Programme Assistant

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Paris, France

Under the overall authority of the Assistant-Director General of the Natural Science Sector, overall guidance of the Director of the Division Earth Sciences (SC/EES) and the direct supervision of the Chief of the Section of MAB networking: Biosphere Reserves and Capacity Building (SC/EES/BNC), the Programme Assistant shall provide support in the organization and delivery of programme activities carry out a range of office support and administrative functions.

In particular, the incumbent will perform the following duties:

  • Provide general office assistance to the Section and secretarial functions to the Chief of Section: receive, analyze, sort, register and distribute correspondence and documents; update and maintain distribution lists and process requests for data and reports; draft correspondence and emails; review, proofread and edit correspondence.
  • Respond to enquiries and follow up routine outstanding matters; route information and queries as appropriate; provide information to supervisor(s) and colleagues; make appointments, receive visitors and take telephone calls, answering enquiries.
  • Maintain information systems and databases in both physical and electronic media by recording, updating and retrieving information, documentation and data and assist in the preparation of presentation and communication materials using appropriate technology/software.
  • Produce complete and finalize documents, publications and correspondence related to the work of the Section based on draft texts. Search, locate, compile, review and update information and data used in the development of documents, work plans, contracts and budgets.
  • Prepare administrative documents; initiate administrative procedures and ensure follow-up, including payment follow-up in collaboration with the Administrative Unit of the Sector. Inform team members of specific administrative processes and related procedures to support work planning and the timely and coordinated execution of work; follow-up and alert team members of outstanding payments, timeframes and bottlenecks.
  • Provide administrative support for events and organize official online, hybrid or in-presentia meetings, events and workshops by securing online channels, booking venues, equipment and providing other related logistical support. Organize official travel related to meetings, events and workshops; make travel arrangements; track and prepare itineraries and agendas; facilitate travel by providing/ clarifying information and preparing the necessary documentation such as visa applications.
  • Provide guidance to short-term/temporary staff on general office processes and procedures, automated systems, computer applications and Perform general administrative tasks such as leave and attendance management.

Required Qualifications:


  • Completed secondary, technical or vocational education.

Work Experience:

  • A minimum of three (3) years of relevant work experience in secretarial and/or administrative tasks, preferably in an international environment.

Skills and competencies:

  • Good interpersonal and communication skills, including good drafting skills in English and/or French.
  • Ability to draft correspondence and correct documents.
  • Good organizational and coordination skills.
  • Discretion and capacity to deal efficiently and tactfully with people of different cultural backgrounds.
  • Diplomacy and politeness in dealing with external and internal partners requesting information.
  • Flexibility to adjust work schedules and priorities and capacity to work effectively under pressure.
  • Good computer skills, proficiency in the use of MS Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.).


  • Excellent knowledge of French or English (spoken and written) and good knowledge of the other.