Director, Communication Division

Posting Title: Director, Communication Division, D1

Job Code Title: Chief of Service, Programme Management

Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme

Duty Station: NAIROBI

Posting Period: 05 March 2020 – 18 April 2020

Job Opening Number: 20-Programme Management-UNEP-132216-R-Nairobi (R)

Staffing Exercise: N/A

United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

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Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. UNEP’s Communication Division is responsible for UNEP’s strategic communications, raising environmental awareness, influencing attitudes, behavior and decisions related to the local and global environment with a view to implement UNEP’s programme of work. This post is located in UNEP/Communication Division at the Nairobi duty station. Under the overall supervision of the Executive Director, and the direct supervision of the Deputy Executive Director, the incumbent will carry out the following duties:


1. Lead UNEP’s communications strategy: – Lead and support UNEP’s global strategic communications; – Lead the development and implementation of a strategy to raise the profile of UNEP and of environmental issues among Governments, stakeholders, the media and the broader public; – Support the Execuive Director in articulating UNEP’s strategic messaging; – Identify emerging strategic communications challenges and opportunities.

2. Provide leadership and oversight to UNEP’s communications capacities: – Oversee and manage the UNEP’s Communication Division, formulate and implement its substantive activities and projects, determining priorities, mobilizing and allocating resources; – Coordinate a network of regional and national information officers to ensure unity of messaging and that UNEP’s communication resources are strategically managed; – Oversee and manage UNEP’s relations and cooperation with the rest of the UN system as it relates to communications and public information;

3. Serve as UNEP’s spokesperson alongside the Executive Director: – Support the Executive Director’s role as spokesperson of the Organization, including by speaking on behalf of the Executive Director and for UNEP on all matters relating to the Organization; – Identify and respond to global, regional and national issues relating to the environment and UNEP’s areas of interest that arise in the media and public domain; – Provide strategic guidance and direction to UNEP’s global media relations; – Guide the development of key press releases, supervise and direct the production of other communication outputs to ensure veracity, accuracy and news-worthiness;

4. Serve as UNEP’s lead editor, publisher and executive producer: – Develop and oversee UNEP’s global campaigns with a view to advance the implementation of UNEP’s Programme of Work; – Ensure that special days, such as World Environment Day, enjoy considerable public participation and widespread attention globally and that the Champions of the Earth awards attract global attention and impact the environmental agenda; – Ensure that UNEP’s digital platforms support the implementation of UNEP’s mandates through coherent, evidence-based digital communication approaches that effectively leverage partnerships and UNEP’s network of influencers and prominent personalities. – Ensure that publications meet UNEP standards and are distributed to target audiences in all six UN languages; – Ensure relevant promotional materials meet high and evolving standards of design and messaging;

5. Perform other related duties assigned.



PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge and understanding of stakeholders, concepts and approaches relevant to environment; practical experience in programme/project management and administration; problem-solving skills, including ability to identify and participate in the resolution of issues/problems; ability to apply good judgment in the context of assignments given; ability to write speeches and/or guide writers. Shows pride in work and in achievements; Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; Is Motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; Remains calm in stressful situations.

COMMUNICATION: The incumbent must have strong corporate communication skills, ability to convey and create awareness of key environmental issues to the global audience; ability to communicate and understand environmental policy and scientific issues. Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; Listens to other, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; Tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; Demonstrates openness in sharing information keeping people informed.

LEADERSHIP: The incumbent establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; Drives for change and improvement and does not accept the status quo; Is pro-active in developing strategies to accomplish objectives.

MANAGING PERFORMANCE: The incumbent delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority. He/she actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff and appraises performance fairly. Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.

ACCOUNTABILITY: Take ownership of responsibilities and honour commitments; Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; Operate in compliance with Organizational regulations and rules; Support subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.



Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in journalism/communications is required. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


Work Experience

  • A minimum of Fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible experience in public information and communication is required.
  • Experience at the international level handling strategic communications is required.
  • At least five years of experience in a senior management position are required.
  • Managerial experience dealing with the media and communications campaigns is required.
  • Professional experience dealing with sustainable development and/or environmental issues is highly desirable.
  • Relevant experience in human resources, management, administration, logistics and financial management is desired.
  • Experience in partnership building is an asset.



English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required including highly specialized language. Knowledge of other UN languages is desirable.



Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.


Special Notice

This position is open for recruitment for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

Internal Applicants – when completing the PHP, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening.

Individual contractors and consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions. and their applications will not be considered.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. If you do not receive an email acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. In such cases, please resubmit the application, if necessary. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira “Need Help?” link.


United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.


No Fee


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