JPO Program for US Nationals

The Junior Professional Officers (JPO) program brings new talent and ideas to the organization by offering young professionals a unique opportunity to obtain training and exposure to UNHCR`s humanitarian work either in field assignment or at headquarters.

JPOs are young professionals who are interested in the UN and in humanitarian work, who prove able to contribute to UNHCR’s future and its work on behalf of refugees, internally displaced people and the stateless. The areas of expertise that the organization looks for in particular are law, public administration and social sciences.

Most JPOs are between ages 25 and 35, depending on donor country policy, and are recruited as professional staff members at the P2 level. While most JPOs are citizens of their donor countries, the Netherlands may also sponsor citizens of other countries under the Developing Countries Scheme (JPO/DC). Nearly 69 per cent of JPOs continue in UNHCR as regular staff at the end of their assignment. UNHCR manages around 60 JPOs yearly sponsored by 15 Governments. Most JPO assignments last from two to three years.


  • Degree equivalent to a Bachelor’s Degree or a Master’s Degree in a field relevant to the functions requested in the job description.
  • At least two to four years of relevant work experience (two years with a Master Degree – or higher – or four years with a Bachelor Degree).
  • Proficiency in English (spoken and written) and working knowledge of a second language of the United Nations is strongly recommended asset (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish).
  • Keen and demonstrated interest in the United Nations and humanitarian issues, in particular, and ability to live and/or serve in hardship locations.

Applicants interested in pursuing a JPO experience need to regularly consult the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or a governmental institution of their country here: JPO Program: Government Authority Contact Details

Online Event 

2 PM – 5 PM (GMT)

UNHCR is currently offering positions as Junior Professional Officer (JPO).

If you are a young American citizen looking to broaden your horizon and start a career with the United Nations, UNHCR is inviting you to participate in this unique online event about the JPO Program on the 13th December. Junior Professional Officer (JPO) scheme sponsored by the Government of the USA.

Candidates must be young professionals, US nationals (mandatory), holding an advanced university degree, have two to four years of professional experience and advanced language skills in Spanish and French (preferred).

Register to the event on 13th December and discuss your profile and the current JPO positions around the world with UNHCR recruiters.

What are the benefits of being a Junior Professional Officer

“There is no doubt that I have grown professionally in the last three years with UNHCR and shall continue to work with the same spirit in the days to come. I feel more professional, ready to learn more and to continue to grow. The JPO programme is an excellent entry point for any newcomer to learn and to determine their future goal.”
Suprity Timilsina, Associate Protection Officer in Nairobi, Kenya.