Senior Economic Affairs Officer

United Nations - Department of Economic and Social Affairs

New York, United States


Under the direct supervision of the Chief of the Development Strategy Policy and Analysis Unit, the Senior Economic Affairs Officer is responsible for the following duties:

  • Takes a lead role in economic research and policy analysis, particularly in making contributions to the development of topics and themes for the UN flagship publication of the World Economic and Social Survey (WESS);
  • Leads economic analysis of critical long-run development issues of potential concern to the UN Member States, particularly those relating to the issues cross-cutting the three dimensions of sustainable development and structural policy challenges of developing countries, linked to the internationally agreed sustainable development goals and targets: reports these analyses for the WESS and related publications;
  • Supervises junior staff members and organizes task teams for producing chapters and reports. Takes a lead role in conceiving, planning and managing expert group meetings and similar consultations that contribute to the work of the Unit;
  • Prepares SG reports and DESA policy briefs on the above-mentioned development issues, identifying corresponding strategies, policies and actions for adoption by the international community; makes presentations and briefings for the intergovernmental processes;
  • Makes contribution to the capacity development projects managed by the Unit;
  • Prepares speeches for senior staff and makes presentations on development issues for specialist or non-specialist audiences; represents the Division at international, regional and national meetings on development issues;
  • Attends to various administrative matters concerning the Division and contributes to the formulation of the medium-term plan, the programme of work and the budget of the Division: performs other related duties as required.


  • Professionalism: Ability to apply economic theories and concepts in quantitative and qualitative analysis of economic development policy issues with a focus on sustainable development goals, targets and strategies. Ability to conduct independent research on economic topics, determine suitability, validity and accuracy of data provided by different sources. Ability to assess economic policies and make recommendations on their implementation. Ability to apply and interpret up-to-date statistical and quantitative techniques for economic analysis. 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;
  • Planning & 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;
  • 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;
  • Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. 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;
  • Judgment/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 the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.


Advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent degree) in macroeconomics, microeconomics, international economics, development economics or related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in economic research and analysis, policy formulation, application of economic principles in development programmes or related area is required. Experience providing in-depth quantitative and qualitative analysis of a wide range of development issues is required. Experience in the application of principles and concepts of economics in various contexts, especially from a developmental perspective is required. Experience publishing policy-oriented papers, academic articles and books at the international level is required. Experience in servicing expert group meetings and intergovernmental processes on issues relevant to the position is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of a second official UN language is an advantage.

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