Feb 022018

Organization: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Switzerland
Closing date: 12 Feb 2018


The Communications and Public Information Service (CPIS), part of the Division of External Relations (DER), is responsible for global media relations and public outreach, multimedia content production and social media. The Service is led by the Head of CPIS and Spokesperson for the High Commissioner, who oversees the News and Media Section and the Content Production Section. The Senior Communications Advisor reports to the Head of CPIS and oversees a small coordination and planning unit. S/he has extensive contact with communications officers, UNHCR external relations colleagues, bureaus, operations, country offices, journalists, think tanks, partner NGOs, academics and sister UN agencies with the objective of amplifying UNHCR’s communications activities to maximize audiences and impact of communications and advocacy efforts.



  • UNHCR is recognized as the leader in protecting, assisting and finding solutions for the world’s forcibly displaced and stateless persons.
  • UNHCR’s leadership in refugee protection is asserted through publication of thematic multimedia reports that reach a broad audience.
  • UNHCR’s communications efforts are amplified through effective coordination with sister agencies, NGOs, think tanks, academics and media partners.
  • Dissemination of UNHCR’s news and multimedia content is coordinated to ensure all services of DER, (notably Private Sector Partnerships (PSP), Events, Campaigns and Goodwill Ambassadors (ECGWA) and Donor Relations and Resource mobilization (DRRM)) join efforts to ensure wide audiences are reached.


  • Work to ensure coordination around the production of multimedia content, campaign materials and news products to ensure they reach targeted audiences.
  • Lead internal coordination mechanisms with other DER Sections, notably Private Sector Partnerships (PSP), Events, Campaigns and Goodwill Ambassadors (ECGWA), Donor Relations and Resource Mobilisation (DRRM) to create synergies and to amplify messages.
  • Support the UNHCR global communications network with strategy meetings, expert training sessions and online project management tools that aid collaboration.
  • In collaboration with the Head of CPIS and all staff in CPIS, lead the development of the CPIS global communications strategy. Support tailored strategies for regions, countries and thematic issues with quarterly production of media impact reports on a global, regional and thematic basis.
  • Work with polling and research agencies to better define messaging and communications and advocacy strategies that work for segmented audiences to ensure that UNHCR’s objectives are met with appropriate communications tactics.
  • Under the direction of the High Commissioner’s Spokesperson, produce high profile opinion editorials and blogs for the High Commissioner, as well as for other UNHCR leaders and Goodwill Ambassadors linked to advocacy.
  • Lead the research, writing and production of multimedia reports that position UNHCR on refugee issues for a global audience.
  • Initiate special projects with journalists, media partners and other advocates to produce or publish compelling multimedia content that moves and motivates vast audiences.


  • Lead the production of multimedia reports on thematic issues.
  • Lead research and polling exercises to establish effective communications approaches for countries, regions and global issues.
  • Lead and participate in coordination mechanisms with DER Sections; Regional Bureaus and country offices.
  • Devise communications strategies linked to regions or refugee emergencies.
  • Draft, edit or oversee the production of op-eds, blogs and other creative communications products for UNHCR leaders and goodwill ambassadors.


  • Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s) in Journalism and/or Communications plus minimum 8 years of previous work experience relevant to the function that includes working in journalism, on strategic communications and as a spokesperson. Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) plus 9 years or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) plus 7 years of previous relevant work experience may also be accepted.
  • A portfolio of published works to include writing on international affairs, multimedia products, speeches and opinion articles.
  • Management experience to bring together diverse teams and with partners in coordinating multimedia communications products.
  • Excellent communications skills, both written and oral.
  • Strong grasp of new media trends and social media.
  • Excellent knowledge of English and working knowledge of French.


  • Field experience with UNHCR as a communications officer or spokesperson.
  • Strong background in communications on refugee issues.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing communications and advocacy strategies for international humanitarian causes.

How to apply:

Interested candidates should apply online at by clicking on the international vacancies tab. All currently advertised positions are available there.

The closing date for applications is Monday 12 February (midnight Geneva time).

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.

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