Job Description

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works worldwide to provide Humanitarian Assistance to people affected by conflict and armed violence. We act in response to emergencies and at the same time promote respect for international Humanitarian Law. We are an independent and neutral organization, and our mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. We work closely with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and with their International Federation to ensure a concerted, rational and rapid humanitarian response to the needs of the victims of armed conflict or any other situation of internal violence. We direct and coordinate the international activities conducted in these situations.


Digitalization and new technologies have an increasingly important role in today’s humanitarian activities. As humanitarian organizations become more active in and reliant on new and digital technologies, they evolve from being simple bystanders to being fully-fledged partners in cyberspace, vulnerable to harmful cyber operations that could impact on their capacity to protect and assist people affected by armed conflict. In addition to adverse cyber operations, this leads humanitarian organizations to face numerous other novel challenges, as illustrated in more detail here below.

Considering the complexity of the challenges linked to the above, the ICRC has decided to start exploring and piloting the possible setup that will be required to run digital services on a global scale before such services are available for large scale deployment, through a Delegation for Cyberspace.

This involves creating a testing ground in which the ICRC can pilot and deploy supporting R&D technology, and in which it can safely engage in a dialogue with host authorities.

Role description

The Head of Technology is in charge of all the R&D activities of the Delegation for Cyberspace. S/he is fully accountable for the delivery, run and maintenance of the R&D environment of the Delegation for Cyberspace vis-à-vis the ICRC. In this specific context, R&D activities mainly consist in developing new state-of-the-art in security and Data Protection but also contribute to legal, policy and operational perspectives and dimensions.

Tasks and responsibilities

  • Is responsible for the architecture Design, establishment, Coordination, and management of the entire R&D environment, from a technical/operational and organizational point of view, on the basis of need-based strategic orientations defined by the Head of Delegation, in coordination with the Data Protection Office (DPO).
  • Links the technical, legal and policy aspects related to the adoption of new technologies at the ICRC, keeping this big picture aligned with a deep geo-political perspective and with ICRC operational strategy both in the field and at HQ. This includes in particular to promote data protection and security by design.
  • Translates the Delegation for Cyberspace strategy into operational plans for the R&D team and the external partners such as the host state and their representatives.
  • Defines processes for the technical team, internal ICRC resources, such as the Delegation for Cyberspace, Cybersecurity and R&D Advisers and external consultants, and issues instruction on standard practices and policy questions.
  • Manages the procurement process/contractual agreements (hardware and software) with partners and ensures that the Delegation for Cyberspace, where necessary, is equipped and capable to respond to increased demand for its R&D projects properly managing capacity and capabilities.
  • Resolves the complex and unusual challenges linked to developing an R&D environment; to test suitable technology; to sustain and support digital services in Humanitarian Action; and contribute to the related discussions on legal, ethical, policy, and operational aspects.
  • Develops creative solutions guided by functional plans, strategies and processes.
  • Keeps an active monitoring of state-of-the-art research and publications in the domain of cybersecurity, both from a technical and international policy point of view.
Desired profile and skills

  • Master or PhD in Computer Science or other engineering field. Certification in Information Security or Cybersecurity is an asset.
  • Fluent in English and advanced knowledge of French (min C1). Spanish, Russian or Arabic is an asset.
  • 8-15 years’ overall professional experience, including ideally 5 years of experience in a position of leading and running a technology office/applied research for a large organization
  • Experience working at the intersection between academia and applied research and industry is a strong asset.
  • Demonstrable experience in people management of diverse multi-cultural teams.
  • Broad and deep understanding of modern cloud technologies, from network to micro-services architecture, from VM-deployments to databases.
  • Sound understanding of -and interest in- the global geopolitical landscape of new technologies and cybersecurity.
  • Prior experience in field-based humanitarian work an asset.
  • Experience in some of the countries and contexts in which the ICRC does the majority of its work, including low-bandwidth environments.
What we offer

  • An inspiring opportunity to practice your profession in a multicultural environment for the oldest humanitarian organization in the world.
  • Progressive development, training and stimulating benefits package
  • A full-time open-ended mobile contract with expatriate package and a competitive salary. Grading: C3
  • Run a new team including two Cybersecurity and R&D engineers.
  • Place of work: Luxembourg with regular travel to Geneva.
Ready to apply? Please apply via the online application before May 31st 2022 Preferred starting date: end of Q2 / beginning of Q3 2022 The ICRC values diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive working environment. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates.    
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