Head of Field Office – Samos – UNHCR

Internal and external vacancy announcement

Job requisition ID: JR2203406

Job posting title: Head of Field Office

Duration of appointment: One-year fixed-term appointment (with possibility of extension)

Position number: 10027350 (with a lien)

Category and grade: national professional officer, NOA

Duty station: Samos

Closing date: 22 November 2022 (midnight, Athens)

Operational context

Nature of the position

The Greek government opened the new “Multipurpose Reception and Identification Centre” in Samos in September 2021 to host the asylum seekers residing on the island. Out of current population of 4,873 refugees and asylum-seekers on the Aegean islands, Samos is hosting 1,222 persons of concern (as of September 2022).

UNHCR has multiple interventions in core areas of protection, solutions, monitoring and advocacy on the island. The Head of Office at Field Office Samos reports to the Head of Sub-Office (SO) Lesvos and has a supervisory responsibility for protection and field staff while overseeing the administration, finance, office and fleet management and HR responsibilities with the support of the Admin/Finance/ICT personnel of SO Lesvos and HR personnel of Country Office (CO) Athens. S/he will be responsible for security of the staff in the area of responsibility (AoR) with the support of the Field Security Associate of SO Lesvos. The incumbent is responsible for direct implementation (Ops) and ABOD budget to cover the needs of the Field Office and implement agreed activities. In collaboration and with the support of relevant staff, the Head of Office in Samos will be responsible to ensure that admin and programme-related tasks, duties and responsibilities are completed in due time and in line with existing rules and organizational instructions.

The incumbent is expected to have high political and organizational awareness and planning competencies, as well as demonstrated negotiation and advocacy skills to be able to advance UNHCR mandate, the priorities of the operation and cooperate with the local authorities and other stakeholders in the AoR. S/he should have excellent communication skills, as well as proved experience in managing and supervising staff, budget and resources. The Head of Field Office is expected to liaise frequently with local authorities, partners, and other stakeholders, facilitate high level visits to the AoR, and participate in interviews with the media. Proficiency of Greek and English languages (minimum C1 level) is mandatory, and relevant higher level of education is desirable. Experience in external relations, communications and public information is desirable. Demonstrated awareness of the political and security context of the island which may impact the protection, field activities and wellbeing of the staff is required.

Living and working conditions

Greece has been one of the main entry points of refugees wishing to reach the EU. UNHCR supports the government, which leads the refugee response working closely with the EU, state and municipal actors, UN agencies, international/local NGOs, refugees, local communities. While Greece is still considered a transit country, it has also become a country of asylum. UNHCR estimates that some 70,000-80,000 refugees, including those with subsidiary and temporary protection status, are currently living in Greece, in addition to some 30,000 asylum-seekers. While most refugees and asylum-seekers are in the mainland, living in and outside camps, there are currently over 3,300 on the islands. Large majority of the latter live in camps, including the new Closed Controlled Access Centres (islands of Kos, Leros, Samos). Two new centres are to be constructed on Lesvos and Chios. UNHCR Greece is focused on a protection-driven approach around two pillars: 1. access to international protection and 2. durable solutions with focus on integration. UNHCR uses a mix of operational engagement, CB protection efforts, expert advice provision to the government, monitoring and improved data collection, targeted interventions and advocacy, aiming to support Greece in fulfilling its obligations to provide protection and solutions to persons in need of international protection. Child protection, prevention of SGBV, SEA and institutional capacity strengthening in these areas will continue to be priority, in line with the Office’s AGD approach. In doing so, UNHCR seeks to build on the strengths and capacities of refugees, by working with them and not for them.

Duties and qualifications

Organizational setting and work relationships

The position is under direct supervision and guidance of the Representative/Head of Sub/Field-Office on issues concerning programme, protection, external relations, etc. Advice and operational support may also be received from other senior staff and support units at the Branch Office and from the Bureau at Headquarters.

The incumbent represents UNHCR at the field level. S/he will persuade and obtain assistance of others on matters of non-routine significance. Contacts predominantly with persons on subject matters of importance to Organization’s programmes (e.g. counterparts in other organizations or at working level in national governments).

While the functional responsibility of a Head of Field Unit will remain the same despite its grade level, the other parameters (therefore the depth and breadth of the competencies) such as the size of the population of concern to UNHCR, their specific legal/security concerns, volume of assistance, number of operational / Implementing partners and the size of the office (i.e. number of UNHCR staff and their grade levels) will determine the appropriate grade level. The operational autonomy also depends upon the same parameters/competencies. The Field Unit managed by the incumbent has no other professional position and less than 6 general service positions. The supervisor exercises substantive oversight and provides regular guidance, direction and support to the incumbent.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR’s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.


