H (no hardship)
Residential location (if applicable)
Staff Member / Affiliate Type
Regular > Regular Assignment
December 15, 2022
Senior External Relations Officer
Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Senior External Relations Officer normally reports to the Representative or Deputy Representative. The incumbent has direct supervisory responsibility for External Relations staff.
External contacts are predominantly with partners, media, government, embassies and other international organizations in the country on matters of importance to the organization.
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.
- Stay abreast of the challenges posed by the political context, the UN and humanitarian reform, and institutional developments in the area of forced displacement and humanitarian operations.
- Through a consultative process with UNHCR colleagues (Programme, Protection, etc.) with external actors and partners, develop and implement protection and assistance strategy, with clearly articulated objectives, timelines and outputs.
- Implement a communications strategy that generates support for UNHCR¿s operations from external partners (e.g. the general public, governments, partners, the media, academia and persons of concern).
- Articulate all issues pertaining to the needs of the populations of concern and the strategies in place to respond to their needs.
- Ensure that the UNHCR priorities are given adequate weight in the documentation of the UN Country Team.
- Maintain a close dialogue with and provide accurate information to donors by organizing regular briefings, bilateral meetings and donor missions. Prepare reports as appropriate.
- In accordance with the operational context and in close cooperation with headquarters, access new and non-traditional funding sources, as appropriate, including private sector and humanitarian pooled/basket funds (e.g. Central Emergency Response Fund, Human Security Fund).
- Through a consultative process with headquarters, disseminate information on UNHCR¿s global funding situation and mobilize additional funds to implement special projects aimed at enhancing the quality of protection for persons of concern in the country operation.
- Participate in inter-agency cooperation and communication strategies, initiatives and tools.
- Support senior management in representing UNHCR in the UN Country Team and other UN coordination fora.
- Support, and participate in, local UN integrated missions, Inter-Agency Standing Committee, Emergency Relief Coordinator and Cluster communication strategies and initiatives.
- Manage the information flow within the country operations by identifying priority matters, securing, analyzing and disseminating documentation and information to support country operations and corporate communication processes and priorities.
- Consolidate information on UNHCR¿s country operations and identify appropriate messages for campaigns and appeals.
- Coordinate the drafting of, and/or draft, situation reports, briefing notes, background material, talking points, fact sheets, press releases and articles.
- Develop targeted communications strategies and media packages for situations and/or activities that require focused attention.
- Identify and target major events and initiatives (e.g. commercial, cultural, political and sports) to promote the work of UNHCR.
- Manage media relations by, inter alia, responding to direct queries, publishing press releases and organizing regular briefings and visits to country operations.
- Approve fund-raising messages.
- Approve any relevant expenditure for the implementation of fund-raising activities.
- Decide which donors to approach and which operations or activities to prioritize for special fundraising appeals.
- Approve the communications strategy.
- Approve budgets and expenditures for communications activities.
- Clear external relations/communication products and tools.
- Represent UNHCR fund-raising and communication priorities in inter-agency initiatives and fora.
- Perform other related duties as required.
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P4/NOD - 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
Political Sciences; Social Sciences; International Relations;
Journalism; or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Certificates and/or Licenses
Relevant Job Experience
Experience in humanitarian operations in a field environment.
Excellent knowledge of local institution, politics and culture.
Good knowledge of UNHCR operations both at Headquarters and in the Field.
Fund-raising and programming/programme management experience.
Experience of working with social media.
IT-Web Content Management
ER-Inter-Agency External Relations
CO-Drafting and Documentation
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.
All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power.
As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.
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.
Desired Candidate Profile
Please refer to the OC.
Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):
Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:
UN security risk management (SRM) in France is coordinated by UNESCO.
Nature of Position:
France is a very important player within the UN and the EU and a key supporter of UNHCR. During the last year France has increased the financial support for UNHCR globally. The Senior External Relations Officer (SERO) provides support to the representative in engaging with France (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, AFD, parliament, municipalities etc.), in close coordination with HQs. UNHCR Paris also covers and engage with Monaco. In particular, the engagement with France and Monaco as donors is coordinated with DRRM at HQs.
France will be one of the co-convenors of the Global Refugee Forum of December 2023 and UNHCR will be increasingly engaged in supporting this role of political mobilization in coordination with the GRF team.
Paris is key a media hub not only for France but also for French speaking media globally. The SERO gives regular interviews to the traditional media on global and domestic issues related to forced displacement and refugees, providing support in media outreach as required.
During the past years, UNHCR France has increased its reach-out to social media. The incumbent should also be able to proactively engage with social media, in consultation with the representative.
UNHCR is often called upon by academic institutions and think tanks to provide presentation related to refugees. The SERO should be able to meaningfully contribute in this area.
UNHCR in France is implementing project in the areas of awareness raising with Youth in schools (INTER’ACT project), refugee participation and cultural mediation. The SERO ensures the effective management of these projects and their sustainability.
UNHCR in France and Monaco engages in the area of sport and refugees, working with Youth, actors dealing with sports such as football and rugby, providing support with refugee athletes. Paris will host the Olympic Games in 2024. The SERO plays a key role in this area.
With the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees, UNHCR France increasingly deals with private sector actors wishing to engage in favor of refugees. In particular, a collaboration has been developed with government and private sector actors, including the Chamber of Commerce, in the area of access to employment for refugees. SERO works with the representative and protection colleagues in this field.
A PSP team works in Paris to collect funds from private actors and individuals, in consultation with the Country Office. The SERO works with the representative in liaising with the PSP team in order to provide support and ensure coherence with the objectives of UNHCR France.
The SERO reports to the representative, closely collaborates with the other units (Protection, Admin/Programme, PSP) and liaises as relevant with the RBE and other units at HQs.
The SERO plays the role of OIC in the absence of the representative, together with the Senior Protection Officer.
Living and Working Conditions:
Paris is a modern capital city with all necessary communications and good living conditions. Accommodation is expensive.
CO-Drafting and Documentation, CO-International Media Contacts, CO-Media relations, CO-Preparation of key messages/talking points/speeches, CO-Public Speaking, CO-Spokesperson skills, CO-Strategic Communication
BA: International Relations (Required), BA: Journalism (Required), BA: Political Science (Required), BA: Social Science (Required)
Communications, External Relations, Work Context: Donor Relations & Advocacy
Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Leadership, Managing performance, Organizational awareness, Political awareness, Strategic planning & visions, Teamwork & collaboration
Bi-annual Compendium 2022 Part B – November 2022
This position doesn't require a functional clearance