Regional Communications Coordinator, Africa CLOSED

Nairobi, Kenya

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is a nonprofit, global research organization dedicated to advancing human well-being, environmental conservation and equity.

We conduct research that enables more informed and equitable decision making about the use and management of tropical and sub-tropical forest landscapes. We help policy makers and practitioners shape effective policy, improve the management of tropical forests and address the needs and perspectives of people who depend on forests for their livelihoods. Our multidisciplinary approach considers the underlying drivers of deforestation and degradation which often lie outside the forestry sector: forces such as agriculture, infrastructure development, trade and investment policies and law enforcement.

CIFOR is looking for a

Regional Communications Coordinator, Africa


The Communications Coordinator will lead an ambitious, well-funded and creative program with the goal of translating CIFOR's high-caliber research from across Africa into meaningful, real-world impact. The program uses a range of media – including blogs, video documentaries, radio programs, conferences and workshops, TV and newspapers – so that policymakers, donors, NGOs, the private sector and other key stakeholders have the latest research on how best to manage the continent's forests, especially in relation to climate change, livelihoods, food security, energy and water management.

We need a dynamic, creative and self-directed Communications Coordinator to take the freedom and resources we offer and make it happen – whether it involves working alongside our scientists to develop communication strategies for specific research projects, traveling to the field with a TV crew, writing blogs, organizing a workshop or talking to journalists.

The ideal candidate will:
• Be a dynamic go-getter with loads of initiative and an adventurous spirit,
• Be an avid reader of science and environmental literature and issues – someone who genuinely enjoys engaging with scientists and the topics they research,
• Have a passion for storytelling and connecting with audiences,
• Have a strong editorial background, able to identify the most compelling and appropriate stories and methods for telling them, whether tried-and-true, emerging or experimental,
• Be able to come up with and develop ideas for communicating science for impact, and be open to and excited by new possibilities,
• Be able to manage multiple projects and deadlines,
• Be willing to travel often and work independently.

Duties and responsibilities

• Update, expand and oversee implementation of a communications strategy to deliver research findings to key stakeholders in Africa and elsewhere,
• Develop communication strategies for specific research projects in Africa and oversee implementation; manage communication budgets in these projects,
• Provide strategic guidance to two national communications staff (in Zambia and Cameroon) and one full-time communications consultant (in Burkina Faso),
• Work closely with CIFOR's headquarters in Indonesia, especially others in the Outreach team, with staff and consultants worldwide, and a Multimedia unit, which overseas CIFOR's many web platforms and publications,
• Write and edit blog stories, fact sheets, press releases, video synopses and scripts and other editorial,
• Oversee production of films and multimedia packages,
• Organize or support conferences and workshops in Africa in which to showcase CIFOR's research,
• Advise and mentor scientists on communications, especially on speaking to journalists, blog writing and on giving presentations to non-scientific audiences,
• Foster relationships with journalists across Africa and beyond to encourage media attention on CIFOR's research.

Education, knowledge and experience

• A minimum of Bachelors' degree in communications, science (e.g. biophysical sciences, social sciences, political sciences, economics, etc.), or a related field. Master's degree is desirable,
• At least seven years' experience in producing high-quality communications materials across a range of mediums (samples to be requested),
• Demonstrated interest in science and environmental issues and ability to grasp new material quickly,
• Demonstrated ability to write and edit English across multiple styles and formats at a very high level (better than average native speaker),
• Experience working with technical experts, preferably in a multicultural context,
• Professional experience in Africa is preferable,
• Fluency in English and French,
• Ability to manage multiple projects and competing priorities.

Personal Attributes and Competencies

• Go-getter, self-motivated and resourceful – someone who can make things happen,
• Dynamic and creative,
• Team player with excellent interpersonal skills, able to interact effectively and positively with people in a multicultural and multidisciplinary environment,
• Able to work well under pressure,
• Strong client service approach,
• Stickler for high quality and accuracy.

Terms and Conditions

• This is an Internationally Recruited Staff (IRS) position. CIFOR offers competitive remuneration in USD, commensurate with skills and experience,
• The appointment will be for 2 years, inclusive 9 months' probationary period, with a possibility of extension contingent upon performance, continued relevance of the position and available resources.
• The duty station will be in Nairobi, Kenya.

Application process

The application deadline is 28 Feb-2015.
We will acknowledge all applications, but will contact only short-listed candidates.