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Director, Policy Support Unit

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The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific. APEC’s 21 members share the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 – of an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations.

Based in the APEC Secretariat in Singapore, the Policy Support Unit (PSU) is the policy research and analysis arm for APEC. It supports APEC members and fora in improving the quality of their deliberations and decisions and promoting policies that support the achievement of the APEC vision by providing objective and high quality research, analytical capacity and policy support capability.

APEC is looking to recruit a Director for the PSU to manage the strategic and operational activities of the unit from January 2023. The Director is accountable to the PSU Board for implementing the unit’s work programme and to the APEC Secretariat’s Executive Director for administrative and day-to-day issues. The Director also manages the PSU’s team of professionals and works closely with APEC members and fora on research and technical projects.

Candidates should have high level leadership experience in a context with very diverse stakeholders, such as with governments or in a multilateral or international setting. Tertiary qualifications and significant demonstrated analytical and policy skills in economic matters, including international trade and investment policy, are also essential. A working knowledge of APEC’s agenda would be advantageous. The successful candidate must be from an APEC member economy.


Information on APEC and the PSU are available at: and



Applications should reach us no later than 17 June 2022 via email to HR Recruit at: [email protected]. Your application must indicate how your experience and qualifications matched those required. Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.


Job Description

Job Title: Director, Policy Support Unit
Department: Policy Support Unit (PSU)
Reporting To: PSU Board


Work Experience Requirement

The successful candidate must possess at least 18 to 20 years relevant work experience in successfully managing policy-oriented research work covering economics, finance and trade-related issues.
Demonstrated performance should be able to be provided in the areas of:

  • Strategic management of a client-driven research programme;
  • Well-developed planning and organisational skills and initiative to propose, coordinate and prioritise tasks;
  • Corporate governance;
  • Budget management;
  • Management and supervision of staff, external consultants and researchers;
  • Well-developed communications, interpersonal and networking skills;
  • Commitment to teamwork through supporting and contributing to the work of others when needed;
  • A high level of integrity;
  • Self-motivation and the ability to work independently;
  • Flexibility and a constructive approach to tasks.

Work experience in APEC and other international organisations and in a multi-cultural environment will be highly regarded, as well as managing relationships with an external board.


Education/Training Requirement

University degree in Economics, Finance or relevant disciplines. Postgraduate qualifications, preferably at the doctorate (PhD) level, will be highly regarded.

Fluent English is mandatory.


Work Responsibilities

  1. Carrying out PSU’s strategic objectives and plans and providing strong leadership, strategic direction and management to the PSU.
  2. Responsible for the day-to-day operations of the PSU, including planning and management of its work programme.
  3. Preparing, managing and reporting on PSU’s financial budget and providing regular updates to the PSU Board.
  4. Working closely with the PSU Board and PSU’s clients such as APEC Senior Officials (SOM), Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) and Economic Committee (EC) to support their work in implementing the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 through the Aotearoa Plan of Action.
  5. Accountable for the planning, design and execution of PSU projects. Overseeing PSU research outputs including policy papers and reports.
  6. Promoting and representing the interests of the PSU and APEC, including public outreach activities to promote PSU research products. Working closely with the Communications and Public Affairs Unit (CPAU) in developing public outreach products such as blogs, infographics and promotional videos and in media activities.
  7. Building institutional linkages and collaboration with international organizations, APEC Study Centers, universities, think tanks and business organisations.
  8. Providing advice to the APEC Secretariat Executive Director, APEC Senior Officials and PSU Board on technical, institutional and strategic matters.
  9. Evaluate the performance of all PSU staff, including research and administrative staff.
  10. Other matters requested by the PSU Board and APEC Senior Officials.


Capability Profile

A Capability Profile has been developed by the PSU to describe those capabilities or characteristics needed by staff to support the PSU’s strategic intent, achieve performance excellence and meet expected outcomes. They provide an indication of essential personal qualities and characteristics that will enable people to successfully work in the PSU and attempt to depict the culture required for the PSU to achieve its outcomes. The six capabilities can be summarised as requiring the PSU staff to be able to:

  1. Make distinctions – i.e. being ‘savvy’ and having political ‘nous’ and awareness;
  2. Manage issues;
  3. Work as a team;
  4. Communicate effectively;
  5. Be responsible; and
  6. Act professionally.