United Nations University (UNU)

Strategy and Liaison Officer

United Nations University (UNU)

Job Description

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, Conflict Prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 SDGs, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)

UNU-IAS is a UNU institute based at the university’s headquarters in Tokyo. The mission of UNU-IAS is to serve the international community through policy-relevant research and Capacity Development focused on sustainability, including its social, economic and environmental dimensions. The activities of the institute are in three thematic areas: sustainable societies, natural capital and Biodiversity, and global change and resilience. UNU-IAS serves the international community through innovative contributions to high-level policymaking and debates, addressing priority issues for the UN system. For more information please visit http://ias.unu.edu

Postgraduate Degree and Training (PDT) Programme

Through postgraduate education, UNU-IAS develops international leaders with the interdisciplinary understanding and technical skills needed to advance creative solutions to problems of sustainability. The institute offers master’s and doctoral degree programmes, and innovative short courses, in close collaboration with leading universities in Japan and other countries. Further, UNU-IAS, in collaboration with MEXT, will establish a “Platform of Universities for SDGs” (SDGs-UP). This aims to create a hub gathering universities in Japan for promoting active dialogues, information-sharing, and collaborative action in analysing opportunities and challenges that higher education institutions are facing.


The Strategy and Liaison Officer is expected to shape, package, and deliver the institute’s products and expertise to maximise impact, affect positive change, and drive further demand for UNU-IAS work. Under the direct supervision of the UNU-IAS Director, and in close collaboration with Academic Programme Officer, the SDGs-UP team and UNU-IAS Communications team, the Strategy and Liaison Officer will facilitate the overall communications and outreach activities for the SDGs-UP project and the other strategic project activities of the institute. Specific responsibilities will include the following:
  • developing communication strategies for the institute’s education programme, primarily but not exclusively, the SDGs-UP project in close Coordination with the PDT Team and UNU-IAS Communications Team

  • producing and disseminating promotional materials such as interview clips, movies, and brochures for the projects

  • promoting key events and publications through media outreach, social media, and other means

  • assisting in surveys, Data Collection, and case studies

  • sourcing content and liaising with external partners

  • developing relationships and networks to enhance outreach

  • conducting other relevant activities as necessary

  • perform duties requested by the UNU-IAS Director

Required qualifications and experience

Required qualifications and experience include:
  • a master’s degree or equivalent qualification in communications, sustainable development, environment, social sciences, or a related field

  • a minimum of 7 years relevant working experience, preferably in an international setting

  • excellent writing, editing, and communications skills in English and Japanese

  • strong knowledge of communications theory and practice

  • an extensive knowledge of social Media Platforms and best practices

  • familiarity with the UN system and current issues related to sustainability

  • proven ability to efficiently manage a variable workload

  • fluency in English and Japanese is required; ability in other official UN languages is an advantage

  • excellent computer skills and web literacy are essential

  • good team player with strong interpersonal skills, demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity

UNU 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 and become part of the organisation. UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.


A monthly fee of JPY 390,600 will be paid to the candidate. It is a part-time post and the candidate is expected to work for 3.5 days per week. There are no other fringe benefits.

Duration of contract

This is full-time employment on a Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU-IAS. The initial appointment will be for one (1) year, with the possibility of renewal subject to satisfactory work performance, with the combined duration of appointments not exceeding six (6) years. This is a locally recruited post; no relocation expenses or allowances apply. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations. UNU does not sponsor a working visa for this position. Applications from suitably qualified women candidates are particularly encouraged.

Starting date

24 August 2020. Interested applicants should submit their applications by email (to ias.recruitment@unu.edu), and must include the following:
  • a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position

  • a curriculum vitae and a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations

  • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2020/UNU/IAS/PSA/SLO/55)

Vacancy Announcement: UNU-IAS Strategy and Liaison Officer (187.1 KB PDF)

By email: ias.recruitment@unu.edu
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