This job has expired


Trieste (IT)
Commensurate with education and experience
Closing date
Dec 28, 2023

View more

Other, Science Policy, Other
Position Type
Full Time
Job Type
Organization Type

Ref: 1ITSC0824VC

Grade: D-1

Location: Trieste, Italy

Type of contract: Fixed Term

Duration of contract: 2 years, renewable

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time): 03-JAN-2024


We are excited to announce the online UNESCO World Academy of Sciences Career Information Session on the 18th of December 2023 at 1.00pm (CET) dedicated to the role of Executive Director for the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) at UNESCO in Trieste, Italy.

You are invited to join us to learn more about this unique opportunity with UNESCO as Executive Director and shape the future of international cooperation in science in the interests of peace and sustainable development! 



Within the Natural Sciences Sector of UNESCO, the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) promotes international cooperation in science in the interests of peace and sustainable development.

The main objectives of the Academy are to recognize, support and promote excellence in scientific research in the South; to provide promising scientists in the South with the research facilities necessary for the advancement of their work; to facilitate contacts between individual scientists and Institutions in the South; to encourage North-South and South-South cooperation between individuals and centres of scholarship; and to promote scientific research on major challenges faced by developing countries.

Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences and the guidance of the TWAS Steering Committee and the TWAS Council as regards the programmatic direction, the incumbent will be responsible for providing intellectual, strategic and operational leadership in the development, management, planning and execution of TWAS international scientific cooperation programmes, in line with the Organization’s policies and procedures and within the framework of UNESCO’s approved Programme and Budget (C/5). The incumbent shall also be responsible for the coordination of the work with the associated organizations hosted by the Academy; the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) and the Inter academy Partnership, bringing together renowned networks of academies of science and medicine.

In addition, the incumbent will:

  • Provide leadership, guidance and effective internal control to the work of TWAS staff in relation to the implementation of all TWAS programme activities, including the preparation of annual programmes, reports, action plans and budget projections to the UNESCO governing bodies and donors;
  • Develop synergies with UNESCO programmes in the field of basic sciences, including the International Basic Science Cooperation and explore and develop opportunities for joint initiatives within the UNESCO family in this field;
  • Develop innovative approaches to promote South-South cooperation in the area of the basic sciences and the development of new networks in applied sciences with leading international organizations in view to promote scientific excellence for sustainable development in the South towards the implementation of the Agenda 2030;
  • Provide strategic leadership for resource mobilization;
  • Act as Secretary to the meetings of the TWAS Steering Committee and the TWAS Council.


COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

  • Communication
  • Accountability
  • Innovation
  • Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement
  • Planning and organizing
  • Results focus
  • Teamwork
  • Making quality decisions (M)
  • Driving and managing change (M)
  • Building partnerships (M)
  • Leading and empowering others (M)
  • Strategic thinking (M)
  • Managing performance (M)
  • Professionalism




Ph.D in one of the fields of the Natural Sciences.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible professional experience in scientific research and administration, at international level. 
  • Demonstrated leadership experience in a scientific environment with experience in human resources and finance management.
  • Successful experience in fund-raising from governments and the private sector, and international funding and technical assistance organizations and agencies.

Skills and Competencies

  • Knowledge of, and commitment to, the Organization's mandate, vision, strategic direction and priorities.
  • Good knowledge of UNESCO programmes and policies and of international development policies and institutions in science technology and innovation.
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively and to build relationships with diverse groups of organisations and individuals, relevant environmental scientific research institutions, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, including through networking.
  • Capacity to provide scientific and intellectual leadership to guide staff, as well as ability to build trust, manage, lead and motivate a large and diversified group of staff in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • High sense of professional integrity and political sensitivity; demonstrated ability to interact with a wide range of high-level partners.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and persuasively, both orally and in writing, in front of a broad range of constituents, as well as the news media.
  • Excellent judgment and decision-making abilities including strong analytical and negotiation skills.
  • Ability to identify key strategic issues, objectives, opportunities and risks.
  • Good understanding of science, technology and innovation needs of developing countries.


Excellent knowledge of English (oral and written).




  • Other degrees or short- to medium-term training in disciplines relevant to the post.

Work experience

  • Experience in the field of international relations and diplomacy, multilateral cooperation, development;
  • Experience in conducting policy dialogue at government and non-government levels or public and private sectors.
  • Experience in research work and/or teaching at university or in a research institution.
  • Broad knowledge of Basic sciences, Research Innovation and Engineering, with field experience.

Skills and Competencies

Strong global professional network.


  • Knowledge of other official languages of UNESCO (French, Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish).
  • Knowledge of Italian.



UNESCO’s salaries consist of a basic salary and other benefits which may include if applicable: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, medical insurance, pension plan etc.

The approximate annual salary for this post is US $ 138,996.


For more information on how to apply, please click the Apply button.

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