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Job Details: Director, Communications

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Director, Communications
The Director of Communications is a senior member of the Gavi leadership team. S/he will report to the Managing Director of Public Engagement and Information Services and have regular and close interaction with the CEO. This person will lead the team of Media, Digital, Internal & Alliance Partner Communications consisting of staff members and external consultants.
Managing Director of Public Engagement and Information Services
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership committed to saving children's lives and protecting people's health by increasing equitable use of vaccines in lower-income countries. The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. Gavi uses innovative finance mechanisms, including co-financing by recipient countries, to secure sustainable funding and adequate supply of quality vaccines. Since 2000, Gavi has contributed to the immunisation of nearly 700 million children and the prevention of more than 10 million future deaths.

  • Lead an international team of communication professionals to raise the profile of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and immunisation, by positioning them within an increasingly broader global health context. As Gavi approaches the end of its current strategic period (2016-2020) and begins its next, this will include the ongoing development of Gavi’s narrative, strengthening of its digital public engagement and the preservation of its reputation.
  • Scale up public support and political will for immunisation globally to accelerate equitable ac-cess to vaccines and further increase vaccine coverage against vaccine-preventable diseases in Gavi-supported countries.
  • Increase and improve communication within the Alliance among key stakeholders to foster collaboration and maximize impact of our public-private partnership.
  • Strengthen internal communications within Gavi’s Secretariat to foster a culture of knowledge sharing and collaboration in line with our values. Provide access to timely up to date information to our staff and act as an enabler of the Gavi mission.
  • Be a communications leader, with seasoned political judgement, in-depth knowledge of digi-tal communications and campaigns, and preferably global health.
Results expected
  • Increased profile of Gavi and immunisation globally and particularly in key donor countries;
  • Positioning Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and immunisation within an increasingly broader con-text;
  • Strong and adaptive corporate messaging, branding, innovative digital campaigns and new approaches;
  • Innovative digital communications approaches that support the Gavi brand and external en-gagement;
  • Strategic solutions to critical communications and politically-sensitive issues;
  • Effective communication partnerships with key Alliance members, allies and stakeholders;
  • Strong internal communications to support Gavi internal culture & values;
  • Establish robust communications collaboration within the department to fully leverage syn-ergies with Public Policy Engagement and Knowledge Management and Technology Solu-tions teams, and develop and maintain strong relationships within the Secretariat to support Gavi’s priorities.

The Director of Communication is expected to design and lead implementation of a communica-tions strategy to increase Gavi’s visibility and influence and help achieve its strategic goals. As such, you are able to liaise with Gavi’s senior leaders, translating vision into narrative and action through exceptional managerial skills that stimulate creativity, new thinking and collaboration in a fast-paced and highly adaptable environment. As the primary driver of Alliance communications, the communication director is a strategist and influencer, both within the Secretariat and among part-ners and allies. You will oversee a team responsible for corporate messaging and branding, media, partnerships and campaigns, publications, digital communications including social media, working in collaboration with the country team for demand generation, all effectively aligning with Gavi’s re-source mobilisation and private sector partnerships, advocacy and programmatic activities. A key focus is placed on Gavi’s external digital communications, across all platforms.

1. Strategy & leadership
  • Develop, evolve and deliver a global communications plan and strategy integrated in particu-lar with policy and advocacy, building visibility and engagement;
  • Work with Gavi’s executives to provide strategic leadership in continuing to position Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and immunisation within an increasingly broader context, playing a cen-tral role within global health security, the Sustainable Development Goals, outbreak prepar-edness, antimicrobial resistance, non-communicable disease, civil registration and disease elimination. This includes communicating around Gavi’s current strategic goals and helping to develop and strengthen Gavi’s ongoing narrative as it enters its new strategic period, “Gavi 5.0” (2021-2025);
  • Through excellent leadership the candidate will ensure that all communications – including news releases, statements, social media tools and content, as multimedia products, op-eds, and internal and alliance communications – are tactically aligned to support Gavi’s communi-cation strategy reflects objectives of the Vaccine Alliance;
  • Undertake stakeholder mapping, analysis and network maps to gain audience insight and help tailor our communications with a focus on digital engagement;
  • Provide leadership in the ongoing digital and media strategy that reflects the changing influ-ence social media plays in global and country-level communications and the development of new digital and social media tools to achieve Gavi’s communication objectives;
  • Provide counsel on and solutions to critical communications and politically-sensitive issues; Identify reputational risks and opportunities and where possible instigate communications to mitigate risks. Act as one of the Secretariat’s leading advocate:
  • As a member of the Editorial Committee, help maintain quality control and align communica-tions with Gavi’s resource mobilisation and private sector partnerships, advocacy and public policy activities and contribute to a consistent and integrated action plan;
  • Supporting targeted resource mobilisation, private sector partnerships and innovative fi-nance efforts by directing communications to key markets in alignment with Gavi’s resource mobilisation strategy, framing arguments so they resonate and building the case for invest-ment at a national level;
  • Lead and influence communication strategies with Alliance partners and rally new allies; de-velop and drive an alliance partner communications strategy that ensure partners, funders and grant holders are aware of Gavi strategy, policies and results;
  • Advise Gavi colleagues about the external landscape against which decisions will be made so that challenging issues are managed appropriately.  Provide advice and counsel on communi-cations issues to the CEO, Deputy CEO and senior leadership
  • Develop and manage a media relations strategy and international and specialist media rela-tions programmes.  Design and deliver individual media relations programmes for the CEO and other senior executives. Build, nurture and maintain strong relationships with relevant journalists based on trust and transparency;
  • Identify opportunities for communications & Gavi advocacy. Map these & develop, plan and execute communications to ensure Alliance voice and influence is deployed at the right times and to address important issues in coordination with Public Policy Engagement and Re-source Mobilisation and Private Sector Partnerships teams.

