Head - Communications and Advocacy

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Job ID: HQ01431 |Location: Philippines | Closing Date: 24-Nov-2022
Apply: https://emea3.recruitmentplatform.com/syndicated/private/syd_apply.cfm?id=Q7LFK0…
About IRRI

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protecting the rice-growing environment for future generations. IRRI is an independent, nonprofit, research and educational institute, founded in 1960 by the Ford and Rockefeller foundations with support from the Philippine government. The institute, headquartered in Los Baños, Philippines, has offices in 17 rice-growing countries in Asia and Africa, and over 1,000 staff.

Working with in-country partners, IRRI develops advanced rice varieties that yield more grain and better withstand pests and disease as well as flooding, drought, and other harmful effects of climate change.

Job Purpose

This position will provide principal strategic, technical and implementation leadership and support for IRRI’s institutional and corporate communication programs and activities, both external and internal to promote IRRI’s mission, activities and technologies, and enhance IRRI’s global exposure and reputation. Supervise and guide IRRI’s communication specialists in engaging IRRI’s internal and external stakeholders. Ensure high quality of IRRI’s web resources, media relations, and communication policy and strategy. Engage closely with IRRI’s leadership, particularly in ensuring effective mobilization of resources and support necessary for the achievement of IRRI’s mission.

This position will be based at the IRRI Headquarters, Los Baños, Philippines and is open for international applications.

Roles and Responsibilities
  • Reporting to the Deputy Director General for Strategy, Engagement and Impact, direct IRRI’s communication and advocacy strategy, ensuring that IRRI’s broad range of communication, outreach and change management activities are integrated and cohesive relative to the strategic direction and positioning of the organization and its leadership
  • Work closely with IRRI leadership on communication and visibility necessary to mobilize resources and support for IRRI’s research strategy and program
  • Provide strategic direction of the IRRI’s Communication Service and oversee and coach the performance of Communication staff
  • Set and maintain IRRI’s visibility, identity, and branding guidelines, and promote and maintain the Institute’s high reputation and credibility as an international scientific research and development organization
  • Responsible for communicating effectively with internal and external stakeholders about the overall mission of the Institute, undergirded by a keen understanding of the contributions of rice science and crop management technologies to address climate change and poverty reduction through food security
  • Lead on local and international media relations and monitoring, drawing on good practices in journalist engagement and education as well as web-based tools for media monitoring and news aggregation
  • Supervise social media activities, with targeted use of services that are used widely by relevant publics and specialist/expert communities
  • Provide the Institute with reputational risk management advisory services, especially for IRRI’s senior management, proactively identify potential risks and develop and implement issues management strategies
  • In collaboration with Human Resources and Organizational Development and IRRI management, create, incubate and deliver new and innovative approaches to internal communication and change management in order to inspire and engage IRRI’s internal stakeholders in the mission of the organization and delivery of its strategic goals
  • Assist the Director General and Executive Team on the formulation and implementation of appropriate external speaking and engagement opportunities to advance IRRI’s strategic goals
  • In close collaboration with Research Leadership, create and deliver strategies that leverage the institute’s scientific knowledge to increase Research’s profile and meet targets expected by external partners and donors
  • Establish and maintain IRRI’s high-level editorial and publishing guidelines
    Responsible for IRRI’s varied and integrated communications products and services including: newsletters and other print publications; web, e-news and other online communications; media and public relations and branding
  • Develop and implement an integrated strategic communications plan to advance IRRI’s brand identity; broaden awareness of its programs and priorities; and increase the visibility of its programs across key internal and external stakeholder audience
  • Create and implement an engagement strategy that will allow IRRI’s leadership to cultivate and enhance meaningful relationships with targeted, high-level external audiences, including the media, governments, donors and key influencers to advance the IRRI’s strategic research and resource mobilization goals
  • Oversee the day-to-day activities of the communications and advocacy function including budgeting, planning and staff development
  • Draft special communication on behalf of the Director General’s office (letters, speeches and etc.) ensuring accuracy of voice, vision and brand disposition
  • Anticipate, design and implement ‘crisis communication’ strategies that address issues that may be harmful to IRRI’s reputation ie GMO-adverse groups protesting at the gates of IRRI and/or social media posting of individual staff creating backlash
  • Master’s degree in applied communication, journalism, public affairs, OR equivalent experience
  • An advanced degree in the sciences, with a demonstrated ability in popularizing technical content, is also desirable
  • At least 10 years of writing, editing and multimedia experience, with leadership skills and managerial experience
Skills Required


  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Demonstrated abilities in managing teams
  • Expert user of standard Microsoft Office applications and social media services
  • Strong relationship management skills
  • Team player with leadership skills
  • Understands the value of political and reputational capital as well as the ability to act by taking informed risks


  • General understanding of web development software
  • Strong understanding of issues impacting IRRI, i.e. agriculture, climate change, etc.
  • Experience in developing public advocacy campaigns

IRRI offers a highly extensive employee benefits package inclusive of globally-covered medical insurance, retirement plan, life and accident insurance and other allowances. Join our team and be part of our story!

Please note only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
This position will remain open until filled.

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