Senior Communication Officer

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Paris, France

Experience: Above 10 Years

Skill Required: Media and Communication

Under the authority and the direct supervision of the Director of the Division for Communications and Public Engagement (CPE), the incumbent will be the primary responsible officer for UNESCO's communication policy and planning, working with colleagues from different sectors, field offices and institutes to streamline communication priorities and scheduling, in particular in crisis situation through the mainstreaming of crisis communication. 

He/she is responsible for the close monitoring of communication priorities, maintaining close collaboration with UNESCO's Communications Board and supporting the harmonization of UNESCO's policy and programmatic work within the corporate communications strategy. He/she is also responsible for the supervision of a limited number of high priority communication projects, including corporate campaigns, flagship publications and pilot communication initiatives. In case of an emergency of crisis situation (conflict, disaster, special event), he/she is the main focal point to coordinate a wide range of UNESCO experts in a timely and effective manner. The Senior Communication Officer (Lead, Strategic Planning Team & Crisis Cell) is a highly collaborative role, cooperating with and strategically advising multiple teams and field offices. He/she is on the frontline of partnership building efforts, including resource mobilization and revenue generating activities.

In particular, the incumbent will:

  • Lead on the development and coordination of strategic communications planning for CPE; support the coordination and implementation of specific strategic communications priorities and activities ; align to the extent possible UNESCO's communication priorities and resources with those of other major partners and UN entities, especially the UN Secretariat, to maximize communication impact. This includes forecast and awareness raising to priority communications activities and moments for UNESCO.
  • Act as Secretary to UNESCO's Communications Board, coordinate and streamline the communications efforts of CPE, sectors' communication focal points and programme teams. Oversee the production and implementation of the yearly/weekly grid planning tool for use by UNESCO communicators in HQ, field offices and institutes. Coordinate communication with multiple teams, including programme sectors and field offices to ensure smooth and timely delivery of communication drafts, inputs and products for their wider dissemination through UNESCO channels, including to the press, the social media and the website. Liaise with the UNCG and report regularly on UNESCO activities that should be included in the UN communications grid.
  • Act as the communications' focal point in crisis situation, with the responsibility to design and spearhead communication initiatives and key messages in response to emergencies, disaster or conflict calling for immediate action from UNESCO. 
  • Design, manage and implement the monitoring and evaluation of the impact of communication products and initiatives, to inform decision-making at the highest level across the Organization.
  • Supervise the strategic communications planning team and oversee the strengthening of administrative and financial processes related to communication.



  • Advanced university degree (Master's or equivalent) in communication, public administration or related discipline. 

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible relevant professional experience in the area of public information, of which preferably seven (7) years acquired at international level.
  • Experience in the streamlining of communication processes, notably in the area of governance, finance and impact monitoring.
  • Experience in coordinating a variety of contributions and inputs with the view to align objectives and priorities and reconcile competing priorities.

Skills & Competencies

  • Excellent coordination and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent analytical, diplomacy and advocacy skills, in particular the ability to collect, synthesize and analyse information from various sources and convey messages.
  • Ability to take initiatives and to manage competing priorities, organize and prioritize workloads to meet established and short deadlines.
  • Ability to develop communication strategies and manage implementation of public information campaigns with various promotional and publicity techniques.
  • Demonstrated ability to address complex issues, which can be of a sensitive nature.
  • Ability to manage and motivate staff and teams and to maintain effective working relationships in a multicultural environment.
  • Strong knowledge of IT tools: Microsoft Pack and advanced planning and management software (calendar, budget and finance monitoring tools).


  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English or French and good knowledge of the other language.