Office Assistant, Washington At International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Closing date: Monday, 24 July 2023

Job Title : Office Assistant – Washington DC

ID : 14163

Location : United States Of America

Date of issue : 07/05/2023

Close Date : 07/24/2023

Organizational Unit : Global Eng., Part. & res. Mob.

Full/Part Time : Full-Time

Regular/Temporary : Regular

Assignment Duration : 2 Years

Grade : G-5

Organizational Setting

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger. It does so by investing in rural people. IFAD finances programmes and projects that increase agricultural productivity and raise rural incomes, and advocates at the local, national and international level for policies that contribute to rural transformation.

The Global Engagement, Partnership and Resource Mobilization (GPR) Division is part of the External Relations and Governance Department (ERG) and has a specific focus on global engagement, partnerships (including with the private sector, foundations, bilateral and multilateral organizations), and on driving the resource mobilization efforts with traditional and non-traditional donors and partners. Within this framework, the GPR Division addresses three main functions: (i) Global engagement and multilateral relations; (ii) South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC); and (iii) replenishment, resource mobilization and advocacy.

The mission of the Global Engagement, Partnership and Resource Mobilization Division (GPR) is to enhance IFAD’s contribution to inclusive and sustainable rural transformation and Agenda 2030 through strengthening global engagement, partnerships, and resource mobilization.

The Office Assistant works under the direct supervision of Chief, Americas Liaison Office (ALO).

Applicants for National positions at General Service level must be legally authorized to live and work in the country of recruitment at the time of application. Any job offer is subject to evidence from the candidate to have obtained and be able to maintain the legal status to live and work in the country of recruitment.

Job Role

The Office Assistant is accountable for the management of administrative services and workflows at departmental or divisional level, including business support, resource management and planning and office communications. The incumbent executes and manages processes and transactions ensuring efficient and high quality and accuracy of work to enhance the smooth running of the organizational unit and its workflow and management of information.

In particular, the incumbent is accountable for communications, operational and secretarial support services to enhance the smooth running and its workflow and management of information for ALO, which includes offices in New York and Washington.

