The Head of Communications (Regional Coordinator Office, Venezuela Situation and Panama) leads the work of a multimedia news team, engaging on a daily basis with the Director of the Americas Bureau, the Regional Coordinator, Country Representatives and Communications Staff and reporting to the Director of the Americas Bureau.
As head of a multimedia news team, she / he is also expected to maintain close relations with and awareness of the needs of the Division of External Relation's (DER's) Communications Service plus Private Sector Partnerships (PSP) and Donor Relations and Resource Mobilization (DRRM).
The position is among the most senior in UNHCR's global communications network, reflecting the expectation that the incumbent would play a prominent role in defining the strategic objectives of the Regional Coordinator Office, Venezuela Situation and in advancing UNHCR's global communications agenda, especially in Americas time zones.
The Head of Communications is expected to set communications strategy and ensure coordination of communications with country and regional offices including the Regional Communications Hub Mexico, the office of the Regional Coordinator, Venezuela Situation, plus the Regional Office in Washington.
Lead the work of rapidly establishing and consolidating the UNHCR Communications for Regional Coordinator Office (Panama), working closely with the Americas Bureau and Regional Office, reporting to the Head of News & Media in Geneva, and liaising directly with other Communications and Public Information Service (CPIS) and DER units involved in communications including Content Production, Goodwill Ambassador (GWA) operations, Digital Engagement, Strategic Communications, PSP, DRRM, Events & Campaigns etc.
Guide and supervise on a daily basis a multimedia content production team that reports to the Content Production Section in Geneva, ensuring that it covers stories and issues prioritized by the Hub and works in close coordination with the wider Content Production team to ensure optimal use and impact of photo, video, text and social media content.
Direct strategies and, to achieve implementation of these, oversee the establishment a programme of media and social media relations and outreach via global channels for the Venezuela situation and other situations in the Americas.
Map, prioritize and initiate media partnership and outreach opportunities including by building media relations with key media players, including editorial boards, influential journalists and others in digital media.
Map and prioritize opportunities for wider amplification of UNHCR messaging and content by partners while ensuring UNHCR's distinct identity and brand needs.
Develop an up to date media contacts base for the Global Hub and DER, including for the purposes of disseminating media products.
Establish daily / weekly coordination mechanisms with the Regional Communications Hub Mexico, the Global Communications Desk in New York, and communications actors across the region to maintain good working relationships, clarity of roles, and close awareness of each other's communications priorities and related sensitivities, seeking opportunities to mutually support where needed.
Establish a regular daily / monthly / weekly work agenda for the Regional Coordinator Office, including within it maintenance of the necessary support systems for routine daily information, handover notes, and message guidance sharing among UNHCR offices in the Americas and to and from CPIS in Geneva.
Work with relevant units at UNHCR HQ to develop protocols for self-clearance by the Global Hub (i.e. to ensure the Regional Coordinator Office and UNHCR offices in the Americas can issue timely news-
releases, statements, and create media messages outside Geneva office hours).
Produce high-quality messaging and media interviews, briefing notes for the Palais Briefings in Geneva, press releases and other outputs for global dissemination including via the UNHQ Spokespersons Briefings.
Provide media and social media relations support during missions to the region by UNHCR senior officials, and support communications of the Americas Bureau to achieve its strategic objectives.
Organize periodic communications meetings as needed with UNHCR and UNHCR-related actors in the Americas, and DER to promote knowledge sharing, planning, and strategic goals.
Ensure strongest possible staffing of the Regional Coordinator Office, including where needed by identifying candidates for recruitment, encouraging creativity while maintaining a strong strategic focus, and working to build a reputation for the Regional Coordinator Office as a centre of excellence in communications.
ESSENTIAL MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master's) in Communications, Public Information, International Relations or related fields plus minimum 11 years of progressively responsible experience, of which 8 years should be at the international level, in communications, journalism, news editing, including video / TV production, graphic design, photojournalism, print and production methods as well as electronic media.
Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA / .BS) plus 12 years or Doctorate Degree (equivalent of a PhD) plus 10 years of previous relevant work experience may also be accepted.
Solid grasp of social media and proven experience in social media engagement.
Sound management skills and strong judgement.
Excellent communication skills both written and oral.
Demonstrated Spokesperson experience working at a senior level.
Experience in preparing key messages, press statements and talking points on tight deadlines and delivering them to a targeted audience.
Experience in developing and implementing global media campaigns.
Proven multi-tasking skills and the ability to think creatively and analytically.
Strong grasp of international issues and media landscape.
Fluency in English and Spanish.
Developed understanding of UNHCR s work and mandate and its challenges assisting, protecting and advocating on behalf of refugees, IDPs and the stateless.
Experience leading communications operations in a global context.
DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS & COMPETENCIES
Experience of working with UNHCR or other parts of the UN in field operations, plus experience working at UN or UNHCR headquarters.
Familiarity with UNHCR operations and protection norms, gained through direct experience or UNHCR learning programmes study.
Experience in conducting or facilitating communications training.
Experience working in sensitive political or human rights contexts.
Working knowledge of another UN language would be an asset.