International Rescue Committee (IRC) – East Africa Regional Communications Officer.

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Requisition ID: req28666

Job Title: East Africa Regional Communications Officer

Sector: Communications

Employment Category: Fixed Term

Employment Type: Full-Time

Open to Expatriates: Yes

Location: Nairobi, IHUB, Kenya

Job Description

Background/IRC Summary:

More than 80 years after Albert Einstein helped create the International Rescue Committee, the number and intensity of humanitarian crises across the globe warrant a dose of Einstein inspired vision. Every month, nearly one million people flee their homes because of conflicts or natural disasters. With few wars ending, and new wars starting, the number of people displaced by conflict has reached nearly 60 million, the most since World War II. Their growing and increasingly sophisticated needs require a transformation—a creative rethinking—in the global humanitarian response.

Communications, Marketing & Mobilization (M&M) is a dynamic team that is tasked with building the IRC’s global profile and brand, growing private revenue from deeper donor engagement and partnerships, and influencing our target audiences. The team is responsible for all of IRC’s brand, communications, creative and content and digital engagement efforts. In alignment with our Strategy100 commitments, M&M has launched compelling multi-year campaigns that raise funding, profile and influence and will improve our share of voice and resonance in key geographies and globally. Lastly, they consistently work on innovating the IRC brand, which enables us to increase awareness, understanding of and support for our work so that we can raise more money and change policies to improve our crisis-affected clients’ lives around the world.

Job Overview

As a key member of the IRC’s Global Crisis and Response Communications Team, the Communications Officer for East Africa will develop and implement communications strategies related to the IRC’s work in East Africa. In turn, they will help to position the IRC as a global thought and practice leader by contributing to wider IRC External Relations objectives. The Communications Officer will lead and collaborate on IRC communications efforts within a set portfolio and surge into crisis projects as needed, convening and leading multiple departments and collaborators to deliver breakthrough communications results. This position is based in Nairobi, Kenya, with frequent travel within East Africa.

The Communications Officer will act as a spokesperson as needed.

Major Responsibilities

  • Convene, collaborate with, and lead a dynamic range of IRC teams across the East Africa Region in collaboration with the Senior Officer for Global Communications, to develop and implement a communication strategy for East Africa that drives awareness of the crises in the region, especially related to the current drought in the region, as well as IRC’s impact and advocacy, enhancing the IRC’s reputation, supporting fundraising objectives, and influencing target policy makers.
  • Work with (and persuade) internal collaborators, including communications team members, programming teams, advocates, fundraisers, and technical experts to facilitate and support dynamic communications tactics, including innovative media outreach, top tier opeds, creative digital content and dynamic, engaging social media output.
  • Work with Country Directors and country-based communications staff to support on country-level communications strategies and activities that raise the profile of crises and IRC programming on a national level.
  • Deliver strategic proactive and reactive media relations, using global insights and expertise in both international and humanitarian media to increase media share of voice and digital engagement.
  • Deploy excellent writing skills to deliver pitches that land IRC-led features, high-level IRC messages for cross-organizational use, top tier landing op-eds, and talking points for spokespeople.
  • Represent the IRC as a spokesperson to external and internal audiences, both via media interviews and contributing to digital content. Provide media training to field spokespeople as needed.
  • Gather content in the region through multiple digital mediums — photo, video, audio etc using industry standard practices and equipment.
  • Contribute to quarterly reports on media coverage and content results using industry standard metrics and bench-marking.
  • Strengthen and develop internal systems and processes to deliver on communications objectives.
  • Coordinate and lead crisis and emergency communications, including high profile field visits and emergency content gathering.

Key Working Relationships:

  • Position Reports to: Senior Global Communications Officer, Africa and Yemen
  • Position directly supervises: n/a
  • Indirect Reporting: n/a
  • Other Internal and/or external contacts:
  • Internal: Work with global communications colleagues

Job Requirements

Education: Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, international affairs or related field or equivalent experience

Work Experience: 3-5 years of professional experience in communications, preferably with a focus on international affairs or issues that cross with the humanitarian sector.


  • English is essential and Swahili strongly preferred
  • Good knowledge of another language spoken in East Africa would be considered an asset.

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:


  • Demonstrated experience supporting communications efforts in relevant organizations and contexts.
  • Flexible approach and ability to navigate ambiguity, as well as multiple projects and various priorities at once.
  • Able to balance partnership with various departments and creative, breakthrough communications efforts.
  • Able to work effectively, efficiently, diplomatically, and calmly in a fast paced environment on issues that are often complex and require politically nuance.
  • Deep knowledge and experience of working successfully with major global media, especially in the US, UK, and Europe.
  • Experience in producing and editing, under tight-deadlines, accurate and dynamic communications materials, including press-releases, op-eds, talking points and digital content.
  • Record of creativity in developing compelling content, and creative pursuit of targets in achievement of communications objectives across different channels (media, social, web etc.)
  • Excellent capability and creativity using digital cameras and audio gathering tools and editing suites.


Other information: This is a 1-year position with potential for extension depending on budget requirements and restrictions.


IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer

IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

Standards of Professional Conduct

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Equality, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

IRC and IRC employees must adhere to the values and principles contained in the IRC WAY (Standards of Professional Conduct). These are Integrity, Equality, Service, and Accountability. Consistent with these values, IRC operates and enforces policies on beneficiary protection from exploitation and abuse, child protection, workplace harassment, financial integrity, and retaliation.




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