Position Title: Deputy Director, Office of Legal Affairs

Duty Station: Geneva, Switzerland

Classification: Professional Staff, Grade D1

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

Estimated Start Date: As soon as possible

Closing Date: 13 June 2024

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; Barbados; Botswana; Cabo Verde; Comoros; Congo (the); Cook Islands; Dominica; Fiji; Guinea-Bissau; Holy See; Iceland; Kiribati; Lao People’s Democratic Republic (the); Madagascar; Marshall Islands; Micronesia (Federated States of); Namibia; Nauru; Palau; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Samoa; Sao Tome and Principe; Solomon Islands; Suriname; The Bahamas; Tonga; Tuvalu; Uzbekistan; Vanuatu

Second tier candidates include:

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


The Office of Legal Affairs provides legal advice to the Director General, the Deputy Directors General, Regional Offices, Country Offices, and other Departments and Offices of the Organization. The Office provides support to ensure that the activities and operations of the Organization are carried out in accordance with the legal framework governing IOM, including the IOM Constitution, decisions of the governing bodies of IOM, the Unified Staff Regulations and Rules, the Financial Regulations and Rules, IOM internal governance and administrative instruments and international law.

The Office of Legal Affairs is comprised of the Office of the Legal Counsel, the Contract Law

Division, the General and Administrative Law Division, and the Institutional Law and Programme

Support Division, as well as Regional Legal Hubs. The Legal Counsel is responsible for managing the Office and providing strategic direction for the work of the Office, as well as providing legal advice to Senior Management, reporting directly to the Director General.

Under the direct supervision of the Legal Counsel, the Deputy Director Office of Legal Affairs will have supervisory responsibility for lawyers within the Office, as agreed with the Legal Counsel.

Core Functions / Responsibilities:

  1. Supports and provides strategic advice to the Legal Counsel in the management of the Office of Legal Affairs and in the development and implementation of a strategic vision for the Office.
  2. Supports and provides strategic advice to the Legal Counsel in managing the human and financial resources for the Office, including preparing budget proposals, and ensuring a best practice approach to capacity building and the professional development of personnel of the Office.
  3. Provides legal advice on specific matters as agreed with the Legal Counsel, assuming direct responsibility therefor.
  4. Provides technical guidance and supervisory oversight to the lawyers within the Office of Legal Affairs working on specific matters, as agreed with the Legal Counsel.
  5. Leads in enhancing the coordination of the Office with the Private Sector Partnership team and providing legal advice enabling the implementation of the IOM’s Private Sector Engagement Strategy.
  6. Leads in the coordination of the review of reports from audit entities and other oversight mechanisms, requiring a response or input from the Office.
  7. Leads the development and delivery of legal training programs aimed at enhancing the legal capabilities of IOM staff.
  8. Leads in the development, coordination, and supervisory oversight of the Regional Legal Hubs.
  9. Promotes transparency and information flow to enhance collaboration among all branches of the Office of the Legal Affairs and leads in the development and implementation of knowledge management systems and processes for the Office to ensure information flow, tracking of incoming matters, and record-keeping.
  10. Leads in the development and implementation of standards, processes and templates, ensuring effective quality control in the Office.
  11. Represents the Office at internal and external meetings and builds relationships and collaborates cross-functionally with senior managers across IOM, as well as with other UN legal offices.
  12. Acts as Officer-in-Charge in the absence of the Legal Counsel.
  13. Perform other duties as may be required.

Required Qualifications and Experience:


  • Master’s degree in Law from an accredited academic institution with fifteen years of relevant professional experience.


  • Twelve years of relevant legal experience in public international law and law of international organizations;
  • Demonstrated in-depth experience in handling legal matters related to the governance and procedural frameworks of international organizations, such as issues of privileges and immunities; mandates and operational guidelines; and decision-making processes of governing bodies. Experience with constitutional frameworks is advantageous but not required;
  • Recent practicing experience in international law, particularly international humanitarian law, and expertise in a wide range of legal issues directly impacting the operations and mandate of international organizations; and,
  • Understanding of and experience advising on legal issues related to migration, international and internal displacement, or related fields is highly desirable, highlighting the candidate’s involvement in addressing complex international challenges.


  • Strong, independent but collaborative attitude and highest integrity;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with persons of different national and cultural backgrounds;
  • Proven leadership and performance management experience; and,
  • Proven skills in negotiations with governments.


IOM’s official languages are English, French, and Spanish. All staff members are required to be fluent in one of the three languages.

For this position, fluency in English is required (oral and written). Working knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish) is an advantage.

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 five values:

  • Inclusion and respect for diversity: Respects and promotes individual and cultural differences. Encourages diversity and inclusion.
  • 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.
  • Courage: Demonstrates willingness to take a stand on issues of importance.
  • Empathy: Shows compassion for others, makes people feel safe, respected and fairly treated.

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 actions 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 leadership and professional potential.
  • Empowering others: Creates an enabling environment where staff can contribute their best and develop their potential.
  • Building Trust: Promotes shared values and creates an atmosphere of trust and honesty.
  • Strategic thinking and vision: Works strategically to realize the Organization’s goals and communicates a clear strategic direction.
  • Humility: Leads with humility and shows openness to acknowledging own shortcomings.

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 background verification 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 13 June 2024.

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 24.05.2024 to 13.06.2024

No Fees:


Requisition: VN 2024 307 Deputy Director, Office of Legal Affairs (D1) Geneva, Switzerland (58875385) Released

Posting: Posting NC58875386 (58875386) Released