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Posting Title: Senior Stress Counsellor, P5
Department/Office: Department of Safety and Security
Duty Station: NEW YORK; NEW YORK;
Posting Period: 10 August 2021 – 23 September 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-Medical-DSS-160707-R-New York (R)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Org. Setting and Reporting

The Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) is responsible for providing leadership, operational support and oversight of the United Nations security management system (UNSMS) globally.  As a global leader in security risk management principles, UNDSS enables the safe and effective delivery of United Nations programmes and activities in the most complex and challenging environments, while maximizing precious resources. To this end, the work of the Department is aligned under a clear mission, to enable United Nations system programme activities through trusted security leadership and solutions.

This is a unique opportunity to join a diverse, dynamic and exciting organization gaining unique and valuable experience where security provides great value. Besides the opportunity to gain new skills and further advance security expertise, this position offers a fulfilling environment that gives you satisfaction by contributing directly or indirectly to peace and security, human rights, and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Simply, all humanity will be benefiting from your work. Together, we can make the world a better place.

For more information on the Department, and how we make an impact on the world in enabling the achievement of SDGs, visit:

This position is located in the Critical Incident Stress Management Unit (CISMU), within the Division of Specialized Operational Support (DSOS) in the United Nations Department of Safety and Security. The CISMU is responsible for coordinating and managing programmes and actions relating to the prevention of, and response to, critical incident stress for United Nations personnel throughout the United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS).


Within delegated authority, the Senior Critical Incident Stress Counsellor (Chief, CISMU) will be responsible for the following:
• Provide global leadership and oversight UN systemwide on the management of stress and critical incident stress (MSCIS); initiates research, conceives and designs strategies, approaches and policies on the MSCIS in coordination with relevant UN bodies and partners; advises UN leadership and managers on measures that prevent, mitigate or address the impact of stress and critical incident stress on UN personnel and/or that improve staff psychosocial wellbeing;
• Closely monitor factors which could lead to stress-related problems, with particular focus on stress related to critical incidents of the UN system; identifies and studies stress-related problems and emerging trends; identifies developments that have had a positive effect on reducing stress;
• Advocate for enhanced institutional responsiveness on issues related to the psychological wellbeing of UN system personnel;
• Direct inter-agency coordination regarding counsellor competencies, capacity building, standardized operating procedures and other matters related to critical incident stress;
• Maintain a roster of qualified international counsellors available for emergency deployment;
• Direct the provision of culturally-appropriate psychosocial support to all affected UN system personnel and their families to include issues related to gender;
• Maintain liaison with specialized agencies, Permanent Missions, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and inter-governmental organizations on all issues related to stress management;
• Plan, develop and supervise the implementation of stress management training programmes for UN system personnel;
• Develop a comprehensive UN critical incident stress management training programme;
• Supervise delivery of critical incident stress management training programmes; coordinate, plan and manage UN systemwide stress management programmes;
• Coordinate response to critical incidents UN systemwide;
• Participate in critical incident debriefing of UN system personnel;
• Ensure rapid response to all critical incidents, including death of staff under malicious circumstances, hostage taking and evacuations;
• Chair the inter-agency critical Incident Stress Management working Group (CISWG);
• Performs other duties as required.


• Professionalism: Ability to lead a team of highly specialized psycho-social experts (MDs and PhDs), including the provision of technical oversight and guidance regarding trauma and critical incident stress. Ability to represent the department and the United Nations in high-level fora, on complex issues relating to mental health in general and critical incident stress in particular. Ability to design studies and interpret psycho-social data, as a basis for policy development and resource management. Provides an environment in which others can talk and act without fear of repercussion; places confidence in and builds trust with colleagues, staff members and stakeholders. Shows pride in work and in achievements. Demonstrates 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. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

• Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals. Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others. Places team agenda before personal agenda. Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position. Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

• Planning and organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies. Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required. Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work. Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning. Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary. Uses time efficiently.

• Judgement/decision making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly. Gathers relevant information before making a decision. Considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them. Takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization. Proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information. Checks assumptions against facts. Determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision. Makes tough decisions when necessary.

• Managing performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority. Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member. Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills. Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines. Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff. Encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative. Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff. Appraises performance fairly.


• Advanced University degree (Masters’ degree or PhD) in psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy, clinical psychology, public health, social work or counselling or a Medical Doctorate (MD) with certificate of specialization or completion of four (4) years of residency in psychiatry is required.
• Additional training in trauma intervention techniques and mental health fields is required.
• A valid certification to practice at the national level in clinical psychology or psychiatry is required.
• Additional certification in a broad range of related fields, such as alcohol/substance abuse, family, critical incident stress management and/or cross-cultural communication is desirable.

Work Experience

• A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience as a practitioner in clinical psychology or psychiatry at the international level or at the national level with cross-border experience, including seven (7) years of experience in the treatment of psycho-trauma in crisis or emergency response is required.
• Of these 10 years, five (5) years of experience in stakeholder management is required.
• Five (5) years of experience in leading mental health programme design, management and policy is desirable.
• Experience in a mental health management role within a public health setting is desirable.
• Experience in providing outreach or community stress counseling, clinical psychology or psychiatry is desirable.


• English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Fluency in another UN official language(s) is desirable.


• Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

• The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position. The United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) is taking efforts to improve gender parity, including full implementation of the UN-wide, and Departmental Gender Strategies. We are committed to providing an inclusive culture and exciting opportunities for women in the security and operations field.

• At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

• Applying to this job opening carries an expectation to accept the offer, if selected. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

• Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfil the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover letter.

• Appointment or assignment against this position is for an initial period of one year. The appointment or assignment and renewal thereof are subject to the availability of the post or funds, budgetary approval or extension of the mandate.

• An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential.

• The selection process for this job opening will be conducted pursuant to ST/AI/2010/3 on the “Staff Selection System” and include the compliance review process by a review body described in staff rule 4.15. The Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and administrative issuance governing staff appointments can be viewed at:

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


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