Key Functions and Results

  •  BUSINESS SUPPORT TO AVP or DIRECTOR: The Office Assistant organizes and manages the office business and support to the AVP or Division Director, to ensure integrity and adherence to established rules and procedures. Accountabilities typically include but are not limited to:
  •  Maintaining the supervisor`s calendar and managing their travel arrangements;
  •  Preparing briefing materials for official trips or meetings;
  •  Drafting responses to written inquiries on routine and non-routine queries and coordinating responses to sensitive or complex issues;
  •  Liaising with internal (HQ and field) and external clients for the smooth functioning of business operations;
  •  Organizing the logistics of internal and external meetings/committees;
  •  Reviewing all correspondence and official documents for style, factual and grammatical accuracy, as well as conformance with established guidelines and procedures;
  •  Preparing the submission of correspondence for the supervisor`s signature.
  •  RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND PLANNING: The Office Assistant contributes in the planning and delivery of the divisional/departmental work plan(s) and budget. Accountabilities typically include but are not limited to:
  •  Consolidating, monitoring and administering departmental/divisional budgets including regular and non-regular budgets;
  •  Assessing budget trends and future requirements;
  •  Preparing and delivering presentations and reports on budget utilization if required;
  •  Originating and/or administering the procurement of goods and services (e.g. non-staff recruitments, commercial and non-commercial entity contracts);
  •  Coordinating divisional or departmental work plan(s) and generating regular reviews and final reporting;
  •  Initiating HR-related actions for recruitment/contract extension and ensuring timely and efficient completion of actions.
  •  DIVISIONAL/DEPARTMENTAL OUTPUTS AND ACTIVITIES: The Office Assistant is responsible for ensuring timely submissions by staff of reports, correspondence and documentation within stipulated deadlines, as well as adherence to corporate standards and processes. Accountabilities typically include but are not limited to:
  •  Coordinating work flows for divisional/departmental documents/correspondence going to or through the AVP or Division Director;
  •  Effecting quality checks of official documents/correspondence;
  •  Ensuring organization and logistics for meetings and events;
  •  Providing guidance on corporate administrative processes, through induction and briefing/debriefing of staff and consultants;
  •  Coordinating work of junior staff assigned to the office;
  •  Ensuring proper office management of goods and tools for an effective running office;
  •  Coordinating divisional travel plans.
  •  Recording divisional absences.
  •  DIVISIONAL/DEPARTMENTAL COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT: The Office Assistant coordinates the communication and workflow of the office of the AVP or Division Director to ensure the effectiveness, efficiency and timeliness of office operations and outputs. Accountabilities typically include but are not limited to:
  •  Maintaining the office filing and reference systems, both traditional and digital;
  •  Ensuring the inter/intra-net websites are up to date and accurate;
  •  Maintaining and updating corporate IT platforms.
  •  MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: Is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of assigned IFAD resources, including equipment, supplies and, as applicable, staff supervised.
  •  COMMUNICATIONS AND WORKFLOW: Organizes and facilitates the communications and workflow of the organization to enhance the efficiency and timeliness of operations and outputs. Accountabilities typically include:
  •  focal point for IFAD on all administrative issues in the UN DC group and represent IFAD in meetings with the UN agencies in Washington regarding similar issues
  •  manages incoming and outgoing correspondence, e-mails and telephone calls
  •  researches background documentation in support of ALO staff
  •  communicates sensitive information to higher level managers provides information pertaining to the work of ALO hub
  •  OPERATIONAL SUPPORT: Organizes and facilitates the ALO’s work to ensure integrity in the use of resources and adherence to established rules and procedures. Accountabilities typically include:
  •  responsible for planning and organizing events related to IFAD President and Senior Management’s mission in Washington and New York, which includes providing support in securing bilateral meetings
  •  performing ERP data entry and reporting activities with functional role as originator
  •  adapting internal procedures and tracking systems for correspondence and documents
  •  verifying work is completed in accordance with IFAD standards and within established deadlines
  •  monitoring work progress and priority cases
  •  identifying and extracting information from various sources and prepares briefing notes.
  •  OFFICE SUPPORT: Ensures the full range of office support to ALO staff. Accountabilities typically include:
  •  responsible for management of ALO staff travel, and provide necessary support to IFAD colleagues when traveling to and within the US
  •  assists colleagues from other divisions in events taking place in the US, which includes arranging facilities, venue, catering, and other aspects.
  •  responsible for drafting of communications to HQ on a range of administrative and related issues
  •  responsible for keeping a clean record of inventory (both Washington and New York)
  •  focal point for ALO of IT support services and equipment
  •  maintains common services to ensure integrated activities in common services shared with other UN agencies
  •  provides support to ALO staff in the preparation of briefing materials for official trips or meetings
  •  drafts responses to written inquiries on routine and non-routine questions
  •  coordinates responses to sensitive inquiries by maintain and further augmenting the reputation of the Chief, ALO’s office through professional, friendly, timely, diplomatic, and respectful interactions.
  •  follows up on established deadlines and ensures timely submissions by staff of reports, correspondence and other documents
  •  MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: Accountabilities typically include:
  •  Performing the function of a Budget Assistant for ALO hub, including:
    •  Submitting budget requests and analyzes budget performance throughout the year
    •  Preparing cost estimates for special projects/events
    •  Responsible for all ALO budget related issues and ensures availability of budget, conforming to administrative rules and regulations
    •  Acting as focal point for clean-up of Purchase Orders, accruals and other quarterly and year-end activities
    •  Contributing to the preparation and strategic justification of the annual office budget, work plans and other reports; submits the agreed budget
  •  Budgetary and financial operations responsibility including –
    •  Managing payments directly to vendors and negotiates with service providers on behalf of ALO
    •  Authorizing purchase of goods against budget and keeps track of expenditures.
  •  Coordinates with other divisions at IFAD on payments due to the UN HQ in New York for services and goods rendered related to various events hosted by different divisions.
  •  Acts as internship coordinator, evaluates and supervises interns’ work schedule and availability (virtually and in person) in the office.

Key Performance Indicators

Office Assistants are accountable for applying a broad range of specialized administrative rules and procedures in the coordination of administrative support to the organization served. Initiating, monitoring and ensuring provision of administrative services allows the professional staff of the organization to focus on substantive core work. This may include supervisory responsibilities with accountability for the work of administrative assistants, temporary and/or contract staff.

The scope of key results extends beyond small, discrete teams to impact support services of larger, more complex organizational structures. The incumbent supports the Chief of ALO in the compilation and coordination of work products, ensuring deadlines are met and that established rules and procedures are followed. The work is standardized; yet the incumbent must apply a good knowledge of guidelines, such as correspondence handbooks, leave procedures, etc. in order to operationally support ALO. Key performance indicators go beyond the timeliness and accuracy of work to include strategizing, planning and organizing the work of ALO hub

Working Relationships

Office Assistants represent the supervisor in initiating, following up on and resolving issues pertaining to administrative requests. The incumbent undertakes a specific coordination role for specific cross-cutting activities or services.

External contacts include counterparts in international organizations, bi-lateral and multi-lateral institutions and national governments to organize meetings and events. Communications involve the exchange of information across the Fund at the most senior levels and externally to governing body representatives.

The incumbent represents ALO in communications involving the exchange of non-routine information, coordinating and following up on deadlines as well as establishing and maintaining communications with counterpart staff within IFAD and with counterparts in partner organizations. Communications require tact and discretion. They may provide guidance and direction to temporary or lower level staff.

