Head of Communications
Ref. No. IRS/141/112015
icipe – African Insect Science for Food and Health is a world-class research centre with a mission to alleviate poverty by ensuring food security, improving health, protecting the environment and building the capacity of researchers and communities across the developing world through the application of insect sciences.
Employing more than 500 national and international staff, icipe is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya with outposts in Ethiopia and on the shores of Lake Victoria in western Kenya.
icipe has a proud reputation and history of delivering world-quality science that has made crucial contributions to African food and health policy, delivered development outcomes to rural communities, and has been at the forefront of building Africa’s biological research capacity.
The Centre’s research activities span the African continent with partnerships linking research organisations, not only across Africa, but also the globe.
In addition, more than 100 graduate students and a number of postdoctoral fellows contribute to icipe’s research portfolio annually.
icipe wishes to recruit a suitable person to fill the position of Head of Communications in the Office of the Director General. The position is tenable in Nairobi, Kenya. This is an international position. The appointment will initially be for two years, with a possibility of extension after successfully completing a six-month probation period of the first contract.
A competitive and generous compensation package that includes housing and transport allowances, child education allowance up to university first degree, comprehensive health and life insurance, an offshore retirement package, all payable in US Dollars, will be offered to the right candidate.
Furthermore, the incumbent will receive a paid vacation/annual airfare, and duty free privileges. If the successful candidate is appointed from outside Kenya, he or she will be offered support to relocate and settle in the city. Only shortlisted candidates will be acknowledged.
This role is a chance to help shape the communications agenda of an international organisation. In collaboration with the management team, the successful candidate will design and implement a Centrewide communications strategy, boosting the visibility of the Centre to its international donors, and sharing the results of its research widely.
A communications team of four full-time staff supports this role: a communications officer, a graphics designer, a science editor, and an administrative assistant.
Across the organisation, there are several communication officers and social scientists whose work supports the aims of the Communications Unit.
Various other writers, photographers, and filmmakers who are familiar with icipe’s work will be available to support specific projects.
icipe’s communication outputs include its website, newsletters, corporate reports, training and dissemination materials, internal bulletins, social media, and the International Journal of Tropical Insect Science.
Living in Nairobi
Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya, with a population of over three million, and plentiful supermarkets, malls, bars and restaurants, as well as many parks and open spaces.
Although it is important to be conscious of security, Kenyans are warm, welcoming and forgiving of visitors.
Nairobi has a thriving international research scene, hosting various CGIAR centres and several UN agencies. icipe employs a number of international staff.
- Provide leadership and coordination for all communication activities of the Centre to enhance icipe’s visibility and credibility as a centre of excellence by supporting the development and implementation of a comprehensive communications strategy to raise the profile of icipe’s corporate brand, programmes, projects and individual researchers (as well as coach research and support staff on the implementation of the communications strategy).
- Strengthen and diversify icipe’s communications products by reviewing the adequacy of icipe’s current communication materials, and recommending improvements. Oversee the design and production of icipe’s various publications, including press releases, corporate reports, brochures, training materials, newsletters, social media posts, and the website.
- Provide communication/information advice and assistance to icipe teams, helping them to meet their visibility obligations to donors and partners, either by doing the work required or by contracting the work to consultants.
- Share icipe’s work in local and international media, meeting our obligations to donors, collaborating with partners and stakeholders, and bringing the results of our research to those who might benefit from it.
- Ensure effective and appealing internal communication on icipe business, relevant topics, strategies and management decisions through internal bulletins, intranet and meetings, and help to organise workshops, seminars, exhibitions and employee functions in liaison with the management team.
- Ensure crisis communication preparedness, and communication procedures are known and respected.
- Establish and manage an annual budget for communication functions in a responsible and cost effective manner.
- Be accountable for all communication activities of the Centre, including advocacy and liaison activities with organisations with similar interests, locally and internationally.
Knowledge and skills required for performing the job
- Knowledge of media advertising and publishing is essential.
- Highly proficient in both spoken and written English. Knowledge of oral and written French is an added advantage.
- Computer proficiency particularly in MS Office Suite, and familiarity with desktop publishing and spreadsheet software is essential.
- Familiarity with Apple Macintosh computers is an added advantage.
Minimum qualifications required
- Degree in journalism, communications, or related specification is essential.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills are mandatory.
Minimum experience required
- 5 years of related professional experience in positions of responsibility in an international or commercial organisation with an international scope.
- Experience in journalism/media relations.
- Proven track record in leadership, leading to capabilities in driving and developing a communications team.
- Strong in relationship building with journalists and other relevant external and internal stakeholder groups.
- High degree of organisation, adaptability and prioritisation, and documentation skills.
- Ability to think strategically, and to develop and execute a strategic communication planning, as well as the corresponding messages and communication activities.
- Demonstrated ability to work independently and well within teams.
Reporting: This position reports to the Director General.
The selected candidate should be available to start as soon as possible.
How to Apply
Applications will be accepted up to 28th November 2015, or until the position is filled, whichever is earlier.
Interested applicants should submit:
(a) a confidential cover letter,
(b) detailed CV with names and addresses of 3 referees (including e-mail addresses, fax numbers), and
(c) a statement illustrating suitability against the listed qualifications/competencies/abilities and skills.
Candidates are required to apply online through: http://recruit.icipe.org
icipe is an equal opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equity, teamwork, and respect for diversity.