Chief Risk Officer (UPDATED)

  • Senior-level
  • Posted on 22 January 2021

Job Description

Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Candidates who applied for VA/2021/B0402/21046 - Chief Risk Officer before need to re-submit their application.

Summary of key responsibilities:

Function leadership

  • Develops the Corporate Risk Management strategy and oversees the development and implementation of coherent and robust corporate risk management approaches, frameworks and tools.
  • Sets the risk management governance for corporate risks; leads the execution of that governance.
  • Strengthens the links between project engagement level risks, operational level risks and corporate level risks, with the view of ensuring systemic/holistic risk management and issue prevention.
  • Leads the effort of designing and implementing relevant corporate risk management procedures.
  • Ensures risk management frameworks, policies and procedures are fit for purpose and executed effectively.

Ensures appropriate mechanisms are in place to coordinate corporate risk overview across UNOPS. Leads the development of effective corporate risk management tracking and reporting instruments (risk, mitigation, ownership, measure, status); from all relevant angles (e.g. project failure, ethics, information security, security, supply chain, other types of risks).

Strategic advisory and business partnering

  • Acts as a subject matter expert on all aspects for corporate risk management.
  • Advises and supports the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) in defining risk appetite for UNOPS.
  • Provides strategic advice and practical support to the SLT on structuring the corporate risk identification, reporting and potential action plan definition. Ensures a clear view of trends and makes recommendations for dealing with the root causes or corporate risks and issues.
  • Based on organisational risk trends, makes recommendations to the SLT in the effort to drive a risk thought process into the strategic and cross-functional decision making.
  • Proactively, as well as in response to requests, acts as a partner and advisor to senior stakeholders in HQ and in the Regions, enabling their effective risk management.
  • Forms effective working relationships with a broad range of stakeholders to ensure they understand their risk management responsibilities and feel supported and equipped in the risk management responsibilities.
  • Works in close collaboration with relevant HQ stakeholders (e.g. Policyholders/Groups, in particular Implementation Practices and Standards/IPS and the Engagement Acceptance Committee), in the effort to support them in putting in place guidance, systems and procedures for managing operational level risks.
  • Works in close collaboration with IPS to improve the linkages between operational risks and corporate level risks so as to better identify, process and manage engagement risks that have the potential to impact corporate risks and evolve into corporate issues (and write offs), and to ensure the two risk lenses are part of a cohesive structure, process and system supported by an appropriate ERM approach.
  • Oversees the implementation of any corporate risk management initiatives, across the regional portfolios and other units - as applicable.
  • Partners with other relevant HQ functions (e.g. Legal, Ethics & Compliance, Internal Audit & Investigations, IT, External Comms, Chief Security Officer, Health & Safety as well as relevant review committees), to ensure a holistic and coordinated approach to managing corporate risks, thus enabling positive risk management outcomes.

Operational management

  • Leads and oversees the work of the Risk Management Unit.
  • Sets the annual work plan for the Risk Management Unit, objectives, performance measurements, standards and results expected and ensures their effective implementation, continually evaluating the unit’s activities/initiatives to ensure alignment with organisational strategic plans, relevant frameworks and standards.
  • Assume responsibility for the performance and efficacy of the corporate Risk Management Unit and take decisions and/or recommend to the Director Finance & Administration appropriate changes in operations to enhance/maximise results.
  • Manages and develops the team with the skills and competencies needed to ensure optimum performance and encourage the formation of diverse teams.
  • Promotes teamwork and collaboration by providing the team with clear direction, objectives and guidance to enable them to perform their duties responsibly, effectively and efficiently.
  • Fosters a positive work environment, respectful of both men and women, and ensures that the highest standards of conduct are observed.

Knowledge management, capability development and innovation

  • Driving and coordinating impactful risk management capacity building and risk awareness raising, incl. comprehensive and well coordinated training, communications and awareness raising initiatives - to manage various types of corporate risks, ultimately aiming for their prevention.
  • Nurtures a global network for risk management collaboration and sharing of the best practice approaches, tools. innovative solutions and lessons learned.
  • Promotes best practice and standards for risk management. Ensures that all relevant personnel know and understand their risk management obligations.
  • Follows emerging risk management approaches, stays up-to-date with trends and applies best practice.

You may find more information at



  • An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in a relevant field is required.
  • A first-level university degree with a minimum of two (2) additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.



  • Minimum of 10 years of risk management experience, acquired in an international environment is required.
  • Experience working in the international development and/or public sectors is desirable.
  • Proven track record of strong communication and stakeholder management skills across levels and across a broad range of stakeholders is required.
  • Building and sustaining effective collaborative relationships across different functions. Ability to manage conflicting priorities whilst implementing impactful solutions is required.
  • Proven track record of implementing robust and pragmatic risk management frameworks and mechanisms as well as growing an effective risk-management corporate culture is desirable.


  • Fluency in English required.
  • Knowledge of Spanish and/or French desirable.

About the Organization

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

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