Who we are
The OSCE is a forum for political dialogue on a wide range of security issues and a platform for joint action to improve the lives of individuals and communities. The organization uses a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses the politico-military, economic and environmental, and human dimensions. Through this approach, and with its inclusive membership, the OSCE helps bridge differences and build trust between states by co-operating on conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation.
With its Institutions, expert units and a network of field operations, the OSCE address issues that have an impact on our common security, including arms control, terrorism, good governance, energy security, human trafficking, democratization, media freedom and national minorities.
Why work for the OSCE
Be a positive force for change
There are many reasons to come and work for us, but the most important is because what we do matters. Nothing beats the individual sense of accomplishment in knowing you are making a difference to the world. And it is not just colleagues on the front line– our Organization is filled with “behind the scenes” people, whose administrative and managerial work is essential to making sure we deliver the OSCE’s mission.
A wide range of opportunities
Our work covers many spheres, from political and military, economic and environmental to human rights; offering both work for specialists in those areas and the very important tasks of administrative, finance, human resources and information technology that allows us to work efficiently and effectively day by day.
What we offer
We are a non-career organization and offer limited periods of service, but with the possibility to move within the organization. We recruit fixed-term professional and general service staff, seconded professionals from participating states, and temporary staff. We also hire consultants where specialized programmatic and administrative expertise is needed.
Types of employment
Fields of expertise
Positions are available in the following areas of work:
- Administration and support (including finance, transportation, supply and logistics, IT, human resources, audit, security, conference and language services)
- Civilian police
- Economic and environmental affairs
- General staff/monitoring functions
- Human rights (including combating trafficking in human beings & gender issues)
- Media affairs
- Military affairs (including anti-terrorism, arms control & border management)
- Political affairs
- Rule of law
The majority of all international positions in OSCE field operations are filled by secondment (S): individuals are nominated by their respective OSCE participating State. Secondments are generally for an initial period of twelve months, with a possibility of extension. The OSCE pays a board and lodging allowance to cover living expenses for positions located in a field duty station. A number of positions at the Secretariat and Institutions are also filled by secondment. For these posts, all costs (both salary and living expenses) must be borne by the seconding authority. Vacancy notices for seconded positions are published on the OSCE website.
Applicants for positions at the Professional (P) category are required to have a university degree and several years of experience at national and/or international level in a relevant field of expertise. In addition, post-graduate specialization and management experience is necessary for a number of senior P and Director (D) positions. Applicants for positions in the National Professional (NP) category in the field operations are required to have a university degree and the relevant number of years of working experience. Applicants for positions in the General Service (GS) category are required to have completed secondary education, supplementary courses related to the functions of the position and the relevant number of years of working experience.
Levels of professional competency
- Heads and Deputy Heads of Mission
- Senior Management (e.g. Heads of Departments)
- Middle Management (e.g. Section Chiefs, Team Leaders)
- Senior professional
The OSCE recruits consultants to provide advisory services and expert assistance on a short-term and ad-hoc basis to complement the work of regular staff members or for specific projects. Interested individuals with at least six years of specialized expertise are encouraged to browse the OSCE website for
The OSCE offers short-term positions on an ad-hoc basis. More information is available on the OSCE website.
Interested? How to apply?
Employment opportunities are advertised on the OSCE website under:
www.osce.org/employment/. Applicants are expected to have proficiency in the English language. Knowledge of other OSCE working languages is an asset. The OSCE is committed to achieving a better balance of women and men within the Organization. The OSCE is a non-career organization committed to the principle of staff rotation. Certain limitations exist on the periods of service for professional staff in a given post, and the overall period of service with the OSCE may not exceed ten years.
Recruitment and Selection Process
Recruitment staff, in co-operation with the hiring department, review all applications received and draw up a short list of 4-6 qualified candidates for competency-based interview either in person or by video conference/telephone with a panel of 3-4 board members from various departments of the OSCE. In addition, candidates can expect to take a written test with questions specific to the position. Selection is based on both the results of the interview and the test. All candidates will be informed of the outcome of the selection process in due course.