Job Profile Requirements

Organizational Competencies:

Level 1:

  •  Building relationships and partnerships – Builds and maintains effective working relationships
  •  Communicating and negotiating – Communicates effectively; creates understanding between self and others
  •  Demonstrating leadership – Personal leadership and attitude to change
  •  Focusing on clients – Focuses on clients
  •  Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating – Continuously seeks to learn, shares knowledge & innovates
  •  Managing performance and developing staff –
  •  Managing time, resources and information – Manages own time, information and resources effectively
  •  Problem-solving and decision-making – Demonstrates sound problem-solving and decision-making ability
  •  Strategic thinking and organizational development – Personal influence
  •  Team working – Contributes effectively to the team


  •  High school diploma. Bachelors degree preferred.
    •  Areas – Social Studies, Math, English language arts, Economics


  •  At least four (4) years of progressively responsible secretarial and administrative experience


  •  Required English (4 – Excellent)
  •  Desirable: French, Spanish or Arabic (3 – Good)


  •  Budgeting, resource management: Know-how in budget administration and accounting, resource allocation and planning at divisional level
  •  Procedure adherence: Ability to strictly adhere to established, formal guidelines, including in new situations
  •  Procurement: Know-how in the application of the procurement policies, rules and regulations applicable to IFAD HQ and/or Country Programmes/Projects, including for complex individual cases
  •  Record management: Know-how in record keeping (e.g. proper handling of records and systems to preserve institutional memory, including correspondence logs, office filing and reference systems, etc.)
  •  Topical expertise – Administration: Expertise relevant to the specific role (e.g. For ethics office assistant, procedures outlined in the Code of Conduct, Discipline and Anti-harassment provisions of applicable rules and guidelines)
  •  Stakeholder management: Strong alignment capabilities and consultation skills, building on effective interactions and relationships with different stakeholders (e.g. for the co-creation of communication material with member states) and ability to build and maintain a strong network (e.g. with journalists, media outlets, etc.)
  •  Time management: Adherence to deadlines under time constraints and pressure (e.g. to deliver governing body documents on time); ability to coordinate and manage complex workflows and in-house and external teams
  •  Basic ICT & digital fluency: Expertise relevant to the specific role (e.g. in-depth, computer information systems, including micro-computer operating systems software, hardware and applications software and other office technology equipment), end-user computing configuration management
  •  Client orientation: Strong critical thinking combined with communication skills to liaise between the business and technologies to understand business problems and needs, document requirements and identify solutions
  •  Confidentiality & Discretion: Establishes self and division as trusted advisor to internal stakeholders by maintaining high level of discretion and confidentiality in assignments; demonstrates sound judgement when dealing with sensitive and/or confidential matters; drives good governance and is a “Culture Carrier” demonstrating IFAD institutional conscience through their work.
  •  Initiative and good judgment: High sense of proactive initiative-taking and good judgement (including on security matters)
  •  Interpersonal skills: Ability to deal patiently and tactfully with others (e.g. visitors, clients, callers, etc.), including senior individuals (e.g. high-level meeting participants)
  •  Verbal communication: Clear, succinct and convincing verbal communication; highly professional, balanced and diplomatic language
  •  Written communication: Clear, succinct and convincing written communication in the language needed for specific role; highly professional, balanced and diplomatic language (e.g. for drafting of position papers, briefings, etc.)

Other Information

This position is located in Washington and the successful candidate will be hired with local appointment conditions on a local-hire basis only, as such is not eligible for allowances and benefits applicable to internationally recruited positions. While the Fund will facilitate G-4 Visa arrangements, if applicable, eligible candidates selected from outside the duty station are responsible for any expenses in connection with their relocation to the duty station.

Applicants should note that IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD. In accordance with IFAD’s Human Resources Policy, the President can decide to assign them to any of the activities of the Fund.

In the interest of making most cost-effective use of funds and resources, we are only able to respond to applicants who are short-listed for interview. Candidates who do not receive any feedback within three months should consider their application unsuccessful. Candidates may be required to take a written test and to deliver a presentation as well as participate in interviews.

IFAD is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of ethnic, social or political background, colour, nationality, religion, age, gender, disability, marital status, family size or sexual orientation.

In accordance with IFAD’s provisions, all new staff members will normally be placed at the first step in the grade level for which they have been selected. For information on IFAD’s remuneration package, please visit IFAD’s compensation and benefits page on our website. Applicants are invited to use the online compensation calculator to estimate the salaries and allowances for local positions. See here.

Please be aware of fraudulent job offers. IFAD does not charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process. Official communication from IFAD will always come from e-mails ending in

Applicants for National positions at General Service level must be legally authorized to live and work in the country of recruitment at the time of application. Any job offer is subject to evidence from the candidate to have obtained and be able to maintain the legal status to live and work in the country of recruitment.


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