Chief of Staff Relations, P5

World Food Programme
  • Location
    Rome, Italy
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Jan 29

Position description

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes.  Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need.



We are currently recruiting a highly competent candidate based in HQ (Rome, Italy) to provide strategic and operational leadership to WFP’s Staff Relations function, at the P5 level. This HR leadership team role reports directly to the Director, Human Resources Division.

The selected candidate will lead a team that delivers solutions to complex issues arising in grievances and disciplinary matters. The branch plays a critical role in promoting a culture of individual accountability, while also ensuring that WFP’s internal justice system reflects principles of fairness and due process.

The Chief of the Staff Relations Branch, Human Resources Division (HRM) has a primary role in maintaining the relationship between WFP’s senior management and the recognized Staff Representative Bodies. This office works very closely with the office of the Director, HRM and other functions within HRM; the Legal Office; the Office of the Inspector General, Investigations; the Ethics Office; and the Office of the Ombudsman. In addition, the Staff Relations Branch engages with managers, other offices, and staff representative bodies to promote healthy and respectful workplaces and constructive staff-management relations, including through advocacy and awareness-raising initiatives, consultation on policy developments, and informal resolution of individual disputes and grievances.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

  • Lead HRM’s centre of expertise on issues of individual accountability and disciplinary practice and serve as HRM focal point for senior management on disciplinary matters, by ensuring due process and providing decision-makers with expert assessments on the overall balance of operational, managerial, legal, financial and fairness elements to be considered in each case. The advice will also give appropriate weight to reputational risk, as well as the impact of confirmed misconduct on the work environment and the bond of trust between the organization and its employees.
  • Provide key contributions to the continuing development and implementation of actions aimed at enforcing protection from abusive conduct (harassment, sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and discrimination), encouraging shared values and behavior, and promoting a culture of harmonious and respectful working relations across the organization;
  • Keep abreast of staff relations policy developments and best practices in the UN common system and international organizations to identify areas where HR policy review would be beneficial to WFP. Generate ideas and initiatives, new approaches and adaptations to HR policies and lead consultations on policy proposals as well as internal communication on relevant policy changes.
  • Deliver expert, solution-oriented advice to managers and HR professionals at a global level on complex issues arising in relation to the application of HR policies and procedures, the management of disputes and grievances, and/or the handling of non-routine and potentially contentious situations relating to employment relationships or workplaces;
  • Provide expert assistance in the discussion with parties concerned, decision and documentation of employee separations for unsatisfactory performance, health reasons, and/or in the interest of the good administration of WFP.
  • Provide background briefings and propose positions to the Director, HRM and senior management on issues related to staff relations;
  • Lead, motivate and develop a team of professionals to enable high performance. Supervise and coordinate the work of staff and external firms/consultants;
  • Represent HRM with clients and in interdivisional or external fora.  Exercise delegated authority to commit WFP on HR policy issues within the designated area of responsibility;
  • Other responsibilities, as required




  • Advanced university degree in Human Resources Management, Industrial/Labour Relations or Law, of a first university degree with additional years of related work experience or training/courses.


  • At least 11 years of progressively responsible postgraduate experience in the fields of human resources management, industrial/labour relations, and/or law practice. 3-5 years of international experience.
  • Experience with managing industrial relations, disciplinary matters, grievances and contested employee separations.
  • Experience in a United Nations System entity is desirable.

Functional Skills & Knowledge   

  • Authoritative expertise which combines cutting edge substantive advice to senior management on disputes, grievances and disciplinary matters, with consideration of operational and strategic perspectives. This function requires thorough knowledge of the applicable internal legal framework and investigation and disciplinary procedures and entails frequent interaction with the Director, Human Resources Division, the Office of the Inspector General, the Legal Office, the Ethics Office and the Office of the Ombudsman;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with ambiguity and to consult, influence, and partner with key stakeholders in developing and executing human resources solutions, strategies and/or policy changes;
  • Demonstrated capacity to act as a credible voice for an organization in a functional area, with the capacity to present, identify opportunities, establish frameworks for interaction, maintain and grow relationships over time;
  • A successful track record of negotiating complex situations, with competing interests and multiple stakeholders;
  • Capacity to balance strategic thinking and flawless execution across a complex global organization;
  • Strong people management skills, including the capacity to lead and motivate a team of ten or more professionals to excel in individual specializations while ensuring coordination and synergies.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with a range of internal and external stakeholders.


  • Fluency in oral and written English with an intermediate knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or Portuguese (one of WFP’s working languages).

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on

follow us on Twitter