The British Embassy in Washington is seeking a highly motivated and creative individual for the position of Chief Communications Officer – Military & Defence. The job holder’s priority will be to communicate the strong and enduring UK-US defence relationship, highlight UK defence priorities and promote the UK’s leading armed forces to an American audience.
They will work closely with the British Embassy’s military and defence staff and build strong links with counterparts in London.
Roles and responsibilities / what will the jobholder be expected to achieve?:
- Act as the day-to-day lead on military and defence communications.
- Proactively search for media-engagement opportunities for the embassy’s senior defence staff, including the Defence Attache and Defence Councillor.
- Identify opportunities to deliver on the embassy’s defence communications plan.
- Build and maintain relationships with key Pentagon and National Security correspondents to promote the work of the UK military and broader defence staff.
- Use creative and engaging ways to promote the UK-US’ defence relationship, working with a range of internal and external stakeholders, particularly at the Ministry of Defence in London and the Department of Defence in Washington.
- Monitor media to identify opportunities to promote the UK-US global security partnership and to counter negative and incorrect reporting.
- Lead on media arrangements for ministerial visits from the UK, identifying opportunities and delivering on media engagement.
- Accompany senior officials on media engagements – providing briefing and support as required.
- Plan media coverage around major defence-related events and activities.
- Work with the embassy’s public diplomacy team to promote the soft power aspects of the UK-US defence relationship.
- Work with consulates across the US, collaborating and helping to promote defence-related activity across the country.
- Liaise with the UK military staff stationed throughout the US, finding unique opportunities for media engagement.
- Work closely with the digital communications team to gather and create content for use across social media channels.
- Support the internal communications of the US network: collating and distributing information for defence colleagues to ensure they are informed and equipped to carry out their roles.
- Support Senior Defence staff, the Ambassador and Ministers with press engagements as required.
- All communications officers may be required to flex and cover other portfolios in the course of their role.
- Work to the Deputy Head of Communications (Foreign Policy & Defence).
- Provide out of hours press office support.
Essential qualifications, skills and experience
- University degree or equivalent qualification;
- 3+ years relevant experience in communications, public relations or media;
- Understanding of and interest in defence and national security;
- In depth understanding of US media landscape;
- Strong interpersonal skills and confidence in communicating with senior level officials, politicians or executives;
- A proactive, self-starter with strong time management skills;
- Experience in working with a wide range of stakeholders and broad network of contacts.
- Under US State Department requirements, the UK Government in the US may only employ, as non-diplomatic staff, persons who are US citizens, US Permanent Residents or A visa holders with EAD cards*. If you hold a visa other than an A visa you are not currently eligible to work at our office. Please refer to our website for information on exceptions to this policy at www.gov.uk/government/world/usa. All selected candidates are subject to background checks and will require a security clearance prior to starting work. *A visas are acceptable at the Embassy and Consulates. The UK Mission to the UN (UKMIS) accepts G visas, and British Defense Staff (BDS) outposts accept A or NATO visas.
Desirable qualifications, skills and experience
- Knowledge of UK media landscape.
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