View Vacancy - DXB - Chief of Staff to Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan D6(L)

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Department for International Trade (DIT)

The British Embassy Dubai has a vacancy for a Chief of Staff to Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner (HMTC) for the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MEAP).

This is an exciting time to play a key role in continuing the development of the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) work in MEAP and help significantly increase the UK's presence in an important region.

The ideal candidate will bring an interest and expertise in governance, strategy, coordination, finance, performance management, communications, and project management. It is a challenging role for an experienced candidate to work in a fast paced and high-profile environment in an important central role. The job offers an exciting and diverse international experience and potential to contribute to work on trade support, trade policy, promotion, and investment support. It is a great opportunity to work at the heart of the UK Government’s trade agenda in one of our most important markets, as well as to demonstrate delivery through others, work across time zones, and engage with the work of a large network of staff.

The jobholder will support HMTC overseeing the UK Government’s trade promotion and policy agenda across MEAP (comprising 12 countries). They will work closely with trade teams across the region, coordinating the work which flows through HMTC and ensuring HMTC’s views are reflected in work across the network. The jobholder will also oversee HMTC’s executive office team, and requires an individual with excellent interpersonal skills, tact, discretion, and sensitivity, along with having sound political and UK government expertise.

As well as working with the UK government network in the MEAP region, this job requires cooperation and engagement with London-based government departments, in particular DIT and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). The jobholder will also need to build excellent relationships with the Director of Trade and Investments across the MEAP network and their counterparts across the world.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Work alongside HMTC to develop and deliver a joined-up strategic approach to all aspects of the UK Government’s trade and investment work (including export promotion and trade policy) in MEAP.
  • Lead the co-ordination and delivery (through others) of the Regional Trade Plan and business planning to boost UK trade partnerships across the region, working with other government departments including FCO and the Department for International Development (DFID) to deliver a One HMG strategy.
  • Work closely with DIT HQ to align MEAP to our corporate strategy and to get the maximum from HQ resource.
  • Manage performance and associated processes to deliver against MEAP’s balanced scorecard.
  • Hold a strategic overview of Trade & Investment Promotion, Trade Policy, UK Export Finance, and Communications. Identify cross-cutting opportunities and risks and advise on how to address them, including through engagement with Whitehall (and representing the HMTC in meetings/ discussions as necessary).
  • Work with the Trade & Investment Promotion team and Policy teams across the region and with DIT HQ to identify priorities. Formulate options for HMTC on policy questions and understand/ interpret regional trade issues.
  • Ensure resources are focussed on the highest value-add opportunities and to create a consistent service quality across the region.
  • Drive active partnerships with other Departments in the UK and in Embassies to pursue HMG’s prosperity objectives.
  • Manage DIT MEAP’s budget, achieving value for money for the British tax payer; including process of sub-delegation within the region across 12 countries, ensuring spend within 1% of allocation.
  • Manage HMTC’s executive office, including line management of the existing Regional Hub, Communications Hub, and support staff.
  • Liaison with HQ to ensure a clear focus is maintained on the enabling support services required to deliver against priority market plans.
  • Cultivate impactful and powerful strategic relationships with key internal stakeholders, with a focus on enabling export and investment growth ambitions, as part of further developing a One HMG response.
  • Provide support for Ministerial and VIP visits across the region through insight, briefings, and application of commercial knowledge and government operating apparatus.
  • Ensure the HMTC is well prepared for meetings by providing or arranging pre-meeting briefings, helping with speech writing/ speech content, and coordinating and preparing presentations.
  • Establish the culture of the MEAP Regional Network through embedding a focus on teamwork, joint sector campaigns, account management, delivering results, and proactive business development.
  • Achieve more structured development and engagement of staff.

