Head of Communication and Advocacy

Geneva, Switzerland

[Closing date: 16 November 2015]

Position Objective

The primary objective of the position of the Head of Communication & Advocacy (HCA) is to raise the profile of the organization and to increase awareness of neglected diseases and the needs of patients suffering from these diseases.

The position requires excellent management skills to lead the organization’s global communications team of 10-15 people and consultants in implementing a global communication strategy, scientific communications strategy, as well as regional communication strategies. He/She works to ensure the appropriate expression of policy advocacy work through communications tools, as well as guiding disease specific communication strategies throughout the organization.

The HCA works under the supervision of the Director of External Affairs (DEA) and leads a team in Switzerland, as well as in DNDi regional offices in Kenya, USA, Brazil, India, Malaysia, and Japan. The HCA is responsible for the development of the key messaging of the organization and ensuring this messaging is harmonized throughout the regional offices; for establishing and implementing appropriate processes throughout the team which correspond to the business model of DNDi; for developing communications capacities of the team where necessary; and ultimately for the integrity and accuracy of scientific, corporate, social media and multimedia, and press communications. He/she is required to understand the landscape of actors in the field of neglected diseases and determine appropriate positions and responses to emerging issues, as well as be capable of foreseeing and/or handling any necessary crisis communication if required.

Organizational relationships

The HCA will work closely with the following members of DNDi to manage and ensure successful implementation of DNDi‘s communication strategy and objectives.

  • The Director of External Affairs (DEA)  and the Executive Director to clarify and adapt DNDi messaging across targeted audiences and positioning;
  • The Scientific Communications Manager and the R&D team to oversee and guide all scientific communications and messaging;
  • The Press and Corporate Communications Manager to oversee and guide all processes, messaging and content of corporate communications materials and strategic media relations.
  • The Social Media and Web Manager to oversee and guide the development and maintenance of website as well as determine and implement a global social media strategy.
    The Head of Fundraising to support fundraising strategy and communications
  • The Head of Policy Advocacy to support the dissemination of policy messaging and tools towards keys opinion leaders, policy-makers and decision-    makers;
  • The Regional Communications Managers and officers to oversee and guide coherent communications strategies with regionally relevant messages;
  • DNDi’s partners, “Friends of DNDi”, other groups according to specific objectives under supervision DEA and Executive Director.
  • Heads of Diseases and other relevant advocacy team members to ensure clear treatment access advocacy strategies.


Specific Job Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Director of External Affairs, The HCA will be responsible for:

Management and planning

  • Participate in building the annual communications & advocacy action plan and ensure timely implementation;
  • Based on the action plan, implement a comprehensive communications and advocacy strategy to support DNDi’s mission;
  • Lead DNDi’s communication strategy by determining targeted audiences, identifying channels, developing messages, and assessing costs of communication programmes;
  • Analyse progress towards the goals and impact and guide future strategies;
  • Manage a team of 10-15 staff in Geneva and regions, as well as consultants.

Communication / advocacy-supporting tools

  • Set out and ensure implementation of the annual publication plan (annual report, regular newsletters, website, leaflets, etc.) according to  priorities and main progresses of R&D programmes;
  • Produce articles, editorials for targeted journals/audiences about DNDi’s model, keys challenges according to priorities and validate all major communication texts;
  • Lead the team, with partners, in product launches and communication around R&D progresses and achievements implementation in coordination with R&D team and with R&D partners;
  • Develop the public profile of key DNDi staff and board members to increase DNDi’s media profile;
  • Support disease and project teams to define and facilitate implementation of their access strategy for new treatments;
  • Participate in team leaders’ meetings, coordinate regular global communication meetings with all team members, and ensure coherent approaches throughout matrix approach.


  • Generate hard news angles for scientific & medical journals to raise the profile of DNDi’s brand and, through the coordination of proactive press relations by the team, with mainstream news media, and social media;
  • Support media outreach by the team with the necessary range of written materials, such as press releases, e-newsletter, press packs, movies and other documents;
  •  Support regional offices in developing messaging for regional/local media;
  • Generate pitches for high-level documentaries and develop strategic relations with producers and key outlets;
  • Oversee team in press briefings and press conferences using media opportunities around DNDi events, project successes, and public debates on global health issues etc., to build DNDi’s brand recognition.

Scientific/medical communication

  • Oversee and guide scientific communication plan with Scientific Communications Manager and supervise its implementation;
  • Determine key scientific events and opportunities for presentation of DNDi.


  • Propose appropriate strategies to achieve advocacy objectives through communications tools such as articles, brochures, media, blogs, journals, etc. and in appropriate congresses and other fora;
  • Work with the access committee & disease teams for each delivered treatment to identify key strategies for treatment access ,policy change;
  • Member of the policy advocacy committee, work with the policy advocacy team ,  to promote the DNDi model and support  advocacy campaigns toward  a global framework for R&D for poverty related neglected diseases.



  • Experience: 10-15 years work experience in similar position (with a background in journalism,  communications management, media relations or global health) ideally with a strong public health background;
  • Rigorous and organized with strong management skills, experienced in managing a global team and coordinating network of collaborators; Understanding of poverty related health issues in developing countries;
  • Experience working internationally and preferably with organization involved in global health issues;
  • Ability to work in multi-cultural team and to develop good working relationships
  • with colleagues and partners, even under pressure of meeting deadlines;
  • University degree in communication, public health or science, or related area, or equivalent work experience;
  • Initiative, excellent judgement, and excellent verbal and written communications skillsare essential;
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English as a mother tongue, French desirable, other languages a plus;
  • Good computer skills, especially PowerPoint, Word, design.


Personal skills and traits

  • Superior interpersonal and communications skills, particularly with high-level individuals in a multinational environment with high level of personal integrity and credibility
  • Experience working in international environment and with people from different cultural backgrounds
  • Innovative and inspirational with entrepreneurial flair and creativity
  • High level of strategic thinking, planning and budgeting
  • Strong network of personal contacts and ability to extend this network extensively
  • Thorough, systematic and well organized with full attention to detail
  • Experience working in international environment and with people from different cultural backgrounds;
  • Energetic, curious, proactive and capable of positively working in a team
  • Belief and commitment to the mission, vision and work of DNDi
  • Willingness and ability to travel up to 20% of time including to visit field projects.


To apply

Please send via email only a letter explaining why you are applying for this post and an up-to-date copy of your CV/resume to EmaZoric@michaelpage.ch.

For the full position description and additional information about DNDiplease visit our website at www.dndi.org


Accepting applications until 16th November 2015

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.