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Head, Public Affairs & OPCW Spokesperson (P-5)

Principal Functions

Under the direct supervision of the Director, External Relations and in accordance with the OPCW Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity/Gender Equality, the Head, Public Affairs & OPCW Spokesperson performs the following duties:

  1. Lead and manage the public affairs operation responsible for projecting the face, amplifying the voice and extending the OPCW’s reach while conveying its on-going relevance and the importance of the global endeavour for a world permanently free of chemical weapons;
  2. Serve as the Spokesperson for the OPCW and the main point of contact with the media, research institutes, non-governmental organisations, support centres and the general public; provide advice and guidance on traditional and social media engagement to other staff in the Organisation;
  3. Provide advice to Senior Management about reputation risks and oversee crisis communications function within the Public Affairs Branch;
  4. Propose strategy and/or advice on media engagement  and public information for consideration by Senior Management;
  5. Review (as needed) and implement the OPCW policies on Media and Public Affairs and prepare and implement related directives on relations with the media and the public, clearance procedures for external communications, public presentations, and media advice for OPCW deployments in co-operation with the relevant divisions and branches;
  6. Initiate and maintain contact with the media and target groups of the general public. Act as the main liaison between the OPCW and the public information sectors of the UN and other international organisations and press centres in NYC, Vienna, Geneva and key capitals;
  7. Develop and implement communications strategies to raise the profile of the OPCW while ensuring an accurate understanding of the Chemical Weapons Convention and OPCW activities. Provide interviews with media outlets and ensure appropriate arrangements for the Director-General;
  8. Provide oversight for the in-person and virtual Group Visits programme as well as other outreach activities;
  9. Provide substantive and managerial oversight for the production of public diplomacy products about the OPCW and Chemical Weapons Convention for use by OPCW units and dissemination to the general public and identified special interest groups;
  10. Ensure the quality (content and functionality) and effectiveness of the official public  website ( and associated social media platforms as part of the core digital communications strategy and operations;
  11. Evaluate opportunities and propose strategies to senior management for promoting OPCW and the CWC through major media outlets;
  12. Coordinate within the Secretariat public or media events, the preparation and production of relevant products, including supporting the OPCW education and outreach programmes, publications for the general public;
  13. Coordinate and facilitate, with the support of the Public Information Officer, the participation of non-governmental organisations in the relevant activities of the Organisation; 
  14. Coordinate the planning, message design and organisational preparations of public events, including special feature projects or exhibitions;
  15. Ensure the production of the daily Media Digest for Senior Management and Technical Secretariat staff;
  16. Actively encourage all relevant stakeholders to enhance their external engagement with key stakeholders by making sure there is adherence to OPCW policies on Media and Public Affairs and OPCW branding guidelines, quality content, and high-impact strategies;
  17. Develop branch inputs for the programme and budget process for the OPCW that reflects the needs of the public affairs operation.

Knowledge and Experience



Advanced university degree in International Relations, Political Science, Journalism or Communications. A first level university degree in combination with qualifying experience (minimum 12 years) may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


Knowledge of international security and/or weapons of mass destruction issues.



At least 10 years of related experience in media, public relations and corporate use of social media and other community-building communication tools. Demonstrable experience managing a team. 


Experience of government or international institution spokesperson and with diplomatic processes.

Skills and Abilities (key competencies)

  1. Excellent knowledge of international security, disarmament and non-proliferation issues;
  2. Excellent written and verbal communication skills and ability to draft and edit a range of external communications products for a variety of audiences are essential;
  3. Excellent and proven management, planning, organisational, coordination, negotiation and problem-solving skills;
  4. Strong analytical and conceptual skills in analysing and interpreting communication issues and proposing and implementing solutions;
  5. Demonstrated leadership and management skills, including ability to think strategically and achieve results;
  6. Ability to develop new policies in the area of communication management and public diplomacy for the Organisation;
  7. Excellent inter-personal and communication skills to present information tactfully, clearly and logically, both in writing and verbally;
  8. Solid information technology skills including proficiency in MS360;
  9. Up-to-date knowledge of social media platforms and development trends relevant to international organisations;
  10. Ability to ensure an effective work structure to maximise productivity and achieve Branch goals;
  11. Ability to coordinate the work of others to meet tight deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent activities;
  12. Proven ability in creating an enabling environment for diversity and inclusion goals while establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with people of different national and cultural backgrounds;
  13. Management experience and project result oriented approach essential.

Language Requirements

Fluency in English is essential and a good working knowledge of one of the other OPCW official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish).