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. 


Head, Arabic Language Section 


Vacancy notice no: 1554 
Sector: SG
Department: C&P
Country of contract: Switzerland
Duty station: Geneva


Position number: CF23/P5/830 
Grade: P5 
Type of contract: Fixed-term
Duration of contract: 2 years with possibility of renewal
Recruitment open to: External
Application deadline (Midnight Geneva Time): 20 May 2024




The General Secretariat directs administrative, human and financial resources and activities of the Union, including the implementation of the provisions of the administrative regulations on operational questions, the dissemination of information on telecommunication/ICT matters for operational and other purposes, and the provision of legal advice to the whole of the Union.  The General Secretariat coordinates the implementation of the Strategic Plan, monitors the telecommunication/ICT environment and recommends as needed action relating to the Union’s future policies and strategy.  The General Secretariat ensures inter-sectoral coordination and cooperation to advance a whole of ITU approach (One-ITU) in headquarters and the field. The General Secretariat provides logistical and information technology support to the Union’s activities including conferences and global forums; the coordination of the work of the Union with the United Nations system, and other international organizations; and the engagement of the Member States, Sector Members, and Academia. The General Secretariat manages corporate governance, and strategic communications and relations with the media, different stakeholder groups as well as the general public. 


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).


Under the supervision of the Chief of the Conferences and Publications Department, the Head of the Arabic Language Section serves as leader for the team and provides authoritative expertise for all assigned responsibilities to deliver Section outputs within the  prescribed time, cost and quality standards and fosters a collaborative spirit and cooperation to achieve results. To this extent, the incumbent performs the following duties:

  • Leads the translation team and manages, organizes, and oversees the Section’s work, 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 where relevant of the latest technological tools using artificial intelligence, such as machine translation, speech-to-text tools, ChatGPT, etc. 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 Arabic Language Section. Supervises closely and oversees training of new translators. Advises the General Secretariat and Bureaus of the Union on translating, post-editing or text-processing problems. Creates and advises on style guidelines for the Arabic 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 and evaluating of new machine translation engines, post-editing tools, speech-to-text tools and their implementation, evaluating and providing feedback for projects relating to other computer-aided translation (CAT) tools such as eLuna, 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 work 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.


Analysis, Judgement and Decision Making
Client and Service Orientation
Innovation and Facilitating Change
Networking and Building Partnerships
Planning and Organising
Successful Management


  • Advanced managerial and strategic planning skills in complex projects, delivering time-sensitive results.
  • Proficiency in the use of information technology, and web-based terminology, reference and CAT tools.
  • Advanced drafting and analytical skills necessary for the translation and revision of especially difficult, complex or urgent documents.
  • Knowledge of AI-driven language trends, tools and their applicability.
  • Subject-matter expertise with regards to the mandate of the ITU, as well as knowledge of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) terminologies would be an advantage.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan strategically, lead teams and managing limited resources to meet the needs of a service, with foresight to anticipate challenges.




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 human resources management, including administration of outsourced work. 



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



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 $ 92,731 + post adjustment $ 84,663

Other allowances and benefits subject to specific terms of appointment, please refer to:


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.