 Key competencies required:

  • Seeing the Big Picture - Having an in-depth understanding and knowledge of how your role fits with and supports organisational objectives and the wider public needs, and focusing your contribution on the activities which will meet the organisation's goals and deliver the greatest value. Scanning the political context and taking account of wider impacts to develop long term implementation strategies that maximise opportunities to add value and support economic, sustainable growth.
  • Changing and Improving - Being responsive and innovative, and seeking out opportunities to create effective change. Being open to change, suggesting ideas for improvements to the way things are done, and working in 'smarter', more focused ways. Continuously seeking out ways to improve policy implementation and build a leaner, more flexible and responsive organisation. Creating and contributing to a culture of innovation and allowing people to consider and take managed risks.
  • Collaborating and Partnering - Creating and maintaining positive, professional and trusting working relationships with a wide range of people within and outside the organisation to help get business done. Delivering business objectives through creating an inclusive environment, encouraging collaboration and building effective partnerships with colleagues and stakeholders, whilst having the confidence to challenge assumptions.
  • Delivering at Pace - Focusing on delivering timely performance with energy and taking responsibility and accountability for quality outcomes. Working to agreed goals and activities and dealing with challenges in a responsive and constructive way, and providing the focus and energy to drive activities forward through others and encourage staff to perform effectively during challenging and changing times. Building a performance culture to deliver outcomes with a firm focus on prioritisation and addressing performance issues resolutely, fairly and promptly.
  • The ideal candidate must have detailed knowledge of the following: trade and promotion, trade policy, and stakeholder engagement.
  • Experience of working for the UK Government in policy- and trade-focused roles both domestically and internationally for a minimum of 8-10 years.
  • Must be a proven self-starter with the ability to work independently and as a part of a team.
  • Excellent communication skills in English (both written and oral) and a proven track record of translating a wide range of data and political reporting into concise briefing is essential.
  • Experience in speech writing and preparation of presentations.
  • Attention to detail, strong judgment, problem-solving abilities and service delivery.
  • Previous line management experience.
  • A minimum of a bachelor's degree in a relevant field.
  • Knowledge of economic policy related to trade.
  • Experience of analysing trade statistics.
  • Graduate degree holder in a relevant field.
Seeing the Big Picture, Changing and Improving, Collaborating and Partnering, Delivering at Pace
21 April 2019
D6 (L)
Full-time, Permanent
Middle East & North Africa
United Arab Emirates
British Embassy
9 June 2019

The Embassy aims to offer an attractive working environment and remuneration package for this role, including: 25 days of annual leave per annum, on-site parking, on-site swimming pool, gym, and sports facilities. 

Salary is at AED 38,091 per month.

There are no other allowances payable as part of this package. No accommodation and relocation expenses are payable in connection with this position.

Conditioned working hours are 38 hours per week. Standard working hours are from 07:30 to 15:06, including a lunch break of 36 minutes, from Sunday to Thursday. However, the successful candidate should be flexible in their approach as the role may also require work outside of normal working hours from time to time to meet regional and operational demands.

Whilst based in Dubai, the role covers all 12 countries that make up the MEAP region and may require travel across the region and to London.


The successful applicant will be required to obtain the necessary security clearance. Higher clearances can be granted only to certain nationalities. For this reason, candidates must be of British, American, Australian, Canadian, or New Zealand nationality in order to gain the level of clearance required for this role.


How to apply:

Interested candidates must attach the following documents along with their online application form:

  1. A covering letter.
  2. An updated Curriculum Vitae (CV).

Your application must also include examples of when you have demonstrated the competencies outlined above in the cover letter or in the Motivation section of the application form. Applications that do not include this information will not be considered.


Closing date for applications is at 11:55 PM UAE local time on 21 April 2019.

 Applications received after the stated deadline will not be considered.



The recruitment process, including security clearance, is expected to take around two months.

Due to the large number of applications we receive, only those shortlisted for the next step of the recruitment process will be contacted.

The start date mentioned in the job advert is a tentative start date and the successful candidate will be required to undergo security vetting procedures. Any offer of employment will be subject to the candidate achieving suitable clearances.

The British Embassy Dubai is an equal opportunities employer, dedicated to inclusivity, a diverse workforce and valuing difference.

Please be aware that you will only be able to apply to vacancies for Local Staff roles with the British Government through this official site (operated by Oleeo). Jobs may be advertised on third party websites, however our adverts will always link back to the official site. If you complete and send an application through any other site, we will not receive it.

This opportunity is closed to applications.