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Senior Communications Assistant (GS-5)




Reporting to the Communications Officer and in accordance with the OPCW Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity/Gender Equality, the Senior Communications Assistant performs the following duties;


Under the direct supervision of the Communications Officer (F0248) the post holder will:


Maintain Global Situational Awareness and support deployed Inspection Teams 

  • Act as Single point of contact and support for all Inspection Teams deployed on a 24/7 basis 
  • Track Inspection Teams deployed worldwide and monitor security situation in the area of deployment.
  • Monitor various sources and news feeds.
  • Update common operational awareness overview
  • Gather Information using predefined techniques and tools as tasked on a case by case basis
  • Report relevant incidents to Supervisor and preparing of brief summaries


Provides operational communications support to the Situation Centre (SitCen)

  • Transmit and receive messages via Satcom., Tel & fax and Internet E-mail. Maintain SitCen records and operational logs.
  • Under the direction of Communications Officer, support drafting Standard Operating Procedures for HQ communications operations, and for field deployment of the OPCW communications systems.
  • Covering as necessary for the Duty Officer during absence from the Situation Centre. 
  • Provide IT/IS support to the Situation Centre
  • Programme secure communications equipment and perform crypto custodian management, assuring the integrity of the OPCW voice and data encryption equipment.
  • Advise the Equipment Store on technical issues related to field communications.
  • Immediately address and take corrective action on all communication equipment technical failures.
  • Maintain and adhere to the Situation Centre established shift hand over procedures.
  • Issue and receive materials and equipment required for mission activities
  • Assist outgoing teams in the use of all OPCW communications equipment.


Provides operational communications support to the deployed Inspection Teams

  • Commission satellite communications terminals (Inmarsat), hand held satellite devices (Iridium and Thuraya) and VHF/UHF radio networks for field deployment.
  • Configure satellite transceivers for use with encrypted voice and data.
  • Provide troubleshooting and telephone help desk support to Inspection Teams in the field.
  • Participate in field missions that require technically proficient communications expertise
  • Provide Level 1 support for OPCW communications equipment, encryption systems and Inspection Laptops.
  • Prepare and handover confidential mission equipment for Inspections


Develop communications training programmes designed to meet the needs of Inspection Personnel

  • Develop training objectives and course outlines for initial and refresher telecommunications training for inspection personnel in support of the OPCW's General Training Scheme.
  • Develop course materials for use by the CBCP Cell.
  • Present class lectures and lead practical demonstrations.
  • Provide tutoring on an individual basis.
  • Provide hands-on communication training for departing inspection teams.


Document archiving (Information Management): 

  • Electronically archive communications with State Parties and deployed Inspection teams.
  • Decide on the format of indexing these documents.
  • Archive paper copies of communications with State Parties and deployed Inspection teams.
  • Ensure Mission Status and handover documents are always updated with most recent information.


Operational Information (OP-Info)

  • Receive and disseminate OP-Info to the relevant recipients in the TS
  • Participate in keeping up-to-date electronic and paper database on operational contact information.
  • Participate in keeping the OP-Info contact information, the email system and fax server up-to-date

Any other duties as deemed necessary for the post




Education (Qualifications):

  • Essential: High School Diploma or equivalent Diploma of higher Secondary Education



  • Additional training and experience in the following fields of technology desirable: 
    1. Satellite and radio communication
    2. IT-Networks 
    3. GPS tracking and GIS systems
    4. Encryption systems
  • Additional professional administration training desirable.




  • At least four years of professional experience in operational context; 
  • Experience in support of customers and field teams remotely
  • Experience working in confidential environments. 



  • Experience in using computerised administration systems.
  • Experience in field deployments and working in hostile environments


Skills and Abilities (Key competencies)

  • Solid computer skills, including ability to produce reports and background material;
  • Proven ability to write in a clear and concise manner and to communicate effectively;
  • Good organisational skills, proactive mentality, with a strong sense of urgency
  • Ability to work in a focussed and precise manner; 
  • Proven interpersonal and diplomatic skills; ability to establish and maintain effective working relations at all levels with people in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;
  • Open minded and willing to take on additional duties in a spirit of continuous learning and development; 
  • Service/client oriented with a high sense of discretion, maturity and tact to deal with highly sensitive matters;  
  • Ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and follow up on the work of the Branch;


Other Skills:

  • Tact, discretion and accuracy; 
  • Effective organisational skills and ability to handle a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; 
  • Initiative and willingness to learn new skills.

Flexibility to be able and willing to move to different posts within the organisation, often at short notice.



Language Requirements:

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