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Director, Regional Support Team for Eastern Europe and Central Asia

UNAIDS is seeking an experienced Director for its Regional Support Team for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The Director will play a vital coordinating role, empowering 16 national teams in their effort to accelerate transformational change for key populations. We are searching for a leader who is a trusted partner of civil society, cosponsors, governments and communities, committed to working to end AIDS as a public health threat in this politically complex region.


UNAIDS is leading the global effort to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Since it started operations in 1996, UNAIDS has led and inspired global, regional, national and local leadership, innovation and partnership to ultimately consign HIV to history. UNAIDS provides the strategic direction, advocacy, coordination and technical support needed to catalyse and connect leadership from governments, the private sector and communities to deliver life-saving HIV services. 

UNAIDS is the only cosponsored Joint Programme in the United Nations system. It draws on the experience and expertise of 11 United Nations system cosponsors and is the only United Nations entity with civil society represented on its governing body.

The Secretariat has offices in 70 countries, with 70% of its staff based in the field, and has a budget of USD 140 million for 2018 with the budget for the Joint Programme being USD 242 million for the same year.

About the Role

The Director of the Regional Support Team for Eastern Europe and Central Asia is a unique and important role that oversees Country Directors in 16 country offices across the region. The role is a coordinating one, ensuring that all stakeholders, including UNAIDS cosponsors, civil society organisations, governments and also communities, are working together to tackle issues around HIV.

Purpose of the Role

  • Provide leadership and coordinate support for an expanded UN system response to ending the AIDS epidemic at the regional and country-level as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. 
  • Promote, support and provide guidance to regional and national partners and the UN system in reaching Global AIDS targets to rapidly scale up the HIV response, focused on populations and in locations most affected by the epidemic. 
  • Promote effective use of strategic information and documentation of trends on the epidemic and the response, as well as provide intellectual leadership on the status of the response to HIV in the region. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the guidance of the Executive Director and the Deputy Executive Director for Programmes, the incumbent is assigned the following responsibilities:

UN system strengthening at the regional and country-level

  • Formulate, promote and lead the implementation of regional strategies, processes and programmes in line with UNAIDS strategic priorities.
  • Coordinate the development, implementation, monitoring and reporting of work to strengthen UNAIDS and UN country team responses to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
  • Implement and strengthen Joint Teams on AIDS with UN country teams, UNAIDS cosponsors, and partners to ensure effective national responses by the UNAIDS Joint Programme, UN country team responses and national partners.
  • Develop plans to strengthen the relevance, consistency and effectiveness of UN system country-level support for the Joint Programme across EECA.
  • Ensure the provision of high-level policy, programming and organisational development advice to UNCT in support of the implementation of United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks and other work plans.
  • Explore and facilitate the application of UN Development Coordination Office (DCO) guidance on joint programming and resource management, provide guidance and identify innovative ways to increase UN support, including in countries without a UNAIDS presence.
  • Contribute to the work of the DCO’s Regional office for Europe and Central Asia, the UN Regional Coordination Mechanism, and the Regional UN Sustainable Development Group.
  • Provide guidance to and advocate with UN Resident Coordinators (RCs) and UNCTs in the development, implementation and monitoring of inter-agency work to achieve agreed deliverables and intensify joint programming opportunities through the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks and other mechanisms.
  • Make recommendations on UN reform strengthening and acceleration to enable a more effective UN response in EECA and make progress towards ending the AIDS epidemic as part of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
  • Coordinate the contributions of the UNAIDS Cosponsors to develop, monitor implementation of UNAIDS Joint Programme initiatives and report on progress, constraints and issues.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of regional advocacy and programmatic strategies on key issues (e.g. access to prevention and treatment, 95-95-95, key populations, harm reduction, stigma and discrimination, etc.)
  • Work in close collaboration with partner governments, their institutions, and ministries to ensure the smooth and independent functioning of the RST in the Russian Federation and across EECA.

