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WIPO is Seeking a Senior Director of the PCT Services Department

World Intellectual Property Organization is seeking a Senior Director of the PCT Services Department (21268-FT)

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is seeking to hire a Senior Director of the PCT Services Department. This contracted position is located in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a non-fixed-term appointment.  The new Senior Director will begin with a 2-year contract that is renewable based on performance over the initial 2 years.

Contract Duration: 2 Years (Initial period of two years, renewable, subject to satisfactory performance.  No fixed-term appointment or any extension hereof shall carry with it any expectancy of, nor imply any right to, (further) extensions or conversion to a permanent appointment.)

Duty Station: Geneva, Switzerland

Application Deadline: January 4, 2022, 5:59:00 PM

Important Notice Regarding Application Deadline: Please note that the deadline for applications is indicated in local time as per the time zone of the applicant’s location.

Organizational Context

Organizational Setting:

The post is located in the PCT Services Department of the Patents and Technology Sector. This Department is responsible for the management and development of the PCT Services including receipt, formalities examination, translation and publication of applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) as well as development of the information systems supporting its own work. Comprising more than 300 staff, the Division handles close to 200,000 PCT applications per year, with an annual budget of approximately 75 million Swiss francs. The Department is key to WIPO’s financial well-being and ability to deliver on results to Member States. The Department is characterized by the constant need to adjust to changes in the international environment, including geographic origin (and therefore language distribution) of patent applications, and rapidly evolving technologies related to document processing and translation.

Purpose Statement:

As Senior Director of the Department, the incumbent takes full responsibility for the management and development of PCT operations, translation and information systems. With significant delegation, the Director leads a team of managers in diverse operational and service areas who share decision making on program priorities and policy initiatives, leveraging the organizational position of the PCT with rapidly evolving technologies and diverse client communities and beneficiaries.

Reporting Lines:

The incumbent works under the supervision of the Deputy Director General responsible for the Patents and Technology Sector.

Duties and Responsibilities

The incumbent will perform the following principal duties:

  • Chart the direction for PCT services and system development and delivery, and strengthen WIPO’s strategic position in the international patent system by driving initiatives to maintain and strengthen the PCT system as the premier global IP service; this includes maintaining a state of the art operational and document translation environment for the PCT to enhance productivity and service levels, and improving the coverage, quality and integrity of the data.  Manage change and the development of improved organizational response capacities.  Anticipate future challenges and adjust to changes in the international patent environment.
  • Sustain, expand and improve the PCT operational services in order to meet and exceed the needs of clients and beneficiaries and anticipate new requirements to maintain the services as a cutting edge resource.  This will be achieved through developing strategies and policies to address longer term PCT application filing patterns and language-related challenges facing the international patent system, including through the strategic use of information technology and outsourcing.
  • Direct the Department’s portfolio of work, exercise strategic asset management and take overall management responsibility for its human and financial resources, determining priorities and allocating resources for the timely delivery of quality work products in accordance with results-based management principles.
  • Manage the entire spectrum of the Department’s highly visible areas of work and activities, empower an integrated management team to act creatively and deliver a world class PCT system with critical operational and financial consequences within a scrutinized and dynamic environment, and ensure that all relevant stakeholders continue to rely upon the PCT system as the world’s leading route for obtaining patent protection at the international level.
  • Lead and motivate the Department’s staff, aligning the staff skillsets with evolving needs, and foster an organizational culture oriented towards the continual search for innovative approaches to complex PCT challenges and quality service delivery taking into account a constantly changing and evolving operational environment as well as technological developments.
  • Lead initiatives to improve the Department’s management processes by placing greater emphasis on formal control mechanisms, risk management, process metrics and compliance with best practices and relevant standards.
  • Lead strategic engagement and develop working relationships with WIPO Member States and stake-holders.  Advance understanding, build confidence in, and enthusiasm for, the Organization’s capacity to lead and deliver a reliable state-of-the-art PCT system with a view to enlarge the user base.
  • Represent WIPO at high-level international, regional and national meetings.  Provide strategic and authoritative advice regarding organizational position, opportunities and risks, and demonstrate the highest value to clients, stakeholders and beneficiaries in relation to their interest and investment.
  • Perform other related duties as required.


Education (Essential):

Advanced university degree in Law, Science, Engineering or related field.  A first-level university degree plus two years of relevant experience in addition to the experience required below may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience (Essential):

At least fifteen years of progressively responsible professional experience in intellectual property, either in public or private sectors, preferably at least twelve years in an international environment in the field of substantive PCT procedures and programme management or administration, including in a senior managerial capacity.

Experience (Desirable):

  • Experience working with national IP offices and in the private sector.
  • Experience managing large operational teams

Language (Essential):

Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English.

Language (Desirable):

Ability to work in other PCT languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish).

Job Related Competencies (Essential):

  • Good understanding of the strategic priorities of WIPO.
  • Excellent knowledge of, and experience with, the PCT from either the perspective of an industrial property office, an intergovernmental organization or a user of the system;  skills in formulating policy and developing and implementing new strategies and procedures; skills in managing change.
  • Ability to gain and advance organization traction among clients and stakeholders by demonstrating innovation, effectiveness and value.
  • Strategic planning skills; results-based and ability to anticipate constraints in the delivery of services and identify solutions; accountability in delivering results.
  • Proven managerial and leadership skills; ability to advise and lead large and diverse work teams, motivating staff, promoting interest and engagement.
  • Excellent decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent and proven knowledge of operational, administrative and financial procedures, practices and rules in organizations of similar size and complexity.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to build and maintain strong partnerships and working relations in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

Organizational Competencies

  • Communicating effectively.
  • Showing team spirit.
  • Demonstrating integrity.
  • Valuing diversity.
  • Producing results.
  • Showing service orientation.
  • Seeing the big picture.
  • Seeking change and innovation.
  • Developing yourself and others.

Interested Candidates:

Interested candidates are asked to Apply Online.

Please mention you found the position on the IPWatchdog JobOrtunities Job Board.

About World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO):

WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation. WIPO is a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 193 member states.

WIPO’s mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international IP system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. WIPO’s mandate, governing bodies and procedures are set out in the WIPO Convention, which established WIPO in 1967.


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