Recruitment process for the next Director-General of the Pacific Community is now underway

Director-General of the Pacific Community

The Pacific Community is offering a rare opportunity for a qualified individual to take up the role of Director-General. The Director-General provides vision and leadership for the largest and longest serving development organization based in the Pacific. Building on the strong foundations laid by previous Director-Generals, the selected candidate will have the responsibility of guiding SPC in support of its 26 Pacific Island Country and Territory members, protecting the organizations status as the premier scientific and technical organization for the region, and ensuring that the traditions, knowledge and experience of the Pacific people are given the recognition they deserve.

The recruitment process for the next Director-General of the Pacific Community is now underway. SPC invites qualified individuals with a passion and vision for development in the region to forward their details for consideration:

  • Lead the principal development organisation in the Pacific region
  • Noumea-based position (New Caledonia)
  • Leadership position with attractive expatriate package


The Pacific Community (SPC) invites applications for the position of Director-General of the Pacific Community.
This position is located at SPC headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia.



The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 20 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

SPC and its secretariat shares the vision for our region adopted by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders under the Framework for Pacific Regionalism: Our Pacific vision is for a region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity, so that all Pacific people can lead free, healthy and productive lives. SPC’s mission is to work for the well-being of Pacific people through the effective and innovative application of science and knowledge, guided by a deep understanding of the Pacific Islands’ contexts and cultures.

The organisation has gained a reputation for providing real solutions to real problems in the Pacific (Pacific Community Strategic Plan 2016‒2020), and strives to maintain professionalism, integrity and pragmatism in delivering its services. The heart of SPC is its integrated work programme, which combines diverse disciplines enabling a multi-sectoral approach to regional development. The work programme focuses on delivering technical assistance, research, education and training through courses, workshops and seminars to Pacific Island member countries and territories. More information is available from the Strategic Plan 2016‒2020 and website:

SPC’s headquarters are in Noumea, New Caledonia. Our other offices are the Fiji Regional Office in Suva, Fiji; the Micronesia Regional Office in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia; the Melanesia Regional Office in Port Vila, Vanuatu; and a country office in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

 The role – The Director-General of the Pacific Community is the chief executive of SPC, and he or she is fully responsible and accountable for the leadership and management of the organisation within the policy guidelines set by SPC’s governing body – the Conference of the Pacific Community.

The position holder is accountable to the Conference for meeting SPC’s objectives, and for:

  • developing SPC’s vision, goals and objectives;
  • leading organisational decision-making;
  • overseeing the planning, delivery, monitoring and measurement of impact of SPC’s services to members; and
  • managing the organisation within the policy guidelines set by the Conference and the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA).

The key result areas for the position are as follows:

  • Vision, leadership and management – Provide vision, leadership and direction for the organisation, and uphold and promote its corporate values.
  • Policy, development and change management – Lead continuous improvement and reform across SPC to maximise the efficiency, coordination and effectiveness of its work and service delivery.
  • Governance – Ensure the effective leadership and management of SPC in accordance with the Director-General’s accountability to the governing body.
  • Work programme service delivery and performance – Liaise at the highest level with SPC member countries and territories to ensure SPC’s programmes are relevant and effective.
  • Financial security and property – Oversee SPC’s financial security, including the preparation and revision of SPC’s annual budgets, monitoring of expenditure and cash flow and annual audit of accounts.
  • Relationships and advocacy – Maintain strong working relationships across SPC and drive, develop and maintain strategic collaborative relationships with all member governments and administrations of SPC, development partners and other stakeholders, and ensure they are kept informed of developments within SPC.

Given the nature of the selection criteria, Pacific Island candidates have an advantage based on their knowledge of the region, its development needs, languages and cultures.

Candidates must be committed to leading a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment.


