Switzerland: Senior Policy Adviser

Organization: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Switzerland
Closing date: 30 Nov 2017


The role of the Senior Policy Adviser is to lead the development of policies in the Asia and Pacific region, including protection strategies and operational protection responses. The incumbent will be based in the Bureau for Asia & the Pacific at UNHCR Headquarters, Geneva. The Senior Policy Adviser will supervise the two Senior Legal Advisers of the Bureau and report to and be guided by the Director in close coordination with the two Deputy Directors of the Bureau. The Senior Policy Adviser will coordinate with other Bureaux and Divisions on policy matters that have relevance or resonance for and beyond the Asia Pacific region with the aim of ensuring harmonization across regions and in global policy matters of UNHCR. Coordination with external actors will be undertaken in policy issues that are predicated on these actors’ understanding of and interest in UNHCR policies.

The Senior Policy Adviser will specifically : (i) make recommendations and proposals to the Director and the senior management team in policy and legal/protection related issues; (ii) ensure implementation of decisions taken on these proposals with the Senior Legal Advisers, the two Deputy Directors, and in close coordination with field operations, Bureaux and other Headquarters colleagues, (iii) develop and coordinate implementation of research strategy to support the Director’s policy direction and orientation, (iv) maintain and develop contacts with policy research entities in other international organisations and academic institutions, (v) regularly update, through internal and external processes, the Bureau’s Strategic Direction documents, (vi) and to contribute to UNHCR’s global and cross-regional strategic thinking.The incumbent is also expected to support and undertake new initiatives in regional fora which can extend UNHCR’s influence and promote solutions for refugee situations in the region, and represent the Asia Bureau in task force, working groups, etc., on cross-cutting policy issues, as may be constituted at UNHCR Headquarters to advise the Director, and the HC/DHC/AHC.


  • Graduate (equivalent of a Master’s) degree in Political or Social Science, Law or related fields.

  • Job experience to the function: 11 years.

  • In an International capacity: 10 years.

  • Extensive protection experience encompassing legal aspects and operational protection at the field level.

  • Demonstrated ability to conceptualise, develop and implement strategy and policy.

  • Command of English and drafting skills are essential.


  • Knowledge of French desirable.

  • Formal and on the job training in Policy Development methods and Management.

  • UNHCR’s Protection and management learning programmes, including thematic protection learning programmes.

How to apply:


Interested applicants should submit their application online here: http://www.unhcr.org/careers.html.

To view all international vacancies please go to http://www.unhcr.org/careers.html.

Closing date for receipt of applications: 30 November 2017 (midnight Geneva time)

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.