Executive Assistant, (Gs-5), Africa Communication Services Unit, Esaro, Johannesburg, South Africa, #21584


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, an advocate

Based in Johannesburg, South Africa - the main communication/media hub in sub-Saharan Africa – the UNICEF Africa Services Unit (ASU) provides essential communication and public advocacy support in the region. The ASU communication team works to position UNICEF and issues of importance and relevance to children in the international, regional and local media based in Johannesburg. The ASU team is also required to be deployed regularly to countries during humanitarian emergencies or to provide advocacy and communication support on site. The ASU team works with a pool of creative multimedia talent to develop compelling communication content to support communication and advocacy objectives.

How can you make a difference?

The Executive Assistant ensures the smooth running of day-to-day activities for the Africa Services Unit, including communications, operations, budget, travel and administrative support. The candidate must have a confident personality and a sharp eye for detail, which are essential for tactical thinking and clear communication. This role is client-facing, so the candidate must be adept at building relationships and willing to develop an understanding of the stakeholders. Reporting to the Chief of Communication (ASU), the candidate will be responsible for ensuring that specific project work is signed off by key stakeholders and any issues are raised to the relevant persons to be resolved. Some experience working with media and/or social media would be advantageous.

Key functions, accountabilities and related duties/tasks:

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

• Communications Support

• Administrative Support

• Operations Support


  • On behalf of supervisor, manage incoming and outgoing correspondence, e-mails and telephone calls.
  • Communicate sensitive information to higher level managers.
  • Provide routine information pertaining to the work of the division/office.
  • Draft responses to written inquiries on routine questions.
  • Coordinate responses to sensitive inquiries.
  • Prepare briefing materials for official trips or meetings.
  • Follow up on established deadlines and ensuring timely submissions by staff on reports.
  • correspondence and other documents.


  • Maintain the supervisor’s calendar and arrange meetings.
  • Organize official travel on behalf of supervisor.
  • Prepare documentation for the supervisor’s signature reviewing for style, factual and grammatical accuracy.


  • Supports capacity development activities and conferences by making the logistical arrangements, through engaging with facilitators, caterers and hosts.
  • Maintains and updates a system which monitors the absence of staff.
  • Supports management of administrative supplies, office equipment, and updating the inventory of items.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

Education: Completion of secondary education is required, preferably supplemented by technical or university courses related to the

field of work.

Experience: A minimum of five years of relevant administrative or clerical work experience is required.

Language requirements: Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.


  • Strong organizational, administrative, planning and prioritization skills, and attention to detail
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Confidence to work, make astute decisions and meet tight deadlines to get the best results
  • A good judgement, sense of initiative and an enthusiastic attitude towards work
  • An understanding of both technical and creative processes for communication
  • Good knowledge of UNICEF administrative policies and procedures
  • Ability to work and adapt in a multicultural team environment to achieve common goals

For every Child, you demonstrate..

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA).

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are...

▪ Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (1)

▪ Works Collaboratively with others (1)

▪ Builds and Maintains Partnerships (1)

▪ Innovates and Embraces Change (1)

▪ Thinks and Acts Strategically (1)

▪ Drive to achieve impactful results (1)

▪ Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)

To view our competency framework, please visit here.


UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.