Head of Secretariat Principles for Inclusive Peace

Reporting to: Director of Policy, Learning and IPAT

Location: Geneva

Application closing: 24 May, 2020

Unit: Principles for Inclusive Peace Secretariat

Two-year assignment – Full Time


The Principles for Inclusive Peace is an international initiative launched by Interpeace with the support of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden and others. The initiative is a unique and inclusive global process aimed at examining and re-framing the way peace processes are conceived and implemented. Over the course of two years the initiative will include both bottom-up and top-down consultations led by an international commission of political leaders, peacebuilding and peace-making practitioners, civil society representatives and scholars. The initiative will result in a set of new principles and guiding norms to inform and incentivise more effective design and implementation of peace processes that enable sustainable peace.

Current approaches to peace-making and peace processes are often ineffective, resulting in most peace agreements failing between seven and 12 years after they are signed. One key weakness is the persistent failure to craft inclusive processes that ensure the credibility and legitimacy of the outcomes for all relevant stakeholders.

The Principles for Inclusive Peace intend to achieve more effective and sustainable peace by influencing the global approach to peace processes. The initiative aims to move the international community towards multi-layered, more inclusive and strategic processes that are more effective in enabling societies to end violent conflict and build their capacities for sustainable peace. By creating a new set of enduring principles and non-binding norms, this initiative aims to change individual and collective incentives and behaviour within international peace action, and provide strategic coherence, greater accountability and mechanisms for long-term oversight.

This initiative was soft launched at the 2019 Paris Peace Forum and was selected as a top ten ‘scale-up’ project. For more background information about the Principles for Inclusive Peace, please visit: https://www.principles4peace.org/.

Interpeace is an international peacebuilding organization that strengthens the ability of societies to manage conflict themselves in sustainable and non-violent ways. Interpeace was originally established by the United Nations and remains its strategic partner. Beyond field-based peacebuilding, Interpeace also assists the international community – particularly the UN – to be more effective in supporting peacebuilding efforts worldwide. This includes contributing innovative thought leadership on peacebuilding policies and practices.  Interpeace is headquartered in Geneva and has offices around the world. For more information about Interpeace, please visit www.interpeace.org

Position within the Organization

The Head of Secretariat will lead and manage the Principles for Inclusive Peace Secretariat which will implement the initiative’s activities worldwide over a two-year period. The initiative is independent but has been seeded by Interpeace and will be managed from the Interpeace Headquarters office in Geneva. A key aspect of the role will be management of an international high-level Commission, including strategic political and policy advice as well as practical oversight to ensure delivery of a highly inclusive and participatory series of regional consultations worldwide by the Commission.

A Steering Committee will provide overall oversight of the initiative, and the Head of Secretariat will manage the delivery of the process  and engage closely with Committee members. The initiative is independent and international, and the Head of the Secretariat is responsible to the Steering Committee for the work and achievements of the Commission. For practical governance and accountability, as well as for ongoing liaison and effective strategic coherence with Interpeace, the Head will report to the Director of Policy, Learning and IPAT in Interpeace.

The Head of Secretariat also consults with and coordinates with the Senior Director of Global Operations, and the Heads of Global Finance, HR and IT in Interpeace to ensure adherence to high standards of financial, IT, and human resources management in the Secretariat’s operations.

Purpose and General Overview

The Head of Secretariat oversees overall implementation of the Principles for Inclusive Peace initiative including management of the Secretariat.

The Head of the Secretariat will support the international Commission to develop the Principles for Inclusive Peace, in particular by ensuring a highly inclusive consultative process and ensuring that the inherent political complexities and international multilateral relations space are effectively navigated in order to achieve new international informal norms for peace-making and peacebuilding.

The Head of Secretariat is responsible for the delivery of all operational aspects and activities surrounding the initiative. In particular, the Head will oversee the convening and provision of secretarial support for the Commission as well as of an Advisory Group and a Research Committee;  steer the process design and sequencing of participatory  consultations and other project planning and logistics; oversee the management and delivery of background research;  be accountable for project management of all the deliverables of the initiative; manage the political strategy and communications of the initiative; and, guide and manage the other staff of the Secretariat.

The key organs of the initiative including the Commission, Research Committee and Advisory Council will be composed of eminent and senior political leaders, practitioners, scholars, and civil society / youth leaders with significant experience working on international peace and security issues. The Head of Secretariat will be responsible for representation at the Commission, managing the Commission’s work and conducting bilateral meetings with Commission members as required.

S/he will have experience of managing high-level political strategy development and execution, and experience of engaging at a Track 1 level, working on complex thematic issues in international political work, partnership building, as well as effective collaboration and project management skills. S/he will ideally have experience working in, or on, a peace process or peacebuilding context and have practitioner experience in at least one aspect of, or combination of mediation, peacebuilding, or development and humanitarian work in a peacebuilding context.

The Head of Secretariat is responsible for periodically adjusting and/or reviewing strategies, as well as effectively developing and monitoring the activities and validating the budget. S/he also oversees compliance and implementation of relevant institutional procedures, policies and systems by Secretariat staff and in alignment with donor requirements and eligibility regulations in coordination with the Interpeace operations team. S/he manages and optimizes project resources as well as possible additional funding opportunities.

S/he will form partnerships and coordinate collaboration with other peace-making and peacebuilding organizations throughout the project. S/he will also develop and maintain effective relations with external partners and stakeholders, including engagement at senior leadership and management levels.

The position is for a two-year period but is envisaged to continue into an implementation and monitoring phase to mainstream and disseminate the Principles to ensure their meaningful take up and operationalisation.

