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Director, Information Centre, D1

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) within the United Nations Office at Nairobi. It is part of the Information Centres Service (ICS) of the Campaigns and Country Operations Division (CCOD) of the Department of Global Communications (DGC).

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The UNIS is part of the global network of United Nations Information Centres (UNICs), and UNIS Nairobi is the principal source of information about the United Nations system in Kenya, Uganda, and the Seychelles.

It is responsible for promoting public understanding and support for the aims and activities of the United Nations by communicating the work of the UN to a local audience in local languages; engaging local and regional partners; and, overall, bringing the United Nations closer to the peoples it serves.

The incumbent is accountable to the Director-General (DG) of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) and the Under-Secretary-General (USG) for Global Communications and is under the general supervision of the Director of CCOD and the Chief of ICS.


  • Within delegated authority, the incumbent is responsible for the following duties:
  • Directs and manages the substantive work programme of UNIS Nairobi, which covers Kenya, Uganda and Seychelles;
  • Directs and advises staff dealing respectively with press coverage and other writing activities, press enquiries, press conferences and briefings, public relations, documentation, liaises with media; and oversees radio services and audio-visual distribution, visual production, Internet, Webcast;
  • Guided tours and related activities.
  • Contributes to the implementation of DGC work programmes to keep the public well informed on UN goals and activities in line with the objectives and aims of the UN Global Communications Strategy and the annual global communications priorities; contributes to the preparation of documents on policy issues;
  • Builds and strengthens synergies with other DGC field offices, Resident Coordinator Offices (RCOs) and UNCTs in the region/sub-region and provides strategic communications and crisis communications support to them if, and when, needed.
  • Provides strategic communications support and advice to the Director-General of UNON and supports the communications work of the DG and UNON; promotes the image and activities of UNON and its DG; may also provide communications support to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat )as UN entities headquartered in Nairobi.Acts as senior spokesperson of UNON. Chairs UN press briefings and press conferences by high-level officials and Heads of State; and works closely with the Office of the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General (OSSG).
  • Consults with heads of UN organs and specialized agencies based in Nairobi, serving as coordinator, including through chairing the UN Communications Group (UNCG), on communications actions to ensure that a unified message is delivered.
  • Undertakes high-level contacts on communications matters with Permanent Missions, Host Country authorities, inter-governmental Organizations, and civil society in the interest of better dissemination of UN information, understanding of the work of the Organization, especially and including in respect to Africa, and building partnerships for communications activities.
  • Fulfils speaking engagements and participates in seminars as required; assists and arranges publicity for the Secretary-General and senior officials by coordinating their programmes and press conferences; is responsible for communications arrangements, including organization and transcripts of press conferences, press briefings and stakeouts during the visits of the Secretary-General and other high-level UN officials in Kenya and the work region.
  • Ensures that the outputs produced by the Centre maintain high-quality standards; tracks local public attitudes towards the UN and political trends; provides Headquarters with media reports regarding local conditions, political trends and public attitudes towards the UN; and ensures that the policies and activities of the UN are conveyed accurately and promptly to national authorities and local audiences.
  • Undertakes the administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the UNIS, including preparation of budget, reporting on budget performance, preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting, evaluation of staff performance, interviews of candidates for job openings and evaluation of candidates.
  • Manages, guides, develops, and trains staff under his/her supervision; fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the UNIS.
  • Performs other functions and special duties as required by UN Headquarters and the DG and UNON, including representing the UN at conferences.
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PROFESSIONALISM: Demonstrated knowledge of audience-focused strategic communications and crisis communications and public information techniques; proven ability to implement effective media campaigns and to develop traditional and digital media products and activities targeting the media; ability to identify communications opportunities and problems and to articulate these to clients. Ability to advise on communications challenges, assess communications environments, develop and execute communication strategies and thematic advocacy in the work region with various promotional techniques. Ability to make decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization and to apply rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations.

COMMUNICATION: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

ACCOUNTABILITY: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

MANAGING PERFORMANCE: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.


An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in journalism, communications, public information, international relations, or a related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible experience in communications, public information, in communications, or similar field in large multicultural institutions is required.
  • Experience developing and executing strategic communications, including multimedia campaigns and crisis communications, public speaking, and working in or with traditional and digital media is required.
  • Experience in resource administration, including budget preparation, human resources management and/or conflict management and resource mobilization is required.
  • Experience working in and with the political, social, and economic context of Africa is required.
  • Progressive years of experience supervising an office, unit, or section (of at least 5 people) within the United Nations common system or a comparable international organization is desirable.
  • Experience working in communications in the United Nations common system, or a comparable international organization is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of Swahili is desirable. Knowledge of other UN official languages is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise, which may be followed by a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Appointment or assignment against this position is for an initial period of one year.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 30 April 2021, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

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