Executive Speechwriter

World Health Organization
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Aug 03

Position description

The Office of the Director establishes the policies and strategy of the Organization and is responsible for managing the Secretariat. The Office of the Director has specific oversight for the country offices and country representatives, as well as the offices of the Deputy Director, Assistant Director, and the Director of Administration. 


Under the general supervision of the Director (D), and the direct supervision of the Chief of Staff (COS), the incumbent is responsible, although not necessarily limited to, these assigned duties:

a) Serve as the writer of speeches, remarks, talking points, articles, opinion editorials, and other public or internal comments by the Organization’s Director, with a developed understanding of style and preferences to produce high-quality final products; 

b) Keep abreast of PAHO’s positions on key events, issues and policy, and develop messaging and materials that fulfill their relevant requirements;

c) Support the Office of the Director and collaborate with senior staff on the development of relevant communication plans, speeches, presentations, and talking points; 

d) Interface with high-level external contacts including but not limited to relevant news media, government officials, partners and allies as indicated;

e) Work with design, video, and other staff and/or consultants as required for to ensuring that important content is repurposed across digital platforms and channels;

f) Write, research and support the development of talking points and speeches for major speaking engagements, in consultation with technical departments and country offices;

g) Compile background summaries and briefing papers; ensure excellence in the content, design and delivery of Director’s Office’s communication products;

h) Monitor the media landscape and work with relevant media and other senior staff on issues related to public health, advocacy, and other specific topics of current and leading concern to PAHO; 

i) Identify media opportunities for the Organization and its leadership;

j) Build and facilitate strategic contacts and partnerships to ensure effective public advocacy to highlight the work of the Organization; develop content for stakeholder outreach;

k) Maintain a comprehensive electronic archive of speeches, remarks, and presentations, both as prepared and as delivered;

l) Maintain records of research and back-up materials that verify prepared speeches, articles, opinion editorials and other public or internal comments; 

m) Perform other related duties, as assigned.



Essential: A bachelor’s and master’s degree in English, journalism, communications, international relations or related field.

In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position.  WHO, only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).  The list can be accessed through the link:  http://www.whed.net/.  PAHO will also use the databases of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation http://www.chea.org/search/default.asp and College Navigator, found on the website of the National Centre for Educational Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator to support the validation process.


Essential: Nine years of combined national and international experience in communications journalism, international relations, including speech writing experience supporting senior executive level.

Desirable: Proven extensive experience in developing compelling content across a range of formats for expert and general audiences, Additional experience in writing speeches on behalf of a leader is an asset.


PAHO Competencies:

Key Behavioral Competencies

- Intrainstitutional Action: Leads team efforts toward full understanding of the policies the organization must operate within as well as the Standard of Conduct for the International Civil Service. Leads employees and co-workers toward operating in a fair, consistent and equitable manner, and displays such behavior by example. Behaves consistently in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the Organization.

- Analysis, Synthesis and Forecasting: After analyzing situations on the basis of the available evidence and knowledge, leads one’s area of responsibility toward individual and collective actions.  Encourages the importance of continual analysis. Verifies and promotes that action is taken in situations that will require future intervention, based on ongoing analysis. Leads others in decisions needed to implement required actions. Is capable of anticipating the implications of analyzed situations between one and two years ahead.

- Teamwork: Embraces and leads consensual decision-making,  that is, leading  the fulfillment of team decisions, even when they may not fully coincide with one’s own opinions or proposals. Knows how to manage difficult team situations and promotes consensus building. Takes responsibility for the team’s successes and failures.

- Information Management: Processes and analyzes the data objectively, presenting it clearly and equitably. Leads the effort to acquire relevant and selected information that facilitates the achievement of organizational results.  Evaluates/leads the evaluation of information systems on the basis of its advantages/disadvantages for processing information relevant to the area of work. 

- Communication: Leads the development of an environment that actively establishes and proactively engages in productive dialogues that involve multicultural environments.  Encourages the skills and behaviors that facilitate productive dialogues. Expresses points of view effectively.

- Accountability: Accepts responsibility for the results, for the work of subordinates, for the tasks delegated, the deadlines, and any deviations from them. Requires and oversees the adherence according to the budget.  Monitors the progress made upon reaching the objectives and deadlines. For any deviations on the work plan, looks for corrective actions.

- Knowledge Management: Supports and develops networked and community working. Identifies, develops and nurtures networks and communities. Identifies and builds on working networks that enable knowledge and information flow.  Designs and implements knowledge and information services. Enables utilization of knowledge and information sources. Delivers relevant knowledge and information in most appropriate form.  Participates in and learns from networked and community approaches.

- External Action: Promotes the values of the Organization through mutually relationships with external institutions.  Monitors one's work using transparency in the execution of all tasks.

Technical Expertise:

- Theoretical knowledge and expertise in executive speechwriting with demonstrated ability to translate highly technical data and information into communication materials that can be easily understood by a wide range of audiences;

- Broad understanding of public health, scientific and corporate communication best practices and innovations; knowledge of information policy issues, methodologies for electronic publications, and public health terminology and concept;

- Ability to convert technical language into accessible language for press releases, announcements, and executive speeches;

- Excellent research, organizational and analytical skills, complemented by excellent communication and interpersonal skills combined with the ability to write technical/persuasive documents in a clear and concise, diplomatic, and tactful methods;

- Ability to acquire knowledge and information about a wide-range of subject-matter fields, and to select, organize, and present information in a manner suitable to the intended audience;

- Diplomacy, tact, and ability to effectively communicate with senior-level officials, multiple stakeholders, and professionals from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds; ability to develop and coordinate networks with relevant players in the field of international health and communication; 

- Ability to manage multiple issues and tasks in a complex organizational environment to re-prioritize actions on short notice;

- Strong professional oral and writing skills, including the development of reports, oral presentations, and technical/persuasive documents for consideration at the highest levels of the Organization.


Excellent command, both idiomatic and technical, of English and thorough knowledge of Spanish. Knowledge of French and/or Portuguese would be an asset. 

IT Skills:

Demonstrated ability to effectively use hardware, including mobile devices, and production software related to Web 2.0, HootSuite platform and other social media tools.  IT skills and knowledge of other software such as Adobe Social and Adobe Creative Suite will be assets.

Application instructions

*Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on Globaljobs.org*

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