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Principal Communic Adviser

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: D-1, Director - Internationally recruited position - Senior Executive level
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2019-12-16

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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.

Principal Communications Adviser

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

Under the direct supervision of the High Commissioner (HC) and in close coordination with the Head of the Global Communications Service (GCS), the incumbent will provide practical, sound guidance/advice to the High Commissioner on how to position the HC¿s public image strategically. The incumbent will also guide/advise on sensitive communications issues/matters that may directly/indirectly impact the public image of the High Commissioner and/or the Senior Executive Team (SET), including how to better manage the High Commissioner¿s and the SET¿s media profiles on social media and other fora. The incumbent is also expected to meet, interact with and brief journalists, including influential public audiences and opinion leaders.

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 UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.


- Provide practical, sound guidance/advice to the High Commissioner and the SET on how to strategically position the HC¿s public image.
- Guide/advise on sensitive communications issues/matters that may directly/indirectly impact on the public image of the High Commissioner as well as of the Executive Office, including the Deputy High Commissioner and the Assistant High Commissioners for Protection and Operations.
- Manage/support the High Commissioner¿s media profile on social media and other fora.
- In close collaboration with the Global Communications Service, advise on positioning on global issues impacting people of concern.
- Meet, interact with and brief journalists, including influential public audiences / opinion leaders, as and when required.
- Contribute to the HC¿s speeches, forwards, press statements, op-eds and other external interventions to ensure that these are based on sound and accurate analysis, effectively advance UNHCR¿s strategic aims, reflect current policy and are appropriately tailored to the format, audience, topic and purpose of each event.
- Coordinate public statements, messages and appearances by the High Commissioner with the Head of the Global Communications Service.
- 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 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. 
- Excellent social media skills.
- Highly developed communication (spoken, written, public speaking and presentational) skills.
- Ability to work under very tight deadlines.  

Not specified

Functional Skills
CO-Public Information
CO-International Media Contacts
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. 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
M002L4 - Managing Performance Level 4
M006L4 - Managing Resources Level 4
M005L4 - Leadership Level 4
M003L4 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 4
M004L4 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 4
X006L4 - Policy Development & Research Level 4
X005L4 - Planning and Organizing Level 4
X007L4 - Political Awareness Level 4

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)

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.

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