Further details, including information about the OSCE Competency Model, are available under http://www.osce.org/employment/108718
Follow us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/osce/
Gail Fisher, Monitoring Officer, OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
Gail Fisher (UK) is currently holding a position as Monitoring Officer in the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. She joined the Mission in 2016.
She has graduated from Aberdeen University in the UK and is holding a university degree in Law. Gail has spent a number of years working for the British military in different areas, such as engineering, conflict analysis and human resources.
She has held various assignments with the British military such as Team Leader, Operations Manager and the most recent assignment was as the Strategic Assessments Analyst.
“Working as a Monitoring Officer has allowed me to work alongside people from a huge range of countries, cultures and experiences from across the world. The work we do exposes the impact of conflict in areas that are not easy to access.”
Marinka Franulovic, Monitoring Officer, OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
Marinka Franulovic (Croatia) is currently holding a position as Monitoring Officer in the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. She joined the Mission in March 2015. Marinka graduated with a master’s degree in Law from the Faculty of Law at the University Of Zagreb, Croatia.
She has over 20 years of professional work experience and has held a number of roles in many different countries, such as the Philippines and Central Asia, more specifically in Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Russian Federation.
Her career focus was mainly in the areas related to law, diplomacy and human rights. Prior to her current assignment, she has worked for the Croatian Embassy in Moscow covering also culture, education, science and sports.
Marinka considers her career as the OSCE SMM monitor as an important and meaningful addition to her long-term international carrier and she is grateful for the possibility to utilize a wide range of her professional skills in the dynamic monitoring work.
As a gender expert, she particularly enjoys working in the diverse international working environment where equality principles are cherished and efforts put to integrate them into all key areas of the Mission work. “This itself makes me delighted to add OSCE to my rather atypical career journey.” – she concludes.
“I have a daily opportunity to observe how differently the conflict affects men and women, boys and girls and how diverse are their security needs. The SMM is all about teamwork and my role is often to connect numerous vulnerable civilians with the OSCE partner agencies.”
Saule Mukhametrakhimova (Italy)
Media and Outreach Officer, Communications & Media Relations – OSCE Secretariat
Before joining the OSCE in 2015, I worked as a programme manager/editor for an international NGO that supports journalists and civil society activists in countries in conflict. I was involved in training journalists in conflict reporting and in providing media training to human rights activists in the Caucasus, Central Asia and Russia. My journalism background comes from working with the BBC World Service where I was a radio journalist. Earlier in my career, I worked as a media assistant in the German Embassy in Kazakhstan. Working for the OSCE gives me insight into the decision-making processes at the international level and how inter-state diplomacy works. This was exactly the experience I was looking for after many years in journalism and in the civil society sector.
When I attended a meeting of the Permanent Council, an OSCE decision-making body, for the first time I had the feeling that all the things that I had learned about international relations and world politics during my Master’s studies were coming alive before my eyes. During these meetings you can see how participating States interact with each other, how they represent the positions of their countries and how they negotiate when a decision needs to be made. Not an easy process given that in the OSCE there are 57 countries involved. But equally, when all the participating States agree on something, it becomes a powerful impetus to drive change in areas where the OSCE works: be it preventing and combating violence against women, enabling young people to contribute to peace and security or improving the safety of journalists.
What I like the most about my job is that I get to work with diverse groups of people: members of the public, journalists, colleagues from other parts of the Organization – the Secretariat, Field Operations and Institutions – as well as with members of the participating States’ delegations. There is always something exciting happening here. As a media and outreach officer, you might be contacted by a journalist and asked to organize an interview with OSCE officials. Sometimes it is me who is contacting the media to publish an article by the Secretary General or other OSCE representatives. It is our job to make sure that the public knows how the OSCE’s work is making difference to their lives and I communicate with colleagues from other parts of the OSCE to write stories about such projects.
