Director of World Heritage

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Paris, France

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Under the overall authority of the Director-General of UNESCO, and the direct supervision of the Assistant Director-General for Culture (ADG/CLT), the incumbent shall provide intellectual leadership and strategic vision for cultural and natural heritage at large and World Heritage in particular, in line with the Organization's prevailing Medium-Term Strategy and Programme and Budget Document (C/5). The incumbent will develop effective programmatic and management strategies to enable the World Heritage Centre (WHC) to consolidate and further strengthen UNESCO's leadership in the field of cultural and natural Heritage and its contribution to the UN sustainable development agenda. As such s/he is responsible for effectively managing the coordination, implementation and leading policy development and capacity building activities for the World Heritage Centre, the 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage as well as the 2011 Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape.

As Director of World Heritage, the incumbent will lead the World Heritage Centre's programmes to support Member States and strengthen UNESCO's leadership on the protection and promotion of cultural and natural heritage and the 1972 Convention, as an international standard setting instrument. As member of the Senior Management Team of the Culture Sector, s/he will be responsible for ensuring effective reporting to the Governing Bodies of UNESCO as per the Sector's policy.

As Secretary to the World Heritage Committee and to the General Assembly of States Parties to the 1972 Convention, the incumbent is responsible and accountable for performing the Secretariat's main tasks and ensuring the consistency of the programme in line with the decisions and strategic objectives of the World Heritage Committee and the resolutions of the General Assembly of the States Parties, and the use of the resources of the World Heritage Fund. As such, the incumbent is entrusted with specific delegated authorities as regards this part of the work.

In particular, the incumbent will:

  • Provide strategic direction to the work of UNESCO in the area of cultural and natural heritage, intellectual leadership and guidance to the staff of the World Heritage Centre in line with UNESCO's prevailing Medium-Term Strategy, Programme and Budget; ensure reporting to UNESCO's Governing Bodies; lead the design, planning, implementation and evaluation of the World Heritage Centre's programmes worldwide, including through the Field Offices' network; oversee the effective and efficient management of the World Heritage Centre's human and financial resources and operations; ensure related effective internal control and risk management; ensure overall supervision of staff, allocation of duties and evaluation of their performance, including direct supervision of the Deputy Director and the Heads/Chiefs of Units, Regional Desks and Teams. As a key member of the Senior Management Team of the Culture Sector, advise ADG/CLT on strategic, operational, human resource and budgetary issues, participate in the meetings of the Culture Conventions Liaison Group, and represent ADG/CLT inside and outside the Organization as requested.
  • Lead the Secretariat, whose functions are assumed by the World Heritage Centre, to the World Heritage Committee and to the General Assembly of States Parties in the implementation of the 1972 Convention; organize the statutory meetings of the 1972 Convention, such as the sessions of the General Assembly of States Parties, the sessions of the World Heritage Committee and its Bureau and any subsidiary organs; ensure the implementation of the decisions, resolutions and recommendations of the statutory organs and report to them on their execution, and ensure that the Secretariat’s tasks are carried out as per the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, be accountable to the World Heritage Committee for the use of the resources of the World Heritage Fund and manage the close cooperation with the Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Committee.


  • In line with the Culture Sector's Resource Mobilisation Framework, identify, create opportunities for resource mobilisation and actively raise voluntary contributions from multilateral and bilateral donors, propose partnerships, including with private sector and civil society organisations and build alliances to enhance and support the World Heritage Centre's work and activities to achieve results and impact, giving guidance to staff members, encourage and advise Member States on taking specific actions to support activities of the World Heritage Centre and UNESCO in general.
  • Be responsible for the coordination of UNESCO-wide activities related to cultural and natural heritage and World Heritage with a view to producing synergies and avoid duplication, achieve synergy with other international conventions, organisations and related programmes, provide guidance to the Deputy Director on the 2011 Historic Urban Landscape Recommendation, the Cities Programme and the Sustainable Development portfolio (including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development) in line with the World Heritage Sustainable Development Agenda and ensure the monitoring of its progress towards its achievement.
  • Actively promote at the international level greater awareness and understanding of the protection and promotion of cultural and natural heritage and the World Heritage Convention globally, including advocating the World Heritage Centre's work within the UN System and through the biodiversity conventions liaison group, with counterparts in think tanks, universities, research networks, private sector, NGOs, UNESCO Chairs, Category 2 Centres, governments and other external partners for effective cooperation; develop effective communication channels within the Organization, including Field Offices and stakeholders; develop appropriate information and knowledge management systems; provide clearing house services to UNESCO Member States on matters pertaining to cultural and natural heritage; guide the development of the World Heritage Centre's webpages, as well as social media, in close cooperation with the Sector's Communication, Cities and Events Unit (CLT/CCE) and the Executive Office (CLT/EO), as well as other sectors, in particular the Division for Public Information (DPI) and the Bureau for Digital Business Solutions (DBS).


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