Special Assistant

UNDP - United Nations Development Programme


UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.

In the Americas & Caribbean Region, UN Women has a Regional Office based in Panama City, 10 Country Offices, one Multi Country Office and programmatic presence in 5 countries throughout the region. In addition, the Regional Office provides support to the governments, civil society, and UN system as a nonresident agency in countries with no UN Women presence.

The Special Assistant, under the supervision of the Regional Director provides substantive and practical support to the Regional Director in the responsibilities of the Director. The Special Assistant to the Regional Director will provide timely analytical information, prepare documentation, and will have a proven ability to work and act under pressure and with discretion in a sensitive and challenging environment. The incumbent must have excellent communication and organization skills to manage the substantive and normative agenda and strategically support coordination functions of the Regional Office.

The Special Assistant coordinates and provides general oversight on programme development and implementation in the region, coordinates communication initiatives and support resource mobilization initiatives.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Provide coordination and facilitation support to the Regional Director
  • Provide coordination support to the Regional Director in his/her interactions and exchanges with UN Women Representatives, Regional Office and HQ staff, keeping record and ensuring action and follow-up when required in a timely and efficient manner, and serving as note-taker in regular meetings and exchanges;
  • Provide specialized technical support to the Regional Director in his/her interactions, representation duties, exchanges and relationship cultivation with other UN agencies, UN regional coordination mechanisms, regional and sub-regional integration mechanisms, intergovernmental bodies, national authorities donors and private sector.
  • Provide relevant input when needed on key developments and opportunities to develop and strengthen institutional partnerships for the promotion of gender equality and women´s rights in the region and to ensure the inclusion of a gender perspective in regional and sub-regional intergovernmental fora;
  • Keep the Regional Director informed of incoming requests, correspondence and all matters requiring her attention, provide sound input as appropriate to facilitate decision making and ensure follow-up action, as directed;
  • Manage the planning and organization of the Regional Director´s agenda and official travel, including the timely preparation of official travel files, background documents and briefing notes, working closely with relevant staff and prepare official travel reports;
  • Draft speeches, talking points and /or design presentation materials for delivery by the Regional Director in key events, meetings and other internal and external fora ensuring that UN Women´s corporate and regional perspective, goals, objectives, strategies and/or policies on gender issues and UN Women programmes are appropriately reflected, working closely with relevant staff as required;
  • Seize opportunities for reinforcing positively UN Women image and the Regional Director exposure in regional and country media at all levels.

        2. Provide technical support on the implementation of programmes of UN Women offices in the region

  • Revise annual work plans and provide recommendations to assure compliance with programme goals and results-based indicators;
  • Provide technical support on the implementation of a results-based management approach to programming;
  • Support training on results-based management to CO/MCO/Programme Presence Offices.  Coordinate visits and missions to the Regional Office whenever is required;
  • Analyze and ensure alignment of project budgets, under his/her responsibility, with logical framework matrices and work plans;
  • Ensure programme quality control and identification of potential challenges of areas under his/her responsibility;
  • Whenever necessary, provide coordination, quality assurance and ensure compliance by COs, MCO and RO with corporate AWP monitoring requirements, such as correct entry into the Results Management System (RMS) and alignment with operational plans;

      3. Ensure in close collaboration with communications and technical colleagues strategic media engagement agenda of the RD and            quality assurance of all input for media opportunities

  • Handle the Regional Director´s media relations, including drafting press statements and releases, coordinating interviews and organizing press conferences, monitoring media coverage and responding to journalists´ inquiries and media requests.
  • Design, develop, and implement Communication Plans and outreach/advocacy strategies, including media strategies; ensure gender perspective;
  • Integrate communication, advocacy and outreach strategies into proposals for project/programmes and other initiatives;
  • Monitor and analyze press contents, social media and information from websites and prepare reports;
  • Provide advice and guidance to and coordinate with CO/ MCO/PPOs in the region.

       4. Develop and coordinate partnerships (including donors for RM purposes) and external and internal communications

  • Draft and oversee the development and coordination of cooperation agreement, memoranda of understanding, etc. with partner institutions by channeling their relevant directives and instructions and following up on commitments and any required action;
  • Participate in the development and implementation of differentiated, donor fund-raising strategies, aligned and coordinated with country-level activities initiatives and outreach activities;
  • Finalize substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation, identification of opportunities for resource mobilization and cost sharing;
  • Support the determination of programmatic areas of cooperation, based on strategic goals of UN Women, country needs and donors’ priorities and develop the relevant partnerships;
  • Provide technical support to the development of project proposals in line with the UN Women’s strategy and the interest of donors;

      5.  Perform other official duties and special assignments which may be requested by the Regional Director.


Core Values:

  • Respect for Diversity
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism

Core Competencies:

  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
  • Accountability
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Effective Communication
  • Inclusive Collaboration
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Leading by Example

Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Core Values and Competencies:



  • Excellent programme formulation, implementation skills
  • Ability to develop detailed operational plans, budgets, and deliver on them
  • Ability to synthesize programme performance data and produce analytical reports to inform management and strategic decision-making
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Excellent knowledge of Results Based Management
  • Strong knowledge of UN programme management systems
  • Strong networking skills
  • Strong inter-personal skills, communicate effectively with staff at all levels of the organization;
  • Ability to Work in a highly pressured environment;
  • Strong sense of responsibility, confidentiality and accountability;
  • Knowledge and understanding of gender equality issues as well as more broadly, human rights and development cooperation;
  • Experience with development issues in the LAC region;
  • Proficient in IT skills.


Required Skills and Experience

Education and Certification:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in International Relations, Communications, Public Relations, Public Affairs, Social Sciences, Public Administration, Business Administration or related field is required. 
  • A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • A project/programme management certification would be an added advantage


  • At least five years of progressively responsible experience in international/regional organizations and communications/public relations.
  • International development work preferably focused on, or strongly involving gender equality at national, regional, and international levels is required.
  • Experience in results-based management is required.
  • Experience in internal and external communication and/or resource mobilization is required.
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and spreadsheet and database packages, experience in handling of web-based management systems is required.
  • Experience in the use of a modern web-based ERP System, preferably Oracle Cloud, is desirable.
  • Prior experience with the UN or other international organization working in capacity as Assistant/Adviser to senior management is a strong advantage.
  • Prior experience in the UN System and the Region will be an asset.


  • Fluency in English and Spanish, both oral and written, is required;
  • Proficiency in other language of the region i.e. French and/or Portuguese, is an advantage.



All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from: . Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment. Applications without the completed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.

Only short-listed qualified candidates will be contacted.

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In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Diversity and inclusion:

At UN Women, we are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. UN Women recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, national origin, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, competence, integrity and organizational need.

If you need any reasonable accommodation to support your participation in the recruitment and selection process, please include this information in your application.

UN Women has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UN Women, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to UN Women’s policies and procedures and the standards of conduct expected of UN Women personnel and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. (Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.)

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