Secretary of IFAD & Director, Office of the Secretary

Rome (IT)
Competitive salary
08 May 2018
27 May 2018
Director, Managing Director
Contract Type
Contract / Interim

Secretary of IFAD & Director, Office of the Secretary

Vacancy Announcement Number 1614
Date of Issue 27/04/2018
Deadline for Applications 27/05/2018
Organizational Unit Office of the Secretary
Level D-1
Duty Station Rome
Duration of Assignment 2 years (renewable)

Organizational Context

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger. It does so by investing in rural people. IFAD finances programmes and projects that increase agricultural productivity and raise rural incomes, and  advocates at the local, national and international level for policies that contribute to rural transformation.

The External Relations and Governance (ERG) department is composed of the Communications Division (COM), the Global Engagement and Multilateral Relations Division (GEM), the Partnership and Resource Mobilization Office (PRM), and the Office of the Secretary (SEC). Its responsibilities include:

  • Strengthening IFAD’s visibility and reputation
  • Enhancing institutional governance and promoting effective relationships between IFAD and its Member States
  • Supporting decentralising and the agenda for growth, as a strategic partner with Operations
  • Increasing funding for IFAD by further engagement with existing stakeholders and by seeking new partners, particularly from the private sector
  • Strengthening multilateral relations, promoting a conducive global policy and enhancing investments for smallholder agriculture and rural development, and
  • Leveraging South-South Triangular Cooperation as a key development instrument for sustainable and inclusive rural transformation

Post's Organizational Accountability

The Office of the Secretary of IFAD is responsible for the effective and efficient planning and organization of IFAD's governing body meetings as well as for establishing, building and effectively maintaining relations with IFAD's Member States and its Representatives to the governing bodies. It is the focal point for all official contacts with IFAD Member State representatives. Its goal is to support IFAD's governance by promoting effective relationships between the Fund and its Member States. It is composed of three units: Governing Bodies, Member States Liaison and Protocol, and Conference and Languages Services. 

The main focus of Director position is strategic leadership, innovation and management. The accountabilities/key results include: 

  • Vision & Strategy
  • Policy Development & Advice
  • Programme Management
  • Management of Resources
  • Representation 

Under the overall guidance and supervision of the Associate Vice-President, External Relations and Governance (ERG) department, the Secretary of IFAD is responsible for managing the Office of the Secretary and will lead, manage and motivate a team of managers/senior specialists who are also supervisors, specialists and assistants. As a member of the ERG management team, the incumbent is responsible for managing and supervising the delivery of a division's programme of work within an allocated budget.

Key Results Expected / Major Functional Activities:

Vision & Strategy: Directors develop and promote a strategic vision for translating IFAD's corporate and departmental mandates, strategies, goals and objectives into a divisional programme of work and for ensuring that evolving divisional programme activities are integrated into the evolution of departmental goals and objectives. They participate in the design of IFAD's and departmental strategic approaches and ensure that corporate strategies are fully integrated in the design of assigned activities. Directors set and communicate clear strategic and operational objectives and are held accountable for the division being seen as a credible and trusted partner in managing for results and as an innovator in its field.

Policy Development & Advice:  Directors provide leadership in the development and interpretation of major policies, regulations and rules, and systems that govern the work of a division and ensure they support divisional goals and objectives within the overall Fund mandates and strategies. Directors also serve as trusted business/programme advisors with a significant role in authoritative policy advice within the Fund at the senior management level, as well as in policy dialogue in their representational activities.

Programme Management: Directors provide leadership in (a) all phases of the division's medium-term planning and management, including operational requirements such as (i) establishing annual work plans, (ii) ensuring regular programme assessment and (iii) identifying opportunities for innovation and implementation of best practices generated within the Fund, as well as in peer organizations, both private and public; (b) reviewing and innovating core processes of the division in order to achieve better efficiency and effectiveness, as well as financial sustainability, of operations; (c) enhancing synergy among divisional staff and holding staff accountable for results and (d) ensuring the preparation of all divisional publications, reports and governing bodies documents. In specific, the incumbent will:

  • Plan and manage the smooth functioning of the periodic meetings of the Fund's governing bodies, namely, the annual meeting of the Governing Council and the three Executive Board sessions each year, and the meetings of the related subsidiary bodies, such as the Audit and Evaluation Committees
  • Support the planning and management of the triennial replenishment consultations of the Fund
  • Be accountable for timely preparation of all governing bodies documents
  • Ensure the follow-up of commitments made by management to governing bodies, in cooperation with relevant departments and divisions
  • Support other non-governing bodies meetings such as conferences, workshops, and seminars, in collaboration with other departments and divisions

Management of Resources: Directors are accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources (human, financial and material). This includes:

  • People management through workforce planning, recruitment, performance management, learning and career management of Professional and General Service staff
  • Identifies best qualified candidates for vacancies, with appropriate regard for gender balance and geographic distribution
  • Motivates, coaches and supports staff of the division, wherever they are located, to create cohesive teams that work effectively to achieve common divisional goals and objectives
  • Manages staff performance and development through regular performance feedback, mentoring and career planning
  • Manages the divisional budget by leading divisional strategic and data inputs in the departmental budget preparation exercises and by ensuring accountability and fiduciary integrity in the Division's budget execution
  • Manages material resources through accountability for the material resources assigned to the Division
  • Manages knowledge and content to achieve innovative outcomes and cost effective processes as well as to promote the generation, validation and dissemination of knowledge by ensuring that (a) knowledge content is continuously updated and available, (b) best practices are continuously identified, documented and distributed and (c) appropriate and up-to-date information and tools are available as appropriate
  • Manages information technology through leveraging ERP functionality for improved business results, reporting processes and client services.

Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators

Within IFAD's overall Strategic Framework and Medium Term Plan, Directors establish IFAD's priorities for and provide leadership to division-level programme and operational management activities, and are accountable for a results-based approach to meeting assigned goals and objectives. Leadership activities include the optimum utilization of human, financial, technology and material resources for the achievement of greater efficiency and effectiveness. The incumbents' impact extends beyond the successful achievement of divisional goals and objectives to include larger departmental goals and objectives in strategic planning collaboration. The expected results directly and/or indirectly benefit the ultimate stakeholders, the rural poor in developing countries.

The key performance indicators for Directors include leadership in viable strategic planning, authoritative and relevant policy development and advice, sustainable programme decisions and integrity and accountability in the planning and management of the Fund's human, financial and material resources assigned to the division.

Representation / Work relationships

Within IFAD, Directors provide authoritative advice to senior management on the division's or office's vision, strategic planning, policy, and divisional programme and operational management. They are accountable for collaboration and coordination within the Fund to ensure appropriate consultation, cross-functional synergy and coordination of programme planning and activities.

Externally, Directors develop strategic partnerships and collaborative relationships with counterparts spanning a broad range of institutions including borrowers, bilateral and multilateral development agencies, UN agencies, funds and programmes, IFIs, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions for the purpose of programme co-operation, knowledge sharing, policy dialogue and/or resource mobilization. They are also accountable for the provision of authoritative advice during Executive Board sessions, the annual Governing Council and related subordinate bodies including the Audit and Evaluation Committees.

Directors represent the Fund in official United Nations committees and networks, and in international financial institution, multilateral and bilateral meetings, symposia, fora and conferences upon request of the President, and build organizational networks with peers in major private, public and international financial institutions.



  • Strategic thinking and organizational development: Strategic leadership
  • Demonstrating Leadership: Leads by example; initiates and supports change
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Challenges, innovates and contributes to a learning culture
  • Focusing on clients: Contributes to a client-focused culture
  • Problem solving and decision making: Solves complex problems and makes decisions that have wider corporate impact
  • Managing time, resources and information: Coordinates wider use of time, information and/or resources
  • Team Work: Fosters a cohesive team environment
  • Communicating and negotiating: Acquires and uses a wide range of communication styles and skills
  • Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains strategic partnerships internally and externally
  • Managing performance and developing staff: Manages wider teams with greater impact on others and on the organization


  • Recognized management skills in a multicultural setting, combined with ability to achieve results through motivating people and influencing partners
  • Results-oriented decision-making ability with an aptitude to address operational challenges and for developing practical solutions
  • Innovator with risk-management ability and a proven track record as a successful agent of change
  • Rigorous analytical and conceptual thinking
  • High sense of integrity, trust and confidence
  • Champion of IFAD's values: respect for the individual, integrity, professionalism and focus on results
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English, including the ability to set out a coherent analysis in presentations
  • Strong diplomatic and communication skills and the ability to develop effective working relationships with clients and counterparts at the appropriate levels
  • Ability to represent IFAD in international fora

Minimum Recruitment Qualifications


  • Advanced university degree from an accredited institution in a technically relevant area


  • Extensive progressively responsible professional experience in a technically related area in a multicultural organization or national organization providing support on a global scale
  • Experience in conducting and managing large intercultural and multilingual meetings and conferences
  • Proven experience in diplomatic relations and demonstrated cultural sensitivity and tact
  • Strong skills in protocol matters and multilateral relations at the global level
  • Knowledge of inter-agencies relations within the United Nations System and with international financial institutions (IFIs) is an asset.


  • Progressively responsible supervisory / team leader experience is required

Language requirements:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Working knowledge of another official language (Arabic, French, or Spanish) is desirable.

Other information

Applicants should note that IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD, and they may be assigned by him/her to any of the activities of IFAD, including field assignments and/or rotation within IFAD.

In the interest of making the most cost-effective use of funds and resources, we are able to respond only to applicants who are short-listed for interview. Candidates who do not receive any feedback within three months should consider their application unsuccessful.

Candidates may be required to take a written test and to deliver a presentation as well as participate in interviews. IFAD is committed to achieving diversity and is seeking a balanced workforce from its Member States. Women are particularly encouraged to apply.