Senior Adviser Climate Energy (P-5) Programme Group Leadership Team (PGLT) New York HQ # 0084763

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UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, defend their rights, and help them fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.

At UNICEF, we are committed, passionate, and proud of what we do. Promoting the rights of every child is not just a job – it is a calling.

UNICEF is a place where careers are built: we offer our staff diverse opportunities for personal and professional development that will help them develop a fulfilling career while delivering on a rewarding mission. We pride ourselves on a culture that helps staff thrive, coupled with an attractive compensation and benefits package.

Visit our website to learn more about what we do at UNICEF.

For every child, … a better life,

UNICEF’s Strategic Plan (2022-2025) recognizes that climate change and environmental degradation are existential threats to a child’s ability to survive, grow, and thrive and that all levers of the organization need to work together in a coordinated fashion.  In 2023, UNICEF released its Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (SCAP), which is the organization’s overall response to the triple planetary crisis (climate change, environmental degradation, biodiversity) as it impacts children, and which is anchored in UNICEF’s Strategic Plan (SP).  These documents draw strong links between responses to climate change and energy, environmental and biodiversity protection, and disaster risk reduction as children increasingly need holistic solutions that address both sudden-onset impacts of climate change such as hurricanes and floods and resilient solutions that promote climate-smart development.  The new SP activates all of UNICEF’s levers of impact on these issues –  our global programmes, our advocacy and communications infrastructure and our own operations and supply chain. 

A dedicated team (Climate, Energy, Environment and DRR – CEED)unit within the Programme Group (PG) supports the Director, Programmes in coordinating the implementation of UNICEF’s Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (SCAP) to advance this agenda in collaboration with Programme Groups and Teams, and as part of an interdivisional and cross geographic network.

How can you make a difference?

The Senior Adviser – Climate & Energy supports UNICEF’s Global Lead for Sustainability and Climate to develop and oversee the implementation of UNICEF’s policies, partnerships and programmes related to climate change and energy.

The Senior Adviser – Climate & Energy provides technical oversight and coordination of aspects related to climate change and energy within UNCEF’s Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (SCAP). On advocacy, data/evidence/research, innovation and resource mobilization, he/she works closely with lead Divisions and ensures alignment to organizational priorities. On programme policies, strategies and approaches related to climate change and energy, he/she provides leadership across the Programme Group and with Regional Offices in support of Country Programmes. He/she serves as the senior technical adviser for UNICEF on climate change and energy issues, convenes organizational coordination platforms, and represents the organization externally to shape global priorities and project thought leadership.

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

Strategy Development and Management

  • Refine, enhance, and lead the execution of UNICEF’s policies, strategic partnerships, advocacy efforts, and programmes focused on climate change and energy.
  • Develop and implement comprehensive strategic plans that integrate climate change and energy considerations into UNICEF’s overall mission and operational activities in line with UNICEF’s SCAP.
  • Lead the formulation and periodic review of climate change and energy policies, ensuring they are up-to-date with the latest scientific research, technological advancements, and international standards and within the overall evolution of UNICEF’s SCAP.
  • Facilitate cross-functional coordination within UNICEF to ensure a cohesive approach to climate and energy strategy, integrating inputs from various departments and regional offices.
  • Engage with internal and external stakeholders, including government bodies, NGOs, private sector, and academia, to align strategic initiatives and foster collaborative partnerships.

Programme Excellence

  • Coordinate Programme Group (PG) teams, Regional Office (RO), and Country Offices (COs) to ensure excellence in programme strategy, design, and implementation across all Goal Areas related to mainstreaming climate change and energy, as well as in areas of programmatic leadership.
  • Utilize cross-divisional and regional thematic networks, such as the Global Technical Team (GTTs), to drive the implementation of Climate and Energy initiatives within the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (SCAP) and address emerging issues, making effective linkages between data/research/evidence and programme strategies.  Provide progress updates and recommend strategies to address significant gaps.

Senior Management Support and Representation

  • Serve as UNICEF’s principal technical expert on matters concerning climate change and energy for both field operations and headquarters.
  • Lead and organize organizational forums to coordinate efforts on these matters and represent UNICEF externally to influence global agendas.

Global Advocacy, data/evidence, research and innovation

  • Collaborate closely with key divisions to ensure that the advocacy, data, evidence, research, and innovation aspects of the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan are in line with organizational priorities regarding climate change and energy.
  • Utilize networks like the GTT to efficiently coordinate work plans across divisions, maximizing the strategic utilization of resources.

Mobilization and management of resources

  • Offer strategic guidance and assistance in mobilizing resources for UNICEF’s efforts concerning climate change and energy.
  • Establish and supervise systems for efficiently monitoring and reporting outcomes from these funding sources.
  • Collaborate with other programme teams and divisions (e.g. Public Partnerships Division /PPD and Private Fundraising and Partnerships / PFP) to craft proposals for securing funding (including through innovative finance mechanisms) to bolster UNICEF’s sustainability and climate initiatives, emphasizing climate change and energy

Partnership, Coordination and Collaboration

  • Offer strategic guidance and cultivate partnerships and networks through proactive engagement with internal and external stakeholders,
  • Key partners will encompass internal stakeholders, other UN and multilateral organizations, government officials, private and non-governmental entities, academics, business figures, and individual supporters of UNICEF, among others.

Effectively leading the team

  • Assist the Global Lead – Sustainability and Climate in developing a work plan, defining priorities and targets, and overseeing progress to ensure timely and high-quality results.
  • Provide leadership and guidance to team members, setting clear objectives and direction. Uphold duty of care and promote CRITAS values within the team. Facilitate the organization of time-bound sprints for the Global Technical Team to advance the sustainability and climate agenda.

The following minimum requirements:

  • An advanced university degree in one of the following areas environment, energy or climate change, Social Sciences, International Relations, Political Science, or another relevant technical field is required.
  • A minimum of ten (10) years of relevant progressively responsible work experience focused on developing countries, of which 6-8 years focus on areas related to development cooperation in climate action, low carbon development, sustainable energy, and environmental protection is required.
  • Experience working with and on climate and sustainable energy financing will be considered an asset.
  • Experience working for international organizations such as the United Nations is desirable.
  • Fluency in English is required. Working knowledge of another UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) is considered an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

  • 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 

Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks, and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

UNICEF does not hire candidates who are married to children (persons under 18). 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 is committed to promoting the protection and safeguarding of all children.

All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station is required for IP positions and will be facilitated by UNICEF. Appointments may also be 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 canceled.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

As per Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity.

Government employees who are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government positions before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason. 

UNICEF does not charge a processing fee at any stage of its recruitment, selection, and hiring processes (i.e., application stage, interview stage, validation stage, or appointment and training). UNICEF will not ask for applicants’ bank account information.

All UNICEF positions are advertised, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. An internal candidate performing at the level of the post in the relevant functional area, or an internal/external candidate in the corresponding Talent Group, may be selected, if suitable for the post, without assessment of other candidates.

Additional information about working for UNICEF can be found here.

Advertised: 23 May 2024 Eastern Daylight Time
Deadline: 16 Jun 2024 Eastern Daylight Time

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