Head of Unit (Press)


Post Number : CPE 101

Grade : P-4

Parent Sector : Division for Communications and Public Engagement (CPE)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Public Information

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 29-JUL-2024 (EXTENDED)


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism



Under the authority of the Director of the Division for Communications and Public Engagement (CPE), the incumbent is responsible for driving the development and implementation of UNESCO's global press and media relations. The incumbent is a senior and seasoned media relations specialist, with an excellent ability to speak on and off the record on UNESCO issues, including on confidential, political and sensitive issues. His/Her excellent interpersonal skills and knowledge of the media landscape and mechanisms will enhance the presence and visibility of UNESCO's action in the press and top-tier media, with a view to Inform, Inspire and Engage the public and new partners for the work of UNESCO.


The incumbent is responsible for leading all media outreach efforts for UNESCO's mandate and priorities, working in close coordination with the Director of the Division, and frequently with the Office of the Director-General. S/He uses his/her knowledge of the international media landscape, as well as his/her relationships with journalists to pitch and present key stories and create global coverage of UNESCO's programmes.


The incumbent is also responsible for ensuring that Programme Sectors, UNESCO Offices in the field, as well as the UNESCO liaison offices, are assisted and briefed in relation to global, regional and country-specific media matters. S/He is also responsible for leading an integrated team including press attachés, public information officers and media specialists. 


In particular, the incumbent will:

Long Description

  • Supervise and coordinate the Press team, leading the Division for Communications and Public Engagement efforts in press and media relations, with a view to enhance the positive presence and visibility of UNESCO's programme and impact in top-tier media and international press.
  • Inspire and manage the Press team in the pitching and dissemination of UNESCO messages and stories in the press.
  • Coordinate with the Sectors/Bureaux for the elaboration of a press communication schedule including the prioritization of requests.
  • Help develop and implement coordinated strategies for the handling of sensitive matters.
  • Elaborate media plans for events and projects, taking into account the strategic positioning of UNESCO, evaluating the risks involved for the Organization's image and credibility, with a proven ability to identify stories and information with the highest potential for coverage and pick-up.
  • Supervise the implementation of media outreach plans, including the preparation, validation, translation, distribution of high-quality information products, press releases and media advisories.
  • Coordinate and supervise the drafting and editorial work of the Press team to guarantee a high quality of content, style and format in the pitching and drafting of messaging for an effective dissemination of UNESCO messages and stories in the press, including reviewing and editing press releases, media advisories, stories and other materials for the press.
  • Develop and maintain networks of global and national media contacts, correspondents and journalists to enhance the visibility of UNESCO and its credibility as a reliable and trusted source of information.
  • Manage media relations with, inter alia, the organization of press briefings, press conferences, interviews and any special events arranged specifically for the media, such as thematic workshops for journalists, including supervising the accreditation of journalists to and their reception at UNESCO, in liaison with the relevant services.
  • Monitor and analyse UNESCO's presence in the media and provide regular reporting on the results of media operations in order to strengthen prioritization, targeting and impact.
  • Ensure that UNESCO is equipped with appropriate tools to monitor and assess UNESCO's presence in the press on a global and national scale.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Communication (C)
Accountability (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Professionalism (C)
Building partnerships (M)
Driving and managing change (M)
Leading and empowering others (M)
Making quality decisions (M)
Managing performance (M)
Strategic thinking (M)


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.




  • Advanced university degree (Master's or equivalent) in communication, journalism, public or international affairs or a related field.


Work Experience

  • A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible relevant professional experience in the field of institutional communications, media relations, external relations or public affairs, of which preferably 3 years acquired at international level.
  • A minimum of 5 years successful experience in press and media relations at the international level.
  • Proven experience in managing a team in a similar function at international level for a period of no less than 2 years.


Skills & Competencies

  • Excellent adaptability and reactivity, with a proven ability to deal with the constraints of the news cycle.
  • Excellent drafting skills and detail-oriented.
  • Ability to manage and motivate staff and teams and to maintain effective working relationships in a multicultural environment.
  • Excellent analytical, diplomacy and advocacy skills, in particular ability to collect, synthesize and analyse information from various sources and convey messages.
  • Excellent coordination, interpersonal skills and communication skills.
  • Excellent proficiency in public speaking and ability to pitch and craft compelling stories to press and media.
  • Ability to take initiatives and to manage competing priorities, organize and prioritize workloads to meet established and short deadlines.
  • Strong analytical, problem solving, organizational and coordination skills.
  • Good knowledge of geopolitics.
  • Demonstrated ability to address complex and sensitive issues.
  • Proven ability to provide strategic direction, plan and establish priorities and implement them effectively.



  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English or French and very good knowledge of the other language.



Work Experience

  • Knowledge and experience with international organizations and/or the United Nations System.
  • Experience in private and/or public sector environment.
  • Experience in coordinating partnerships and activities as part of the implementation of a major project/fund.
  • Experience in resource mobilization.


Skills & Competencies

  • Familiarity with the work and general functioning of global institutions, international organizations and/or the United Nations System.



  • Knowledge of another official language of UNESCO (Arabic, Chinese, Russian and/or Spanish).


UNESCO’s salaries consist of a basic salary and other benefits which may include if applicable: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, medical insurance, pension plan etc.

The approximate annual starting salary for this post is 125 036 US $.

For full information on benefits and entitlements, please consult our Guide to Staff Benefits.


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


UNESCO recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.