Director, Department of Operations and Emergencies

International Organization for Migration

Position Title:Director, Department of Operations and Emergencies

Duty Station: Geneva, Switzerland

Classification: Professional Staff, Grade D2

Type of Appointment: Fixed term, one year with possibility of extension

Estimated Start Date: As soon as possible

Closing Date: 27 October 2022

Established in 1951, IOM is a Related Organization of the United Nations, and as the leading UN agency in the field of migration, works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

IOM is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment. Read more about diversity and inclusion at IOM at

Applications are welcome from first- and second-tier candidates, particularly qualified female candidates as well as applications from the non-represented member countries of IOM. For all IOM vacancies, applications from qualified and eligible first-tier candidates are considered before those of qualified and eligible second-tier candidates in the selection process.

For the purpose of this vacancy, the following are considered first-tier candidates:

  1. Internal candidates
  2. External female candidates:
  3. Candidate from the following non-represented member states:

Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba (Netherlands); Botswana; Cabo Verde; Comoros; Congo (the); Cook Islands; Cuba; Curaçao; Fiji; Grenada; Guinea-Bissau; Holy See; Iceland; Kingdom of Eswatini; Kiribati; Lao People’s Democratic Republic (the); Latvia; Madagascar; Marshall Islands; Micronesia (Federated States of); Montenegro; Namibia; Nauru; Palau; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Samoa; Sao Tome and Principe; Seychelles; Solomon Islands; Suriname; The Bahamas; Timor-Leste; Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu

Second tier candidates include:

All external candidates, except candidates from non-represented member states of IOM and female candidates.


The Department of Operations and Emergencies directs, oversees, and coordinates IOM’s resettlement work and transport programmes and oversees IOM’s preparedness and response activities in relation to humanitarian crises and emergencies. It coordinates IOM’s participation in humanitarian responses and provides migration services in emergencies to address the needs of individuals and uprooted communities, thereby contributing to their protection. The Department provides technical support to efforts in the field, particularly in responding to forced migration and mass population movements, including protracted internal and cross-border displacement and refugee situations. It provides strategic policy and operational recommendations, guidance on project development and implementation, and inter-agency coordination. This contributes to improving the conditions of crisis affected populations and leads to life-saving interventions. The Department represents the Organization in the Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) up to the Director level. The Department also supports the development of principled approaches and strategic documents and ensures that IOM’s crisis-related priorities are aptly reflected in internal and external systems and processes. The Department also advises on operational policy and advocacy and facilitates IOM’s participation in global and country-level inter-agency humanitarian coordination forums, mechanisms, and processes, including following up on institutional humanitarian commitments, such as those made under the Grand Bargain.

DOE is composed of two Divisions and one unit: (a) Preparedness and Response Division and (b) Resettlement and Movement Management Division. The Department also supports the Secretariat of the government-led Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) initiative. The Department is the focal unit within the Organization in contributing to global discussions on Comprehensive refugee response planning in coordination with the UNHCR and other partners.

Under the overall supervision of the Director General and direct supervision of the Deputy Director General for Operations, the Director of DOE ensures strategic engagement, positioning and a visionary leadership overseeing the IOM’s field humanitarian operations portfolio. The incumbent will also be responsible for the overall development of IOM policy, guidance, programmatic activities undertaken in early warning, preparedness, emergency response, accountability to affected population, resettlement and movement management, while ensuring coherence through a whole organizational approach to strive towards a solutions approach in humanitarian settings. In addition, the Director will manage related institutional tools, policies and strategies including ensuring the implementation of the IOM Migration Crisis Operational framework (MCOF), IOM Migration Governance framework as it relates to global mobility dimensions of crises, Principles for Humanitarian Action (PHA), IOM policy towards protection of civilians in man-made and natural disasters and other humanitarian policies, as well as the IOM

Migration Governance Framework (MiGoF) and external frameworks as they apply in DOE contexts such as 2030 SDGs (sustainable development goals) in relation to for example to forced migration, peace and stability. The Director also ensures that IOM participates in all Principal level discussions either representing the Deputy Director General for Operations or as a plus one for senior meetings of the Inter Agency Standing Committee, on all issues within the UN within the pillars of Peace and Security, as it relates to migration as well as within the General Assembly established Inter-Agency Standing Committee as a full member representing the UN and the Red Cross/crescent and civil society, ensuring IOM interests and policies are clearly articulated.

