Head of Global Comms Services, Geneva, Switzerland 144 views

Job Title: Job ID: Head of Global Comms Services


Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Salary Grade: D1

Hardship Level: H

Family Location Type: Family

Procedures and Eligibility

Before submitting an application, UNHCR staff members intending to apply to this Job Opening are requested to consult the Recruitment and Assignments Policy (RAP, UNHCR/HCP/2017/2 and the Recruitment and Assignments Administrative Instruction (RAAI), UNHCR/AI/2017/7 OF 15 August 2017.

Duties and Qualifications

Head of Global Communications Service

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

As one of the most senior members in the Division of External Relations (DER) and under the direct supervision of DER Director, the incumbent leads the Global Communications Service (GCS) at Headquarters and is responsible for UNHCR’s Global Communications strategy, from conception to public engagement, in line with the organization’s strategic priorities and working in close collaboration with the Director of DER, and other relevant senior stakeholders across the organization. He/she handles highly sensitive communication issues/challenges and advises senior managers on important communication issues. He/she is expected to meet, interact and brief journalists, influential public audiences and opinion leaders. He/she has supervisory responsibility in the areas of news and media, multimedia content production, campaigns and events, Goodwill Ambassadors, Corporate and Internal Communications. He/she has functional supervision over field based communications staff and direct supervision over global communications hubs in New York and London and regional content production hubs in Beirut and Nairobi.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCRÂ’s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.


  • Serve as principal liaison with international media organizations.
  • Support the Principal Communications Advisor on profiling the High Commissioner on social media and other fora.
  • Direct and manage the formulation and implementation of a Global Communications Strategy to promote the goals of the organization and rally public and political support.
  • Support and advise UNHCR’s global communication team in the development and implementation of regional, situational and country operation strategies; ensure that communication staff in the field is informed of developments and priorities around the world.
  • Develop and guide implementation of regional or thematic multi-media global media and advocacy campaigns in line with organizational priorities.
  • Oversee and coordinate the planning, development and distribution of UNHCRÂ’s multi-media content (communication materials and services), news production and dissemination and media relations.
  • Oversee stewardship of UNHCR’s global social media accounts and strategy.
  • Closely liaise with relevant senior colleagues in the Division of External Relations to ensure the most effective global dissemination of UNHCRÂ’s communications and messaging; this includes determining the use of appropriate platforms, partnerships, and technologies for production and dissemination.
  • Supervise the Global Communications Service (GCS) and provide the team and the communications network – including communications and External Relations Officers around the world – with clear strategic direction, objectives and guidance to ensure cohesion in messaging and global impact in media and for campaigns. Foster teamwork and collaboration.
  • Monitor and evaluate UNHCR’s global communications activities/initiatives to measure impact, effectiveness and alignment with the organizational strategy and compliance with UNHCR standards and priorities.
  • Formulate and manage the work programme of the Service, including the allocation of resources to ensure cost-effective use in line with UNHCR’s communications priorities and objectives; this includes preparing and reporting on programmes and performance.
  • Through regular retreats and in collaboration with the Global Learning Centre, offer guidance and training to staff to ensure they keep pace with modern communications.
  • Maintain regular contact with the Office of the Secretary-General and the UN Department of Global Communications in New York which is responsible for the further dissemination news and information about UNHCR.
  • Hold overall responsibility for the Nansen Refugee Award, the Goodwill Ambassador programme, World Refugee Day and global campaigns.
  • Oversee team responsible for corporate communications which is responsible for UNHCR’s branding, impact evaluation and internal communications.
  • Decide on UNHCRÂ’s global communications strategy and the resources required for related activities.
  • Decide on the organizationÂ’s participation in UN inter-agency fora dealing with communication.
  • Decide on the organizationÂ’s global media partnerships.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

    Minimum Qualifications

    Education & Professional Work Experience

    Years of Experience / Degree Level

    For D1 – 17 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 16 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 15 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

    Field(s) of Education

    Communication; Journalism; Public Information;

    International Relations; Public Relations; Political Science;

    or other relevant field.

    (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk

  • are essential)

    Certificates and/or Licenses

    Not specified

    (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk

  • are essential)

    Relevant Job Experience


  • At least 15 years of progressively responsible experience in public information, communications, public relations, including 10 years in management in large multicultural institutions or international organizations.
  • Experience in dealing with the media, managing high-level contacts with civil society, organization, government officials, business groups, international/diplomatic organizations/entities.
  • Highly developed communication (spoken, written, public speaking and presentational) skills.
  • Demonstrated managerial experience, especially as direct supervisor of large teams (more than 40 staff).
  • Ability to work under very tight deadlines.


  • Experience in resource administration, including budget preparation.

    Functional Skills

    CO-Public Information

    CO-Publication skills

    CO-Experience reporting, writing, editing for magazines, newspapers and websites

    CO-Strategic Communication

    CO-Spokesperson skills

    CO-Public Speaking

    CO-Media relations

    (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk

  • are essential)

    Language Requirements

    Essential: Fluency in English

    Desirable: Good working knowledge of French and/or another official UN language

    This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.

Position Competencies

  • C001L4 – Accountability Level 4
  • C002L4 – Teamwork & Collaboration Level 4
  • C003L4 – Communication Level 4
  • C004L4 – Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 4
  • C005L4 – Client & Result Orientation Level 4
  • C006L4 – Organizational Awareness Level 4
  • M001L4 – Empowering and Building Trust Level 4
  • M005L4 – Leadership Level 4
  • M004L4 – Strategic Planning and Vision Level 4
  • M002L4 – Managing Performance Level 4
  • M003L4 – Judgement and Decision Making Level 4
  • X006L4 – Policy Development & Research Level 4
  • X005L4 – Planning and Organizing Level 4
  • X007L4 – Political Awareness Level 4

Additional Information

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that the new closing date for this vacancy is Monday 16 December 2019 (midnight Geneva time)

Click the button below to visit the original announcement on the recruiting organization’s website.

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