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Director of Communications (maternity cover)

Director of Communications (maternity cover)

  • Full Time
  • Temporary
  • London

Sector: Communications

Employment Category: Fixed Term

Employment Type: Full-Time

Salary: Competitive

Location: London, UK

Job Description



Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.

The International Rescue Committee UK is part of the IRC global network, which has its headquarters in New York and London. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief, relocating refugees and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through 22 regional offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees resettle in the US and become self-sufficient.

The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.


Our European headquarters, IRC-UK, were established in London in 1997 to support the organisation’s global activities and particularly to diversify its donor base, build its profile and be able to better advocate with European policy-makers on behalf of the people we serve. The IRC has expanded since then to become IRC Europe overseeing offices in Brussels, Berlin, Bonn and Geneva, and programmes across Europe.



The Director of Communications, Europe will join IRC at an exciting time as we drive forward IRC’s Europe Strategy to 2020 and develop the next phase of our strategy. The position holder will be a dynamic and important presence, leading on building IRC’s brand and profile in Europe as well as managing internal communications across a growing Europe network. This post will lead the Europe Communications team, which currently consists of twelve staff working across media, content and digital communications, based across the UK and Germany offices. As part of the Europe Senior Management Team, the post holder will work closely with the Senior Vice President for Europe, the Senior Director for Fundraising, the Director of Policy & Advocacy, Executive Directors of IRC offices across Europe, and communications team colleagues elsewhere in IRC.

Scope of work

Drive forward the communications strategy for the IRC in Europe, growing our profile successfully alongside our funding and policy impact.
Contribute to the development and implementation of wider strategic focus areas for the IRC in Europe, for example donor diversification and safeguarding best practice.
Manage a high-performing Communications team, ensuring that they are meeting Key Performance Indicators, including share of voice in the media and engagement with digital audiences across Europe.
Effectively represent the IRC externally as a writer, thinker, and speaker.
Oversee internal communications for the IRC in Europe, liaising with colleagues in New York and globally to streamline activities and approach.
Oversee the roll-out of a refreshed IRC brand in Europe, liaising with global colleagues.
Develop and manage relationships with key donor communications contacts, in particular with DFID and ECHO, in order to contribute to a strengthened partnership with donors on communication and visibility of humanitarian programmes
Manage the Communications budget including developing future budget proposals.MAIN TASKS & RESPONSIBILITIES

Strategic oversight and delivery (50%)

Ensure the successful development and implementation of the IRC’s communications strategy in Europe, measured through an increase in the IRC’s profile in Europe
Work as part of cross organizational teams driving IRC’s influence, profile and funding in Europe, taking on strategic responsibility beyond communications where appropriate
Act as focal point and liaise with the IRC-UK Board as required on communications strategy and delivery, including regular reporting at IRC-UK Board meetings
Act as the IRC’s brand champion in Europe, ensuring all output is consistent with IRC brand guidelines, culture and values, and ensuring that updates to the IRC’s brand are rolled out successfully across Europe
Oversee IRC’s internal communications in Europe, liaising with global communications colleagues but ensuring the right approach for Europe
Develop and manage the communications budget, including identifying new external and internal income streams as appropriate
Lead on emergency and crisis communications strategy in Europe as required
Represent IRC Europe within global strategy processes and other forums, for communications and potentially more broadlyTeam leadership and staff management (25%)

Ensure a high performing, highly motivated communications team in Europe
Identify and deliver cost-effective opportunities to expand the team as needed, for example in new European markets, including through use of consultants and interns
Set clear objectives with all direct reports, and ensure strong support and supervision against clear deliverables. Carry out annual appraisals and mid-year reviews
Ensure line managers are held accountable for performance management
Ensure that the IRC Europe Communications team is networked into the global communications team and ensure integrated and collaborative workingDelivering communications content to raise the profile of IRC (25%)

Drive forward integrated media and digital communications campaigns to raise the profile of the IRC in Europe, in close collaboration with global communications colleagues, Europe Policy & Advocacy and Europe Fundraising teams
Guide the team and support where required on delivery of communications work, including handling reputational issues in the media and writing opinion pieces
Develop and champion strong knowledge management within IRC Europe, including the use of the intranet to provide materials, support and communications output
Ensure management and delivery on visibility projects under ECHO and other donors
Represent IRC at a senior level in communications and other relevant forumsPERSON SPECIFICATION


Educated to degree level
Significant experience of leading and managing a strategic communications function and team and of translating broad visions and strategies into specific objectives
Significant experience of working with the media / press
Significant experience of creating and delivering effective campaigns
An excellent understanding of digital and social media platforms, and experience developing and using them for profile-raising purposes
Experience of driving forward communications in support of fundraising objectives
Excellent ability to communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing; strong presentation skills
Capacity to build and maintain professional networks and channels of communication inside and outside the organisation
Ability to work in close collaboration with colleagues and team members based remotely
Commitment to team work
Highly motivated self starter
Good analytical skills and first-class attention to detail·
Strong organizational and time management skills
Ability to travel overseas, sometimes at short notice, to situations of conflict.

Qualification related to communications , media or marketing
Experience in the international not-for-profit sector
Experience of working in a global organization with complex matrixed structures
Knowledge of current debates on humanitarian/conflict issues and relevant institutions, including key donors in Europe
Additional language, preferably German

To Apply

To apply, please send your CV (two page max) and cover letter (two page max) outlining the reasons for your interest in the post and why you believe yourself to be suitable.

Please send to: applications@rescue-uk.org

The closing date is: 9am on 7th February 2019

In order to minimise administrative costs, IRC-UK will only contact short-listed candidates.

Candidates must have the right to work in the UK.

IRC-UK strives to be an equal opportunities employer. IRC-UK is committed to equality of opportunity and to non-discrimination for all job applicants and employees, and we seek to ensure
we achieve diversity in our workforce regardless of gender, race, religious beliefs, nationality, ethnic/national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability.

To apply email your details to hello zaheen.tariq@rescue-uk.org