Head of Communications

International IDEA
  • Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Sep 26

Position description

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance — International IDEA is an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide. International IDEA’s mission is to support sustainable democratic change by providing comparative knowledge, and assisting in democratic reform, and influencing policies and politics.

International IDEA acts as a catalyst for democracy building; by providing knowledge resources, policy proposals and supporting democratic reforms in response to specific national requests. It works together with policy makers, governments, UN organizations and agencies and regional organizations engaged in the field of democracy building.

International IDEA develops, shares and enables the use of comparative knowledge in its key areas of expertise: electoral processes,constitution building,political participation and representation, democracy and development and democracy assessments.

It also addresses the important issues of gender, diversity, and conflict and security as they relate to democracy.

International IDEA is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and works worldwide through offices in New York, Brussels, The Hague, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

International IDEA advances democracy worldwide as a universal human aspiration, enabling sustainable development by supporting the building, strengthening and safeguarding of democratic political institutions and processes at all levels.

As the Head of Communications, you will lead the development and implementation of the global communication and advocacy strategy positioning International IDEA as the global leader in Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

With a proven record of leadership skills in a demanding, and culturally diversified environment, you will strategically develop International IDEA’s external profile and influence, extending our reach and media impact, and ensuring our research, development and policy work has a global impact. The ability to take knowledge and transform it into exciting and useful messages and disseminate it to the right audiences through the best distribution channels is critical. You will also develop the organizations capacity to communicate consistently and effectively both internally and externally. This is a truly global role which will contribute to raising the profile of International IDEA and our mission of advancing democracy worldwide.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Positions International IDEA as the global leader in Democracy and Electoral Assistance; Increases the visibility and outreach of International IDEA and promotes the organization’s areas of expertise, with think tanks, academic institutions, the private sector, and civil society to enhance public awareness of democracy related issues and International IDEA’s mandate and impact;
  • Leads the development and implementation of the strategic global communications and advocacy strategy, ensuring it is aligned with the vision of the organization;
  • Oversees the production, marketing and dissemination of International IDEA’s knowledge products, which are a key expression of the organization’s comparative knowledge on democracy and democratic processes;
  • Develops and manages media relations projecting a positive organizational image; Oversees the expansion and strategic direction of International IDEA’s digital presence;
  • Maintains an awareness of institutional risks and threats and cultivates an environment of readiness and alertness;
  • Guides the development and implementation of event-specific, integrated communication strategies to advance International IDEA’s advocacy and visibility for international conferences, launches of International IDEA flagship reports etc.;
  • Writes and/or edits media and promotional materials. Oversees content, design and vision for International IDEA’s presence across digital channels. Oversees drafting, creative design and production of marketing and promotional materials;
  • Establishes internal communications governance and guidelines; Ensures all communication initiatives throughout the organization have consistent messaging and effective outreach; Ensures quality control of all information released;
  • Implements internally a “‘culture of communication”’ within International IDEA ensuring consistent, timely and relevant information to all members of the organization;
  • Leads a diversely skilled team; Establishes a working environment that is conducive to delivering results, fostering a spirit of collaboration, strong work ethic and team cohesion;
  • Promotes the development of training tools and materials, including identifying new approaches to promote individual and organizational learning and knowledge sharing;
  • Manages effectively the communications budget, ensuring timely monitoring and reporting on progress in relation to objectives.


  • Recognised as a Communication expert, at international level; Possesses extensive (news) media networks and experience;
  • Excellent writer, editor and communicator; Ability to use communication to help effect change in an organization; Proven ability to conceptualize and implement sustainable communications & advocacy strategies, and campaigns; Thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization; Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on the entire organization;
  • High energy, maturity and leadership with the ability to serve as a unifying force and to position discussions at both the strategic and tactical level; Relationship builder with the flexibility and finesse to "manage by influence;
  • Proven ability to initiate, develop and sustain partnerships that can enhance the visibility of International IDEA;
  • Has the intellectual leadership to integrate innovation into his/her field of expertise;
  • Contributes effectively to the development of International IDEA’s functional strategy;
  • Has solid practical knowledge and experience of conceptualizing and implementing internal communications mechanisms;
  • Is expected to travel globally to any geographical area involved in his/her projects;
  • Follows internal procedures to ensure high standards of performance and compliance with Institutional guidelines;
  • Solves unique and complex problems that have a broad impact on the organization;
  • Integrates a gender and diversity perspective in all activities.

Reporting Line

  • Secretary-General.

Operational Knowledge, skills and experience

  • Integrates a results-based approach into the design, management and evaluation of all his/her programmatic activities; Anticipates organizational and regulatory issues; recommends process improvements;
  • Illustrates integrity, a collaborative spirit, a sense of achievement, and an understanding of risk management.


  • Leads the diversely skilled Communications team to achieve milestones and objectives; Fosters team-based activities in his/her unit; Collaborates with other entities of the organization;
  • Develops the strategy for execution;
  • Acts as a model and resource for colleagues.

Problem Solving

  • Solves unique and complex problems with broad impact on the organization; Requires conceptual and innovative thinking to develop solutions; Leads others to solve complex problems; Uses sophisticated analytical thought to exercise judgment and identify innovative solutions.


  • Impacts the direction and resource allocation for programmes and projects;
  • Impacts other teams and projects in related fields.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Drives projects and assignments through communicative personal energy and engagement;
  • Initiates, develops and sustains partnerships to enhance organizational visibility;
  • Communicates complex ideas, anticipates potential objections and can persuade others, often at senior levels, to adopt a different view;
  • Acts and is perceived as an initiator of relevant communication to solve issues; Liaises permanently to all internal and external stakeholders involved in his/her programme;
  • Presents his/her activities and represents International IDEA effectively in all professional circles;
  • Explains sensitive information with diplomacy, and builds consensus;
  • Ability to position issues effectively, both orally and in writing;
  • Excellent knowledge in written and oral English required. Knowledge of Swedish or at least one other widely spoken language in an International IDEA priority region (Arabic, French, Spanish) would be an asset.

Education and Experience

  • Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in Communications, Marketing or a related field;
  • A minimum of ten (10) years’ experience leading strategic communication at the international level with extensive (news) media networks and experience; Excellent writer, editor and communicator;
  • A minimum of five (5) years’ experience in leading and managing diversely skilled international teams; Proven experience in engaging, cultivating and influencing stakeholders; Experience of working in an international environment is essential.

Terms of Contract:

  • International Post;
  • Two (2) year fixed term appointment;
  • Competitive salary plus benefits.

Application instructions

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

follow us on Twitter