Information on the leadership positions in UN field missions

UN field missions are deployed in volatile and complex environments. These postings are generally residential and are mostly based in non-family duty stations.

Heads and deputy Heads of Mission are appointed by the Secretary-General. These posts are graded at the level of Under-Secretary-General (USG) or Assistant Secretary-General (ASG). Appointees typically receive a one-year fixed term contract, renewable at the discretion of the Secretary-General based on performance and mandate continuity.

Please visit the Office of Human Resources Management website for additional information on compensation.

As of February 2017, there are 59 Heads and deputy Heads of Mission positions deployed in operations led by the Departments of Political Affairs (DPA), Peacekeeping (DPKO) and Field Support (DFS).

SRSGs are appointed by the Secretary-General and report to him through the USG of the Lead Department.

They are expected to:

  • Develop a shared vision for fulfilling the  Security Council  mission mandate and set the strategic direction to achieve the goals and objectives relevant to that vision;
  • Represent the Secretary-General and provide good offices on his behalf to resolve conflict, facilitate negotiations, foster peace and build confidence among parties;
  • Serve as Head of Mission and be responsible for the executive management of the mission’s resources and administration; as well as for building a mission culture of accountability, integrity and respect;
  • Establish and nurture close working relationships with key national, regional and international interlocutors, including regional organizations as relevant;
  • Speak on behalf of the UN and provide overall leadership to the comprehensive UN engagement in the host country, ensuring that its actions are guided at all times by international human rights standards;
  • Promote and monitor the implementation of Security Council resolutions on Women Peace and Security and ensure the mainstreaming of gender throughout operational activities;
  • As Designated Official (DO), ensure the safety and security of staff of the United Nations in the mission area.

Reporting directly to the SRSG, the Deputy Special Representatives of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) are responsible for providing overall vision and leadership to the strategic planning and the implementation of programmes under the political and/or rule of law pillar(s) in missions.