International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) – Head of Communications

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(Ref. No. IRS/565/062023)


International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) is a pan-African Centre of excellence in research for development and capacity building in insect science and its applications. Its mission is to help alleviate poverty, ensure food and nutritional security and improve the overall health status of peoples of the tropics. It does so by developing and extending management tools and strategies for harmful and useful arthropods, while preserving the natural resource base. Since its establishment in 1970, icipe has become a significant contributor to science and innovation required to meet the health and food security challenges of sub-Saharan Africa. The Centre has achieved this status by developing alternative and environmentally friendly pest and vector management technologies and products that are effective, selective, non-polluting, non-resistance inducing, and are affordable to resource-limited rural and urban communities. icipe is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya and has operations in more than 40 African countries as well as thriving partnerships with universities and research organizations across the world. Employing over 500 international and national staff, icipe also has approximately 150 graduate students who contribute to its research portfolio annually. For additional information, visit: www.icipe.org

icipe is seeking to appoint an outstanding, dynamic and self-motivated individual to fill the position of HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS. This role is an opportunity for one to shape the communications agenda of the Centre and boost its visibility to donors, partner institutions and research beneficiaries. The successful candidate will oversee the production of high quality, consistent and engaging communication outputs that are in line with icipe‘s objectives, vision and mission.

To review icipe’s Vision and Strategy 2021–2025, download this at:

http://www.icipe.org/system/files_force/about/corporate_publications_files/icipe_Vision_and_Strategy_202 1-2025.pdf?download=1

The position is tenable in Nairobi, Kenya, at the icipe Duduville campus and will be offered for an initial contract of 3 years, renewable subject to continued funding and performance of the staff member. A competitive and generous compensation package that includes housing and transport allowances, education allowance, comprehensive health and life insurance cover, and an offshore retirement package (all payable in US Dollars), will be offered to the right candidate. Furthermore, the incumbent will receive paid annual vacation and return airfare for themselves and their dependents to their nominated home base each year. If the successful candidate is appointed from outside Kenya, s/he will be offered support to relocate and settle in Nairobi.

Living in Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, is cosmopolitan with a population of over four million people. Nairobi is a regional hub of many commercial and non-governmental organizations and has a thriving international research scene, hosting various CGIAR centres, as well as several UN agencies. It hosts all the urban and social amenities, and offers a comfortable, convenient and pleasurable life. A wide variety of excellent international schools and well-equipped medical facilities are open 24/7 in Nairobi. The city is also accessible through various reputable international airline carriers.

Overall purpose of the job

In collaboration with the management team, the successful candidate will design and implement a Centre-wide communications strategy, boosting the visibility of the Centre to its international donors, and sharing the results of its research widely. A communications team of full-time staff, consultants and several communications officers and social scientists across the organisation support the aims of the Communications Unit. Various writers, photographers and filmmakers familiar with icipe’s work are available to support specific projects. icipe’s communication outputs include a website, newsletters, corporate reports, training and dissemination materials, internal bulletins and social media posts.

Specific Duties:

  • Provide leadership and coordination for all communication activities of the Centre, to enhance icipe’s visibility and credibility as a centre of excellence, by: (i) supporting the development and implementation of a comprehensive communications strategy (as well as coaching research and support staff on the implementation of the communications strategy), and (ii) raising the profile of icipe’s brand equity, programmes, projects and individual researchers.
  • Strengthen and diversify icipe’s communications products, by continuously reviewing the adequacy of icipe’s current communication materials and recommending improvements.
  • Oversee the design and production of icipe’s publications (including press releases, corporate reports, brochures, training materials, newsletters, social media posts, and website).
  • Provide communication/information advice and assistance to icipe teams, helping them to meet their visibility obligations to donors and partners, either by doing the work required or by outsourcing the work.
  • Share icipe’s work in local and international media, to meet the Centre’s obligations to donors, collaborate with partners and stakeholders, and bring the results of the Centre’s research to those who might benefit from it.
  • Ensure effective and appealing internal communication on icipe business, relevant topics, strategies and management decisions (through internal bulletins, intranet and meetings, and organising workshops, seminars, exhibitions and employee functions in liaison with the management team).
  • Ensure that employees know and respect crisis communication preparedness and communication procedures.
  • Establish and manage an annual budget for communication functions in a responsible and cost effective manner.
  • Be accountable for all local and international communication activities that include advocacy and liaison activities with organisations that share similar interests.

Knowledge and skills required for performing the job

  • Knowledge of media advertising and publishing is essential.
  • Highly proficient in both spoken and written English. Knowledge of oral and written French is an added advantage.
  • Computer proficiency particularly in MS Office Suite, and familiarity with desktop publishing and spreadsheet software is essential.
  • Familiarity with Apple Macintosh computers is an added advantage.

Minimum qualifications required

  • Master’s degree in communication. A bias in science communication will be an added advantage. Strong written and verbal communication skills are mandatory.

Minimum experience required

  • 10 years of progressive professional experience in positions of responsibility in international organisations.
  • Experience in media relations.
  • Proven track record in leadership, leading to capabilities in driving and developing a communications team.
  • Ability to think strategically, and to develop and execute strategic communication planning (as well as the corresponding messages and communication activities).

Other desirable attributes

  • Strong in relationship building with journalists and other relevant external and internal stakeholder groups.
  • High degree of organisation, adaptability and prioritisation, and documentation skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and well within teams.


This position reports to the Director General.


Interested applicants should submit (a) a confidential cover letter setting out their suitability against the listed requirements for the role; (b) a detailed CV and (c) names and addresses of 3 referees.

The applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position has been filled. Candidates are required to apply online through: http://recruit.icipe.org or by email: recruitment@icipe.org

icipe is an equal opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equity, teamwork, and respect for diversity. Consideration for employment is given to qualified applicants regardless of race, color, age, gender, religion, disability status, national and ethnic origin, or social status.

Deadline closes 26th September 2023