Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons vacancy search engine

Senior Public Affairs Officer (P-4)

Principal Functions

Under the direct supervision of the Head of the Public Affairs Branch & OPCW Spokesperson, and in accordance with the OPCW Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity/Gender Equality, the post holder is responsible for the following duties:

1.    Contribute to the development and implementation of the OPCW’s communications strategy with the goal of raising the profile of the OPCW while ensuring accurate, balanced, and objective reporting about the OPCW by crafting strategic messages and media talking points for use by Senior Management or to be incorporated in public diplomacy products;

2.    Further develop a crisis communications strategy for the OPCW (develop relevant standard operating procedures and work instructions);

3.    Participate in OPCW activities related to the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force;

4.    Provide support to the Head of Public Affairs in the planning, development, production and distribution of public diplomacy materials and initiatives that promote an improved and accurate understanding of the OPCW with key stakeholders;

5.    Help assess the effectiveness of OPCW public diplomacy initiatives and propose improvements for recurring efforts;

6.    Help in the coordination and planning of major outreach activities (in-person and virtual) in terms of developing and coordinating communications plans targeted at key stakeholders with internal and external stakeholders with the assistance of the Public Affairs Officer;

7.    Monitor and analyse current events, public opinion and the press to identify issues and trends and contribute advice for consideration by Senior Management on appropriate action/responses;

8.    Work with the Public Information Officer to analyse media requests and propose responses for Head, Public Affairs and Senior Management review and approval; Provide assistance in organising media briefings and press conferences;

9.    Work with the Public Information Officer and the Director of the External Relations Division (ERD) to facilitate the process for NGO participation in major meetings of the OPCW (e.g., Conference of the States Parties, Review Conferences, commemorative events, etc.); provide oversight for funds related to NGO participation in OPCW activities;

10. Assist the Head of Public Affairs with the day-to-day management of branch operations;

11. Provide training to improve OPCW staff awareness of the media landscape, OPCW rules and regulations, and strategies for dealing with the media.

Staff Management/Supervision

12. Coordinate Branch submissions for periodic and annual reporting on Branch activities;

13. Help with preparation of the branch budget and serve as an alternate Certifying Officer;

14. Supervise 1 staff member (Public Affairs Officer).


Knowledge and Experience



Advanced university degree in international relations, political or social science, journalism, communications, media, or other related field; A university degree plus nine years’ experience in a related field; In the absence of a university degree, a combination of a diploma of higher education in a relevant field, relevant specialist training, and 13 years’ experience in a related field may be accepted as meeting this requirement.




           At least seven years of experience in communications, journalism, or international affairs related fields. At least nine years’ experience is required with a first level university degree; At least 13 years’ relevant professional experience is required with a diploma of higher education.

           A minimum of seven years of practical working experience in communications, journalism, the public affairs or press office of an international organisation; experience providing support to a government, international institution, or corporate spokesperson.




           Experience with corporate social media and other community-building communication tools.

           Experience as a government, international institution, or corporate spokesperson and experience with diplomatic processes.  

Skills and Abilities (key competencies)

  1. Good knowledge of international security, weapons of mass destruction disarmament and non-proliferation issues;
  2. Excellent communication skills and ability to draft and edit media talking points, speeches, presentations and public diplomacy materials are essential;
  3. Demonstrable experience in organising and managing media relations including press conferences and media briefings;
  4. Excellent and proven planning, management, coordination, negotiation and problem-solving skills;
  5. Strong analytical and conceptual skills in identifying, analysing, and interpreting communication issues and proposing and implementing solutions;
  6. Demonstrated leadership and management skills, including ability to think strategically and achieve results;
  7. Ability to develop new policies in the area of communications management and public diplomacy;
  8. Excellent inter-personal and communication skills to present information tactfully, clearly and logically, both in writing and verbally;
  9. Solid information technology skills including proficiency in MS Office, desktop and other media packages; Up-to-date knowledge of Internet-based social media tools and development trends relevant to international organisations;
  10. Ability to ensure an effective work structure to maximise productivity and achieve goals;
  11. Demonstrated management ability to coordinate the work of others to meet tight deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent activities;
  12. Proven ability in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.


Language Requirements

An excellent command of English is essential. A working knowledge of one of the other official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, or Spanish) is desirable.