Office Assistant Job at FAO-Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome , Italy

negotiable / YEAR Expires in 1 week


Organizational Setting

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through the FAO Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

The Land and Water Division (NSL) aims at enhancing agricultural productivity and advancing the sustainable use of land, soil and water resources through their improved tenure, management, development and conservation. It provides technical and financial assistance to Member Nations in developing policies, programmes, best practices and management tools to address the challenges they face in ensuring productive and efficient use of land and water resources in order to meet present and future demands for agricultural products, while enduring the long-term sustainability of the land, soil and water quantity and quality. It promotes equitable access to and sustainable management of these natural resources with a view to enhancing productivity, livelihoods, social equality and ecosystem health – services.
The post is located in the Land and Water Division, NSL at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Main Purpose

The Office Assistant coordinates and performs the full range of office support, management support and administrative tasks, providing for the smooth and efficient running of the Office. He/she ensures quality and consistency of the flow of office work and information in the work unit.

Supervision Received/Exercised

The Office Assistant reports to the Director, NSL. The incumbent operates independently, takes decisions on work priorities and exercises initiative for dealing with cases without precedents. Supervision received is focused on the quality of work output. He/she provides guidance and advice to other office support staff.

Working Relationships

The Office Assistant works closely with a wide range of colleagues in the Division with central units and external clients, performing and coordinating office and management support services and providing procedural guidance and information.

Key Functions/Results

•    Screen requests for appointments with supervisor; maintain supervisor’s calendar; confirm mutually convenient schedules and arrange appointments; receive visitors; screen and send e-mails; respond to queries and correspondence, often of a sensitive, confidential or technical nature.
•    Coordinate office support services for meetings, trainings, seminars, committees and special projects and events; attend meetings, prepare minutes, monitor follow-up activities; make arrangements for formal editing, translation, etc., of documents and publications.
•    Review, record, distribute and process incoming mail and correspondence; follow-up on pending actions; prepare draft responses to a wide range of correspondence and other communications, often requiring knowledge of technical terminologies and/or detailed office procedures; carry out quality control functions for outgoing documents; proofread texts for adherence to format, grammar, punctuation and style.
•    Perform a variety of administrative duties, e.g. contract extensions and requests for temporary staff, leave and attendance recording, budget preparation and follow-up; coordinate with other units to ensure smooth running and expedition of work within the unit.
•    Research, compile and organize background information and reference materials from various sources for reports, briefs and speeches; generate a variety of statistical and other reports from various databases.
•    Coordinate the work of other office support staff, establish priorities and ensure equitable distribution of work; train new staff to relevant administrative procedures and practices and provide general assistance as required.
•    Create and maintain the work unit’s filing and reference systems, including an e-book for signatures; review the efficiency of office procedures and make recommendations for improvements; update office websites.
•    Perform other duties as required.

Impact of Work

The incumbent’s work impacts directly on the smooth and efficient running of the Office. He/she plays a lead role in the provision of office support services for successful achievement of the organizational unit’s mandate.


Minimum Requirements

Education: Secondary School Education.
Experience: Four years of relevant experience in office/management support work.
Languages: Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of English.
IT Skills: Very good knowledge of MS Office applications, Internet and office technology equipment.

Residency: General Service Staff are recruited locally. To be eligible for this position, candidates must be nationals of the country of the duty station or possess an existing visa/work permit and reside within commuting distance of the duty station at the time of the application. “Commuting distance” means the distance within which staff members can travel daily between their place of work and their residence.


•    Results Focus
•    Teamwork
•    Communication
•    Building Effective Relationships
•    Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical Skills

•    Very good knowledge of communication and documentation standards.
•    Very good knowledge of corporate computerized financial/travel/human resources systems and administrative procedures and policies.
•    Very good knowledge of the organizational structure.

Desirable Qualifications and Skills

•    Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).
•    Prior experience in front office management, in particular front office of large or high-level offices such as divisions or similar.
•    Good planning and organizational skills.
•    Ability to work under pressure and make progress on multiple tasks simultaneously.
•    High degree of discretion in dealing with confidential matters.




Rome, Italy