Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Principal Administrator (Safety of Pesticides and Transgenic Organisms)

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Job Description


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation comprised of 38 member countries, that works to build better policies for better lives. Our mission is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.  Together with governments, policy makers and citizens, we work on establishing evidence-based international standards, and finding solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges. From improving economic performance and creating jobs to fostering strong education and fighting international tax evasion, we provide a unique forum and knowledge hub for data and Analysis, exchange of experiences, best-practice sharing, and advice on public policies and international standard-setting.


The Environment Directorate (ENV) assists governments in identifying and implementing the environmental policies needed to support a cleaner, more resource-efficient and low-carbon green growth path. The ENV team is made up of environmental specialists, economists and scientists who undertake cross-country analyses, review country performances, develop projections, facilitate work-sharing, collect data and indicators, and develop policy recommendations. The ENV meetings and conferences provide a forum for discussions amongst governments and with business and civil society partners on critical environmental challenges.


ENV is looking for a Principal Administrator to support the work programme of the Environment, Health and Safety Division (EHS) of the Environment Directorate. The selected candidate will be responsible for leading teams of staff for projects on the safety of pesticides and the products of modern Biotechnology, and will work under the direct supervision of the Head of the Environment, Health and Safety Division.


Through the OECD Environment, Health and Safety Programme, countries work together to develop and co-ordinate activities related to the safety of chemicals (including manufactured nanomaterials), pesticides and biocides and products of modern biotechnology. The main objectives of the programme are to protect human health and the environment by assisting countries to (a) anticipate, identify and prevent or manage the risks of chemicals and products of modern biotechnology and (b) to ensure efficiencies and optimal use of resources for governments and industry through harmonisation of policies and instruments and (c) by creating mechanisms for sharing work in areas of mutual interest.


Main Responsibilities


Programme management

  • Oversee the organisation and co-ordination of the OECD Programme on the environmental safety of transgenic organisms and the safety of novel foods and feeds. This includes:
    • The work on the development of harmonised guidance on the risk assessment of modern biotechnology products for use in the environment or in foods and feeds, related regulatory approaches and collaborative work.
    • the work on the development of consensus documents on the biology of crops, trees, animals or micro-organisms, i.e. elements of taxonomy, morphology, centres of origin, life cycle, reproductive biology, genetics, outcrossing, crop production and cultivation practices, interaction with other organisms, main pests and pathogens, and biotechnological developments.
    • the work on the development of consensus documents on the composition of crops or animals, i.e. key nutrients, anti-nutrients, possible toxicants, allergens and other metabolites contained in the products;
    • the work on regulatory approaches to emerging technologies, such as gene editing or gene drive; and
    • the maintenance and further development of a database on the products of modern biotechnology.
    • Oversee the organisation and Coordination of the OECD Pesticides Programme. This includes:
      • the development of Test Guidelines and guidance documents to assess pesticide exposure by identifying residues in food or animal feedstuffs;
      • the development of harmonised guidance on the methods and approaches used to assess the safety of biological pesticides;
      • activities related to the identification and prevention of the illegal trade of pesticides through the development of best practices and facilitating the exchange of information amongst governments;
      • the work related to identifying issues associated with the safety of emerging and converging technologies, including RNAi-based pesticides and the application of pesticides using digital and mechanical technologies, and developing tools or guidance to assess the safety of such technologies; and
      • activities related to facilitating and promoting work sharing among countries for pesticide evaluations, through the development of electronic tools;
        • Lead, support and supervise the work of professionals in the safety of products of modern biotechnology and the authorisation of pesticides, consultants and support staff, defining tasks, objectives and deadlines; and monitoring progress, including managing the performance cycle of staff.
          • Lead the Fundraising efforts for the projects related to the work on the safety of products of modern biotechnology and the assessment of pesticides.


            Liaison and support

            • Lead and organise support to countries and industry in their implementation of these programmes. Liaise and maintain close contact with relevant OECD directorates, other stakeholders as well as international and regional organisations concerned with work related to the programme.
            • Organise and prepare meetings and workshops on various aspects of the safety of products of modern biotechnology as well as the assessment of pesticides.  Provide support for expert meetings associated with these topics. Follow-up on the outcome of the meetings.
            • Represent the OECD EHS Programme at various external meetings or conferences.
            • Disseminate the findings of the OECD EHS Programme at relevant meetings and conferences.
            • Undertake other tasks, as assigned, related to the implementation of the Environment, Health and Safety Programme.


              Ideal Candidate Profile


              Academic Background

              • An advanced university degree in biotechnology, chemistry, toxicology or biological sciences, engineering, agronomics or related topics.


                Professional Background

                • More than ten years of professional experience working on various aspects of the development or implementation of government policy and programmes on the safety of products of modern biotechnology or pesticides. This experience may have been aquired in national governments, agencies, research institutes, intergovernmental organisations or a combination of the above.
                • Experience of systems used in classification and labelling of chemicals.
                • Experience with pesticide registration and re-registration proceses.
                • Experience in developing and reviewing policies and/or regulations concerning the testing and assessment of transgenic organisms or pesticides. 
                • Experience in undertaking hazard or risk assessments of transgenic organisms or pesticides. 
                • Experience in developing high-level specifications for IT-tools (e.g. for reporting and disseminating the properties of transgenic organisms or pesticides, predicting the properties of pesticides or for submitting authorisation dossiers of pesticides).
                • Experience in managing project teams of analysts.
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