Advocacy, resource mobilisation and partnership development

  • Lead the HIV response across the EECA region, engaging effectively with key government and non-governmental partners such as Heads of State, Governments, Ministers, Parliaments and civil society networks to keep HIV and health high on the political agenda.
  • Coordinate, contact and liaison with intergovernmental organizations, donors, civil society organisations, and the private sector
  • Lead UNAIDS work in EECA on resource mobilisation for the Joint Programme and sustainable financing for the AIDS response; ensures proactive stewardship and efficient utilisation of available resources, with a special emphasis on maintaining and expanding the use, oversight and accountability for core and extra-budgetary funds from donors and other funding sources in EECA.
  • Convene regular partner meetings and provide authoritative advice to enable epidemic and response monitoring, information exchange and substantive discussion on issues of interest to UNAIDS.

Guidance, leadership and reporting

  • Provide guidance and leadership to UNAIDS Country Directors (UCDs), Country Managers (UCMs), UNAIDS cosponsors and implementing partners in setting ambitious targets and implementing fully costed National Strategic Plans to achieve the targets of current and future UNAIDS Strategies, the UNGA Political Declarations on HIV, and future Member State targets, strategies and programmes.
  • Lead and manage the Regional Support Team through the definition of priorities and strategies; team building and development; guiding, motivating and coaching staff; and elaborating work plans and budgets.
  • Establish the institutional arrangements and capacities required to provide substantive and coordinated UNAIDS support for UN country teams, inter-agency collaboration, advocacy and partner coordination across EECA.
  • Effectively supervise staff within the Regional Support Team, with a particular focus on coaching and performance evaluation, mitigating and resolving conflicts and promoting and embracing diversity.
  • Monitor and keep UNAIDS senior management and cosponsors appraised of progress in strengthening the UN system response to HIV at the country and sub-regional levels.
  • Facilitate inter-agency collaboration across and beyond the Joint Programme tracking the epidemic and the response.
  • Oversee the preparation of periodic reports on regional trends in the response for use by UNAIDS and UNDCO.

Regional level coordination of the UN system response to HIV

  • Convene regular meetings of Cosponsors Regional Directors, focal points, and UN RCs /UNCTs to oversee and support progress in strengthening UN country team responses to HIV.
  • Ensure effective communication and liaison with all UN system regional offices and regional and inter-country technical support teams.
  • Establish mechanisms to facilitate effective communication and coordination between UNAIDS offices within the region, with other RSTs and with UNAIDS Headquarters.
  • Maintain effective liaison with and provide technical support to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and enhance the contributions of other donors to maximise resources, sustainability and effectiveness of national programmes, projects and the contributions of implementing partners in EECA.

Regional technical support platforms and mechanisms 

  • Provide overall leadership, coordination and support for the development and functioning for the provision of technical support for the HIV response in EECA in key thematic areas and joint or collaborative UN Programming initiatives to expand HIV-related responses.


  • Represent UNAIDS at high-level national, regional and international for and in the media, promoting and advancing/influencing the position and priorities of UNAIDS and the UN system, as appropriate.
  • Represent EECA in Senior Leadership Team (SLT) meetings and other fora, implement and monitor the decentralisation process in decision-making in the Secretariat and participate in virtual teams across issue areas.
  • In collaboration with UNAIDS Country Directors, ensure a collaborative and supportive work environment for all UNAIDS staff in the region, centred on a shared commitment to UNAIDS’ mandate, with zero bullying, harassment, discrimination or abuse of authority.

Skills and Experience

  • Advanced university degree in development, economics, social science, public health, public administration, management and/or related field.  First university degree with 17 years of relevant experience will be considered as equivalent.
  • A minimum of 15 years of progressive work experience leading, managing and implementing development or cooperation programmes at the international and national levels. 
  • A minimum of ten years’ work experience at the regional / country level is desirable.
  • Extensive knowledge of and skills in advancing the AIDS response, including in the EECA Region.
  • Thorough understanding of the political, bio-medical, social, human rights and economic aspects of the AIDS epidemic and its underlying factors.
  • Proven competence in developing a strategic vision, skill in addressing and overcoming political obstacles. 
  • Knowledge of global, regional and national partners in the AIDS response. 
  • Knowledge of the UN system organisations and the Sustainable Development Goals. Experience in the UN System and/or in another international organisation desirable. 
  • Experience managing diverse teams. 
  • Advanced level of English and Russian.