Regional Director, D-2, Latin America and the Caribbean Region (LACR), Panama City, Panama

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UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, dedication.

UNICEF is seeking to appoint a Regional Director for the Latin America and Caribbean Region. The Regional Director is accountable for the overall success of the UNICEF-assisted programmes of cooperation in the region. The Regional Director advises and assists the Executive Director and the Deputy Executive Directors on matters relating to global policy formulation and implementation under the broad policy guidelines.  The Regional Director represents the Executive Director vis-a-vis institutions of a regional character within and outside the United Nations system.

UNICEF is present in 36 countries and territories of Latin America and the Caribbean through 24 national offices spread throughout the region and a regional office based in Panama City. Our programs help to inspire a common vision on the rights of children, adolescents and to mobilize societies so that they can become a reality in the lives of all children. 

How can you make a difference?

As the head of the Regional Office, the Regional Director is accountable to the Executive Director for overall achievement of the goals, strategy and objectives of UNICEF-assisted regional programmes, the overall quality of emergency response, as well as the effective coordination and oversight of UNICEF offices in the region.

The Regional Director’s key functions and accountabilities include:

1. Advocacy, Leadership and Representation

  • Communicate and advocate  at the regional level and create new opportunities to improve the situation of children and adolescents  through relationships and networks with regional partners.
  • Lead evidence based advocacy efforts towards the achievement of results for children at scale and influence the allocation of domestic resources in social sectors.
  • Represent UNICEF in the region and establish and maintain highest level of contacts and effective relationships with regional partners, including those of the UN and national partners, intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, NGOs and civil society.
  • Direct and provide leadership and guidance to influence the regional initiatives, support and policies to ensure the wellbeing of  children and adolescents as a priority in the regional development effort, including regional legislation, public policy and resource allocations in support of children.
  • Lead and direct the Regional Management Team (RMT) and serve as a member of the Global Management Team (GMT) which is headed by the Executive Director. Ensure the proper functioning of the RMT and its committees. As the principal member of RMT, exercise leadership to manage the decision-making process for the region. Advise on policies, strategies and human and financial resources allocations, monitoring implementation and evaluation of regional results and lessons learned.   

2. Strategic Planning and Policy Development

  • In line with the core roles of the Regional Office, oversee the provision of specialized technical assistance, facilitate knowledge sharing, guide evidence-based advocacy efforts, nurture strategic partnerships and strengthen emergency preparedness and response.
  • Provide regional vision and leadership to advance the achievement of programme goals and objectives within the region. Provide timely and critical contributions to global policy development based on regional experience and interpret global policies in the regional context.
  • Oversee and strengthen the strategic management process and activities in the region which includes Representatives’ meetings, strategy meetings, country programme previews and reviews, annual report and regional budget review.
  • Participate in regular senior management meetings with the Executive Director and share responsibility for the formulation of organization’s global policy, strategy and overall direction of management and operations, consistent with UNICEF’s mandate and mission.
  • Define and prioritize regional strategies and plans in functional areas, in the light of organizational global policies, priorities and strategies in harmony with the rights- and results-based approach.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of regional communication, information and advocacy strategies.
  • Contribute to the organization’s knowledge base and global strategic planning based on an analysis of regional data and experience, prepare regional advocacy materials, and facilitate the exchange of information and experience within the region.

3. Country Programme Support

  • Ensure the formulation of quality regional work plans to support country offices in the preparation of new country programmes, and monitor programme and management performance and the effective and efficient use of resources.
  • Ensure the availability of technical staff within the regional office for consultation and support to country offices.
  • Assess regional resource requirements and funding opportunities, develop regional fundraising strategies, in collaboration with the RMT. Identify and maximize opportunities for fundraising and partnerships in the region, including negotiations with the private sector and International Financial Institutions.
  • As Chairperson of the region’s Programme and Budget Review meetings, coordinate the regional budget review process to ensure planning and implementation of organizational and global goals and strategy to be integrated and translated into regional and country programmes, financial resource allocation, organization structure, human resources planning and capacity building to meet current and future challenges and requirements of the organization in the region.

4. Emergency Preparedness and Response

  • Define and prioritize regional strategies and plans for emergency situations with the support of the Regional Emergency Advisers.
  • Strengthen child-centered schock responsive systems and ensure appropriate guidance to emergency programmes.
  • Monitor the progress, effectiveness and relevance of UNICEF emergency response, including use of UNICEF emergency procedures.
  • Facilitate the short-term deployment of staff to meet needs and assist in the redeployment of staff in emergency situations.

5. Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting

  • Monitor progress, effectiveness and relevance of UNICEF country programmes within the region with a view to improving country programme performance. Provide support and ensure effective oversight to country offices in relation to qualityreporting, and in accordance to standards by international financial institutions.
  • Coordinate   Mid Term Reviews and major evaluation exercises in the region; monitor the use of evaluation results to strengthen country programmes and report to the Executive Board on results.
  • Keep the Executive Director well informed of any significant organizational issues such as emergencies, conflicts, developments and/or resolutions in the region which affect UNICEF’s intervention/programmes of cooperation.
  • Oversee  effective human resources management within the region; facilitate the short-term deployment of staff to meet needs and assist in the redeployment of staff in emergency situations; approve regional training plans; and ensure prevention and/or resolution of grievances.
  • Oversee cost-effective procurement operations to meet programme objectives.

6. Administration and Management

  • Prepare and implement annual regional and regional office work plans in line with organizational strategic priorities, available resources and office management plans; ensure achievement of work plan objectives; monitor progress; and report on results.
  • Direct and manage effectively and efficiently the administrative, human resources, finance and capacity building functions within the regional office in accordance with all applicable rules, regulations and policies.
  • As a member of the Senior Staff Review Group, participate in major organizational discussions and review its human resources requirements including identification, selection, promotion and deployment of staff in the organization.
  • Regularly conduct performance evaluations of UNICEF Representatives in the region in order to ensure the achievement of performance objectives and provide feedback to performances/work plan.
  • Promote and lead by example regarding Talent and People Managements, including demonstrating Duty of Care and sensitivity to Diversity & Inclusiveness.
  • Oversee Representatives to ensure the protection of organization’s assets, financial resources and condition of services including staff security in the region, in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Organization.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • Advanced university degree or equivalent in Social Sciences, International Relations, Political Science, Economics, Public Information, Media, Communication, HR, Financial Management, Business or Public Administration, or other relevant disciplines to UNICEF’s work.
  • A minimum of 15 years of professional experience that combines intellectual and managerial leadership in an international organization or corporation is required.
  • Fluency in English and Spanish is required. A good working knowledge of another UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian) or Portuguese is an asset. 


Person Profile:

  • People leadership skills:
  • Ability to provide inspiration, vision, and effective direction, and unleash high performance from an increasingly diverse and/or dispersed team.
  • Capacity to effectively lead, inspire, motivate, and develop a large team of international and national staff towards the realization of sustainable programme results in a complex environment.
  • Team leadership skills:
  • Ability to build, develop and lead diverse, cross-functional teams of significant size, including senior level personnel.
  • Ability to attract, develop, and retain talent through effective performance management.
  • Ability to strategize, effectively lead teams and achieve results in a complex programmatic, operational, and volatile security context.
  • Result orientation skills:
  • Ability to create an environment of accountability focused on results, and to make difficult and risk-informed decisions when necessary.
  • Demonstrated ability to set clear goals, monitor progress, provide feedback, and implement corrective actions to ensure targets are met or exceeded.
  • External representation skills:
  • A demonstrated track record of strategic partnering at high level.
  • Strong experience in engaging with senior government officials, international organizations, donors, and other key stakeholders to advance organizational objectives.
  • Politically savvy with strong capacity to ensure high level representation and advocacy.
  • Collaboration and Influencing skills:
  • Ability to foster collaboration, develop positive and effective relationships and build consensus through effective communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong capacity in partnership/relationship building, resource mobilization, leveraging, and fundraising.
  • Change leadership skills:
  • Ability to create, inspire,  operationalize, and optimize change initiatives that contribute to strengthening UNICEF’s presence and relevance in country and globally.
  • Ability to lead teams through transitions and ensure smooth implementation of new strategies.
  • Experienced in identifying opportunities for innovation and driving organizational improvements that align with strategic goals.
  • Motivation
  • Passionate and enthusiastic about making a significant contribution in UNICEF’s most senior leadership role in the Latin America and Caribbean Region.
  • Committed and willing to serve full tour of duty of five years.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS). 


UNICEF’ competencies at level III:

  • Builds and maintains partnerships
  • Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness
  • Drive to achieve results for impact
  • Innovates and embraces change
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity
  • Thinks and acts strategically  
  • Works collaboratively with others
  • Nurtures, leads and manages people


To view our competency framework, please visit here

This position is classified as “rotational” which means the incumbent is expected to rotate to another duty station upon completion of their tour of duty. 

UNICEF 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 to become a part of the organization. 

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Should you be selected for a position with UNICEF, you either must be inoculated as required or receive a medical exemption from the relevant department of the UN. Otherwise, the selection will be cancelled.

Advertised: 03 Jun 2024 Eastern Daylight Time
Deadline: 01 Jul 2024 Eastern Daylight Time

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