Program Officer (DNA & Anthropology/Archaeology) At International Commission on Missing Persons

Organization profile

Every year, millions of people around the world go missing as a result of conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, irregular migration, and other causes. This is a complex global challenge that can be tackled effectively through cross-cutting programs that address a variety of difficult, interconnected issues.

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is the only international organization tasked exclusively to work on the issue of missing persons. It works with governments and other stakeholders, including families of the missing, to help them develop and maintain successful missing persons processes. To learn more about ICMP click here.

ICMP is implementing a multi-year project in Iraq to support authorities in their efforts to account for persons missing as a result of armed conflict and violations of human rights.

Position Background

The Iraq program conducts forensic archaeology, anthropology, and mortuary activities, including the technical aspects of external and internal training. ICMP has long maintained a program of capacity building in DNA, primarily to the Mass Graves Laboratory of Iraqi Medical Legal Directorate (MLD). This position will serve to further increase coordination and communication between MLD DNA lab and ICMP. The role of Program Officer (Science and Technology) is a key position within the Iraq program and acts as liaison support to the Forensic Anthropologist(s) and Archeologist(s) within Iraq. .

Under the overall guidance and supervision of the Forensic Anthropologist of the Iraq Program, and in close coordination with the Anthropology & Archeology Division (AAD) and DNA Laboratory (DNA) at HQ, the Program Officer’s main duties and responsibilities include the following:

  • Provides administrative and coordination assistance to the AAD country team;
  • Acts as focal point between ICMP and members of the national team and other stakeholders. Responsibilities include: coordination, planning and organization of formal meetings relating to field, mortuary and DNA laboratory related work;
  • Deploys to the field and/or mortuaries with relevant Science and Technology staff members to support the work of the national team and other stakeholders; including close liaison with program administration and security staff before and during field deployments, and performing general logistics duties in the field, as required;
  • Creates and maintains the AAD equipment inventory;
  • Provides training coordination by supporting the delivery of AAD and DNA related learning and development initiatives,
  • Acts as subject matter expert related to DNA analysis as required;
  • Assists in any data collection requirements and supports the collection of evaluation and learning data;
  • Provides oral and written translation between the languages of English and Arabic, including of S&T related materials, when required;
  • Provides high level support to the Head of Program, including translation/interpretation; if needed;
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Post-graduate degree and/or extensive experience in biology, biochemistry, forensics, genetics or other related scientific fields;
  • At least five years of experience in forensic DNA analysis as applied to human identification; or a significant related background and with an eagerness and motivation to learn;
  • Experience in multi-disciplinary human identification projects, with knowledge relating to forensic anthropology or archaeology is an asset;
  • Understanding of forensic quality management systems and international standards in forensic science;
  • Tact, discretion and the ability to manage confidential information;
  • Strong communication and presentation skills.

Mandatory Requirements

  • Professional fluency in written and spoken English and Arabic; Knowledge of Kurdish is an asset;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft applications, including Word, Excel and Power Point;
  • Proven ability to interact positively with colleagues regardless of culture, nationality or gender;
  • Ability to travel at short notice and to work flexible hours including weekends and evenings;
  • Commitment and passion to the underlying objective of helping the authorities and families of the missing to account for missing persons in an impartial and transparent manner;
  • Physical and mental resilience, with the ability to operate effectively in hostile environments;
  • Willingness and ability to work and live in hardship conditions with limited infrastructure and personal privacy.


This is a full-time, locally engaged position with a competitive base salary at the LP level on the ICMP Iraq salary scale, generous paid leave and extensive health insurance benefits for the incumbent and any eligible dependent.

This position is not eligible for expatriate allowances.

Review of applications will begin on 18 March 2021; however, the position will remain open until filled.

ICMP is committed to maintaining an environment of mutual respect, where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants. ICMP believes that diversity and inclusion among our staff are critical to our success as a global organization, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented individuals from a thoroughly diverse range of candidates. ICMP is proud to be part of the International Gender Champions network.

How to apply

Please submit your application through the following link:

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June 2023
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