Director Of Human Resources

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United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East




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 personnel wishing to make a change. If you are passionate about leading the role and making a difference for Palestine refugees, then UNRWA would like to hear from you.

As Director of Human Resources you will lead UNRWA’s Human Resources (HR) function overseeing a workforce of over 30,000 Area staff and personnel across the Agency. Area staff are managed independently under Rules and Regulations specific to UNRWA, where DHR is responsible for the development and administration of HR policies and the administration of salaries and benefits.

UNRWA operates from headquarters in Amman and Gaza, with five operational areas (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, West Bank and Gaza), representative offices in New York, Washington, and Brussels and a liaison office in Cairo. UNRWA is the largest and most complex international employer in the Middle East, second only to host governments. UNRWA’s complexities are amplified by the diverse compensation structures, currency fluctuations, security risks in conflict zones, intricate reporting requirements, rapid response needs during emergencies, and financial instability.

The Director of Human Resources reports to the Deputy Commissioner-General – Operational Support.


Defines the global vision and strategic direction of the organization’s human resource’s function, in alignment to the Agency’s mid-term strategy. Leads transformative change initiatives to achieve the defined vision, ensuring the sustainability of HR modernization efforts. Advises the Commissioner-General on Human Resources including staff relations matters, navigating its complex landscape and ramifications, salary setting, allowances and benefits for UNRWA 30,000 area staff.

Is a member of the Commissioner-General’s senior management team and guides the Agency executives on salary and allowances matters. Conceptualizes a human-centric and forward-looking vision for the organization’s human resources management to make UNRWA an employer of choice. Drives modernization and innovation in the HR function.

Leads the development and implementation of a People Strategy supporting UNRWA’s current and future programme requirements and directions, managing the Agency’s organizational culture. Ensures that HR practices, policies, and initiatives reflect UNRWA’s commitment to fairness, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Leads the establishment of corporate HR standards, ensuring alignment with organizational values and principles. Leads the execution of UNRWA’s HR operations. Drives the workforce planning exercise, collaborating with internal departments and field offices to establish a well-structured workforce in alignment with educational and health standards, inter alia. Pioneers talent acquisition, talent development, and enhances the employee experience by simplifying and optimizing policies, procedures, and systems. Supports UNRWA’s mandate, goals, objectives, and direction through strategic discussion.

In consultation with relevant Directors, determines the impact of political developments on human resources activities in UNRWA. Advises or takes necessary action as influenced by political change or disruptive circumstances. Guides the strategic development of the entire range of Area staff policies, its compensation packages including the complex array of allowances and benefits and oversees the payroll for a workforce of over 30,000 individuals, ensuring a workforce that is both aligned with the Agency’s strategic objectives and deeply committed to its mission. Participates in Agency discussions with staff and in negotiations with staff unions, in close consultation with the Executive Office on staff union issues. Co-develops, implements, and evaluates policies, strategies and practices related to staff relations activities. Liaises with officials of the UN Secretariat, UNESCO, WHO and other organizations in the UN common system, and officials of governments, to present and discuss recurring or special matters relating to the full range of human resources functions. Represents the Agency in regular and special proceedings of the International Civil Service Commission, the Human Resources Network, the High-Level Committee on Management and other bodies. Contributes to UNRWA’s efforts to strive towards a healthier, safer, more respectful, and caring place to work for all employees. Promotes a systems approach to strengthen organizational zero tolerance for harassment, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority.


  • An advanced university degree (master’s or equivalent) from an accredited educational institution in human resources management, public or business administration, law, or a related field.

Work Experience

  • At least 15 years of progressively responsible experience in human resources management, administrative services or related area in an international organization or or large institution in the public or private sector is required. At least five years of professional work experience in human resources management is required.
  • At least five years of senior managerial experience leading and managing multi-cultural teams and staff is required. Unless already serving as an international staff member in the UN Common System, at least two continuous years of relevant international experience outside UNRWA, and outside the country(s) of citizenship is required .
  • Experience including knowledge of UN HR management; rules and regulations and practices, or similarly complex governance frameworks; experience with unions, staff negotiations and managing industrial relations, knowledge of Middle Eastern cultures and employment practices; and service in field operations is desirable.
  • Proficiency in a second UN language, preferably Arabic is desirable. An advanced university degree (master’s or equivalent) from an accredited educational institution in human resources management, public or business administration, law, or a related field is required.


  • Excellent command of written and spoken English is essential. Proficiency in a second UN language, preferably Arabic, is desirable.





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