Principal Programme Manager (80-100%)

Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance

DCAF – Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance is dedicated to improving the security of states and their people within a framework of democratic governance, the rule of law, respect for human rights, and gender equality. Since its founding in 2000, DCAF has contributed to making peace and development more sustainable by assisting partner states, and international actors supporting these states, to improve the governance of their security sector through inclusive and participatory reforms. It creates innovative knowledge products, promotes norms and good practices, provides legal and policy advice and supports capacity‐building of both state and non‐state security sector stakeholders.

DCAF’s Foundation Council members represent over 50 countries and the Canton of Geneva. Active in over 60 countries, DCAF is internationally recognized as one of the world’s leading centres of excellence for security sector governance (SSG) and security sector reform (SSR). DCAF is guided by the principles of neutrality, impartiality, local ownership, inclusive participation, and gender equality. For more information visit and follow us on Twitter @DCAF_Geneva.

DCAF’s Business and Security Division is committed to working jointly with states, business actors and civil society in order to improve security, development and respect for human rights. We promote responsible business conduct at the international level through supporting initiatives such as the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the Montreux Document and the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers. This is combined with operational work in fragile settings, catalysing multistakeholder action that can address security and human rights risks linked to business operations. For more information, please see:

We are looking for a motivated and experienced individual for the role of Principal Programme Manager (80-100 %)

  • Location: Geneva (with regular travel)
  • Starting date: 1 April 2024 or upon mutual agreement
  • Duration: permanent

The role

The successful applicant will lead the division’s business, security, and human rights workstream. This role involves overseeing the development and implementation of projects, outreach in international fora to promote responsible business conduct, and management oversight for a small team. Donor engagement is also central to this role, notably through responsibility for a multi-donor DCAF fund – the Security and Human Rights Implementation Mechanism (SHRIM).

Key activities:

  • Lead responsibility for project development and implementation;
  • Manage and further develop the DCAF Security and Human Rights Implementation Mechanism;
  • Identify opportunities to develop new projects, build partnerships and expand our donor base;
  • Reinforce DCAF’s policy influencing role in this field through targeted outreach;
  • Supervise and mentor assigned staff;
  • Enable continuous improvement in divisional management processes and promote cross-DCAF engagement.

Your experience


  • Field-based experience in programme development and implementation with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Proven experience in fundraising and donor relations;
  • At least 10 years of applied experience in the fields of business and human rights, international development, and/or security sector governance and reform;
  • Demonstrable track record and commitment to staff mentoring and development;
  • Experience working with the private sector in fragile contexts and / or in the field of business and human rights;
  • Familiarity with key international policy frameworks and initiatives including the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, OECD Responsible Business Conduct workstream, Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.
  • Familiarity with developments in mandatory human rights due diligence a plus.

Additional skills or experience:

  • Advanced degree in political science/ international relations, economics, business, international human rights or humanitarian law, or related field;
  • Fluency in English and French, both written and spoken, is essential. Spanish considered a plus;
  • Swiss or EU citizenship or a valid work permit for Switzerland at the time of application is a pre-requisite.

How to apply

We offer

  • a rewarding, dynamic and challenging work experience;
  • the chance to be part of a multicultural team of supportive, hardworking, and values-driven people;
  • the chance to contribute to improving security of states and their people within a framework of democratic governance, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.

If you think you are a good match for DCAF and the position advertised, please apply online by 07 March 2024, enclosing:

  • a one-page motivational statement in English describing your relevant experience and what you can bring to DCAF;
  • a concise CV (maximum two pages).

DCAF is committed to equality of opportunity and encourages applications from all qualified candidates regardless of sex, age, disability, gender identity, religion, or ethnicity.

Individuals who seek to serve with DCAF in any individual capacity will be required, if short-listed, to complete a self-attestation stating that they have not committed or been convicted of any criminal offence and have not been involved, by act or omission, in the commission of any violation of international human rights law or international humanitarian law.

Deadline: 7-Mar-24

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