We strive for excellence in everything we do. Our mission to protect the rights of every child can only succeed when supported by strong and passionate senior leaders.
UNICEF embraces a leadership culture that prioritizes outcomes for children. Our leaders empower staff to deliver results for children and hold them accountable for these results. They also need to demonstrate a high degree of self-awareness, and develop their teams to be effective, strategic and collaborative.
UNICEF senior leaders embody our core values and leadership competencies. They provide vision and direction to guide teams and strive to create a work environment where everybody can thrive.
Diversity and inclusion are important elements in our leadership structure – we are working towards a fully balanced leadership team with regard to gender, geographic distribution and other factors that constitute a balanced and representative workforce.
Learn more about UNICEF’s Executive Team and Experts
Senior leadership roles
Deputy Executive Directors assist the Executive Director in providing overall direction and strategy, while Division Directors and Deputy /Associate Directors provide technical leadership in their offices.
Regional Directors and Deputy Regional Directors provide direction and leadership to country offices to ensure the achievement of our mission and objectives.
Country Representatives are responsible for cooperation with governments and for working closely with country partners to deliver results for children.
UNICEF offers innovative programmes that are tailored to meet the specific needs of our senior leaders. We provide opportunities to gain new perspectives and access the latest thinking, while building critical leadership and management skills. We partner with leading institutions to help us deliver effective leadership support, while actively contributing to UN system-wide leadership development initiatives. Our suite of programmes includes:
- Executive coaching
- Peer coaching
- 360-degree assessments
- Advanced media and presentation skills coaching
- Senior leader orientation programmes
- Career counselling
- Co-leadership training
- Training for Country Representatives
Are you a senior leader? Join us.
- Do you have an advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent)? Is your academic degree recognized by the United Nations?
- Are you fluent in English?
- Do you have 10 to 15 years of professional experience, including as a manager, in development or humanitarian settings?
If you meet these basic requirements, visit our vacancies page and select the ‘management’ category to find open leadership positions.
How we recruit senior leaders
Through our annual Senior Staff Rotation and Reassignment Exercise, we promote internal mobility and attract external talent with specific experience and skills. Successful candidates are placed in our Leadership Talent Group and are eligible for senior positions within UNICEF globally.
We also conduct ad-hoc recruitments, based on organizational needs. Depending on the nature of the need, the positions may be advertised internally (only available for current UNICEF staff members) and externally, and we may also partner with executive search firms.
Shortlisted candidates should expect a rigorous assessment process, including background checks. All recommendations for senior positions are presented to the Executive Director for final approval.
Visit our vacancies page and select the ‘management’ category to find open leadership positions.