Director, Security Services

WHO - World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
17th January, 2018

Job Description

The objective of the WHO Security Services is to ensure the safety and security of WHO personnel and property. As part of the United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS), the aim of the WHO Security Services is to enable programmes to deliver, at all levels of the Organization, based on a principle of security risk management rather than risk aversion, supporting the global humanitarian focus of ‘how to stay and deliver' as opposed to ‘when to leave'. This approach focusses on appropriate analysis, risk mitigation and implementation of all reasonable safety and security measures. With a mind-set driven by a duty of care to our staff and partners at all levels, the WHO Security Services will provide the required security presence across all levels of WHO in a cost effective and efficient manner.


Summary of Assigned Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop and lead the professionalization of a robust and responsive security structure that is sustainable, cost-effective and upholds the core values of the Organization.
  • Establish, implement and maintain a five-year strategic plan, with regular reviews that take stock of lessons learned, and capitalizes on strengths.
  • Provide operational and strategic analyses related to threats/ risks posed to WHO staff, programmes, offices and field missions, offering staff the necessary guidance and mitigation measures.
  • Develop, implement and maintain a staff security training strategy that increases skills, security awareness and security knowledge of all personnel across the Organization.
  • Implement and coordinate safety/ security policy/procedures in accordance with WHO responsibility and accountability to UNSMS and United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS).
  • Formally participate in and influence the UNSMS security policy decision-making bodies with concrete contributions.
  • Liaise and coordinate security and safety operations with host country agencies. 8. Develop, negotiate and implement safe and secure access strategies to enable WHO teams to perform their mission(s).
  • Provide policy and technical safety/ security advice, training and guidance to personnel in all offices and on missions. Ensure that systems and procedures are in place to disseminate safety/ security policy/ procedures and instructions to all in a timely manner.
  • Constantly and vigilantly monitor operations in high-risk environments to ensure all safety/ security procedures are in place and security trends are monitored. To be done in coordination with the WHO Emergencies Programme.
  • Oversee, manage and develop the Security Services, providing effective leadership, vision and guidance to WHO management and personnel, in all aspects of safety / security management.
  • Direct and manage the daily operations of the Security Services providing regular reviews and assessments on the general and/or urgent staffing needs related to the Units' operations both routine and in support of emergency operations.
  • Manage all HR issues within the Unit including the development and drafting of TORs for security positions across the Organization, overseeing the performance of the security staff in all offices and monitoring the technical performance of all mission Security Officers.
  • Develop, in coordination with ADG/GMG and the Comptroller, the annual operational needs and UNDSS cost share budgets (global and local). Frequently review, in coordination with the above Officers, the Security Funding Mechanism and report on its financial status, assessing its potential to address long-term general security funding needs and emergency requirements.
  • Provide reports, assessments, advice and frequent briefings to the Senior Management Team (SMT) on activities and significant security threats/risks/trends/incidents.
  • Actively participate in the UNSMS SMT for Geneva and supply regular security briefings as required.
  • As required, conduct and/or oversee mission safety/ security assessments to ensure compliance with relevant policies and procedures. Make appropriate recommendations to strengthen these systems and address non-compliance issues.
  • Conduct and report on various investigations related to safety, security incidents involving staff and/or the Organization assets and provide the necessary recommendations. Such investigation should be coordinated with Human Resources, Legal and Internal Audit offices to provide the necessary recommendations.
  • Be available 24/7 to provide advice and consultation on any emergencies or security situations involving WHO staff members or assets.
  • Identify and institute security and safety best practices throughout the Organization.
  • Undertake other security and safety activities and responsibilities as directed by ADG/GMG.
  • Perform other duties as may be assigned.



  • Essential: Advanced level university degree from a recognised university in Security Management, Law, Disaster Management, International Studies, Public or Business Administration or a related field.
  • Experience
  • Essential: A minimum of fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible experience in security risk management, personnel security, criminal justice, public safety, law enforcement or military service, and/or disaster risk management. Proven ability to collaborate with senior military and government counterparts. Professional experience should also include a track-record of success in managing complex problems, situations or programmes.
  • Relevant work experience in, or concerning, several geographic regions.
  • Relevant work experience in or concerning crisis or post-conflict countries.
  • Desirable: Previous experience in dealing with law enforcement agencies, experience in UN Missions, International Peacekeeping or Emergency Missions.


  • Ability to develop and manage strategic direction and transform it into a results-oriented work programme.
  • Ability to evaluate international political problems and provide leadership in managing conflict situations.
  • Excellent managerial skills and judgement, able to manage and coordinate multilevel projects.
  • Demonstrated 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.

WHO Competencies

  • Teamwork
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
  • Communication
  • Ensuring the effective use of resources
  • Driving the Organization to a Successful Future
  • Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills

  • Essential:  Expert knowledge of English or French with a good working  knowledge of the other.
  • Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of other UN languages an asset.


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