Head, French Language Section, Geneva, Switzerland

ITU - International Telecommunication Union

ITU HQ Geneva


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.

Head, French Language Section

Vacancy notice no: 1005 Sector: SG Department: C&P Country of contract: Switzerland Duty station: Geneva

Position number: Grade: P5 Type of contract: Short-term Duration of contract: 11 months Recruitment open to: External Application deadline (Midnight Geneva Time): 6 February 2023


The General Secretariat directs all the administrative and financial aspects of the Union’s activities, including the implementation of the provisions of the administrative regulations on operational questions, the dissemination of information on telecommunication matters for operational and other purposes, the provision of legal advice to the Bureaux of the Union and the departments of the General Secretariat, logistic support to the Union’s activities including conferences, the coordination of the work of the Union with other international organizations, the dissemination of information to the Member States and Sector Members, press, corporate and individual users of telecommunications and the general public. The General Secretariat is also responsible for the organization of world telecommunication exhibitions and forums.

The Conferences and Publications Department is responsible for ensuring communication between people involved in ITU activities and for the dissemination of ITU products, through its conference services (conference organization and logistics), language services (translation and interpretation in the six official languages, précis-writing, terminology and reference services) and documentation and publications services (text capture and text processing, electronic document management, publication composition, reproduction and distribution of paper and physical electronic products).


In the French Language Section, under the supervision of the Chief, Conferences and Publications Department (C&P), the incumbent performs the following duties:

  • Leads the translation team and manages, organizes, and oversees the Section’s work, including text-processing, ensuring the provision of prompt and efficient translation, text-processing and other language services. Studies, evaluates and introduces new working methods, based on the latest developments in the field of translation, text-processing and information technology, making full use of the available tools, such as machine translation, and actively seeking to apply them to their daily work.
  • Plans the human resources of the Section, based on the workload and the forecast, from recruitment and training to evaluation, as well as the outsourcing of work to translation companies or consultants. Allocates the work of the Section ensuring sufficient human resources at all times, within the available budget. Oversees the compilation of statistics for the work of the Section. Closely monitors and approves overtime work within the Section. Ensures continuous learning and development plans for staff.
  • Supervises and monitors the quality of the work done in the French Language Section. Supervises closely and oversees training of new translators. Advises the General Secretariat and Bureaux of the Union on translating, post-editing or text-processing problems. Creates and advises on style guidelines for the French language.

  • Participates in discussions and provides input to department-wide projects such as guidelines, Service Orders, JIU or Internal Auditors’ Reports as necessary.
  • Participates in the testing of new translation engines, evaluating and providing feedback for projects relating to computer-aided translation (CAT) tools, especially with regard to their applicability and limitations.
  • Translates, revises and edits particularly important or sensitive texts.
  • Participates in ITU conferences as team leader, reviser or translator; participates in the works of editorial committees when necessary.
  • Participates in work relating to terminology and the setting of terminology standards; contributes to the establishment of an accurate multilingual term base.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.


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


Client and Service Orientation

Innovation and Facilitating Change


Networking and Building Partnerships

Planning and Organising

Successful Management

Analysis, Judgement and Decision Making


Knowledge of telecommunications terminology; familiarity with CAT tools is an advantage.



Advanced university degree in translation, modern languages or telecommunications 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 fifteen years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree for promotion or rotation purposes.


At least ten years of progressively responsible experience in the field of linguistics, including at least five at the international level. A Doctorate in a related field can be considered as a substitute for three years of working experience. Experience of personnel management, including administration of outsourced work, would be an advantage.


French mother tongue with excellent knowledge of one of the other official languages of the Union (Arabic, Chinese, English, Spanish, Russian,) at advanced level. Knowledge of a third official language would be an advantage. (Under the provision 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.)



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 – @itu.int – 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.