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Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO)

Position description

QUNO New York works in close partnership with UN diplomats and officials to increase the global commitment to the UN’s role in building lasting peace. We believe that the UN will only fulfill this aspect of its mandate when its peace initiatives truly respond to community needs, and we seek to build bridges between the UN in New York and voices from the ground.

QUNO staff members facilitate dialogue among UN stakeholders, help bring new ideas and perspectives from the ground to the international policy agenda, offer expert input into UN processes and represent the insights and concerns of Quakers at the UN.

QUNO consists of two offices, one in New York and one in Geneva, providing a joint Quaker witness and Quaker presence at the United Nations. The QUNO New York office is set up as a partnership between the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), acting together as trustees of the Quaker witness and the Quaker presence at the United Nations in New York. The Quaker UN Committee (QUNC) for New York is responsible for setting program priorities, reviewing program priorities with staff, recommending budgets to the AFSC Board of Directors, and monitoring and evaluating the work. The QUNO New York office is legally and administratively part of the AFSC, based in Philadelphia. At present, the QUNO New York office is using a hybrid model of work with staff working both in-person and from home.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS/RESPONSIBILITIES: The key responsibilities of the Program Assistant at the Quaker United Nations Office include the following:

  1. Participate in the administrative functioning of the office and Quaker House, including phone answering; processing mail and responding to email; supporting the maintenance of Quaker House; greeting visitors; managing planning, logistics, and preparations required to host program activities; and taking notes and maintaining records in support of QUNO program activities.
  2. Attend and participate in all QUNO staff-related meetings where appropriate.
  3. Specialize in several areas of work under the QUNO strategic plan, and help provide coverage of the work under the supervision of senior staff. This will entail attending relevant UN meetings to monitor and analyze issues of Quaker concerns before the UN; maintaining contacts with appropriate individuals in the UN community; conducting research on issues as they arise; and other duties as assigned.
  4. Keep generally informed about issues currently before the UN. Be alert for opportunities to support Quaker perspectives in international work. Provide advice and access for the work of Quakers at the UN.
  5. Support QUNO’s communications and outreach needs. This includes sharing about QUNO’s activities and concerns with Friends, AFSC and other groups, including through addressing and attending meetings and gatherings. This also includes developing content for QUNO’s website, e-newsletter, Annual Review, and supporting QUNO’s social media presence.
  6. In consultation with FWCC and AFSC, represent Quakers through QUNO.
  7. Participate in the planning and take part in meetings of the QUNO Committee.
  8. Assist the staff in the recruitment and selection of future Program Assistants.



Education: University degree or equivalent in experience

You will be the right person for this position if:

  1. You are passionate about peace and enjoy conducting analysis and sharing insights regarding international issues.
  2. You have strong organizational skills, enjoy problem solving and managing logistics.
  3. You have some knowledge of, and experience with, Quaker Meetings and/or organizations.
  4. You are able to communicate effectively in both spoken and written English, and to communicate with diverse partners.
  5. You enjoy working independently while also being an active member of a team.
  6. You have experience working with people of differing backgrounds and ideologies, including being sensitive to cultural, religious, gender and class differences.
  7. You are able to be flexible and respond to rapidly changing situations in the UN community and resulting shifts in Quaker UN work.
  8. You are available to attend occasional evening and weekend meetings and very occasional travel.
  9. You are committed to Quaker values and testimonies, including the principles and philosophy of the American Friends Service Committee, which emphasize non-violence and the belief in the intrinsic worth of every individual.
  10. You share a commitment to the principles, concerns, and considerations of AFSC with regard to equity around all aspects of identity including race, class, nationality, religion, age, gender and sexual orientation, and disabilities.

COMPENSATION: $33,743 before taxes. Comprehensive medical, dental and hospitalization plan, plus paid leave.

The American Friends Service Committee is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified persons are encouraged to apply regardless of their religious affiliation, race, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.

AFSC maintains a deep commitment to a mandate of care for our staff and communities, and thus recommends vaccination and have at least one booster shot for COVID-19; as well as adherence to social distancing, masking, and office occupancy protocols.

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