IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
IFC’s Partnerships, Communications and Outreach Vice Presidency manages multilateral engagement and communications – both internal and external – across IFC. The Vice Presidency is responsible for content creation, branding, reputational risk management, relationships with shareholders in Western Europe and Japan, fundraising, and multilateral engagement.
The Global Business Partners Unit coordinates the communications network across the regions where IFC operates. The network’s objectives include supporting IFC’s operations, strengthening IFC’s brand and communicating its development impact to internal and external clients to demonstrate that IFC is the premier development institution focused on the private sector. It promotes IFC’s thought leadership and a better understanding of the key role of private sector in development, as well as managing reputational risks around IFC’s investments and policies. The Global Business Partners Unit is currently searching for a Communications Officer to focus on regional communications initiatives in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Role and Responsibilities:
The Communications Officer will work in the Global Business Partners (CGB) Unit as the key Communications Officer for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. His/her main accountability is to lead communications work in MENA to support operations of the Regional Vice President (RVP), the Dubai based Regional Director, and other members of the Regional Management and operational teams in the MENA region. He/she has overall responsibility for designing, executing, and monitoring/evaluating the impact of complex communications strategies, activities, and campaigns about IFC’s work. The Communications Officer provides leadership on broader strategy development and participates in contributing as a team of communications staff and short-term consultants (STCs) working in MENA. He/she will work under the supervision of the Regional Lead for Africa and Middle East.
This involves ensuring that the communications teams in MENA articulate compelling narratives on the development impact of IFC’s operations, by working closely with IFC investment and advisory teams, regional strategists and economists, as well as with clients in the private and public sector. The Communications Officer will be responsible for ensuring a consistent approach to communications in the specific country/region, aligned to corporate priorities and messaging.
The Communications Officer will ensure that the MENA communications teams engage early with the investment and advisory teams, provide guidance to the Regional Director, Regional Managers and other operational staff/management on communications and risk management, as well as contribute to campaigns and content initiatives, develop productive relations with key media and manage digital communications.
The Communications Officer will be an important member of the Africa and MENA Communications team led by the Regional Lead for Africa and Middle East. He/she will be supported by GF level staff and STCs in MENA, and will be responsible for collaborating with teams across the Africa and Middle East region. He/she will also collaborate with the Focal Point designated to cover low-income countries and fragile and conflict affected states (IDA and FCS) for both regions, to ensure consistency, while also being flexible to work across other regions as needed to ensure a high performing global team is in place. He/she will lead on all aspects of communications that relate to the MENA region, working closely with other communications leads in IFC’s Partnerships, Communications and Outreach Vice Presidency, operational Departments, as well as with the corresponding World Bank teams in the region.
Specific responsibilities include, among others, the following:
- Proactively manage all internal and external strategic communications for MENA in partnership with operational teams, and ensure that high quality, strategic communication plans are consistently implemented across all countries in the region. This includes ensuring clarity, accuracy, relevance, and engaging writing in all materials that the regional communications teams produce.
- In cooperation with industry and advisory teams, draft talking points for the RVP, Regional Director and Regional Manager(s) for all public events.
- Support the Regional Lead for Africa and Middle East by being the key interlocutor in MENA for IFC’s Senior Management and Advisers’ visits and high-profile country/regional engagements to ensure that strong support is provided on regional communications and thought leadership, especially on cross cutting themes/issues in MENA.
- Oversee the MENA communications team in identifying and communicating high impact projects/stories and engagements in the region, including working closely with the IDA/FCS Focal Point.
- Lead the MENA Communications team in increasing IFC’s presence in media and fostering a better understanding of IFC’s work in the region through developing media contacts and promoting newsworthy content and narratives in local, regional, international publications and digital platforms.
- Lead the team in developing external branding programs by working closely with the Campaigns and Content and External Relations teams on key projects in country/region that demonstrate IFC’s development impact and brand.
