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Communications Officer (CPIS)


Communications Officer (CPIS)


The Communications Officer (CPIS) manages the public speaking engagements, special events, meetings and workshops and travel planning, including supporting for the media aspects of High Commissioner missions, for the Head of Service (CPIS)/ HC Spokesperson. The Communications Officer (CPIS) liaises with colleagues within CPIS and the Division of External Relations, the Executive Office, the Bureaus and DHRM as well as in the field, in order to manage the flow of information and ensure coordination, advanced planning and follow-up. The Communications Officer (CPIS) also interacts with external interlocutors on arrangements for public events, appearances, media interviews and answers specialized queries from members of the public.


- The Supervisor is provided support by managing outside requests, queries, speaking engagements, and arrangements around important conferences and events.
- Research and fact-checking conducted for public speeches and support provided in preparing slides and speeches.
- Meetings and workshops are well organized.
- Spokesperson¿s social media posts enhanced by timely identification of and formulation of content.
- CPIS staff informed on travel and actions carried out by the Supervisor and consulted on input for messaging and materials.
- Strategic forward-planning calendar established and maintained.

- Manage the flow of information to the Supervisor, identify priority matters that need to be urgently addressed by the Supervisor and propose actions; analyze supporting documentation and summarize most relevant points for the supervisor; ensure that appropriate action is taken by responsible Section Heads on matters brought to the attention of the Supervisor.
- Follow-up on policies and instructions presented by the Supervisor, ensuring follow-up within the team.
- Assist the Supervisor in the research and preparation of public speeches and media interviews. Propose and draft substantive correspondence for the Supervisor.
- Confer with Section Heads/ Directors to secure timely and authoritative information relevant to matters requiring action, decisions or the signature of the Supervisor.
- Organize meetings and workshops including at outside venues.
- Ensure that the Supervisor is prepared for meetings and missions by drafting talking points, by researching and gathering relevant information; and by establishing contacts (within and outside UNHCR) on the subject matters to be discussed.
- Accompany the Supervisor to meetings in order to prepare notes on the discussions, ensure follow-up in matters raised, and support the Supervisor with any relevant input.
- Identify remarkable media and content and propose social media posts for the Spokesperson. Track the analysis provided on the Spokesperson¿s social media accounts and propose improvements.
- Coordinate drafts of communication strategy papers and other documents relevant to the activities of the Service.
- Ensure that high-level visitors are appropriately addressed, that they receive background information as necessary, and that protocol is respected.
- Perform other related tasks as required.

- Prioritise tasks and organize work independently.
- Identify media sources and research relevant information and provide writing contributions.
- Have access to sensitive and confidential information.

- University degree in Political Science, International Relations, Journalism, Communications or other related fields.
- Minimum 8 years of professional job experience relevant to the functions.
- A proven ability to act with discretion and diplomacy.
- Excellent communication, drafting and editorial skills.
- Strong understanding of the international global media environment, including grasp of social media.
- Strong knowledge of UNHCR operations mandate and global affairs.
- Excellent written and spoken English, including proven drafting and editing skills.

- Field experience.
- Journalism training.
- Proficiency in French or another relevant UN language. C004L3 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 3
C003L3 - Communication Level 3
C002L3 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 3
C001L3 - Accountability Level 3
C005L3 - Client & Result Orientation Level 3
C006L3 - Organizational Awareness Level 3
M004L3 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 3
M003L3 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 3
M002L3 - Managing Performance Level 3
M001L3 - Empowering and Building Trust Level 3
M005L3 - Leadership Level 3
M006L3 - Managing Resources Level 3
X001L3 - Analytical Thinking Level 3
X002L3 - Innovation and Creativity Level 3
X003L3 - Technological Awareness Level 3
X004L3 - Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Level 3
X009L3 - Change Capability and Adaptability Level 3
X006L3 - Policy Development & Research Level 3
X007L3 - Political Awareness Level 3
X008L3 - Stakeholder Management Level 3
X005L3 - Planning and Organizing Level 3 International media and/or communications experience, ideally gained through having worked in a in a global news or advocacy organization and/or with UN or UNHCR operations in field and headquarters positions. The candidate should have outstanding writing, and editing skills (including for speeches and social media posts, as well as correspondence) with close attention to detail. Experience working in a communications office with its associated needs for expertise in media relations, public outreach and communications strategy development. The successful incumbent must have expert understanding of the needs of journalists as well as the requirements to prepare the Supervisor for public speaking events. The incumbent must demonstrate analytical and organizational skills as well as tact and diplomacy. Creativity, resourcefulness, familiarity with a range of social media tools, political nous and a willingness to travel are required as well as flexibility to work at nights and weekends on other occasions when news demands is required. The position is based at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, within the Division of External Relations, and reports to the Spokesperson for the High Commissioner / Head of the Communications and Public Information Service (CPIS). CPIS is divided into two sections ¿ News & Media and Content Production and is responsible for UNHCR¿s media outreach, multi-media production, social media and CPIS is responsible for ensuring wide-ranging media coverage and response, including on new media channels. The Spokesperson is the gatekeeper for all media on behalf of the High Commissioner and arranges for interviews, public speaking appearances, social media communications and multi-media coverage of his field missions. The Spokesperson/ Head of CPIS is also an active public speaker and media interview partner, which requires intense planning, coordination, research and support. Geneva is a comfortable working and living environment.  The Communications Officer (CPIS) is expected to work cooperatively in a busy media team, ensuring relevant information is shared. The Officer should have strong e-mail and telephone communications skills as well as the ability to use modern planning tools for organization. A strong understanding of global affairs, the international media landscape and of refugee issues is critical for this position. There are no security issues for this position. English-language fluency is required for this position. Fluency in French would be highly desirable.

Please note that the closing date for all vacancies in the Add. 1 to March 2017 Compendium is Wednesday, 3 May 2017 (midnight Geneva time).

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.
  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication
  • Closing Date: 2017-05-03

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