ITU - International Telecommunication Union

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ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technologies, with the mission to connect the world. To achieve this, ITU manages the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits at the international level, works to improve communication infrastructure in the developing world, and establishes global standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communication systems. ITU also organizes global Telecom events bringing together the most influential representatives of government and the private sector to exchange ideas and knowledge for the benefit of all.

Chief, Digital Networks and Society Department (DNS)

Vacancy notice no: 671 Sector: BDT Department: DNS Country of contract: Switzerland Duty station: Geneva

Position number: TD03/D1/925 Grade: D1 Type of contract: Fixed-term Duration of contract: 2 years with possibility of renewal for 2 additional years Recruitment open to: External Application deadline (Midnight Geneva Time): 5 October 2022


The Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) is responsible for the organization and coordination of the work of the Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) of the Union which deals mainly with ICT-focused development policies, strategies and programmes, as well as technical cooperation activities, to promote digital inclusion and drive digital transformation at community, country and regional levels. To effectively and efficiently serve the needs of ITU members, BDT is organized into four functional areas:

  • Office of the Deputy to the Director and Field Operations Coordination Department
  • Partnerships for Digital Development Department
  • Digital Networks & Society Department
  • Digital Knowledge Hub Department

The Digital Networks & Society Department is responsible for BDT activities in the areas of spectrum management, network development, cybersecurity and emergency telecommunications. This department is also responsible for supporting ITU Member States in their transition to digital societies by providing tools and guidelines to address environmental challenges (in particular, climate change and e-waste), and for promoting innovation, ICT applications/services, digital inclusion and ecosystems, with the ultimate goal to ‘leave no one behind’.


Under the supervision of the Director of the Telecommunication Bureau (BDT), the Chief of the Digital Networks & Society Department serves as leader and role model and takes ownership for all responsibilities and delivers outputs within prescribed time, cost and quality standards related to the mandate of the Digital Networks & Society Department (DNS).

The Chief of Department operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules and takes responsibilities towards the successful achievement of delegated assignments including the implementation of strategies and plans for digital society, with a particular focus on achieving WTDC Objectives 2 “Modern and secure telecommunication and ICT infrastructure” and 4 “Inclusive digital society”.

The incumbent provides leadership to the heads of the Cybersecurity (Resilience), Environment & Emergency Telecommunication, Future Networks & Spectrum Management (Access) and Digital Society Divisions and ensures consistency in defining the Department’s objectives and alignment of the work plan with overall strategic direction of the BDT to support Member States in developing their digital networks and services.


  • Lead and direct the activities of the Department, including human and financial resources ensuring compliance with organizational regulations and rules and assigned mandate; lead the team to ensure high quality outputs and engagement across all areas of the work for the Department, aligned with the strategic and operational objectives of the BDT and ITU; empower and build the capacity of the team to increase their commitment; and drive change to achieve objectives of the Department.
  • Direct, plan and oversee the DNS Department in strategic and operational planning activities to ensure that the activities of the Department are fully reflected and included in ITU’s strategy and all BDT operational plans and activities, and work to ensure that adequate financial and human resources are secured for the work of the Department.
  • Provide authoritative advice and expertise to deliver a highly specialized advisory service on access to and use of spectrum management, network, and infrastructure developments, and for the deployment of new technologies that will allow Member States to benefit from the opportunities of modern telecommunication and ICT infrastructure.
  • Direct and oversee the development of policy, guidelines and tools and the provision of technical advice for countries affected by disasters through disaster risk reduction and management strategies; guide the delivery of operational support and disaster response when Member States are hit by disasters and assist them in the restoration/reconstruction of their telecommunication infrastructure.
  • Direct and oversee the monitoring of cybersecurity developments to deliver specialized technical advice, services and tools to support Member States in developing cybersecurity strategies and plans for secure and resilient networks, including through the establishment of National Computer Incident Response Teams (CIRTs); development of strategies, partnership and tools to assist Members States address the challenges of climate change and e-waste; and, development of ICT applications through innovative partnerships and projects, to deliver advice and services in the areas of e-health, e-commerce, and education and for Member States to become smart digital societies.
  • Drive and foster advancing inclusive digital societies that promote access to, as well as use and knowledge of, telecommunications and ICTs for groups which have been marginalized in their access to current mainstream information communications technology services, including women and girls, children and youth, indigenous people, persons with disabilities and people living in remote communities.