- Guide the MENA communications team in developing creative and engaging feature and human-interest stories, blogs, profiles, and other materials for internal and external publication, and ensure that the Campaigns and Content team is well supported by the MENA communications team.
- Along with the Regional Lead for Africa and the Middle East, oversee the proactive monitoring and mitigation of reputational risks, and be the first point of contact for engagement with civil society organizations (CSOs). This involves ensuring that regional teams support IFC operational teams and regional/industry managers in developing specific strategies for high profile or potentially sensitive projects, and provide support on reputational risk management, crisis management, and proactive CSO engagement to investment and regional teams on controversial projects in close partnership with the Headquarters based Risk and Public Affairs team. He/she will engage with major external and internal stakeholders as needed with a focus on current events, public opinion, social or political issues, and other external or internal developments related to the IFC’s work.
- Along with the Regional Lead for Africa and Middle East, lead the MENA Communications team in developing thought leadership activities that help identify development challenges in a specific country, region or sector and the potential solutions, with emphasis on the World Bank Group’s approach of Maximizing Finance for Development (MFD), creating markets, and new IFC 3.0 strategy. This includes leading teams to communicate strategically on new products like Country Private Sector Diagnostics (CPSDs) to ensure successful and high profile in-country launches and dissemination.
- Work closely with other Regional Leads and communications officers in the Global Business Partners Unit to ensure high standards and consistency in strategic communications across all regions.
- Work as part of the MENA communications team charged with developing and monitoring high visibility communications plans and activities; ensures effective coordination of multiple teams, equipment, facilities and other resources. For team/unit’s overall deliverables, responsible for assigning work, monitoring work quality, reviewing output and ensuring that staff in the unit is effectively trained to successfully deliver the work.
- The candidate should be available to travel widely across the MENA region and occasionally across the Sub Saharan Africa Region.
- The Communications Officer will be based in Cairo, Egypt.
- Master’s degree in Communications, Journalism, Political Science, International Relations, Public Affairs, Marketing, Business/Finance with 8 or more years’ experience in corporate communications, international relations, public affairs, political science, or other related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience. In addition, a degree in Business Administration and/or working experience in Investment Operations will be valued.
- State-of-the art knowledge in field of strategic communications, and ability to address a range of issues related to a business group, including taking the lead on highly visible and sensitive assignments critical to the VPU.
- Highly developed verbal and written communications skills, ability to convey complex messages succinctly and diplomatically.
- Demonstrates in-depth understanding of target audience, highly effective writing style, and expertise in high-impact messaging to wider and more strategic audience.
- Crafts strategic, high-level company positioning in the market, linked to desired reputation and branding attributes
- Shows sensitivity when delivering politically sensitive communication to large group/public forums and/or strategic parties.
- Effectively counsels /coaches team members, senior management in their delivery of messages to a variety of constituents, even on challenging topics.
- Anticipates problems and opportunities; with potential problems, surfaces contributing factors and resolves them before there is negative impact.
- Coaches others in selecting and using appropriate problem solving methods.
- Can proactively advise management on the implications and risks for IFC operations when choosing between certain communication strategies. Creates highly effective strategic vision and has an uncanny sense of how situations can unfold.
- Experience in working closely with senior leaders on communications and in dealing with media.
- Proven ability to lead teams to produce high-quality, creative written and visual communications materials.
- Proven ability and flexibility to lead and manage teams to work simultaneously on a variety of complex tasks, meet deadlines, provide quality outputs.
- Proven ability to operate effectively in a multicultural environment.
- Operational experience in MENA and knowledge of private sector development a prerequisite.
- Understanding of multilateral development banks, including the World Bank Group, its policies and operations a plus, as well as basic understanding of current development topics and issues.
- Working knowledge of Arabic a plus.
- WBG Core Competencies for all staff: Client orientation; Drive for results; Teamwork of collaboration and inclusion; Knowledge, Learning and communication; and Business judgment and analytical decision-making.