meetings as appropriate.
  • Act as Officer in Charge for the Executive Director as required.


Impact of Results

The effective and successful achievement of results by the DED directly impacts on the ability of UNOPS to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs, and demonstrate the UNOPS comparative advantage that combines UN ethics and values with tailored solutions thereby making UNOPS a partner of choice in programme and project services for sustainable development.



Strategic Perspective: Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.


Integrity & Inclusion: Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.


Leading Self and Others: Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others.


Partnering: Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).


Results Orientation: Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.


Agility: Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behaviour. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.


Solution Focused: Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.


Effective Communication: Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.


Education, Qualifications and Experience


  • An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent), preferably in management or business administration, business finance, or related areas;
  • A first-level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications



  • At least 15 years of progressively responsible and diverse experience in management at large international organizations;
  • Proven extensive leadership experience in a self-financing business environment is required;
  • Demonstrated experience in transformational leadership is required;
  • Demonstrated leadership experience in sustainable development and development cooperation is required;
  • Demonstrated experience in senior stakeholder management in international and complex political contexts is required.


Language Requirements:

  • Full working knowledge of English is essential.
  • Knowledge of another official UNOPS language, particularly French or Spanish, is an asset.


Location: Copenhagen, Denmark


How to Apply

If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form below on or before 26 September 2023. In addition, we encourage you to please attach a copy of your CV in Word format, preferably in English version.


All information will be treated in the strictest confidence as we pride ourselves on our professional service.


SRI Executive is exclusively retained by United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to undertake this assignment.

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