Director of Communications

Closing date
23 Aug 2020
Vienna, Austria, Washington D.C. or New York, USA
Duration of assignment
Limited Term Appointment of one year with possibility to extend

Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) is an international organization working with leaders in government, the private sector and civil society to drive further, faster action toward achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), which calls for universal access to sustainable energy by 2030, and the Paris Agreement, which calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit climate warming to below 2° Celsius.

Achieving these goals will require a radical rethink of the way we produce, distribute and consume energy. SEforALL is at the heart of this foundational shift to ensure no one is left behind. Drawing on data and evidence, we identify a critical path to success in achieving SDG7.

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative in 2011. Now an independent organization, we maintain close links with the UN, including through a relationship agreement, partnerships with UN agencies and with SEforALL's CEO acting as the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy. These roles include advising the UN Secretary General and his staff on issues relating to sustainable energy and the implementation of SDG7 and supporting the coordination of sustainable energy issues in the United Nations system.   

The ambitions of SDG7 are extraordinary. Aiming to achieve them in the context of the Paris Agreement on climate change involves transformation at a scale never undertaken before. Swift action must be taken by leaders in governments, private sector companies, institutions, financiers, development banks, unions, communities, entrepreneurs and civil society. As we enter the final decade to achieve SDG7, SEforALL has strategically chosen to strengthen global agenda-setting while expanding its activities to an engagement model that prioritizes data-driven decision-making, partnerships with high-impact countries and implementation on the ground. The new SEforALL three-year business plan outlines “results offers” that scope out our planned interventions and demonstrate to our funding partners the impact of their support.

Title of Supervisor:

SEforALL CEO and Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) on Sustainable Energy for All.

Content and methodology of supervision:

The Director of Communications will be supervised through individual meetings with the supervisor, weekly team meetings, and through periodic performance appraisals.

Duties and Accountabilities

The Director of Communications is a member of the Leadership Team and responsible for managing the communications functions within SEforALL as well as working as part of a collective management effort to support SEforALL to achieve its institutional goals and impact. This includes growing the role of communications to deliver on SEforALL’s mission and the organization’s role as the hub of the SDG7 global movement. The Director of Communications will develop and execute a creative and strategic communications plan to position SEforALL among the landscape of UN and international organizations, extend the reach, reputation and impact of the organization and drive awareness and inspiration on achieving SDG7. The Director is accountable for all aspects of internal and external communications, including messaging and content development, media relations, website, social media, newsletters, graphics and data visualization, report production, event management and creative development of the SEforALL brand. Internal communications include messages and campaigns on behalf of the leadership team, communicating staff initiatives, features on individual staff members, arranging internal events such as logistics support for Town Hall/“all staff” meetings, preparing the regular internal newsletter, training and development of staff and team members in communication skills. 

Heading a small team, working across offices in Vienna, Washington, DC and New York the Director of Communications ensures that communications is integral to all strategic planning and activities of SEforALL. The Director will be expected to represent the organization at a senior level, engaging with partners and other organizations and fora to secure collaboration and find ways for the messaging, ideas and stories developed by SEforALL and with our partners to enhance delivery against the SDG7 goal by broader audiences.

As a senior professional within the leadership team of the organization, the Director is to lead, enable and inspire the communications team as well as actively engage in coaching and developing staff and managing their performance with high level of integrity and tact and acting as a leader and role model for the rest of the organization.

Key Responsibilities     

•    Planning, organizing, coordinating and leading the internal and external communication activities across SEforALL;
•    Lead and have oversight of a team that covers all aspects of communications, i.e. editorial services, media relations, social and digital communications, events, storytelling and content development, speechwriting, design and creative services, among others;
•    Serve as a key member of the leadership team to ensure communications support to our programmes and activities;
•    Advance our organizational goals ensuring that communications are integrated strategically throughout our work plan;
•    Develop and execute creative and strategic communications plans and campaigns;
•    Proactively identify, develop and implement new communications opportunities, including in support of ‘results offers’ and in collaboration with programme teams;
•    Ensure the production and distribution of high quality and informative brochures, publications, press reviews, audio-visual as well as electronic documents for the media and public to enhance the SEforALL’s image, and maintain good and close working relations with all stakeholders;
•    Direct and manage the development of content for all channels to position SEforALL as an invaluable source of information and knowledge dissemination;
•    Lead the constant review of the organisation’s branding strategies to ensuring that they are effective in promoting SEforALL’s mission;
•    Collaborate with other leadership team members and programme teams to ensure coordinated strategy and protocols for content placement;
•    Secure positive high visibility of SEforALL and our work among key stakeholders, including the government leaders, policymakers, opinion leaders, partner organizations and the media;
•    Ensure and strengthen SEforALL’s capacity to communicate with partners and organizations in the movement in multiple languages;
•    Work closely with the Director of Resource Mobilization to create materials and support events to support resource mobilization efforts; and
•    Pro-actively managing the team’s budget and driving forward efficiencies where possible.

