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Thank you for your interest in the UK National Commission for UNESCO. Please scroll down to find out more about a particular post and information about how to apply.

Download the Job Description, Person Specification and Application form below

The completed application form and a short cover letter (no more than 2 sides A4), with the names of 2 referees should be sent via email to [email protected]

Download the application pack

Non-Executive Director (Social and Human Sciences)

Deadline: Sunday 10th July 2022
Interview Date: Monday 18th July 2022
Time Commitment: Approximately 20 days per year
Voluntary (with reimbursement of approved expenses)

This voluntary role is an opportunity to play a leading expert role in the UK and internationally.

This pro bono Board vacancy post operates in multilateral and national policy advice frameworks, grounded in its close links with the UK’s UNESCO designations such as UNESCO university chairs and UNESCO Creative Cities.

Could you provide expert, independent pro bono advice for the UK’s National Commission for UNESCO on Social and Human Sciences policy? Would you like to work with the UK’s UNESCO designations, with the UK government, UNESCO and its member states?

The UK National Commission for UNESCO is inviting applications for a Non-Executive Director (NED) with expertise and experience in the field of Social and Human Sciences.


The UK National Commission for UNESCO is seeking to appoint a voluntary Non-Executive Director to its Board to take joint responsibility for the Social and Human Sciences (SHS) Portfolio, replacing Professor Colin McInnes who will be stepping down from the Board in late 2022.

Through SHS, UNESCO supports people and countries to understand each other better and in working together to build lasting peace based on sustainability, dignity and shared prosperity.

UNESCO helps to enable people to create and use knowledge for just and inclusive societies, fostering the respect of rights, social inclusion and non-discrimination.

Key SHS programmes and initiatives include:

• the inter-governmental programme for the Management of Social Transformations (MOST);
• ethical practices in science and technology, including the UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence; and
• UNESCO’s youth programme;
• the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence Programme;
• the promotion of sporting activities for peace and sustainable development, including anti-doping initiatives in sport.

Further information about UNESCO and about SHS can be found at: https://en.unesco.org/

Interviews for selected candidates are expected to be held on Monday 18 July 2022.

Although this appointment does not come within the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, it is being made using a process which takes into account the Commissioner’s Code of Practice as best practice. Appointment will be ratified by the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.

The completed application form and a short cover letter (no more than 2 sides A4) indicating why they would like this role, the relevance of expertise, engagement and networks; along with the names of 2 referees should be sent via email to [email protected]

The UK National Commission for UNESCO (UKNC)

As the central link for UNESCO-related matters in the UK and a constitutional part of the UK’s membership of UNESCO, the UKNC works to support the UK’s contribution to UNESCO and bring the benefits of UNESCO to the UK. It is part of UNESCO’s unique global network of national cooperating bodies known as National Commissions, and it works at the heart of the UK’s 170+ UNESCO designations. Its aim is to connect the UK Government and UNESCO to the UK’s educational, academic, scientific, cultural, creative and artistic communities The UKNC has up to nine Non Executive Directors.

In this role, the UKNC’s core functions are:

• To provide expert, independent policy advice to UK and devolved governments on UNESCO related issues.
• To support and enhance the value of the UK’s 170+ UNESCO sites and projects.
• To support the UK government’s agenda in helping UNESCO become more institutionally effective.
• To advise and support individuals and institutions in the UK, its Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies on accessing UNESCO accreditation.
• To work with and share best practice with the global network of the other UNESCO Member States’ National Commissions for UNESCO.

The UKNC is a company limited by guarantee, with a small Secretariat, normally based in Whitehall Court, London.

Time commitment

The role of NED involves attending at least four UKNC Board meetings per year in London, and the UNESCO General Conference in Paris once every two years. There may be additional ad hoc meetings and events. NEDs also provide written policy advice to UNESCO and UK Government Departments in their fields of expertise. The basic time requirement is a approximately 20 days per year. Candidates should indicate the time they expect to be able to devote to UKNC work.


The role is voluntary and there will be reimbursement of reasonable approved expenses only.

To apply

Applicants should complete and submit their application with a short covering letter (max 2 sides A4) indicating why they would like this role, the relevance of expertise, engagement and networks; along with the names of two referees.

Complete applications should be sent to [email protected]

Informal enquiries or requests to arrange a conversation in confidence may be addressed by email to Colin McInnes (NED, SHS Portfolio, [email protected] or James Bridge, CEO/Secretary-General at [email protected]).

Download the application pack