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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. 


Head, Interpretation Service 


Vacancy notice no: 1043 
Sector: SG
Department: C&P
Country of contract: Switzerland
Duty station: Geneva


Position number: CF62/P4/719 
Grade: P4 
Type of contract: Fixed-term
Duration of contract: 2 years
Recruitment open to: External
Application deadline (Midnight Geneva Time): 09 May 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).


Under the supervision of the Head, Document Management and Interpretation Division, the incumbent performs the following duties: 

  • Manages the Interpretation Service and the delivery of interpretation services in the six official languages (and others, as requested) at all types of ITU multilingual conferences and meetings at headquarters in Geneva and around the world. Responsible for successful management of large teams of interpreters and flexible planning of complex interpretation needs at major high-level events such as ITU Plenipotentiary Conference and WRC.
  • Identifies and plans interpretation needs based on meeting schedules and in consultation with the Sector or Department heads; takes the lead on recruitment and management of freelance interpreters in line with the UN-AIIC Agreement; evaluates and estimates interpretation costs; proposes and implements the most appropriate interpretation services strategy based on the needs of the organization, balancing quality and financial sustainability and cost-efficiency measures as appropriate.
  • Establishes and maintains good working relations, trust and excellent lines of communication with the interpreters; creates and enforces objective mechanisms for quality assurance in interpretation services; identifies and supervises the implementation of best practices in interpretation and interpreter management, through benchmarking and constant exchange with counterparts in sister organizations.
  • Represents the Union at regular inter-agency meetings of heads of interpretation services on classification, recruitment and working conditions of interpreters; represents ITU as its key negotiator at the quinquennial UN-AIIC agreement negotiations and mid-term reviews; represents the ITU Interpretation Service at AIIC and inter-agency meetings on the classification, recruitment and working conditions of freelance interpreters.
  • Liaises with colleagues responsible for conference logistics and infrastructure to ensure that interpretation booths and conference facilities meet industry standards, following up any issues relating to interpreters’ working environment in support of the interpretation team.
  • Maintains contact with the heads of interpretation services of other organizations to exchange relevant information on interpreters and assess performance. Oversees the enforcement of relevant dispositions in the UN-AIIC Agreement, investigating reported cases of non-compliance and implementing corrective measures, as necessary; maintains relations with renowned universities and schools of interpretation to develop joint programmes aimed at ensuring a constant influx of new talent; maintains contact with regional AIIC representatives to exchange information and to find and place interpreters whenever required.


  • Advises the Head of the Division on innovative interpretation strategies, new technologies and trends, including remote simultaneous interpretation and mitigation measures for virtual or hybrid events, AI-powered interpretation; provides specialised advice to the Chief of the Conferences and Publications Department, the General Secretariat and all other sectors of ITU on matters related to interpretation; creates, updates and disseminates policies on the optimal use of interpretation services at ITU; orders the maintenance of an online repository of information on interpretation for internal and external clients; supervises the development, updating and distribution of glossaries used for all ITU meetings. 
  • Defines and implements the most cost-efficient interpretation services strategy based on the needs of the organization; identifies, explores, pilots, evaluates and implements  new technologies in interpretation; identifies, implements and supports initiatives  on adoption of paper smart,  remote interpretation systems and AI-powered interpretation at ITU; provides guidance on structural and technical measures for the construction and/or renovation of ISO-compliant interpretation facilities; provides guidance on the selection and use of simultaneous interpretation equipment and its compliance with the relevant ISO standards; identifies, seeks to procure and implements IT solutions and applications to streamline and digitize the administration of interpreter availability, scheduling and staffing.
  • 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


  • Proven ability to lead teams of interpreters assigned to conferences and meetings, providing guidance and advice as appropriate.
  • Professional expertise to advise management on future interpretation trends and hybrid events, including knowledge of remote simultaneous interpretation, interpretation hubs with physical and remote interpreters, and AI-powered interpretation.
  • Expert knowledge of technical requirements for RSI and ability to liaise effectively with the IS Department.
  • Openness to innovation and interest in new technologies in the linguistic field.
  • Flexibility and positivity in addressing evolving demand for the recruitment of interpreters, often at short notice.
  • Proven ability to work well under stress.
  • Ability to develop and maintain good working relations with officials at all levels in administrations, national and international organizations, moving comfortably and respectfully in diverse multicultural, multi-ethnic environments.
  • Demonstrated ability to create and implement realistic work plans.




Advanced university degree in interpretation, translation, languages, business administration, international relations, 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 ten years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree for promotion or rotation purposes.



At least seven years of progressively responsible experience in the field of the work including at least three at the international level. A Doctorate in a related field can be considered as a substitute for three years of working experience. Working experience relating to conference organisation in international organisations is an advantage.



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 $ 77,326 + post adjustment $ 71,217

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

Other Information

Willingness to travel and adapt to irregular and constantly changing working hours during conferences.


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.