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Head of Strategic Communications


  • Organization: ECMWF - European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
  • Location: Reading
  • Grade: Mid level - A4 - Grade band
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed

Job reference: VN24-25
Salary and Grade: Grade A4: GBP102,429 net annual basic salary + other benefits
Deadline for applications: 01/03/2024
Department: Office of the Director-General
Location: Reading, UK
Contract type: STF-C
Publication date: 19/01/2024
Contract Duration: Four years with the possibility of extension

Job Description

Summary of the role

ECMWF is looking for an experienced professional to lead our Communications function on all aspects of ECMWF’s news, events and communications, both internally and to the world. We are seeking a passionate expert to set the strategic direction of ECMWF's communications and to be the spokesperson of the Centre.


ECMWF is the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. It is an intergovernmental organisation created in 1975 by a group of European nations and is today supported by 35 Member and Co-operating States, mostly in Europe. The Centre’s mission is to serve and support its Member and Co-operating States and the wider community by developing and providing world-leading global numerical weather prediction. ECMWF functions as a 24/7 research and operational centre with a focus on medium and long-range predictions and holds one of the largest meteorological archives in the world. The success of its activities relies primarily on the talent of its scientists, strong partnerships with its Member and Co-operating States and the international community, some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, and the use of innovative technologies such as machine learning across its operations.

ECMWF is a multi-site organisation, with its headquarters in Reading, UK, a data centre in Bologna, Italy, and offices in Bonn, Germany. ECMWF has adopted a hybrid organisation model which allows its staff to mix office working and teleworking. This generous and flexible model provides our staff with considerable flexibility to spend time outside or away from their duty station and decide how they wish to manage their professional working time at ECMWF. ECMWF is an organisation that values the whole being and understands and values the need for flexibility in the way its staff work. 

For additional details, see

About Copernicus

ECMWF has been entrusted by the European Commission with the management of the implementation tasks of two Copernicus services, the Copernicus Climate Change service and the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring service. Copernicus is the earth observation component of the European Union (EU) space programme. Based on the exploitation of space-based and in-situ (earth-based) observations and scientific models, Copernicus provides information services for land, marine, atmosphere and climate monitoring, as well as emergency management and security. These services, and their free, open and quality assured data and tools, support a range of environmental and security applications across sectors and policy domains. 

The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) service provides consistent and quality-controlled information related to air pollution and health, solar energy, greenhouse gases and climate forcing, everywhere in the world. The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) service provides authoritative information about the past, present and future climate, as well as tools to enable climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies by policy makers and businesses. 

For details see

About Destination Earth

ECMWF is a major partner in the implementation of the Destination Earth (DestinE) initiative, together with ESA and EUMETSAT. The objective of the European Commission DestinE initiative is to deploy several highly accurate thematic digital replicas of the Earth, called Digital Twins.  The Digital Twins will help monitor and predict environmental change and human impact, in order to develop and test scenarios that would support sustainable development and corresponding European policies for the Green Deal.  

DestinE covers several demanding digital technology aspects required to develop, implement and operate the two high-priority digital twins on weather induced and geophysical extremes and on climate change adaptation. ECMWF will be responsible for the delivery of these digital twins, which will rely on complex Earth-system simulation models, data assimilation methods for fusing simulations and observations through inverse modelling and the integration of observations and models from sectors such as water and food management, renewable energies and socio-economic risk and disaster management.  

For details see

Summary of the role

The Head of Strategic Communications reports to the Director General and leads a geographically distributed communication section of around 15 staff and a large portfolio of tendered activities (about GBP3.5m per year). The post-holder is responsible for the planning and implementation of all communication activities of ECMWF, including communications activities related to third-party activities such as Copernicus and Destination Earth. 

The Head of Strategic Communications contributes at strategic and creative level and leads the Communications section via team leaders who manage individual team members and operational activities. They also support the Director-General and senior management  in key communications. 

The section’s portfolio of activities includes the management of internal and external communications, delivery of events and conferences services, press management, and web presence. 

The successful applicant  will have extensive experience in communication, stakeholder management (internal and external), coupled with a strong understanding of media relations and promotion activities. They will also have demonstrated experience in designing and delivering communication strategies across different sectors and communities at international level. They will translate complex scientific information into easy-to-understand messaging across different audiences and European countries. 

