Chief Economist and Director

World Trade Organization (WTO)



Wto

Position description

The recruitment policy of the WTO is to seek to attract and retain staff members offering the highest standards of competence, efficiency and integrity. As an Equal Opportunities Employer, the WTO gives full regard to merit and diversity.

This is an External Vacancy Notice open to external candidates and WTO staff. It is posted on the WTO internal as well as external career site. Eligible WTO staff on short-term, fixed-term or regular contracts and interns must apply through the Workday internal career site.

The Secretariat of the WTO is seeking to fill the position of Chief Economist and Director, Economic Research and Statistics Division. This is a fixed-term contract funded through the regular budget. The duration will be two years with the possibility of extension. The selected candidate is expected to start the assignment as of 1 October 2022.

 

Context

The Economic Research and Statistics Division provides economic analysis and research in support of the WTO’s operational activities, including monitoring and reporting on current economic trade related issues and developments. It carries out economic research on broader policy-related topics in connection with the WTO’s work programme, as well as on other WTO-related topics of interest to delegations arising from the on-going integration of the world economy, the spread of market-oriented reforms, and the increased importance of economic issues in relations between countries. The division prepares the “World Trade Report”, an annual publication that aims to deepen understanding about trends in trade, trade policy issues and the multilateral trading system. The division cooperates with other international organizations and the academic community through conferences, seminars and courses; prepares special research projects on policy-related topics in the area of international trade; and prepares briefings to senior management. It is responsible for the “coherence” mandate with other international organizations. The Division is expected to innovate on trade related research looking towards new frontiers for trade.

 

On the statistics side, the division supports WTO members and the Secretariat with quantitative information in relation to economic and trade policy issues. The division is the principal supplier of WTO trade statistics through the annual “World Trade Statistical Review” and via the Internet and Intranet. The division is responsible for the maintenance and development of the Integrated Data Base (IDB) and the Consolidated Tariff Schedules (CTS) which supports the Market Access Committee’s information requirements in relation to tariffs. The division’s statisticians also provide members with technical assistance in relation to the IDB-CTS databases. The division plays an active role in strengthening cooperation and collaboration between international organizations in the field of merchandise and services trade statistics, ensuring that WTO requirements with respect to the concepts and standards underpinning the international statistical system are met.

 

Approximately 40 staff members make up the division, and structurally it is composed of the Economic Modelling and Quantitative Analysis Section, Global Economic Analysis Section, Trade Cost Analysis Section, International Trade Statistics Section, the Market Access Intelligence Section.

 

General Functions

The WTO’s Chief Economist will lead the Economic Research and Statistics Division and provide intellectual leadership on the WTO’s economic research and statistics work.

 

1.         As WTO’s Chief Economist, act as the recognized authority, expert and leader in advanced economic research and analysis on international trade issues.

2.         Lead and manage the overall work of the team in the Economic Research and Statistics Division. Prioritize and plan the use of Divisional resources and budget to achieve the required Divisional outputs and results.  Provide guidance to staff in carrying out their work, setting out the performance objectives of the staff members and assess their performance.

3.         Lead and inspire the WTO’s economic research agenda, including through interaction with academic and policy communities internationally; liaising with the economic units of other international and bilateral agencies; and ensuring coherence with other international organizations. Strengthen cooperation and collaboration between international organizations in the field of merchandise and services trade statistics, ensuring that WTO requirements with respect to the concepts and standards underpinning the international statistical system are met.

4.         Lead innovative research on trade issues.

5.         Ensure economic analysis and research in support of the WTO’s operational activities is provided, including monitoring and reporting on current economic news and developments.  Manage WTO’s economic research on broader policy-related topics in connection with the WTO’s work programme. Manage the preparation of the WTO’s annual research publication “The World Trade Report”.

6.         Elevate the profile and advocate the incorporation of rigorous economic research and analysis into project design, implementation and evaluation.

7.         Ensure that the WTO is at the forefront of trade statistics; develop the use of new data sources (e.g., high frequency data) to analyse trends. Prepare and publish the annual “World Trade Statistical Review” and other statistical publications.  Provide members with technical assistance in relation to the IDB-CTS databases.

8.         Build relationships with WTO Members, developing an understanding of their particular interests and concerns and providing authoritative advice and suggestions.

9.         Support the Director-General and the Deputy Directors-General by providing reports, briefings and other information. 

 

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

 

Education:

A PhD in economics or a relevant field. Proven expertise in trade and trade related issues.

 

Knowledge and Skills:

Technical Knowledge and Skills:

The WTO is looking for a highly competent individual with expert economic research and analytical skills, proven publications record and extensive management experience. The successful candidate must demonstrate proven, in-depth knowledge of the WTO’s system, procedures and economic trade issues, practised policy dialogue and negotiating skills. S/he must possess a high level of communication skills, oral and written, and expert drafting and publishing skills in English.

The Director of Economic Research and Statistics Division must have the skills to guide, empower and motivate a multidisciplinary team of approximately 40 staff members to excel in their jobs. S/he must be able to build a team culture that consistently delivers high-quality results and engage stakeholders in implementing strategy that has long-term impact. Excellent demonstrated management and organizational skills (planning and organizing work, managing people and performance, managing resources) are essential.

 

Behavioural skills:

The following capabilities are required: ability to interact and work with others in a diverse international setting in a harmonious and effective way; good presentation and communication skills; high level of political awareness and sensitivity; intellectual flexibility including openness to other’s views and ability to find solutions; and good political judgement. Ability to innovate and think out of the box.

High ethical standards and the ability to ensure adherence by others to established rules of conduct are also required.

 

Work Experience:

At least fifteen years’ experience research related, including in senior positions in international trade in government or the private sector and in international organisations. Proven leadership and management experience, including managing multicultural teams.

 

Languages:

Proficiency (speaking and writing) in English is required. Adequate skills in at least one other working language of the WTO (French, Spanish) would be an advantage.

Application instructions

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