  • Direct and oversee operational support provided to the membership through training guides, tool kits, best practices to actively foster the development of a vibrant innovation ecosystem and accelerate digital transformation.
  • Act as an advocate for the work of the DNS Department with membership and external stakeholders, building and maintaining high-level networks inside and outside the Organization that will significantly support the implementation of BDT’s programmes and mandate; represent the BDT in international fora, conferences and meetings and ensure that the Organization’s interest is represented and considered.
  • Participate as an effective member of the senior leadership team of BDT, providing sound advice to the BDT Director on matters relating to BDT management and activities, and contributing toward effective execution by the BDT of its mandate, within the context of ITU’s mandate and strategic and operational plans.
  • Perform any other additional related activities as assigned by the Director.


Applying Expertise; Effective Communication; Learning and Knowledge Sharing; Organizational Commitment; Results-Focused, and; Teamwork and Collaboration.


Analysis, Judgement and Decision Making

Client and Service Orientation

Innovation and Facilitating Change


Networking and Building Partnerships

Planning and Organising

Successful Management


  • Leadership and managerial skills to direct the management of financial and human resources of the Department.
  • Political and diplomatic skills to liaise and manage relationships with key BDT stakeholders.
  • Knowledge and proven application of results-based management methodologies and management principles.
  • Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities, and risks and to formulate and take responsive initiatives.
  • Knowledge of strategic planning and policy development methodologies.
  • High level ability to develop and maintain efficient working relationships with stakeholders, with sensitivity to ITU’s multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment and respect for diversity.
  • Awareness of current industry trends as it pertains to the telecommunications/ICT development in the areas of infrastructure and services, cybersecurity, disaster risk reduction and management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, services and applications, digital inclusion, and innovation.
  • Awareness of the drivers, activities and partnerships that foster a healthy, resilient, and inclusive digital society.



Advanced university degree in telecommunication engineering, information technology, law, international relations, economics, public or business administration or a related field OR education from a reputed college of advanced education with a diploma of equivalent standard to that of an advanced university degree in one of the fields above. For internal candidates, a first university degree in one of the fields above in combination with twenty years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree for promotion or rotation purposes.


At least fifteen years of progressively responsible experience, including at least seven at the international level, with a proven experience in building and maintaining relationships with high-level stakeholders to understand needs for the strategic development of telecommunications in an international and regional context. A Doctorate in a related field can be considered as a substitute for three years of working experience. Proven experience in providing innovative solutions as it pertains to the telecommunications/ICT development in one or more of the following areas: infrastructure and services, cybersecurity, disaster risk reduction and management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, services and applications, digital inclusion, and innovation.


Knowledge of one of the six official languages of the Union (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish) at advanced level and knowledge of a second official language at intermediate level. Knowledge of a third official language would be an advantage. (Under the provisions of Resolution No. 626 of the Council, a relaxation of the language requirements may be authorized in the case of candidates from developing countries: when candidates from such countries possess a thorough knowledge of one of the official languages of the Union, their applications may be taken into consideration.)


Total annual salary consists of a net annual salary (net of taxes and before medical insurance and pension fund deductions) in US dollars and a post adjustment (PA) (cost of living allowance). The PA is variable and subject to change without notice in accordance with the rates as set within the UN Common System for salaries and allowances.

Annual salary from $ 100,800 + post adjustment $ 72,778

Other allowances and benefits subject to specific terms of appointment, please refer to (link)-we-offer/?locale=en_US


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the ITU Careers website. The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. ITU uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates. Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided. Messages originating from a non ITU e-mail account – – should be disregarded. ITU does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

ITU applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. ITU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization. Achieving gender balance is a high priority for ITU.

Tags: climate change, climate change adaptation, communication systems, disaster response, disaster risk, disaster risk reduction, financial resources, human resources, information technology, international relations, knowledge sharing, new technologies, satellite orbits, technical cooperation, women and girls