  • Monitor and report on the implementation of refugee conventional responsibilities and international obligations of the local authorities vis-à-vis the population of concern to UNHCR within the AOR.
  • Advocate and promote UNHCR standards concerning the treatment of persons of concern.
  • Ensure that the basic needs of the concerned population are properly assessed with the participation of the beneficiaries themselves, the host governments and/or the competent Implementing partners and/or UNHCR itself.
  • Subject to the needs, ensure that the planning, formulation and budgeting of identified assistance projects are done as per UNHCR programme cycle; upon approval of assistance project, ensure the timely implementation and monitoring of identified assistance activities.
  • Ensure through the subordinate staff that deadlines for monitoring and reporting of UNHCR operational activities are met on a regular basis.
  • Manage UNHCR resources, both human, financial/material, at an optimum level for the wellbeing of the concerned population and the UNHCR staff.
  • Ensure that security measures of UNHCR office (and residential, wherever applicable) compounds are always up to date; any security breaches and/or potential security threat should be reported immediately to competent UN security coordinator in the country.
  • Ensure that staff welfare, both in terms of working and living conditions, are maintained at a satisfactory level within the constraints in the operational area.
  • Guide, coach and advocate the subordinate staff to maintain highest standards of conduct and behaviour thorough one’s own practice and deeds.
  • Prepare and submit regular reports, both verbally and written, to the UNHCR Representative/HoSO. In the event of substantial telephone conversation that leads to specific action or non-action, it should be recorded and share with the other party.
  • Any other responsibilities/functions deemed necessary or as delegated by the UNHCR Representative of the country in order to meet the level of the services in the organization.
  • Represent UNHCR in inter-agency fora and with local authorities in the AOR.
  • Enforce compliance with UNHCR’s global protection, programme, finance, human resources and security policies and standards.
  • Submit project proposals for assistance to refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR Representation or Sub-Office in coordination with local authorities and NGOs.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum qualifications

Education & professional work experience

Years of experience / Degree level

  • 1 year relevant experience with undergraduate degree; or no experience with graduate degree; or no experience with doctorate degree

Field(s) of education


  • Business administration; economics; international relations; law; management; political science or other relevant field

Language requirements

  • Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language

Certificates and/or licenses


  • HCR Management Learning Programme;
  • HCR Managing Operations Learning Programme

Relevant job experience


  • Applied knowledge of protection principles, operational arrangements/standards in relation to protection, assistance, UNHCR office management and staff administration


  • Not specified

Functional skills


  • IT-computer literacy
  • IT-MS Office applications
  • PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework
  • MG-Office Management
  • HR-Staff Administration
  • PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators


All jobs at UNHCR require six core competencies and may also require managerial competencies and/or cross-functional competencies. The six core competencies are listed below:

Core competencies:

  • Accountability
  • Communication
  • Organizational awareness
  • Teamwork & collaboration
  • Commitment to continuous learning
  • Client & result orientation

Managerial competencies:

  • Empowering and building trust
  • Judgement and decision-making
  • Managing performance
  • Managing resources

Cross-functional competencies:

  • Analytical thinking
  • Planning and organizing
  • Political awareness

All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination, and abuse of power.

As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.

This is a standard job description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The operational context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this job description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.

Eligible applicants

  • This position is open to all applicants (internals/externals).
  • Recruitment against this position is on a local basis.
  • Candidates for positions in the national professional officer category must be nationals of Greece (primary nationality).

Duration of appointment

  • One-year fixed-term appointment (with possibility of extension)
  • Expected start date of this assignment: 01/01/2023

Additional information

The closing date for submission is 22 November 2022 (midnight, Athens).

  • No late applications will be accepted.
  • Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.
  • Shortlisted candidates might be required to sit for a written test and will have to undergo an oral interview.

Kindly note that only electronic applications will be considered:

  • Interested applicants are invited to apply online either through Workday Career page or using the external UNHCR Careers page www.unhcr.org/careers (external candidates).
  • Should you encounter technical issues or have questions during the online application, please contact the HR Unit at greathr@unhcr.org well before the deadline.

Recruitment as a UNHCR staff member is subject to proof of vaccination against Covid-19.

UNHCR is an equal opportunity employer and does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing, training or any other fees).

UNHCR is committed to diversity and welcomes applications from qualified candidates regardless of disability, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, race, colour or ethnic and national origins, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.

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