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Chief Security Officer - UNOPS - Syria, Egypt

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners' needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale.

Background Information - Job-specific

UNOPS mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Within these three core areas of expertise, UNOPS provides its partners with advisory, implementation and transactional services, with projects ranging from building schools and hospitals, to procuring goods and services and training local personnel. UNOPS works closely with governments and communities to ensure increased economic, social and environmental sustainability for the projects we support, with a focus on developing national capacity.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices in development, humanitarian and peacebuilding contexts, always satisfying or surpassing partner expectations.

We employ more than 6,000 personnel and on behalf of our partners create thousands more work opportunities in local communities. Through our headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark and a network of offices, we oversee activities in more than 80 countries.

Based in Amman, Jordan UNOPS Regional Operational Hub supports UNOPS offices throughout the region, providing financial oversight of projects, procuring goods and services and managing human resources.

MR Amman helps ensure that projects are executed to the highest standards, providing a shared knowledge base and ensuring that best practices and lessons learned are disseminated between projects across the entire region.

The UNOPS Regional Operational Hub in Amman has sub-offices in Baghdad and Erbil in Iraq. The office also manages projects in Jordan, Syria and Yemen. UNOPS provides a range of project development, technical management and infrastructure-related services, supporting economic recovery and development, reconciliation and civil society, elections, human rights and rule of law, and health, water and sanitation.

The OPCW-UN Joint Mission in Syria to destroy all Category 1 Chemicals declared by Syria concluded its work on 30 September 2014. As per 1 October 2014, UNOPS has been responsible for the provision of the Equipment and Services to the OPCW Mission in Syria, which is required for the Destruction of Chemical Weapons Productions Facilities by the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Chief Security Officer (CSO) is responsible for all aspects of security management, crisis readiness and preparedness for the OPCW/UNOPS project throughout Syria. He/she serves as an advisor and assists the Project Manager in the execution of her/his security responsibilities as per the provisions of the UN Framework of Accountability. The Chief Security Officer will be responsible for security of all personnel based in Syria. The risk environment currently in Syria is very high and the CSO must be prepared to perform these tasks under extreme and challenging conditions.

The Chief Security Officer will lead the team and supervise the Field Safety Adviser as well as 4 national security officers. The Chief Security Officer reports to the Project Manager and with a second reporting line for information purposes to the OPCW Head of Security and the UNOPS Chief of Security.

Functional Responsibilities

The CSO performs the following in support of and on behalf of the Project Manager:

  • Acts as a focal point for security information flow on issues of assignment; Prepares and submits reports and security analysis to senior managers on security threats and trends in Syria

  • Obtains, studies and implements all security policy promulgated by the Inter-Agency Security Management Network

  • Supervises, coordinates and assigns investigation tasks for violation of security matters, illegal activities, accidents/incidents, complaints and allegations of misconduct, in which UNOPS Personnel, project personnel or eligible dependents may be involved;

  • Establish and maintain close cooperation with UNDSS Syria, national security agencies, other UN Agencies Funds and Programmes, diplomatic missions and international organisations, including NGOs to share information pertaining to staff safety and security to obtain the best information and protection for OPCW Mission in Syria staff, and operations;

  • Prepare, maintain and update OPCW/UNOPS country-specific security and contingency plans in accordance with the guidelines from the United Nations Security Management System and UN security policies;

  • Preparing comprehensive Security Risk Assessments (SRAs) and provide advice on the collection, interpretation and analysis of security information, as it pertains to the security of UNOPS/OPCW personnel and operations.

  • Provide advice to OPCW/UNOPS countrywide on the risk assessment process ensuring that the risk management methodology is fully integrated with programming and operations, including the implementation of risk mitigation measures.

  • Maintain updated staff lists, including details of visiting missions and consultants;

  • Establish and manage a fully functional warden system as per the guidelines outlined in MOSS;

  • Participate in the SMT and Security Cell;

  • Prepare security advisories for OPCW/UNOPS personnel in Syria based on the analysis of emerging trends.

  • Advise on hostage incident management;

  • Assist the Security Cell and the UNDSS Chief Security Adviser in developing and implementing UN security management policies as well as advisories;

  • Monitor all relevant political and security developments and provide analysis of the situation when needed;

  • Develop, implement and supervise a radio communication monitoring mechanism, as appropriate;

  • Develop and implement office and residential security requirements;

  • Participate on the selection panel for the locally-recruited and internationally recruited personnel as directed by the Project Manager;

  • Manage all financial resources provided to the security section;

  • Manage the work assignments and schedules of all individuals assigned to the security section;

  • Plan, manage and conduct missions in the area of responsibility. Supervise the Operations / Security Officers in the preparation of CONOPS.

  • Conduct field operations as directed by the Project Manager;

  • Serve as the first reporting officer on performance evaluations of all individuals assigned to the CSO office;

  • Coordinate emergency medical evacuation;

  • In collaboration with UNDSS and UNOPS Chief security Officer, establishes air and land evacuation capability to be used in emergencies for UNOPS personnel in Syria; conducts evacuation exercises and recommends necessary infrastructure; Assess evacuation resources availability

  • Acts as a member of the senior management team. In crisis situations, as a member of thereof the Crisis Management Team , ensures crisis preparedness and timely coordinate emergency and crisis situations response.

  • Determines accessible areas, maintains tracking systems, establishes and coordinates an efficient 24-hour Emergency Response Systems (ERS)

  • Provides training and advises UNOPS personnel on security matters, as well as determining and recommending the need for such resources

  • Follow up on arrests and detentions of OPCW/UNOPS personnel;

  • Coordinate a 24-hour response to all security related incidents involving OPCW/UNOPS personnel;

  • Ensure that the required security training is provided to personnel;

Other security related tasks assigned by the Project Manager.


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.

Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.

Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.

Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).

Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.

Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.

Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.

Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Functional competencies

  • Change Orientation

  • Initiative

  • Organizing and Quality Orientation

  • Ability to Analyze

  • Decision Making

  • Strategic Orientation

  • Result Orientation

  • Assertiveness

  • Communication skills

  • Networking Skills

  • Teamwork Skills

  • Situational Sensitivity

  • Client Focus

Education/Experience/Language Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in Political Science, Security Management, International Relations or relevant field. Additional years of relevant work experience, including in emergency or conflict/post-conflict settings, in combination with a first level university degree, will substitute for the requirement of an advanced degree.

  • A minimum of 7 years of relevant experience in security management of which at least five years are at senior management level.

  • Work experience from a high risk and complex environment is preferable and previous work experience from the United Nations is an advantage.

  • Experience from coordinating security arrangements with military, police and other security forces required;

  • Knowledge, and preferably first-hand experience, of the current operating and security conditions in Syria is an advantage

  • Experience in conducting threat assessments; and knowledge of UN security procedures and policies is an advantage

  • Ability to respond immediately and adequately in an emergency situation while remaining calm

  • Resourcefulness, initiative and maturity of judgment

  • High sense of responsibility and confidentiality

  • Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills

  • Excellent communication skills both oral and written.

  • Fluency in English required. Fluency in Arabic is an advantage.

  • Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time

  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.

  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.

  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post

  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Temporary Assignment

Contract level: TA P4

Contract duration: Till end of Dec 2017

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