Core Functions / Responsibilities:

  1. Provide strategic policy, direction, oversight, and coordination of IOMs global humanitarian operations in all areas established and agreed within the IOM Strategies by the Member States.
  2. Lead and direct the work of IOM in developing a coherent vision for DOE work under his/her divisions and ensure/promote its implementation in a collaborative and consistent manner also by guiding IOM’s engagement with all relevant stakeholders including member states, multilateral partners, civil society representatives.
  3. Provide substantive and strategic advice to the Deputy Director for Operations on all issues under the DOE portfolio.
  4. Lead processes to review and reform IOM systems and programming adapting to emerging migration crises challenges including strengthening ”one stop’’ information platform on emergencies in IOM and development of knowledge management products in close collaboration with DPR.
  5. Lead IOM’s vision development for humanitarian crises response including resettlement work and guide its reflection in major global policy debate and mechanisms. The Director of DOE is responsible for directing, overseeing and coordination of IOMs global response to humanitarian crises, resettlement programming of all refugees accepted for third country resettlement, IOM transport programs including relationship with airlines and other transport providers, overseeing IOMs activities related to movement, logistics, preparedness and response to migration crises and humanitarian emergencies and to provide solutions to States and individuals to recovering from crises and transitioning settings.
  6. Drive and advise the conception and design of IOMs participation in humanitarian responses and provide policy support as well as operational delivery for the organizations response to emergencies or post crisis situations to address the needs of individuals and uprooted communities, thereby contributing to their protection. Provide strategic support to efforts in the field, particularly in responding to forced migration and massive population movements, including protracted internal and cross border displacement and refugee situations. Thus, contributing to improving the conditions of crisis affected populations and leads to life saving interventions through the early identification and implementation of comprehensive durable solutions to end displacement conditions.
  7. Lead and provide strategic recommendations on both policy and operational issues as well as messaging in response crises and provide guidance to field operations on project development and implementation and inter-agency coordination. Oversee formulation of policy and its implementation related to humanitarian principles, protection mainstreaming, accountability to affected population and prevention of sexual abuse and exploitation in IOM operations.
  8. Lead and provide guidance and strategic direction for IOM response to humanitarian emergencies, preparedness, early warning, and anticipatory actions by guiding and supporting the Preparedness and Response division.
  9. Contribute and provide guidance and strategic direction the organizations programs on prevention and solutions within crises settings and fragile contexts, ensuring application of resilience, peace building and stabilization approaches to resolve migration crises and assist governments, communities, and vulnerable populations to cope with migration-related pressures, through cross-departmental collaboration.
  10. Direct, oversee and coordinate IOMs resettlement programs and transport programmes, by coordinating the policy, programmatic and resource management aspects of IOMs work in these areas and provide guidance and support to managers of resettlement and movement programs; including negotiating, overseeing and maintaining the organizations global agreements with UNHCR, and other partners such as with air carriers and other transport providers and ensuring IOM managed movements, for IOM assisted passengers traveling by air, land or sea follow the required international standards, by managing and directing the work of the Resettlement and Movement Management division.
  11. Responsible for the following key roles: a) overall crisis analysis and strategic planning; b) overall technical leadership and coordination; c) Fundraising and Overall management of the Department’s resources and institutional obligations, including operationalization of substantive and technical objectives and monitoring results.
  12. Coordinate with other departments within the pillar under Operation and other in the organization, including with the Departments of Financial and Administrative Management (DFM), and External Relations, as well as the Office of the Deputy Director for Operations and Director General.
  13. Perform such other duties as may be assigned.

