Chief Technical Officer

Post Number : IEP/PA/116

Grade : D-1

Parent Sector : Education Sector (ED)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Education

Type of contract : Project Appointment

Duration of contract : 2 years

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 21-JAN-2022 


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism


​​​​​​Duration of contract: 2 years with possibility of extension subject to availability of funds and performance. 


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As the only specialized organization with the mandate to support educational policy, planning and management, the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) plays a unique role within the United Nations system. IIEP was established in 1963 as an integral part of UNESCO. It supports ministries of education around the world and other key actors to plan and manage education systems through its programmes of training, technical assistance, policy research and knowledge sharing. The Institute launched its new Medium-Term Strategy (2022-2025) in November 2021. IIEP has offices in Paris, Dakar and Buenos Aires, and draws on core and project funding to achieve its goals and objectives.


The Institute is creating the position of Chief Technical Officer, located in IIEP’s Paris Office, in recognition of the need to strengthen its core offer to countries, by bringing together and better aligning its research, development and technical cooperation activities and experts around four “value stream clusters”:

  • Planning, Finance, Data and Governance
  • Management for Improved Learning
  • Equity and Resilience in Educational Planning and Management
  • Planning and managing flexible learning pathways and skills.


Under the overall authority and direct supervision of the Director, IIEP, the Chief Technical Officer is a member of IIEP’s Senior Management Team. Within the framework of IIEP’s Medium-Term Strategy (2022-2025), the incumbent leads and coordinates the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of IIEP’s research, development and technical cooperation activities, based on the strategy responding to the Member States’ capacity needs. The incumbent will manage four teams of experts based in Paris, each led by a senior technical expert; and will work with these four team leaders to convene and coordinate communities of experts in each of the four domains across IIEP’s Paris, Dakar and Buenos Aires offices.  As the second highest ranking Officer at IIEP, the Chief Technical Officer may also be required  to act on behalf of the IIEP Director.


The incumbent will provide leadership and guidance to team leaders and staff members involved in technical cooperation, research and development activities based in Paris, and more widely, to IIEP staff involved in delivering research, development and technical cooperation activities. In particular, the incumbent:

  • Oversees the work of four technical teams in Paris, who are supervised by senior technical leads and have a combined staffing of 50 based in Paris, ensuring a balanced portfolio of research, development and technical cooperation activities across the four value stream clusters.
  • Directly supervises the value stream cluster team leaders, ensuring appropriate planning, management, and accountability for delivery of expected results across their portfolios of research and technical cooperation activities.  
  • Identifies strategic priorities and provides quality assurance and technical guidance to all Offices on IIEP’s core technical offer to countries in support of their planning and management capacity.
  • Works with the Knowledge Management and Mobilization lead to identify priorities and promote a coherent approach to research and knowledge sharing in support of strengthened national capacity.
  • Works with the Training lead to help tailor and maintain IIEP’s training offer to meet Member States needs.
  • Ensures regular consultation across IIEP’s Offices and with IIEP partners (Member States, Donors, external institutes, etc.) about IIEP’s country facing research, capacity development and technical cooperation activities.
  • Works with the Strategic Partnership Officer to identify and pursue sources of new funding to advance and expand IIEP’s research, development and technical cooperation activities.
  • Works with the Director and the Senior Management Team to ensure alignment of IIEP’s research, training, and capacity development activities, and maintain a strong corporate focus on programme effectiveness, resource mobilization and strategic impact.
  • As an overall resource manager for staff within the four “value stream clusters”, allocates resources in line with IIEP’s strategic priorities. More precisely, demonstrably contributes to IIEP’s meeting its quantified targets thematically, geographically, and across IIEP’s main functions (research, technical cooperation, training, knowledge management and mobilization).

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

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




  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or higher) in Education, Economics, Government, Public Administration, other Social Sciences, or related fields.


Work Experience

  • A minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible relevant professional experience in the field of education of which preferably 5 years acquired at international level in regional or multilateral programmes or institutions.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in supporting improvements in the capacity of education ministries to plan and manage their educational systems.
  • A minimum of 3 years of demonstrated experience in delivering knowledge products such as education sector analyses, policy research on educational development, or new tools and methodologies for planning.
  • Experience working with Senior leadership, managing, leading and developing a large team of experts and support staff at international level.


Skills and Competencies

  • Demonstrated leadership, management and organizational skills.
  • Advanced knowledge of the theory and practical application of the techniques used in education planning and social services delivery.
  • Excellent capacity to steer a diverse portfolio of research, development of tools and methods, technical assistance and capacity strengthening programmes.
  • Excellent knowledge of the international cooperation landscape in education and of research.
  • Demonstrated fundraising and resource mobilization skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain partnerships and to ensure a high-level coordination and cooperation with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Proven ability to lead, manage and motivate staff and teams and to maintain effective working relationships in a multicultural environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication (written and oral) skills; Ability to communicate effectively, persuasively and to provide intellectual leadership to guide team and staff.
  • Demonstrated ability to analyse complex and ambiguous situations, evaluate options, make decisions and recommendations that support organisational goals and objectives.
  • Demonstrated ability to interact with a wide range of high-level partners, conduct and participate effectively in high-level negotiations.



  •  Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English and working knowledge of French.




  • Advanced university degree (PhD or equivalent degree) in Education, Economics, Government, Social Sciences or related field.



  • Experience working within United Nations system or other international organisations.


Skills and Competencies

  • Ability to work effectively in a complex and changing environment.
  • Ability to work in a close partnership with a wide range of national, regional and international educational organizations, professional organization especially related to educational planning and management.
  • Ability to detect emerging educational needs to which an international research and training programme could make a substantial contribution and identify key strategic issues, objectives, opportunities and risks.
  • Knowledge of key policy trends and ongoing institutional reforms at the national, regional and international level in especially in developing countries.
  • Expertise in areas pertaining to institutional capacity building in the developing country context.



  • Very good knowledge (written and spoken) of Spanish or Portuguese.


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.



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

For full information on benefits and entitlements for this position , please refer to the UNESCO Guide to Staff Benefits


Please note that candidates must complete an on-line application and provide full and accurate information. No modifications can be made to the application once submitted. Evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria set in the Vacancy Announcement (VA). It may include tests and/or assessments as well as a virtual competency-based interview (CBI). Only candidates who pass the selection process will be contacted and are subject to reference checks based on the information provided in their application.



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UNESCO is committed to achieve and sustain gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities, as well as nationals from non-and under-represented Member States (last update here) are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.