Senior Communications Manager

Geneva, Switzerland
[Closing date: June 11, 2017]


Established in 2003, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a not-for-profit research and development (R&D) organization that develops new, improved, and affordable medicines for deadly neglected diseases that afflict millions of the world’s poorest people.

DNDi focuses on discovering and developing treatments for sleeping sickness (human African trypanosomiasis), Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, filarial infections, paediatric HIV, mycetoma, and hepatitis C. In 2016, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, DNDi launched the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, a not-for-profit research and development organization to develop new antibiotic treatments addressing antimicrobial resistance and to promote their responsible use for optimal conservation, while ensuring equitable access for all.

Since its inception, DNDi has developed seven new treatments for neglected patients for malaria, sleeping sickness, visceral leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, paediatric HIV with several new drug candidates in the R&D pipeline including two for sleeping sickness. Our objective is to deliver 16 to 18 new treatments by 2023, ensure equitable access to these treatments, and build a robust pipeline of new drug candidates.

In this context of increasing activities and regionalization, DNDi has engaged a reorganization process which aims at effectively implementing the recently approved business plan, and is currently looking for a Senior Communications Manager.


Purpose of the position

The primary objective of the position of the Senior Communications Manager (SCM) is to raise the profile of the organization, and increase awareness of neglected diseases and the needs of patients living with these diseases by shaping DNDi’s messages to external audiences.

Working with other senior members of the Communications Team, the SCM will help shape and implement global, regional and scientific communication strategies, and will work to guide disease-specific or thematic communication strategies. The SCM will be responsible for the development of the key messaging, as well as ensuring its scientific and corporate integrity and accuracy. Working with communications colleagues, the SCM will help shape and deliver media, digital, and scientific communications, as well as strategies around major events.

The SCM works under the supervision of the Head of Communications and Advocacy as part of a global communications team with presence in Switzerland, as well as in DNDi regional offices in Kenya, USA, Brazil, India, and Japan.


Specific job responsibilities

Writing/editing publications/corporate communications

  • Oversee the work of the Corporate Communications Manager to:
    • Set out and ensure implementation of an annual publication plan (annual report, regular newsletters, factsheets, leaflets, etc.), according to priorities and main progresses of R&D programmes.
    • Deliver new corporate communications materials (brochures, leaflets, disease factsheets, policy briefs etc.).
    • Contribute to writing for websites (,

Scientific/medical communication

  • Oversee the work of Scientific Communications Managers to:
    • Ensure DNDi R&D milestones and scientific orientations are represented at key scientific events and through impactful scientific publications.
    • Develop communications collateral for use in media, publications or digital communications on DNDi scientific results and milestones.

Media work

  • Under the strategic guidance of the Media Lead:
    • Develop and pitch storylines specifically to European media on DNDi’s R&D activities and model to raise the profile of DNDi’s brand.
    • Support media outreach with the necessary range of written materials, such as press releases, e-newsletter, press packs, movies and other documents.
    • Contribute to generating hard news angles for scientific & medical journals and pitches for high-level documentaries and develop strategic relations with producers and key outlets.
    • Supervise the work of the Communications Officer in the logistical organization of interviews for spokespeople based in Europe.
  • Disease-specific communications
    • Act as focal point for communications needs of GARDP team related to AMR.
    • As a member of the Communications Steering Group, contribute to strategic discussions around communications plans for specific disease milestones or messages.


Job requirements

Skills and attributes

  • Very strong ability to use initiative, prioritize, multi-task, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Very clear and systematic thinking that demonstrates strong judgement and problem solving competencies.
  • Very strong communication skills in multicultural, multi-lingual environments particularly with high-level individuals.
  • Very strong level of personal integrity and credibility.
  • Very strong ability to work effectively as part of a multicultural team.
  • Very well organized and structured.
  • Very strong analytical skills.
  • Very strong ability to lead project delivery.
  • Very strong ability to manage large size projects with budget management.
  • Strong strategic thinking and leadership abilities.
  • Very strong management, negotiation, and advocacy skills.
  • Very strong ability to interact with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Very strong ability to lead and motivate a team for optimum performance, supervising junior staff.
  • Very strong understanding of poverty related health issues in developing countries.
  • Innovative and inspirational with entrepreneurial flair and creativity.
  • Strong network of personal contacts and ability to extend this network extensively.
  • Energetic, curious, proactive.
  • Belief and commitment to the mission, vision and work of DNDi.


  • Over 8 years in similar position (with a background in journalism, communications management, media relations or global health) ideally with a strong public health background.
  • Experience in managing a global team and coordinating network of collaborators.
  • Experience working internationally and preferably with organization involved in global health issues.
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a team environment and matrix structure.


  • Advanced postgraduate degree or graduate degree with equivalent in experience to reach Master level. Studies in communication, public health or science, or related area.

Other Requirements

  • Excellent command of written and spoken English as a mother tongue.
  • Proficiency in French desirable.
  • Other language in a plus
  • Very good computer skills, especially PowerPoint, Word, design.


To apply

  • Deadline for application: June 11th, 2017.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.