Qualifications and Experience

•    Significant number of years of progressive communications experience;
•    Excellent influential communication skills at senior and strategic level in an international organization, international business or in a national corporate;
•    Master’s degree or PhD in Communications, Public Relations, Business studies, International relations, Public Policy or a discipline relevant to the mission of SEforALL;
•    Experience developing and executing communications strategies, plans and campaigns for international organisations;
•    Dynamic and creative thinker, proactive at generating and offering ideas;
•    Highly effective influencing and relationship-building skills at all levels;
•    Demonstrated experience utilizing new media and innovative approaches to achieve results;
•    An outstanding writer and dynamic communicator, ability to rapidly pull together proposals, reports, presentations, and press releases;
•    Ability to respond in a fast-paced dynamic environment, attention to detail and high level of organization and a strong ability to prioritize tasks to meet multiple deadlines;
•    A disposition towards diplomatic and action-oriented interactions;
•    Proven track record in leading teams, managing staff, and project operations as well as working on international issues and with globally disbursed partners;
•    Interest and commitment to SEforALL’s mission and its sector of operation;
•    Understanding of and experience with various media and design software tools;
•    Strong attention to detail;
•    Complete fluency in English with strong written and verbal communication skills required. Knowledge and ability to work in another UN language desirable. (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).

Core Competencies

•    Drive for Results - Identifies the needed resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and finds solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables.
•    Knowledge, Learning and Communication - Leads in the sharing of best practice, trends, knowledge and lessons learned across units and with clients and partners, articulating ideas verbally and in writing in a clear and compelling way across audiences of varied levels.  Makes high impact, results-oriented presentations and speeches to appropriate decision makers and influences.
•    Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making - Gathers inputs, assesses risk, considers impact and articulates benefits of decisions for internal and external stakeholders over the long term.
•    Teamwork - Work within an established team as well as with colleagues across teams and with external stakeholders. Support colleagues, establish a team culture, encourage others to participate in teamwork and share responsibility for decision-making and results. Places team agenda before personal agenda. Supports and acts in accordance with final group decisions, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings. Demonstrated ability to work with teams representing a wide variety of staffing levels that also cut across agencies and partners, and work without direct authority to deliver timely and high-quality products. Strong team player capabilities. 
•    Leadership - strong leadership skills to manage and guide the team and contribute to meeting organisational work plans. 
•    Personal - Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.
Demonstrates behavior of professional and personal ethics transparency and openness
to encourage respect and similar behavior from colleagues in the work place. Sensitivity to other people’s cultural and religious norms and the ability to easily blend with others. Must have shown to have the ability to be discrete and maintain confidential information. Exhibits diplomacy, loyalty and commitment to SEforALL’s goals. Sense of humor an advantage.

SEforALL Values

•    Partnership. SEforALL’s global team operates within and across partner driven networks, building on its strong relationship with the UN. SEforALL’s global team catalyzes connections, coordinates activities with others, collaborates on common objectives and leverages opportunities to deliver more as a platform than it can do individually.
•    Agility. SEforALL’s global team is adaptive in its approach so it can stay focused on its goal in an evolving economic and political environment. It brings people together that don’t normally talk to each other and frames the questions differently so it can help leaders unlock action and finance.
•    Diversity. SEforALL’s global team recognizes the diversity of needs across countries and communities and commits to working with all actors in delivering solutions that respond to these differentiated needs.
•    Equity.  SEforALL’s goal is for “all.” SEforALL’s global team strives for a sustainable energy transition that is just and equitable and leaves no one behind.
•    Results. SEforALL global team focuses on helping leaders make the most progress, fastest in areas that make a meaningful contribution to SEforALL’s objectives. It is solutions-oriented. It values evidence and data. It understands the scale and urgency of the sustainable energy challenge and the need for a holistic systems-based approach.
•    Trust. SEforALL’s global team treats information carefully and respects what it is entrusted with as it serves partners and their success

How to Apply

SEforALL have retained the services of Oxford HR to support this recruitment process. All correspondence, at this stage, should be via Oxford HR. To apply for this post, please visit the Oxford HR website using this link: Director of Communications job advertisement  and click on the “Apply” button on the job advert page and complete the online application form. Please provide a CV and cover letter in ONE single document.

The cover letter should be no more than two pages long, explaining why you are interested in this post and how your skills and experience make you a good fit. The document should be saved in the following format: Your First Name-Your Last Name-Document Name-Date (yymm) e.g: Pat-Jones-CVandStatement-2008.


Closing Date: 23 August 2020

Selection Process
All candidates will be notified about the status of their applications. We advise candidates to add the role email to their safe senders list and regularly check their spam folder. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.


If you have any queries on any aspect of the appointment process, need additional
information, or would like to have an informal discussion, please email at in the first instance.

Apply here