Key selection criteria

1. Selection criteria

  • Understands technical and regional issues
  • Is sensitive to the needs of the organisation and the region
  • Has technical experience in areas relating to the purpose of the organisation
  • Understands the geopolitical aspects of the region
  • Is a good manager of research, technical and administrative staff
  • Has exemplary leadership qualities
  • Is a good communicator both within and outside the organisation
  • Is able to work well with donors
  • Is able to formulate a vision for the organisation
  • Is conversant with the changes occurring in the region that impact on the nature and role of SPC and the services it delivers to members
  • Is conversant with the new architecture for regional institutions and is able to lead SPC, while also consolidating its expanded role, purpose and modality of service delivery to members
  • Is of good character, standing and integrity, and is able to command the respect of members and partners
  • Is able to demonstrate dedicated effort and commitment to the development of Pacific Island countries and territories
  • Is conversant with the principles of organisational change, organisational restructuring and change management
  • SPC’s working languages are English and French. A sound working knowledge of both languages would be an important advantage and will be taken into consideration.

2. Qualifications

A Master’s degree is essential, with a doctorate degree being desirable.

3. Knowledge/Experience

  • Understanding and appreciation of the key technical and regional issues
  • Technical experience in areas relating to the purpose of the organisation
  • Extensive understanding of the geopolitical aspects of the region
  • Demonstrable experience in formulating and articulating a vision
  • Extensive leadership and management experience, preferably in a development organisation
  • Experience in the management and delivery of organisational change
  • Experience in driving, developing and maintaining strategic collaborative relationships with member governments, development partners and donors.

4. Key behaviours

  • Change and innovation
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Teamwork
  • Promotion of equity and equality
  • Judgement
  • Building individual capacity
  • Dedicated effort and commitment to the role and organisation

5. Personal attributes

  • Good character and standing within the community
  • High level of professional integrity and ethics
  • Friendly demeanour
  • Demonstrated high-level commitment to customer service


Salary, terms and conditions

Contract duration – The successful candidate for this position is required to sign a two-year contract of employment with the Pacific Community. The Director-General’s duties include setting annual achievement objectives, both corporate and personal. Given sound leadership performance, as judged by formal assessment, a maximum of two additional two-year contracts may be offered (i.e. a maximum service period of six years).

Remuneration – The salary for this position will be in the range of SDR (Special Drawing Rights) 10,646–13,211 per month, (which is equivalent to XPF 1,570,930–1,949,459 per month), in Band 18 of SPC’s 2018 salary scale for professional staff based in Noumea, New Caledonia. An offer of appointment for an initial contract would be expected to be made in the lower half of this range.

SPC emoluments are not subject to income tax in New Caledonia at the present time.

It is the prerogative of the Conference to determine the salary level it considers appropriate within the Pacific Community Director-General salary band.

Benefits for international staff employees based in New Caledonia – SPC provides subsidised housing in Noumea. Establishment and relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical and life insurance, and education allowance are available for eligible employees and their recognised dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Equal opportunities

SPC is an equal opportunities employer. Recruitment is based entirely on merit, but in cases where two short-listed candidates are judged to be of equal rank by the Selection Committee, preference will be given to Pacific Island nationals.

Child protection

SPC is committed to child protection, irrespective of whether any specific area of work involves direct contact with children. SPC’s Child Protection Policy is written in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


Application procedure

Closing date: 15 September 2018

Applications should be submitted by email to [email protected], preferably in MS Word or PDF. Alternatively, applications can be addressed to the Director-General, Pacific Community, BP D5, Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia, to arrive by 15 September 2018.

Applicants should provide a cover letter that includes full personal details, describes their qualifications and experience, and explains how these meet the specific requirements of the position. Relevant previous appointments, present position and salary, and the names and addresses (including telephone and email contacts) of three referees must also be provided.

The application should address the selection criteria and specific responsibilities listed above, and importantly, describe the applicant’s vision for the Pacific Community. A detailed curriculum vitae should be provided.

Testimonials may be provided with the application, but are not necessary, and will not be considered as a substitute for confidential referees’ reports, which will be sought directly by SPC at a later stage if relevant.

Job Description: Pacific Community Director-General