Senior Administrative Assistant

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Erbil, Iraq

Experience: 5 to 10 Years

Skill Required: HR and Admin

The UNESCO National Office to Iraq was founded in 2003 to improve Education, Culture, the Sciences and Media situation in the country. UNESCO's main office in the country is located in Baghdad. UNESCO supports programme implementation in line with the Iraqi National Development Plan, in cooperation with its key national partners: the Ministries of Education and Higher Education, Water Resources, Labour and Social Affairs, Culture, Tourism and Antiquities, Governorates, the Independent Higher Electoral Commission, the Communications and Media Commission and others, as well as national and international NGOs.

UNESCO has a longstanding cooperation with Iraq and has successfully accomplished a number of major cultural heritage projects, such as the restoration of the Al-Askari Shrine in Samarra and the revitalization of Erbil Citadel.

In 2017, UNESCO, in cooperation with the Iraqi Ministry of Culture, launched the Response Plan for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in the Liberated Areas of Iraq (2017-2019). ‘Revive the Spirit of Mosul’ is a UNESCO priority for the coming years.

Since February 2018, UNESCO is fully mobilized for the Mosul initiative, at its Headquarters and in its field offices in Bagdad and the region. The initiative is in line with the National Reconstruction and Development plan of the Iraqi Government and the Iraq Recovery and Resilience Programme (RRP) launched by the UN Secretary-General. 

Under the overall authority of the Director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Iraq Office and the direct supervision of the Senior Finance and Administrative Officer, the incumbent leads high-level administrative and support services in a range of specialized areas and plays a lead role within the unit in ensuring application and compliance with the rules, regulations, policies and practices in place.

Main responsibilities include but are not limited to the following functions: 

  •  Act as certifying officer up to the authorized level delegated by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
  • Provide guidance and interpretation on administrative rules, regulations and procedures.
  • Advise on operational and technical routine transactions.
  • Recommend process and system-related modifications and improvements to support successful administration and financial monitoring and control.
  •  Interpret provisions and provide guidance on complex and non-recurring issues.
  •  Identify, research and resolve complex financial, budgetary and administrative policy issue.
  • Provide guidance, training and daily supervision to other general service staff in the area of responsibility.
  •  Draft and prepare memoranda,  substantive reports and correspondence to respond to enquiries in respect to relevant financial and budget matters. 
  • Maintain confidential and general files and establish reference systems.
  •  Assist in the preparation of budgetary and financial reports, statistics or projections for managers' use.
  • Review draft reports, verify overall accuracy and consistency, cross-check consistency of figures.
  • Support knowledge building and knowledge sharing.
  •  Follow up on audit recommendations, fraud cases and archives as required by the supervisor.


  •  Ensure that the office’s financial resources and expenditures are fully and properly accounted for and that internal control systems are adequate and functioning; schedule payments and disbursement of funds.
  • Ensure accurate and timely processing of assigned accounts, developing budget estimates and monitoring expenditures, participating and advising in the preparation of financial statements and budgets.


  •  Undertakes reviews, analyses and advise on planning, budgeting and its revisions,  and recommend modifications; Prepare RP and EXB budget reports and communicate on them.
  •  Prepare, review, analyses and assist in the finalization of budget proposals and detailed cost estimates and other data use in budget analysis and proposals, in terms of staff and non-staff requirements, including programmatic aspects and ensure the accuracy.

Human Resources

  • Handle non-routine or complex cases, prepare associated documents/ correspondence for personnel actions based on oral instructions and previous experience.

Required Qualifications

  •  Completed secondary, technical or vocational school education is required.

Work Experience

  • 8 years of relevant experience and progressive work experience in administration  or programme support services, finance, accounting, audit, human resources or a related area. 
  • Experience in working with ERP systems.
  • Experience working in the UN System, or at similar international or bilateral organizations is an asset.

Skills / Competencies

  • Good communication skills in order to provide specialized administrative support to a wide range of Individuals.
  • Excellent organizational and coordination skills.
  • Ability to take initiatives and to provide quality and timely support and services.  Ability to maintain effective working relationships in multi-cultural environment.
  • Ability to work as part of a team, to take initiative and to provide quality and timely support and services.
  • Ability to work under pressure, follow up on issues promptly, and to work efficiently under pressure, flexibility to adjust work schedules and priorities.
  • Excellent IT skills with proficiency in the use of MS Office (Outlook, Word, Excel. PowerPoint, etc).


  •  Excellent knowledge (Spoken and written) of English and Arabic.