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Head, Gender and Security Division (100 %)

DCAF – Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance is dedicated to improving the security of states and their people within a framework of democratic governance, the rule of law, and respect for human rights. DCAF contributes to making peace and development more sustainable by assisting partner states and international actors supporting these states, to improve the governance of their security sector through inclusive and participatory reforms. It creates innovative knowledge products, promotes norms and good practices, provides legal and policy advice and supports capacity‐building of both state and non‐state security sector stakeholders.

DCAF's Foundation Council comprises 63 member states, the Canton of Geneva and six permanent observers. Active in over 70 countries, DCAF is internationally recognized as one of the world's leading centres of excellence for security sector governance (SSG) and security sector reform (SSR). DCAF is guided by the principles of neutrality, impartiality, local ownership, inclusive participation, and gender equality. For more information please visit

The organization is currently seeking an experienced, dynamic, and creative leader to serve as Head of the Gender and Security Division (GSD, activity level 100%).

The Head will lead a highly professional, 10-member team in Geneva with a wide-ranging portfolio of projects including policy development and advocacy, provision of technical advice, developing applied research products, supporting local partners, delivering training, etc. 


Head, Gender and Security Division (100 %)


Location:                              Geneva with some travel to different regions

Starting date:                      November 2019 or upon mutual agreement

Duration:                               Unlimited


THE ROLE             

Reporting to the Head of the Policy and Research Department, the selected candidate will set the vision of GSD and provide strategic management and oversight of the Gender and Security Division’s diverse operational and policy and research portfolio related to gender equality in security sector governance and reform.

The Head is a staunch and committed champion of gender equality, innovative and able to support his/her team by capitalizing on their expertise and strengths. The Head will lead the strategic direction of the Division, work collaboratively with other Heads of Division, lead donor relations, and be a high-profile, expert and articulate spokesperson for DCAF on gender and security sector governance and reform.

This position, in addition to extensive knowledge and expertise in gender and security, requires strong, hands-on leadership and interpersonal skills, as well as a deep understanding of relevant policy development on gender and security in multinational institutions, particularly the UN, EU, and OSCE. The post requires travel to different regions of the world and frequent engagements as a public speaker.




  • Lead the development and execution of GSD strategy, annual work plans and divisional budgets; lead GSD contributions to corporate planning and reporting.
  • Foster and guide the GSD in innovative, ground-breaking and dynamic contributions to the gender and security field
  • Lead staff development and performance management
  • Foster donor relations and lead fundraising for divisional programmes
  • Develop strategic partnerships with external stakeholders and ensure coordination and promote synergies with other DCAF Divisions
  • Oversee the development and distribution of knowledge products and training resources for publication.
  • Represent DCAF and the Division internally and externally at a senior level; contribute to corporate decision-making processes and to the development and implementation of internal DCAF policies.




  • Higher level degree (or equivalent experience) in international relations, human rights, governance, development, security, gender, or related discipline.
  • 10+ years professional experience, including previous experience in managing teams, in gender and security, peace and security, human rights, governance, development, or related field.
  • In-depth knowledge of gender and security normative frameworks, demonstrable experience in international policy influencing; solid network of connections in the women, peace and security field. Experience in the field of security sector governance and reform highly desirable.
  • Demonstrable experience in managing and supervising operational and research programmes, providing hands-on budgetary oversight and overseeing donor reporting.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication, presentations skills, and demonstrable experience in public speaking to senior audiences. 
  • Native-level fluency in English. Fluency in French is desirable. Good knowledge of Spanish or Arabic will be positively valued.
  • Successful track record in donor relations and fundraising.
  • Demonstrable experience leading and mentoring multicultural teams and providing guidance and direction to peers.

Personal competencies and attitude

  • Strong commitment to the promotion of gender equality.
  • Capacity to transform a strategic vision into meaningful impact.
  • Demonstrable leadership skills of staff with superior technical expertise or experience.
  • Excellent social and interpersonal skills. Excellent skills in planning, organization and management of priorities.
  • Ability to think and act independently and creatively, to work with colleagues at all levels, to multitask, and to handle tight deadlines.
  • “Roll up your sleeves” and can-do attitude, with ability to remain efficient within rapidly changing circumstances, and to adapt positively to new tasks.
  • Speed, precision and accuracy in executing tasks.
  • Diplomacy, humility, tact, discretion, and an impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards.


We offer:

  • a rewarding, dynamic and challenging work experience
  • the chance to be part of a multicultural team of supportive, hardworking and values-driven people
  • the chance to contribute to improving security of states and their people within a framework of democratic governance, the rule of law, and respect for human rights and gender equality


If you think you are a good match for DCAF and the position advertised, please send your application to by 10 September 2019 with the subject heading “Head GSD”, enclosing:


  • an application letter outlining how your qualifications meet the above requirements
  • your curriculum vitae


DCAF is committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and encourages applications from all qualified candidates regardless of sex, age, disability, gender identity, religion, or ethnicity.