Updated: 18 June 2018






Applications are invited for the post of Executive Secretary at the Helsinki Commission Secretariat. The post, which is based in Helsinki, Finland, will become vacant on 1 August 2019.

The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission - Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) is an intergovernmental organization (Denmark, Estonia, the European Union, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden) with its headquarters (Secretariat) in Helsinki, Finland, working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea. Further information about HELCOM can be obtained from the Commission's website at


The post is open to nationals of the Contracting Parties to the HELCOM Convention, that is, nationals from the following countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden as well as nationals from any Member State of the European Union.



The Executive Secretary is the chief administrative official of the Commission and his/her rights and duties are determined in Rule 9 of the HELCOM Rules of Procedure.

The Executive Secretariat is responsible for:

  • management of the Secretariat, with around 25-30 employees and the servicing and facilitation of the work of the various HELCOM working groups and projects;

  • preparation and supervision of the Commission's budget as well as numerous externally financed projects; and 

  • other tasks entrusted to him/her by the Commission and its Rules and Regulations and by the Heads of Delegation.


Qualifications and experience

The person to be appointed shall have: 

  • organizational and administrative skills to lead the work in the Secretariat, involving and motivating colleagues; 

  • capacity to strategically link the work of HELCOM to other international processes in a forward-looking way; 

  • ability to cooperate with all Contracting Parties and stakeholders in seeking common solutions and to represent HELCOM;

  • knowledge from the work carried out within HELCOM; 

  • relevant university degree and profound professional experience from work with an international organisation. 

As the Commission's working language is English, a thorough knowledge of the language and the ability to draft quickly and concisely in English as well as computer literacy are essential. 

Executive Secretary is required to travel frequently within Europe and to accept irregular working hours.


Terms of appointment

The salary, which is non-incremental, is equivalent to D-1 in the UN Salary Scales for Professional and Higher Categories. The salaries paid by the Commission are exempt from Finnish income tax. In addition, certain allowances may be payable depending on personal circumstances. 

The appointment will be for an initial period of three (3) years with a possibility of a prolongation. The successful candidate will be invited to take up his/her post on 1 August 2019.



Applications should be sent to Administrative Officer Riina Kero ( on 30 September 2018 at the latest. Please, find the application instructions attached. 

Shortlisting and call for interviews will take place during November 2018 and the interviews will tentatively take place on 3 December 2018, in Helsinki.


Application instructions

The application should contain the information requested under the following headings, in the order in which they are given. The full details requested should be given. 

The Secretariat will acknowledge receipt of the application by email. If you do not receive an acknowledgement within a few days, please contact the Secretariat to confirm that your application has been received. Please write "HELCOM Executive Secretary" in the subject field of the message.


A. Motivation letter

Please indicate briefly (on not more than two sheets of A4 paper) why you consider that you would be successful as Executive Secretary of the Helsinki Commission.




1.    Personal details

a.    Family name

b.    Personal names

c.     Mailing address, e‐mail and telephone number 

d.    Permanent address (if different from the mailing address)

e.    Place and country of birth

f.     Gender

g.    Current and previous citizenship(s) 

h.    Indication whether the post could be taken up on 1 August, 2019


2.    Key skills and Experience

Set out 5‐10 short sentences as bullets briefly describing the key skills and experience you bring to this job.


3.    Education

a.    School(s) attended and the periods of attendance.

b.    University or other higher education undertaken, including:

                                i.        the major subjects studied;

                                ii.        the qualification(s) (degree(s)) achieved;

                               iii.        the class(es) of qualification(s) achieved.

c.     Post‐qualification studies undertaken, including any further qualifications achieved.


4.    List of publications 


5.     List of professional societies to which you belong and your activities in public and/or international affairs


6.    Language skills

Please state mother tongue(s) and the level of speaking, reading and writing English, and any other languages. Please use the levels "fluent" – "good" – "fair" – "poor".


7.    Computer skills

Please indicate your level of computer skills, and knowledge of software packages and data handling.


8.    Employment record

Starting with your present position, please list in reverse order employment during the last ten years and any significant employment not included in that period. For your current and previous employment, please give the date when you started, the name and address of the employer, the type of business, the title or grade of the post, and a brief description of the work. 


9.    References

Please indicate whether we may seek a reference from your present employer. Please give the names and contact details of three other referees from whom we may seek references. 


10.  Please, state briefly any special qualifications not covered elsewhere in this application


11.  Declaration

Please include at the end of the application a signed statement:

"I confirm that the information in this application is true and complete. I understand that wilful misstatement renders me liable to dismissal, if employed."