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We are recruiting: Programme Advisor (Multilateralism)

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The Elders are looking for an exceptional individual to lead The Elders’ cross-cutting commitment on multilateralism and build a strong case, based on independent and diverse perspectives, in defence of multilateralism, which Elders can use in their public advocacy and private diplomacy.
This is a full-time, permanent position and candidates must be based in New York. To apply, please send a CV and a cover letter of up to one page to [email protected] by 2 January 2024.

Role Overview

This is a new role created to lead The Elders’ cross-cutting commitment on multilateralism in its new 2023-2027 strategy. The Elders’ core programme areas (climate crisis, pandemics, nuclear weapons and conflict) rely heavily on strengthening the multilateral system to deliver impact for the global public good. Building a strong case, based on independent and diverse perspectives, in defence of multilateralism, which Elders can use in their public advocacy and private diplomacy will be a priority for this role. The post-holder will be based in New York.

The post-holder will work closely with and provide support to programme leads to deepen their multilateral networks, primarily focused on the UN in New York but also with the International Financial Institutions in Washington DC and elsewhere. They will also need to work closely with colleagues from the Communications Team to ensure the effective communication of Elders’ commitments on multilateralism to the public. The post-holder will report to the Director of Programmes.

Main Duties and Responsibilities


  • Build momentum and support from Elders behind promising multilateral reform ideas, give thought leadership on longer-term structural changes, and help make the case for multilateralism to countries who block reform or do not see the multilateral system as being in their interests
  • Coordinate Elders’ approach to and ensure strategic engagement with priority multilateral fora (G20 and G7) and priority governments (US and China) working with the Programmes Team.
  • Support Elders’ participation in selected global events/visits where several programmes have an interest – e.g. UN General Assembly High Level Week, UN Security Council visits, visits to Washington DC focused on multilateral institutions, and develop relationships with presidencies/governments in advance to understand agenda and influencing opportunities.  Co-ordinate briefing and develop narratives for communications products.
  • Support the implementation of agreed initiatives through, for example, arranging meetings and country visits and accompanying Elders on visits and to events, briefing Elders orally and in writing, consulting and coordinating with partners, and assisting with preparation of communications materials.
  • Support and manage the partnership between the International Peace Institute and The Elders’ Secretariat.

Support to programme leads

  • Undertake scoping, analysis and research on multilateral approaches and opportunities to strengthen influence and programmatic impact as agreed with programme leads.
  • Conduct consultations and analysis to help identify new entry points for The Elders’ multilateral engagement on each programme area.
  • Draft written materials including help finalise a new policy position paper on multilateralism, and contribute to The Elders’ board meeting papers, briefing books, talking points, and op-eds on multilateralism as requested.
  • Conduct horizon-scanning, following current events and policy developments on agreed priorities and themes of importance to programme leads and share these with the programme team in a timely manner.  
  • Support conflict programme lead with research on peace and security architecture reform and identify influencing opportunities.
  • Support conflict programme lead to build strong network of contacts inside and outside UN on peace and security issues.
  • Represent the Secretariat at external events and consultations as agreed with the Director of Programmes.
  • Participate in weekly Programmes team meetings, and other internal meetings as required.

External relations

  • Build and maintain relationships with UN agencies, IFIs, diplomatic communities and leading experts/organisations on multilateralism to inform our strategic approach and identify opportunities, as agreed in the annual operational plan. Priorities are likely to include the UN Secretary-General’s office, UN Security Council missions, and selected World Bank senior staff and shareholders.
  • Support Programme Leads in identifying new contacts and outreach to new partners.
  • Develop relationships with non-Western think tanks/experts to expand our approach to multilateralism from the “usual suspects/like-minded” – especially to include China.  
  • Support the maintenance and development of the existing network of contacts with governments, civil society organisations, opinion-leaders, parliamentarians, academic institutions and think tanks, to aid research and analysis, develop collaboration and further Elders’ initiatives on multilateralism.

Person Specification

  • Extensive relevant professional experience, including advocacy on multilateralism, or direct experience from within multilateral institutions.
  • Experience coordinating collaboration between UN entities, member states, and other multilateral organisations, and expert knowledge of the multilateral system and of the UN systems in particular.
  • Familiarity with recent academic and policy developments related to protecting and governing global public goods is essential. Expertise on UN reform and its evolution would be an advantage.
  • Ability to work at pace in response to changing global developments contexts and crises and issues which the Elders are focused on.
  • Relevant postgraduate qualification (e.g. international relations, political science, global studies, development studies) or additional substantial work experience.
  • Excellent written and spoken English. Proficiency in one or more other UN languages is desirable.
  • A strong personal commitment to the mission and values of The Elders.
  • A flexible style and willingness to work in a small, collaborative team. As this post will be based in a different location to other Secretariat staff it would suit a self-starter, with an aptitude for working remotely in a hybrid team.
  • Applicants must have the right to work in the US.
  • This role may require frequent international travel, sometimes at short notice and, in exceptional circumstances, for up to two weeks. Additionally, you may be required to attend staff or Elders events in the UK from time to time.

The Application Process

To apply, please send a CV and a cover letter of up to one page to [email protected] by 2 January 2024. Interviews will be held in January 2024.

The annual base salary range for this position is USD $83,000.00 to USD $90,000.00, with a competitive benefits package. 

The Elders is committed to creating an inclusive working environment that values diversity and equal opportunities. We welcome and encourage applicants of any ethnicity, religion, age, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. Given The Elders’ global outlook, we particularly welcome applicants originally from countries in the Global South. As we are not able to sponsor visas, all applicants must have the right to work in the country where the role they are applying for is based. We will assess purely on your abilities and fit for a role. We are happy to discuss any adjustments you need to ensure a fair recruitment process and to enable you to be successful in your role if selected.


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