Key Accountabilities

  • Leading the development and implementation of audience-driven communications strategies designed to inform and influence ECMWF various stakeholders;
  • Managing the Strategic Communications function, providing high-quality speeches, presentations, talking points and digital media input for the Director General and others as and when relevant; 
  • Leading the communication experts in the Communication section and overseeing the delivery of externally procured contributions to communication activities;
  • Conveying internally messaging and guidance around ECMWF’s policies, priorities and activities;
  • Developing and managing internal and external channels of communication, ensuring they offer full coverage of all of ECMWF’s activities;
  • Ensuring key messages on important and sensitive issues are communicated across the organisations in a timely and consistent manner, leading to coherence and unity; 
  • Leading on messaging and response in crisis communications;
  • Advising and when required driving the conception and design of high level events, including identifying objectives, key audiences, messaging and communications vehicles;
  • Liaising with Communications offices of ECMWF partners including National Meteorological services, WMO, space agencies and the European Commission.
  • Acting as ECMWF’s spokesperson in relation to the media and other stakeholders where appropriate.

What we are looking for

Personal attributes

  • Ability to work at strategic level, with a strong can-do attitude 
  • Understanding of and an interest in the scientific culture in which ECMWF works and willingness to adapt to its specificities. 
  • Demonstrated ability to lead teams of communication experts, ability to lead and inspire a diverse section, as well as contributing to the wider ECMWF senior management team 
  • Capacity to work under tight time pressure 
  • Creativity and proactivity, ability to manage evolving priorities autonomously and to  drive initiatives
  • Strong sense of accountability and customer focus

Qualifications and experience required

  • An advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in a relevant discipline is required. A first-level university degree in similar fields in combination with additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • At least 7 years of experience in communication management
  • Expertise in digital communication, and the ability to strategically  identify targeted products and campaigns for each audience group and project/programme objective.
  • Demonstrated experience in management of media relations and as a spokesperson
  • Demonstrated experience in designing communications strategies for public or private services. 
  • Experience in managing communications channels, including but not limited to digital, print, social media and events, matching each channel with specific audiences and expected outcome. 
  • Experience in addressing different types of audiences, as well as in different European countries. 
  • Experience in line-managing staff, as well as inspiring a team, and colleagues across the organisation, including virtually.
  • Experience in the field of climate and environmental sciences and policies is highly desirable.
  • Proven experience in budget management 
  • Demonstrated successful delivery of communication services through a network of suppliers.
  • Experience of working in international projects and/or with an international customers base would be an advantage.
  • Sound understanding of the impacts of mis- and disinformation in the climate science context

Candidates must be able to work effectively in English and interviews will be conducted in English. A good knowledge of one of the Centre’s other working languages (French or German) and other European languages would be highly desirable.

Other information

Grade remuneration

The successful candidate will be recruited at the A4 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be GBP 102,429 net of tax. ECMWF also offers a generous benefits package, including a flexible teleworking policy. The position is assigned to the employment category STF-C as defined in the ECMWF Staff Regulations. Full details of salary scales and allowances available on the ECMWF website at, including the ECMWF Staff Regulations and the terms and conditions of employment.

Starting date:               01 July 2024

Length of contract:    Four years with the possibility of a further contract.

Location:                       The position will be based at ECMWF's headquarters in Reading, UK.

As a multi-site organisation, ECMWF has adopted a hybrid organisation model which allows flexibility to staff to mix office working and teleworking, including away from the duty station (within the area of our member states and co-operating states).

Successful applicants and members of their family forming part of their households will be exempt from immigration restrictions.

Interviews by videoconference (via Teams ) are expected to take place in early April 2024.

Who can apply

Applicants are invited to complete the online application form by clicking on the apply button.

At ECMWF, we consider an inclusive environment as key for our success. We are dedicated to ensuring a workplace that embraces diversity and provides equal opportunities for all, without distinction as to race, gender, age, marital status, social status, disability, sexual orientation, religion, personality, ethnicity and culture. We value the benefits derived from a diverse workforce and are committed to having staff that reflect the diversity of the countries that are part of our community, in an environment that nurtures equality and inclusion.

Applications are invited from nationals from ECMWF Member States and Co operating States, listed below:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, North Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye and the United Kingdom.

Applications from nationals from other countries may be considered in exceptional cases.

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