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Senior Communication Adviser

Requisition ID:  17052
Region:  Europe (HQ)
Contract type:  Open-ended contract

Reports to (role)


Head of Strategic Communications

What we do


The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works worldwide to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict and armed violence. We take action in response to emergencies and at the same time promote respect for international humanitarian law. We are an independent and neutral organization, and our mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. We work closely with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and with their International Federation in order to ensure a concerted, rational and rapid humanitarian response to the needs of the victims of armed conflict or any other situation of internal violence. We direct and coordinate the international activities conducted in these situations.

Your role purpose


You will shape and execute ICRC’s strategic direction for how we communicate on institutional priorities and will work to influence key stakeholders through targeted communication strategies, coordinating their execution.    


You will also support communication teams in delegations to achieve their influence objectives and secure support for the ICRC. You will promote relevant partnerships to amplify ICRC´s message and presence around key themes among identified audiences.  

Your accountabilities & responsibilities


  • You will be responsible for leading the formulation and execution of communication strategies around ICRC institutional priorities.    
  • You will support and advise departments in our HQ on how to best use communications to achieve their objectives, integrating communication into their strategies and plans.  
  • You will analyze the public presence of and interest around ICRC´s institutional priorities – narratives, voices, conversations, coverage- to formulate relevant and targeted communication plans. 
  • You will map out key stakeholders and their interests, to shape ICRC communication strategies, ensuring influence and impact. 
  • You will lead a team of two colleagues to find innovative ways of bringing the ICRC´s message to niche audiences, and coordinate the creation and delivery of tailored content and messaging 
  • You will play a key role in supporting ICRC delegations´ diplomatic and influence objectives through tailored communication packages that speak to their key audiences and stakeholders.  
  • You will design and produce analytical and insight reports on the impact of our communication strategies on identified audiences and formulate recommendations for delegations and departments at HQ. 
  • You will co-design together with communication teams in HQ and in relevant delegations ICRC´s guidelines for communication-for-influence and will organize training sessions, conversations, exchanges for ICRC communication and non-communication staff with experts on the topic.  
  • You will map out relevant partnerships within and outside the humanitarian sector – in the humanitarian, academy, art and corporate sectors, among others- to amplify ICRC´s presence and voice on key themes among identified audiences. 

Your scope & impact


  • You will be the focal point for crafting communication strategies on key institutional priorities, and your remit is global. 
  • You will lead a team of two colleagues in charge of crafting com plans, messaging and content and will work with communication teams in HQ and in delegations worldwide to support influence objectives.  
  • You will contribute to expanding ICRC´s communication network with key external players, connecting the organization with relevant partners and broadening ICRC´S presence, relevance and impact. 
  • You will keep abreast of global debates and conversations on key humanitarian issues and factor them into ICRC´s communication strategies and into training for communication staff.  
  • All your communication strategies and plans will take into account the diversity of different audiences and affected communities, adopting an inclusive tone, approach and messaging. 

Your key relationships


  • You will work closely with key colleagues within the communication teams at HQ, to deliver on your above-mentioned responsibilities. 
  • You will provide strategic guidance to key departments at HQ, to ensure communications are a key contributor to the achievement of their objectives.  
  • You will be part of ICRC´s thematic platforms for a multidisciplinary approach to the protection of affected communities, prevention and influence among others.  
  • You will build and maintain strong relationships with key counterparts in the humanitarian, academic, art and corporate sectors to bring the latest trends and debates on humanitarian issues and communication into ICRC´s communication strategies

Your background and experience


  • You have at least 8+ years of experience in strategic communication, and a track record of success in building communication strategies with and for niche audiences, preferably in the humanitarian sector. 
  • You have proven experience in developing and executing communication strategies for influence and behaviour change. 
  • You have proven experience in developing plans, content and messages tailored to specific audiences  
  • You have extensive knowledge of behavioural communication and communication for influence, including mapping key audiences´ interests and behaviours and assessing the impact  
  • You have in-depth knowledge of the debates and reflections that are shaping the humanitarian sector. 
  • You’re networked with organizations and individuals in the research, art and corporate sector that can partner with the ICRC to amplify its humanitarian message among key audiences  
  • You believe in principled and ethical communication with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion, and you are ready to push the boundaries of ICRC´s communication and representation of affected communities towards a truly inclusive approach.  
  • You have management experience of small teams, preferably. 
  • You’re fluent in English and preferably also in French. Other languages an asset.

Your personal attributes



  • You care about humanitarian causes and are passionate about ICRC´s mission to protect and assist populations affected by war worldwide.   
  • You believe that communications can bring real change to support humanitarian agendas in support of populations affected by conflict.  
  • You care deeply about making an impact and you are committed to assessing so objectively, incorporating others´ perspectives  
  • You are focused on results and feel comfortable challenging bureaucracy and process-oriented demarches.  
  • You are a fast learner and feel comfortable getting into themes you don´t master, ready to listen, learn and provide advice.
  • You are also comfortable getting feedback and adjusting your initial plans as needed.  
  • You’re dynamic, proactive, and able to work with diverse teams, with different views from yours.  
  • You’re flexible, creative, and able to adapt and thrive in a fast-paced environment. 
  • You like to be connected to conversations on humanitarian issues and plugged key debates that shape humanitarian and development agendas.  
  • You’re an excellent team player and you are keen to work and grow in a diverse, international environment with a truly global team. 
  • You’re ready to travel as needed. 

From the hiring manager


We welcome talented applicants from every background. We know that a diversity of perspectives from different communities, cultures and lived experiences is critical to evolving the humanitarian sector, and more specifically, the work of our Communications team. Individuals from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, as well as those with lived experience of conflict, are especially encouraged to apply.  

Whilst we value relevant professional experience from sectors other than the humanitarian, we will prioritize candidates with proven experience in the humanitarian/development sector and a passion for challenging and helping advance the humanitarian agenda and particularly ICRC´s mission through strategic communications. 

Additional information


  • Location:                        Geneva
  • Type of contract:            Open-ended
  • Length of assignment:   4 years 
  • Starting date:                 ASAP
  • Activity rate:                   100%
  • Application deadline:  Sunday, 9 May 2021


The ICRC values diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive working environment. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates. Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.