In a year marked by the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and global disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, international civil servants are under increased pressure to re-set a sense of personal and organizational direction vis-à-vis current and emerging global leadership challenges, opportunities and dilemmas. Notably, senior UN leaders have a key role to play in advancing the principled and transformational leadership culture envisioned in the UN System Leadership Framework.

The UN Leadership Deep Dive – Transforming Self and Systems is a new online initiative designed for senior leaders at the D1, D2 and above levels across the UN system to deepen their leadership readiness to lead from a personal place of inner strength and demonstrate principled and transformational leadership to best serve the greater values and purpose of our organization.

By enrolling you will join an intimate group of maximum 16 peers for an immersive and truly customised experience providing a safe space for high-level conversations with mentors, peers and a leadership development expert as well as one-on-one executive coaching and mentoring to consolidate and contextualize inspiration and skills.

This leadership development initiative is offered by the United Nations System Staff College in collaboration with the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation.



Upon completion of the programme, you will have increased your ability to influence a norm-based, principled and transformational leadership culture in your respective organizations and in the UN system as a whole by:

  • Discussing and reflecting upon current and emerging international leadership challenges, opportunities and dilemmas for international civil servants
  • Heightening your leadership self-awareness, including insights on old behaviour patterns and mindsets as well as fresh approaches for greater effectiveness
  • Reflecting on the importance of purpose, core values, passions and principles to drive your leadership efforts
  • Developing a mutually-supportive network of co-leaders committed to the values of the UN Charter

Course Methodology

Course Methodology: 


The learning experience unfolds through a dynamic methodology across three phases.

1.    ORIENTATION (17 – 21 August)

During this phase you will:

  • Receive a Welcome Message with an overview of the initiative and how to make the most of it
  • Engage in preliminary guided activity in pairs to meet with fellow peers attending the programme
  • Initiate your leadership reflections through a short online questionnaire
  • Participate in virtual opening exchange to meet the programme team, your peers, unpack the programme features, and collectively agree on rules of engagement


2.    CORE WEEK (24 – 28 August with daily synchronous sessions of approximately 180 min starting at: 14:30 CEST | 15:30 EAT | 8:30 EDT | 8:30 EST | 19:30 ICT)

During which you will:

  • Participate in three virtual sessions with a leadership development expert to review relevant leadership concepts and novel strategies for a more grounded personal and collective leadership transformation
  • Engage in two virtual conversations with senior UN mentors to collectively reflect on the leadership challenges, opportunities and dilemmas faced by international civil servants today and beyond
  • Benefit from a moderated online discussion forum, which will provide a safe space to further exchange ideas and experience-based knowledge
  • Engage in a variety of micro-assignments to enhance your leadership readiness
  • Have access to an online library containing resources to deepen and consolidate learning through inspirational reading, videos, images and music


3.    CONSOLIDATION (29 August – 26 October)

During this phase you will:

  • Benefit from three individual coaching sessions with an executive coach to define your individual leadership priorities going forward and strategies for continued application in your own sphere of influence
  • Have the unique opportunity of one individual mentoring session with a senior UN mentor to further contextualize the learning acquired and strategize with greater awareness of systemic dimensions
  • Participate in a virtual closing session to consolidate collective findings emerged thanks to the experience and establish a set of collective leadership priorities going forwards to remain motivated and strengthen mutual support.

Course Contents

Course Contents: 

Content explored during the programme includes:

  • Leadership Presence
  • Leadership Stretches
  • Unpacking Leadership Challenges
  • Stretegic Choices: understanding and working with polarities as a way forward
  • UN Leadership vis-à-vis Global Challenges, Opportunities and Dillemmas: Where Now, Where Next and How?
  • Leading with Purpose, Values and Courage

Target Audience

Target Audience: 

Executive leaders at the D1, D2 and above levels, across the UN System.

To ensure an immersive and satisfactory learning experience, participants must:

  • Have access to a reliable high-speed internet connection
  • Be able to connect for group sessions via Zoom web conferencing platform
  • Commit to full participation in all virtual sessions and micro-assignments

Cost of participation

Cost of participation: 

The $3,800 enrolment fee includes access to all sessions, course material, three coaching sessions and one mentoring session.

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