Duties and responsibilities

Specific Duties:

Strategic and substantive direction

  • Ensures the processes to develop the Principles for Inclusive Peace are inclusive, multi-layered, bottom-up and top-down, participatory and credible.
  • Ensures successful convening and operational effectiveness of the international Commission for the Principles for Inclusive Peace.
  • Establishes and manages the overall effectiveness and operation of the Advisory Group and Research Committee.
  • Provides direction to policy and research staff working in the Secretariat, including direction for thematic research on key issues in international peace action and peace processes.
  • Assesses complex political and international relations issues when they arise, and identifies and ensures implementation of action to navigate these.
  • Identifies and advances consideration/implementation of partnership possibilities at international, regional and country level.
  • Follows the political, social and economic developments of the different regions and contexts of focus of the Commission and articulates an understanding of the conceptual issues associated with norm development, including in peacebuilding and peace-making.
  • Strategically promotes the activities of the initiative, especially those of local and regional partners, to ensure awareness of the initiative amongst actors working in, around and on peace processes and peacebuilding in conflict affected settings.
  • Oversee the production and dissemination of regular briefing papers and other material emanating from the initiative’s activities to influencing national, regional and international decision-makers. Coordinates information flow and dissemination to relevant stakeholders.
  • Develops tactical approaches to pro-actively raise the initiative’s profile in various contexts through participation in key conferences and policymaking forums and processes.

Management – institutional coherence

  • Creates spaces and mechanisms for collaboration and weaving with the initiative’s governing mechanisms.
  • Develops and maintains appropriate and collaborative coordination mechanisms between the initiative’s Secretariat, Steering Committee, Commission and other bodies with Interpeace
  • Develops and maintains productive relationships with representatives of current and potential donors and international actors (government, multilateral, and private where appropriate).
  • Establishes and monitors the sharing of information and opportunities with donors, partners and like-minded institutions.
  • Oversees the implementation and maintenance of effective “capture and share” strategies of communication to ensure the broader dissemination and understanding of the initiative’s activities and outputs.


  • Regularly and routinely interacts with senior managers, leaders and representatives of organizations, governments and civil society across the world, as well as at peacebuilding/peace-making practitioner and research levels.
  • Represents the Commission’s work and the initiative overall at senior management and leadership level with governments and organizations.
  • Publicly represents the initiative including media interaction at national, regional and international level.

Management of Personnel and Resources

  • Direct supervision and mentoring of Secretariat Staff (approx. 3-4).
  • Forward planning in line with adaptive management principles to ensure effective delivery of multiple activities.
  • Creates an enabling work environment that fosters learning and innovation where staff members can achieve their potential, demonstrating gender-responsive and non-discriminatory behavior and attitudes.
  • Guided by the mission and core values of Interpeace, its integrated talent management strategy, and in coordination with the Global Operations Unit, recruits, leads, motivates, develops, inspires and builds a high performance and cohesive team.
  • Monitors, evaluates and documents the individual performance and development of staff.
  • In collaboration with the Director of Policy, Learning and IPAT and with the Global Operations Unit, establishes and implements necessary measures that respond to the health, wellbeing and safety and security needs of the Secretariat’s staff.

Project Development

  • Ensures timely forward-looking consideration and delivery of options to secure funding for extended activities where relevant
  • Guided by the Director of Policy, Learning and IPAT and in collaboration with the Director of Strategic Partnerships & Communications, develops fundraising strategies to ensure the operationalization phase of the initiative in 2022. This includes identifying potential funding sources, ensuring strategic alignment of the initiative with funders’ priorities, and monitoring the raising of required funds by following the respective donor’s procedures.


Candidates with relevant qualifications and experience, and fluency in English, are invited to apply.

Relevant experience and qualifications may include:


  • Tertiary qualification in international relations, political science, development, management, or relevant fields


  • Mediation, peace-making, peacebuilding at either civil society, government or intergovernmental, NGO level in conflict setting
  • Managing multilayered programmes involving research, policy, participatory peacebuilding approaches.
  • Project management (strategy, planning, reflection, implementation, monitoring, evaluation).
  • Management in cross-cultural, international setting.
  • Interacting and influencing at senior leadership and management levels in political, international relations and multilateral contexts.
  • Translating a strategic vision into an operational model.


  • Advanced domain knowledge of peace-making and peacebuilding policy and practice, including understanding of gender, youth and humanitarian
  • Understanding of international norm development, norm-setting processes, and normative frameworks in international relations.
  • Advanced planning and conceptual thinking, political analysis and a problem-solving orientation.
  • Knowledge of strategy development and basic financial management.
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment and to demonstrate gender-responsive and non-discriminatory behaviour and attitudes.
  • Ability to mentor and guide personnel.
  • Ability to interact with people respectfully and with tact including at senior leadership and representation levels.
  • Ability to deal with confidential information and/or issues using discretion and good judgment
  • Languages:
    • Excellent verbal and written skills in English required; fluency in other working languages of the UN would be desirable.

Interpeace Competencies

  • Collaboration and Weaving
  • Communication
  • Drive for results
  • Adaptability and Continuous Learning
  • Respect for Diversity
  • Interpeace values diversity among its staff and aims to achieve gender equality both through gender parity at all levels of the organization and promoting a gender dimension in all its work. We welcome applications from women and men, and those with disabilities.

How to apply

Qualified candidates are invited to submit a complete curriculum vitae and a letter of interest to recruitment@interpeace.org no later than 24 May 2020, 23:00 .  “Head of Secretariat, Principles for Inclusive Peace” must be included in the subject line of the application email to be considered.

Please note that due to high volume of applications, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.