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Senior Communication Officer (Lead, Strategic Planning Team & Crisis Cell)


  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Paris
  • Grade: Senior level - P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Human Resources
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2024-07-29


Post Number : CPE 011

Grade : P-5

Parent Sector : Division for Communications and Public Engagement (CPE)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Public Information

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 29-JUL-2024 (EXTENDED)


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism




Under the authority and the direct supervision of the Director of the Division for Communications and Public Engagement (CPE), the incumbent will be the primary responsible officer for UNESCO's communication policy and planning, working with colleagues from different sectors, field offices and institutes to streamline communication priorities and scheduling, in particular in crisis situation through the mainstreaming of crisis communication. 


He/she is responsible for the close monitoring of communication priorities, maintaining close collaboration with UNESCO's Communications Board and supporting the harmonization of UNESCO's policy and programmatic work within the corporate communications strategy. He/she is also responsible for the supervision of a limited number of high priority communication projects, including corporate campaigns, flagship publications and pilot communication initiatives. In case of an emergency of crisis situation (conflict, disaster, special event), he/she is the main focal point to coordinate a wide range of UNESCO experts in a timely and effective manner. The Senior Communication Officer (Lead, Strategic Planning Team & Crisis Cell) is a highly collaborative role, cooperating with and strategically advising multiple teams and field offices. He/she is on the frontline of partnership building efforts, including resource mobilization and revenue generating activities.


In particular, the incumbent will:

Long Description

1. Lead on the development and coordination of strategic communications planning for CPE; support the coordination and implementation of specific strategic communications priorities and activities ; align to the extent possible UNESCO's communication priorities and resources with those of other major partners and UN entities, especially the UN Secretariat, to maximize communication impact. This includes forecast and awareness raising to priority communications activities and moments for UNESCO.

Long Description

2. Act as Secretary to UNESCO's Communications Board, coordinate and streamline the communications efforts of CPE, sectors' communication focal points and programme teams. Oversee the production and implementation of the yearly/weekly grid planning tool for use by UNESCO communicators in HQ, field offices and institutes. Coordinate communication with multiple teams, including programme sectors and field offices to ensure smooth and timely delivery of communication drafts, inputs and products for their wider dissemination through UNESCO channels, including to the press, the social media and the website. Liaise with the UNCG and report regularly on UNESCO activities that should be included in the UN communications grid.

Long Description

3. Act as the communications' focal point in crisis situation, with the responsibility to design and spearhead communication initiatives and key messages in response to emergencies, disaster or conflict calling for immediate action from UNESCO. 


4. Design, manage and implement the monitoring and evaluation of the impact of communication products and initiatives, to inform decision-making at the highest level across the Organization.


5. Supervise the strategic communications planning team and oversee the strengthening of administrative and financial processes related to communication.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial) Communication (C) Accountability (C) Innovation (C) Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C) Planning and organizing (C) Results focus (C) Teamwork (C) Professionalism (C) Strategic thinking (M) Managing performance (M) Making quality decisions (M) Leading and empowering others (M) Driving and managing change (M) Building partnerships (M) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS



  • Advanced university degree (Master's or equivalent) in communication, public administration or related discipline. 


Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible relevant professional experience in the area of public information, of which preferably seven (7) years acquired at international level.
  • Experience in the streamlining of communication processes, notably in the area of governance, finance and impact monitoring.
  • Experience in coordinating a variety of contributions and inputs with the view to align objectives and priorities and reconcile competing priorities.


Skills & Competencies

  • Excellent coordination and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent analytical, diplomacy and advocacy skills, in particular the ability to collect, synthesize and analyse information from various sources and convey messages.
  • Ability to take initiatives and to manage competing priorities, organize and prioritize workloads to meet established and short deadlines.
  • Ability to develop communication strategies and manage implementation of public information campaigns with various promotional and publicity techniques.
  • Demonstrated ability to address complex issues, which can be of a sensitive nature.
  • Ability to manage and motivate staff and teams and to maintain effective working relationships in a multicultural environment.
  • Strong knowledge of IT tools: Microsoft Pack and advanced planning and management software (calendar, budget and finance monitoring tools).



  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English or French and good knowledge of the other language.


Work Experience

  • Experience in strategic global communications, policy advocacy, and innovative partnerships relations in the United Nations system or a comparable international organization.  This shall include experience in planning of priorities, monitoring of impact, streamlining of communications efforts and messaging.
  • Experience in both private and public sector environment.
  • Solid professional experience in the United Nations system in the field of public information.



  • Bilingual in English and French. Knowledge of another official language of UNESCO (Arabic, Chinese, Russian and/or Spanish).

UNESCO’s salaries consist of a basic salary and other benefits which may include if applicable: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, medical insurance, pension plan etc.

The approximate annual starting salary for this post is 149 946 US $

For full information on benefits and entitlements, please consult our Guide to Staff Benefits.


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


“UNESCO recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.”


“UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process”.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.