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Principal Finance Officer

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United Nations Jobs in NYC, USA: Principal Finance Officer

  • Duty Station: New York, United States
  • Posting Period: 09 March 2020 – 22 April 2020

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Office of the Controller, Office of Programme Planning, Finance and Budget (OPPFB), Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance (DMSPC). 

Reporting to the Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, and under the Controller’s technical direction, the incumbent leads implementation of a work plan to achieve optimal economy and predictable budgeting as well as stable financing for capital investments across the United Nations. 

To that effect, and with the support from Office of Programme Planning, Finance and Budget, Business Partner Service, Office of Legal Affairs and the Procurement Division, inter alia, the incumbent will: 

1) deliver, analyse and provide predictive advice to the USG/DMSPC on key organizational and finance aspects in connection with major capital operations and plans, particularly in respect of cost effectiveness and controls, taking into account the GA mandates, the UN Financial Rules and Regulations, relevant IPSAS/accounting policies, etc.; 

2) formulate capital investment projects and the review of their organization and execution as well as in the clearance of the related finance processes; 

3) develop investment methodologies.

Job description

Within the delegated authority, the incumbent will lead the implementation of a work plan to ensure a holistic financial planning and optimization of capital investment operations and Secretariat-wide projects, including ICT-related budget, operations and capital investments, as well as other areas such as Buildings and Facilities, other Equipment, Security/Safety Operations, and Conference Services. 

The incumbent will be responsibilities for the following functional areas:

A. Financial analysis of expenditure and/or proposals for capital investments as well as of the related operations and organization. Directs the review of proposals and makes recommendations to the USG/DMSPC and the Controller accordingly, taking into account the General Assembly’s mandates and in connection with overall financial planning and cash flow timelines. Specifically:

  • Analyses expenditure patterns across specific classes of assets and capital investments in-order to make both reliable evaluations for mid-term and long-term funding as well as determines cost and operational optimization scenarios, including via reorganization, alternate cost planning, alternative sourcing modalities, etc.;
  • Leads ICT-related operations and investment projects, Equipment, Building/Facilities operations, Security/Safety and Conference operations, directs the in-depth review of all proposals from an end-to-end (direct and indirect costs) and full life-cycle perspective (from planning to acquisition to maintenance to replacement and write off), including all relevant operational, technical and financial requirements (such as licensing, contractual services and personnel), evaluating past practices to procure, contract and fund the same.

B. Policy formulation for financial modeling and financing mechanisms for long-term multi-year plans to effectively fund capital investments with reliable forecasting for stability, fit-for-purpose plans and optimal cost-effectiveness: 

  • Using industry best practices for Capital investments, develops policy and procedures for capital budgeting to complement the current Finance policy framework using financial modelling in order to fully matrix all cost driver factors for financing formulations and operationalization;
  • Prepares multi-year plans with hybrid financing mechanisms in respect of specific capital investments projects identified and/or proposed which the Controller has approved;
  • Assesses risks and uncertainties (legal, market, assumptions, etc.), and opportunity costs [possible higher costs of not executing now are included as part of the risk assessment];

C. Represents the Controller in respect of the planning, formulation and negotiation of major contract arrangements for capital investments and operations, ensuring alignment with financial plans and cash flow timelines:

  • Directs the assessment of risks, uncertainties (legal, market, assumptions, etc.) and opportunity costs (possible higher costs of not executing) as part of the clearance process of capital investment proposals for the Controller’s approval;
  • Contributes to the procurement processes related to capital investments from inception (RoI, etc.) and with a full life cycle perspective;
  • Directs research alternatives such as insourcing vs outsourcing, purchasing vs leasing/renting as part of the evaluation process for capital investments and prepares the related proposals and recommendations;
  • Provides consultative direction to Procurement Division, Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT), Facilities and Commercial Activities Service (FCAS) and Department of Safety and Security (DSS) managers on matters related to financial sustainability as well as organizational and economical effectiveness.

D. Other related tasks:

  • Evaluates and recommends industry best practices with respect to capital investments and assets management;
  • Develops capacity building: plans, organizes and manages staff and work programme; trains assigned staff in the areas of work; ensures quality and timeliness of output delivery.

Job requirements

  • Professionalism: Knowledge of the various components of operations, including cost and financial planning as well as operational organization for an organization like the UN whose expenditure drivers are intertwined personnel, contractual services, asset acquisition, service operations, etc., which are usually cross-funded by different financing vehicles and in different fiscal periods. Experience with Strategic Financial planning, Cost rationalization exercises, contractual and resource administration for project implementation and the related negotiations for budgeting and controlling purposes. Ability to integrate knowledge with broader strategic, policy and operational objectives. Ability to advise senior management on complex systems development and related matters of significant importance to the institution; ability to improve processes and approaches; demonstrates adaptability to changing priorities. Proven ability to develop highly productive and motivated team and to foster cross-functional understanding and collaboration. Shows pride in work and in achievements. Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results. Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns. Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
  • Planning and organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies. Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required. Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work. Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning. Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary. Uses time efficiently.
  • Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
  • Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow. Empowers others to translate vision into results. Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives. Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support. Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions. Drives for change and improvement; does not accept the status quo. Shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
  • Judgement/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.


An advanced university degree (Master’s or Doctorate degree, or equivalent) in one or more of the following is required: business administration, finance, management, economics or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible experience in large scale operations involving project and financial planning, budget formulation, resource management and cost control is required.
  • Experience performing integrated budgetary and financial forecasting and expenditure monitoring analytics for budgeting, cost rationalization and controlling purposes is required.
  • Experience with organizational analysis for reengineering optimization is required.
  • Work experience in said areas at the senior officer level at the United Nations or similar international organization is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.


  • Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

  • Owing to the temporary funding of the nature of this position and limited duration of the project, recruitment, selection or extension of appointment against this position will be subject to budgetary approval.
  • Accordingly, there is no exepectancy, legal or otherwise, of renewal or conversion to any other type of appointment in the Secretariat of the United Nations. 
  • Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by his or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.
  • The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


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