HD is looking to fill its Senior Security Advisor position. The post-holder will play a pivotal role in HDs ongoing efforts to enhance the organisation’s security management system.

Location: Geneva, with extensive travel to regional and field offices

Starting date: As soon as possible

Duration: Permanent

Purpose of the Post:

HD has increasingly recognised the importance of reinforcing its global security management system and ensuring compliance with it at all organisational levels, as a key enabler of its decentralised operations. The Senior Security Advisor will thus supervise the further development and implementation of this system and provide crucial guidance and support to Regional Directors, who bear responsibility for security matters within their respective areas of operation. In this manner, the post-holder will ensure that HD operates with a sustainable, effective, efficient and up-to-date security management system in all environments and locations where it works. 

As fulfilling this responsibility requires adapted frameworks and tools to identify, assess, and manage risks, the Senior Security Advisor will focus on the following pillars:

  1. Developing appropriate security management policies and guidelines and overseeing their implementation;
  2. Advising HD management and staff on security matters;
  3. Supporting security risk assessments; 
  4. Coordinating HD’s global crisis management response.

Reporting lines:

Given the importance that HD places on the security and the safety of its staff and the global scope of the role, the Senior Security Advisor will operate with the full authority of HD’s Executive Office.  The post-holder will work closely with HD’s Executive Director and its wider Senior Management Team, who will actively sponsor and enable related developments.  As security management responsibilities must be fully embedded within HD’s activities and the Senior Security Advisor work closely with operational and corporate services teams alike, the role will formally report to the Deputy Executive Director / Chief Operating Officer.

Main responsibilities and related activities:

The Senior Security Advisor is a coordinator, advisor, mentor, and trainer, combined in a single role. As the owner of HD’s security management policies and guidelines, the post-holder coordinates their development and implementation, as well as the identification and delivery of related training. In an advisory capacity, the post-holder provides adapted guidance and support to the Executive Office and the SMT, as well as Regional Directors, designated Regional Security Focal Points, and anyone else within HD who requires security-related support.

The Senior Security Advisor’s specific responsibilities include:

  • Enabling HD staff at all levels to proactively understand the risks in all extant and emerging activities, supporting them to develop ways to operate effectively in difficult circumstances, taking account of the balance of enhanced security awareness, operational necessity and duty of care;
  • Producing iterative HD Security Risk assessments frameworks that are adapted to the different needs and realities of each field context in which HD operates. These frameworks will need to be developed in close partnership with HD field teams to take into account their contextual realities and ensure local ownership. This on-going task must ensure that any developments that could affect the security of HD staff are regularly reviewed and integrated in field assessments in order to mitigate risks;
  • Maintaining close contact with all field teams, through their Regional Directors and Regional Security focal points. Supporting and partnering with them but also challenging them constructively on how they assess risks on a continuous basis;
  • Updating existing Security policies, guidelines and procedures in collaboration with Regional Directors as well as developing new ones according to the organisation’s needs;
  • Leading the HD Cross-Regional Working Group on Security, which consists of representatives of each Region (Regional managers and front-line staff);
  • Providing subject matter expertise and advisory support to the HD Crisis Management Cell in case of security incidents;
  • Working closely with, and advising Regional Directors and their staff on all matters related to and impacting the security of HD operations, particularly effective risk and crisis management; 
  • Working closely with the Head of IT to ensure that appropriate guidance on IT field security, as well as secure devices are provided to HD staff;
  • Overseeing, in close cooperation with Regional Directors, security and safety training courses for field staff as well as the development of related education material;
  • Building a strong network of security personnel from other organisations to maintain HD’s knowledge of the changing security and safety environment in HQ and the field;
  • Updating regularly the whole organisation and in particular, the Executive Director, the Senior Management Team and the Board on the enhancement of HD’s Security Management system and on risk assessments in offices facing high levels of threats.

Candidate Profile:

  • A minimum of 10 years of relevant field and headquarters experience in progressively increased positions of responsibility in the humanitarian sector, including in environments requiring interaction with local, national and international security forces. This experience should include field work in challenging security environments;
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience in crisis management and more specifically, in dealing with security incidents at field and HQ level in international NGOs and organisations;
  • Experience in developing organisational security-related policies, directives, guidance and operational procedures and in advising senior management in the field and at HQ;
  • Successful experience in producing and delivering security-related education and training;
  • An advanced degree or equivalent in security management, business administration, political/social science, international relations or related fields;
  • Fluency in English and French.

Key competencies:

  • Excellent ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders and to understand organisational dynamics, including a strong sense of strategically and politically sensitive matters;
  • Strong emotional intelligence: the ability to deal with people effectively, respectfully and courteously. Specifically, this rolewould fit a very experienced and collaborative person who is diplomatic and uses a light but authoritative touch based on their personal authority rather than positional authority;
  • Ability to challenge constructively staff, including senior managers, on security matters, if needed;
  • Ability to listen and integrate different viewpoints, generate adherence and convince.
  • Proven ability to communicate clearly and present complex subjects through clear guidelines, both orally and in writing, including to staff members;
  • Demonstrated capacity to understand challenging contexts, to display a clear vision as well as to grasp critical issues quickly and translate them into strategic proposals;
  • Sound understanding of the overall geopolitical scene in which security incidents may occur;

If you are interested in this position and meet the criteria defined above, please send your CV and a motivation letter reflecting your interest and suitability for the role to the following address hrgeneva@hdcentre.org by February 17 2023.  Please include “Senior Security Advisor” in the subject line of your email.

HD promotes equal opportunities in employment and women are encouraged to apply.