Required Qualifications and Experience:


Master’s degree in Political or Social Sciences, Humanitarian Affairs, International Relations, International Humanitarian Law or a related field from an accredited academic institution with fifteen years of relevant professional experience.


  • Fifteen years of relevant professional experience, including operational experience in humanitarian emergencies and/or crisis and post-crisis settings;
  • Experience in the mobility dimensions of crisis, including legislation, policy, and direct expert advice/support to governments as well as in liaising with governmental and diplomatic authorities and international institutions;
  • Proven experience in resource mobilization.


  • Sound knowledge of financial and business administration and of the principles and practices of management;
  • Outstanding inter-personal communication skills and working in team to ensure an inclusive and safe working environment;
  • Sound knowledge of project cycle as well as of monitoring and evaluation.


IOM’s official languages are English, French, and Spanish.

External applicants for all positions in the Professional category are required to be proficient in English and have at least a working knowledge of one additional UN Language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, or Spanish).

For all applicants, fluency in English and another official language of IOM is required (oral and written).

Proficiency of language(s) required will be specifically evaluated during the selection process, which may include written and/or oral assessments.


Accredited Universities are the ones listed in the UNESCO World Higher Education Database (

Required Competencies:

Values – all IOM staff members must abide by and demonstrate these three values:

  • Inclusion and respect for diversity: respects and promotes individual and cultural differences; encourages diversity and inclusion wherever possible.
  • Integrity and transparency: maintains high ethical standards and acts in a manner consistent with organizational principles/rules and standards of conduct.
  • Professionalism: demonstrates ability to work in a composed, competent and committed manner and exercises careful judgment in meeting day-to-day challenges.

Core Competencies – behavioural indicators level 3

  • Teamwork: develops and promotes effective collaboration within and across units to achieve shared goals and optimize results.
  • Delivering results: produces and delivers quality results in a service-oriented and timely manner; is action oriented and committed to achieving agreed outcomes.
  • Managing and sharing knowledge: continuously seeks to learn, share knowledge and innovate.
  • Accountability: takes ownership for achieving the Organization’s priorities and assumes responsibility for own action and delegated work.
  • Communication: encourages and contributes to clear and open communication; explains complex matters in an informative, inspiring and motivational way.

Managerial Competencies – behavioural indicators level 3

  • Leadership: provides a clear sense of direction, leads by example and demonstrates the ability to carry out the organization’s vision; assists others to realize and develop their potential.
  • Empowering others & building trust: creates an atmosphere of trust and an enabling environment where staff can contribute their best and develop their potential.
  • Strategic thinking and vision: works strategically to realize the Organization’s goals and communicates a clear strategic direction.

IOM’s competency framework can be found at this link.

Competencies will be assessed during a competency-based interview.


Internationally recruited professional staff are required to be mobile.

Any offer made to the candidate in relation to this vacancy notice is subject to funding confirmation.

This selection process may be used to staff similar positions in various duty stations. Recommended candidates endorsed by the Appointments and Postings Board will remain eligible to be appointed in a similar position for a period of 24 months.

The list of NMS countries above includes all IOM Member States which are non-represented in the Professional Category of staff members.

Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances. Subject to certain exemptions, vaccination against COVID-19 will in principle be required for individuals hired on or after 15 November 2021. This will be verified as part of the medical clearance process.

Vacancies close at 23:59 local time Geneva, Switzerland on the respective closing date. No late applications will be accepted.

How to apply

To apply, interested applicants are invited to submit their applications HERE via the IOM e-Recruitment system by 27 October 2022.

IOM only accepts duly completed applications submitted through the IOM e-Recruitment system. The online tool also allows candidates to track the status of their application.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

For further information please refer to:

Posting period:

From 14.10.2022 to 27.10.2022

No Fees:

IOM does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, processing, training or other fee). IOM does not request any information related to bank accounts.

Requisition: VN 2022 342 Director, Department of Operations and Emergencies (D2) Geneva, Switzerland (57787073) Released

Posting: Posting NC57787074 (57787074) Released