Regional Director -Polynesia

Suva, Fiji

  • Suva-based position
  • Attractive expatriate package
  • Join the principal development organisation in the region



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 unique organisation works across more than 25 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 is exploring the feasibility of establishing a Polynesia Regional Office (PRO), an idea which has been in the pipeline for some time, but has re-emerged with COVID-19 as a priority demanding new ways of working and as SPC develops its Strategic Plan for 2021 and beyond. From SPC’s perspective, the creation of a PRO to gives effect to the following:

  1. Bring balance to support across the three Pacific sub-regions - SPC has Regional Offices in Micronesia and Melanesia.
  2. Strengthen integrated programming efforts and development of strategic approaches to country programming in Polynesian countries to increase sustainable development impacts for SPC members.
  3. Creates opportunities for sub-regional projects, programmes and initiatives.
  4. Support improved service delivery and coordination across partners and stakeholders in Polynesia.
  5. Provide additional focused and tailored support to Polynesian members in the context of their unique cultures, development status and areas of common interest.
  6. Closer collaboration and working relationships with the UN sub-regional office serving Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands and Niue.

The role – the Regional Director – Polynesia will lead the exploratory work on the establishment of SPC’s Polynesia Regional Office in collaboration with the SPC Senior Leadership Team and in consultation with the Polynesian Members including American Samoa, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Wallis and Futuna. 


The key responsibilities of the role include the following:


  1. Feasibility Study and Establishment of the SPC Polynesia Regional Office
  • Leading the development and finalizing of the feasibility study and business case for the SPC Polynesia Regional Office (PRO), in coordination with the Executive and broader Senior Leadership Team (SLT). If approved by Members, leading the work to establish the PRO in the selected host country.
  1. Stakeholder Engagement and Relationship Management
  • Effective relationships maintained with Polynesian members.
  • Positive feedback from Polynesian members and the working group on the delivery by the PRO unit.
  • Sub-regional and regional events in Polynesia are effectively and efficiently organized and/or supported by the PRO Unit.
  1. Support SPC Service Delivery to Polynesia
  • Developed approaches for service delivery to Polynesian members.
  • Supported the development and application of a country programming model for Polynesian members in collaboration with the Integrated and Country Programming Unit.
  1. Support and Advice to the Deputy Director-General
  • The Deputy Director General is able to make informed decisions for PRO based on advice and access to relevant and timely information.
  • Timely and relevant information is shared with the Senior Leadership Team regarding progress on the PRO work.


For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description.



Key selection criteria


  1. Qualifications
  • Masters level degree in development, public administration or any other relevant discipline from a recognized university, OR Bachelor’s degree in the above disciplines with 10 years of relevant experience.
  1. Technical expertise
  • Leadership and management skills, including demonstrated general management, people management and financial management skills.
  • At least 10 years’ experience in programme management, or development, with a proven record in strategic thinking and policy analysis.
  • Good knowledge of the socio-economic and sociopolitical situation in the Polynesian countries and territories.
  • Highly developed leadership and planning skills
  • Ability to lead a team in a multi-cultural and gender sensitive environment.
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills.
  1. Language skills
  • Excellent English communication skills (oral and written) with a working knowledge of French being an advantage.
  1. Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
  • Demonstrated cultural sensitivity and awareness, and the ability to effectively work with stakeholders and team members from different cultural backgrounds.
  • Knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories is an advantage.


Salary, terms and conditions


Contract Duration – This position is budgeted for 3 years and is subject to renewal depending on performance and funding.

Due to the current travel restrictions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the priority SPC places on its staff safety, health and well-being, please note that there may be delays in taking up the appointment. These matters will be discussed thoroughly with successful candidates. In most cases, any appointment and on-boarding would only commence when relocation to the duty station is permitted.

Remuneration – the Regional Director - Polynesia is a band 14 position in SPC’s 2021 salary scale, with a starting salary range of SDR (special drawing rights) 4,667‒5,834 per month, which converts to approximately FDJ 14,095-17,618 (USD 6,487-8,109 ; EUR 5,725-7,156). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration being given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale is based on annual performance reviews. SPC salaries are not presently subject to income tax in New Caledonia.

Benefits for international staff employees based in Fiji – SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,350–3,000 per month. Establishment and relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical and life insurance are available for eligible employees only. Employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave and 30 days of sick leave per annum, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

Recruitment principles – SPC’s recruitment is based on merit and fairness, and candidates are competing in a selection process that is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilinguism, and will seek to attract and appoint candidates who respect these values. Due attention is given to gender equity and the maintenance of strong representation from Pacific Island professionals.  If two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection panel, preference will begiven to the Pacific Islander. Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s private policy.



Application procedure


Closing date: 26th of September 2021 – 11:00 pm Noumea Time.

Job Reference: AL000421

Applicants must apply online at

Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

  • an updated resume with contact details for three professional referees
  • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
  • responses to all screening questions

Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

All positions at SPC have specific screening questions. If you do not respond to all of the screening questions, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage.


Screening questions: (2.000 characters maximum per question)

  1. A minimum of ten (10) years of responsible experience in development work and in programme management, including in representation roles in international meetings, is required. Please explain how you meet this criterion using examples.
  2. Strong experience on issues faced by the Pacific region, fundraising and liaison with donors is required. Please explain how you meet this criterion using examples.
  3. Please explain how, in your opinion, the Polynesia Regional Office, can add value to SPC and its Members.

Final_JD Regional Director Polynesia.docx

Type: Contract - International

Category: Executive Management

Reference ID: AL000421

Date Posted: 30/08/2021