Vacancy: Executive Director of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) programme

Applications are now closed.

Vacancy: Executive Director of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) programme

About IRDR 

The International Science Council (ISC) invites applications for the post of Executive Director of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) programme.  

IRDR is an international scientific programme addressing all hazards bringing together the natural, social, medical and engineering sciences. It is an Affiliated Body of the ISC. The mission of IRDR is to mobilize science for the reduction of all types of disaster risk, building resilience and reducing vulnerability by integrating risk science with climate adaptation and mitigation and sustainable development. Its objectives include:

The programme is founded on the recognition that disaster prevention and mitigation are critical dimensions of the global poverty reduction agenda and efforts to adapt to climate change, and should be an integral part of all international and national sustainable development efforts. 

IRDR is an international scientific programme co-sponsored by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the International Science Council (ISC), and funded by the China Association of Science and Technology (CAST). The International Programme Office of IRDR (IRDR IPO) is hosted by the Aerospace Information Research Institute (AIR) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences based in Beijing, China. 


The Executive Director heads the International Programme Office (IPO) that provides the secretariat of the Programme. The main responsibilities of the Executive Director are the following: 

Working conditions 

The Executive Director will be a full-time employee of AIR. 

The Executive Director manages a small team employed by AIR and directs all activities of the IPO. Much of the activities of the IPO revolve around a cycle of designing and leveraging resources for initiatives designed to mobilize the multi-disciplinary expertise of the extensive IRDR network and build the programme’s profile, often implemented through a mix of meetings, partnerships with organizations with cognate interests and virtual communications. She/He will have responsibility for drawing up annual workplans and budgets for the Office, and ensuring that they are implemented. The position requires regular regional and international travel to attend conferences and meet with partners. 

The Executive Director reports to the co-sponsors of IRDR on the overall development of the programme and strategic considerations, maintains excellent cooperation with the donor and the host, and reports to the host on all financial, administrative, legal and human resources matters.


The Executive Director will hold a PhD in a natural, social, medical or engineering science discipline related to disaster risk reduction and have several years of direct experience in international programme management. Proven management, fundraising, and diplomatic skills, and capacity to work in a multi-cultural environment will be essential. Both an excellent command of written and spoken English and a working knowledge of Mandarin are required. The following additional qualities are considered to be essential: 

Applications should include a Curriculum Vitae (maximum 4 pages) and a cover letter (maximum 2 pages) combined into a single PDF file and be submitted via the dedicated online application form below. Any questions regarding the post should be directed to, with “IRDR Executive Director” in the subject line. Please note: Email applications will not be accepted.

The closing date for applications is 18 March 2024.

The salary of the Executive Director of IRDR will be negotiable but UN salary scales do not apply for this post. The initial contract of employment will be of two years’ duration, renewable. The preferred starting date would be 1 June 2024.   

Photo by ISC


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