It is very satisfying to see the results of the work you have done, for example when an OSCE op-ed calling to prevent a humanitarian crisis in a conflict zone is published in a well-known newspaper that reaches tens of thousands of readers or when users share your Twitter posts about the costs to society of violence against women. If you are interested in global politics and inter-state relations, working in an international organization like the OSCE is the right place to be. The OSCE has a lot of things to offer, including a diverse working environment. If you are someone who enjoys being with people from different cultures and backgrounds, you will definitely enjoy working here!
Diana Digol (Moldova)
Deputy Head of Programme Office – OSCE Programme Office in Nur-Sultan
Diana Digol is the Deputy Head of the Programme Office in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. She is inspired by international civil service and puts her multiple skills and languages to use to support our comprehensive approach to security.
How did you end up at the OSCE? Tell us a bit about your career journey.
It was my long-standing dream and goal, from childhood. My parents told me that the best professionals in this world work for the OSCE and/or the United Nations. They also further told me that I had to study profession and learn foreign languages, before I can give it a try. I took this as a road map. I studied all aspects of international: economics, law, relations, studies, diplomacy, security, which culminated with a Phd degree and five languages.
To make it short, with some perseverance, I got my first position as a Project Officer with the Extra Budgetary project at the OSCE’s Office for the Democractic Institutions and Human Rights. This has been preceded and followed by some OSCE consultancies for five various OSCE field missions. My next three-year assignment, this time in politico-military dimension, was with the mission in Kyrgyzstan. Since May 2017, I joined the mission in Kazakhstan, as a Deputy Head, the first truly senior management position.
What has been the most exciting part of working here?
I like coming to job every day, even if I know it will be another challenging day, and maybe extremely long one. A long day does not mean that you are bad in time management; sometimes, this is just a reality, explained by the time difference in the area “from Vancouver to Vladivostok”, or at least between Nur-Sultan and Vienna (3-5 hours, depending on the season).
I like the fact that that this job helped me understand and see in practice how challenging it can be to reach a compromise and find a common ground on the issue. Working at the OSCE offers me also the opportunity to meet different people, senior and junior, women and men, public officials and civil activists, political leaders and apolitical civilians, people having power to solve issues and those in demand of those solutions. I am glad that the OSCE is here to provide support in finding solutions, based on the best practices, which worked elsewhere and might work here as well.
Yet another excitement is added by the time limit you can serve in the Organization (from 4 to 10 years, depending on the post). It makes you do your best in your current position, because you will have to demonstrate your achievements and ask for recommendations, when applying elsewhere; stay competitive in your professional field abreast of the latest developments and develop your skills which your field might require soon; and keep your networking open and evolving.
What have you learned about yourself while working at this capacity?
I am still learning about myself, and this is also a part of reward, that working for an international organisation provides. I learnt that my basic needs are not that big, and I can feel comfortable even in precarious conditions. I learnt that there are good people everywhere, as well as bad people, and this has nothing to do with the economic welfare, religion, nationality or level of education. I also learnt the power of a smile, which helps reduce tension almost in any situation.
What career advice would you give to women across the OSCE region considering opportunities in international civil service?
The international civil service sector is still an emerging field, despite that international organisations exist for several decades now. While describing yourself in these terms in other languages than English, you often have to explain what exactly you are doing and where exactly you are working, and why it is exciting. Thus, to a certain extent, joining the international civil service means getting out of your comfort zone; it also means joining an adventure, which will take you to unknown destinations.
What would you recommend to any women looking for positions at the Organization?
The OSCE is an evolving Organization. At the same time, the nature of challenges to international security has changed. Thus, use your comparative advantage to the maximum, bring up a unique set of skills, which is currently demanded or will be soon, and be persistent!
Women, peace, and security
The OSCE recognizes that equal rights and opportunities for women and men are fundamental to achieving comprehensive security, and has committed to ensuring that a gender perspective is integrated into all its activities. To do this effectively, the Secretariat’s Gender Section gives support to all OSCE structures, field operations and participating States.