2. Reputation management
  • Proactively manage reputational risk issues and engineer rapid responses;
  • Provide senior level counsel on other corporate issues that impact Gavi’s reputation;
  • Develop a consistent & thought provoking communications approach to build Gavi’s profile and credibility by commissioning and publishing thought leadership and high profile content.
3. Branding and corporate messaging
  • Oversee the Gavi brand and lead the process of evolving the brand to harness Gavi’s new in-itiatives and direction;
  • Ensure clear, evidence-based messaging;
  • Work with other technical members of the secretariat to ensure scientific accuracy of Gavi’s communications;
  • Ensure quality assurance and control on messaging across the organisation;
  • Develop and implement a strong and impactful digital and social media strategy, including corporate website, so that these advance strategic objectives.
  • Develop and manage all corporate publications such as Gavi’s Annual Progress Report.
4. Leadership communications
  • Design and manage plans for Gavi leadership, including the CEO and Deputy CEO, Alliance Board Chair, key ambassadors and champions to leverage their personal advocacy in support of visibility efforts.
5. Team Development and Management
  • Recruit, manage, mentor, develop and monitor the performance of the communications team;
  • To ensure communications team is continuously aligned by providing top-down strategic leadership;
  • Ensure high impact and quality assurance in day-to-day communications operations;
  • Actively contribute to the organisation’s business planning process;
  • Develop and monitor annual plans and budgets.
Note: The essential functions listed in this section are not exhaustive of the job responsibilities; other duties may be assigned consistently with the department needs.
Candidate Profile

Gavi welcomes applicants with private sector experience as well as from non-profit, media and politics. Excellent reporting, writing and editing skills mandatory. A strong track record of impactful digital engagement as a central part of strategic communications is required, as is experience in developing multimedia communication tools. Experience in institutional and internal communications are essential. Advocacy and public affairs/campaigning experience is a plus. Global Health experience is an asset, particularly in infections disease and vaccines. The Director of Communications should have experience in crisis management both in relation to external and internal communications.
  • A minimum of 15 years of increasing responsibility in corporate communications, marketing or public relations;
  • A minimum of 10 years in team management and team building;
  • A track record in increasing visibility through broad communications approaches, media rela-tions and social media;
  • Proven experience in managing reputational risk issues on behalf of an institution;
  • Experience in managing C-suite communications and/or working with high-profile and de-manding VIPs;
  • Established relationships with top-tier media (traditional, social);
  • International experience working in multi-cultural environments;
  • Reporting and editing skills;
  • Experience working in the Development Sector;
  • Proven ability to commission and manage external agencies.
  • Excellent team building and management experience; someone who is able to guide in times of crisis and manage resources when a lot is going on at once plus is able to be operational when needed;
  • Proven skills in developing and leading complex communications strategies;
  • Demonstrable experience maintaining and promoting a brand;
  • Excellent vocal communications, writing and editing skills for both press and popular audi-ences;
  • Able to write in a sharp, personable, and memorable manner;
  • An ability to build and maintain strong networks with key journalists within media;
  • A quick political and strategic mind; calm in a crisis, with great instincts and an authority to lead and influence;
  • Good marketing skills. To come with messages, slogans, and tactics that draw attention and you know what will resonate with our target audiences;
  • An ability to translate science and development issues for a broader audience;
  • Solid knowledge of global health, immunisation and vaccine-related issues preferred;
  • Mission driven and showing initiative, someone who can do flexible hours and manage your time independently;
  • Willing to do what it takes to succeed with low ego and high focus on getting the job done;
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective work-ing relationships;
  • Knowledge of public and/or global health issues strongly preferred;
  • Advocacy and campaign experience preferred;
  • Familiarity and experience in creative digital and social media;
  • Reporting and publications management experience preferred;
  • Experience in multinational communications;
  • Experience of working in global public health, biomedical science or pharmaceutical commu-nications and a working knowledge of vaccines and epidemic diseases would be an ad-vantage.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English;
  • French is an asset.
  • A degree in a related field is required; A Masters is preferred.
Internal contacts
  • Gavi Executive Office;
  • Gavi Secretariat.
External contacts
  • Donor Agencies;
  • Donor governments;
  • Gavi-supported governments;
  • UN agencies and World Bank/Agencies;
  • Civil Society Organisations;
  • Private Sector.
Gavi is committed to diversity within its workforce and encourages applications from all qualified candidates.

If you wish to apply, please provide a cover letter and resume through our Careers webpage and apply by clicking on “Director, Communications“. Deadline for applications is 29 April 2019.

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