The OSCE’s work is guided by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 governing the women, peace, and security agenda. The Resolution recognizes the pivotal role women play in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and post-conflict reconstruction. The Organization focuses on issues with a specific security-related context, such as early warning mechanisms, conflict management and mediation, and women’s equal participation in reconstruction efforts. It provides technical briefings to governments to help them implement the Resolution, publishes material to promote increased women’s participation throughout the cycle of conflicts, and ensures that women’s grassroots groups are included in conflict resolution and reconciliation processes.
Women’s economic empowerment
Economic empowerment of women is one of the most important contributing factors to gender equality and addressing poverty reduction and improving access to services such as health and education. Through its field operations, the OSCE supports women entrepreneurs to access resources and build networks; provides training and legal advice on how to open and run a business, and supports the development of gender-sensitive national migration policies to ensure equal opportunities and protection for both male and female labour migrants.
How can OSCE contribute to your career journey?
Employee Spotlight – Vera Strobachova Budway
Vera Strobachova Budway joined the OSCE again in 2019 after more than 12 years working in leadership positions for diversity and inclusion in the private sector. We spoke with her about her reasons to return and the added-value the OSCE can have in her career journey:
What attracted you to work at the OSCE?
Prior to entering the corporate world, I had the opportunity to work closely with the OSCE field mission in the Balkans where I coordinated economic development initiatives for the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. I experienced first-hand how the OSCE worked to foster peace and security in the region and the saw the positive impact that its activities had on local communities and people. It is an organization with purpose. Furthermore, the OSCE embodies and embraces diversity and inclusion and I value and appreciate working in a multicultural environment that is committed to gender equality.
What prompted your move from the private sector to the OSCE?
I had dedicated over 12 years of my professional life to fighting for greater gender equality in the corporate world and advocating for equal opportunity and inclusion in business. After successfully launching and managing a comprehensive diversity and inclusion program for a large financial institution, I was looking for a new and meaningful challenge that would allow me to use my knowledge, skills and experience from the private sector to impact real change on a wider scale. I wanted to work for an organization with a purpose and the OSCE was exactly that organization.
What do you expect as the added value of the OSCE to your career?
For me, joining the OSCE brings me to the next level both professionally and personally. Working closely with so many talented, knowledgeable and inspiring people from all over the world makes every single day a new learning experience. The OSCE gives me the opportunity to further develop and enhance my networking and leadership skills, especially when it comes to leading across cultures. It will also help me to refine my diplomatic, communication and negotiation skills, which are essential for success.
What piece of advice would you give to anyone from a non-public sector background to transition to international civil service?
First of all, I strongly encourage those with non-public sector backgrounds looking for new and rewarding challenges to seriously consider international civil service. My first piece of advice is not to get immediately discouraged by the list of job requirements. Many vacancy notices for international civil service job will require some past experience in international civil service – a classic “Catch 22”. This can dissuade many qualified people from other sectors from applying. Look carefully at the job description and think about how your knowledge, skills and experience can be applied or transferred to the position in question. Project management in international organizations can be quite similar to project management in large corporations – both require strong coordination, communication and stakeholder management skills. Stress major achievements, as well as lessons, learnt which can be applied in another context. Coming from another sector can be an advantage because you bring in a different point of view and a fresh new way of problem-solving. This is exactly the kind of diversity of approaches which organizations need in order to find new and innovative solution to current and future challenges.
Would you have any specific tips for women in managing their careers?
I recommend finding a mentor. Having a good mentor is so important at every stage in one ‘s career. Mentors not only provide support and direction in defining career goals or helping navigate through the intricacies and politics of an organization, but they also can be extremely useful in opening doors and giving visibility by providing access to important networks, both formal and informal. Strategic networking is a key factor in career success, which women many times underestimate. It is also important to articulate one’s career goals and ask for stretch assignments. Let others know about your aspirations and do not be afraid to apply for positions which you might think you are not yet ready for. You are probably more ready than you think. Women have a tendency to underestimate their potential and many times will not apply for a certain position if they do not meet 110% of the criteria. Don’t be shy to talk about your achievements – let others know what you have accomplished. Many times women sell themselves short for fear of coming across as too boastful or arrogant. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to take risks and push yourself out of your comfort zone because the that is where growth happens.