Deputy Director Communications, Africa
We seek a Deputy Director, Communications Africa who will be accountable for developing, managing, co-ordinating, networking, implementing and monitoring communication strategies and associated plans for the Gates Foundation. As a thought partner on the External Communications Extended Leadership Team, the Deputy Director Communications Africa will actively contribute to and engage on the foundation’s global communications strategy. The incumbent will also design and execute communications strategies that support the foundation’s program and advocacy goals in Africa and will contribute to positive perceptions of the foundation’s work globally in support of programmatic and advocacy goals.
This role will also be responsible for supporting the foundation’s reputation to ensure our partners and target audiences are aware of the breadth and depth of our programs in focus countries on the continent. The incumbent will also develop and implement agenda-setting strategies that keep foundation issues politically salient in order to help advance programmatic and advocacy goals. This role will also support internal communications to ensure the Africa team and its perspectives remain visible and integrated across foundation partners. This position will report to the Director for Policy Advocacy and Communications, Africa and dotted line to the Director of External Communications in Seattle.
This role straddles both the Africa team from a geographic perspective, and the global External Communications team from a functional perspective. By being closest to our partners and the work we do on the continent, the Africa team is uniquely placed to support the foundation’s programmatic work and ambition on the continent to achieve sustained impact at scale. They do this by helping to develop a more coordinated, one foundation approach to where and how we engage in Africa, advocating for increased and more efficient funding, policy and attention on human capital development and by supporting Africa led/owned institutions and influencers to be stronger and more resilient. The External Communications team helps advance the foundation’s global advocacy priorities through an appropriate mix of strategic communications while strengthening and protecting the foundation’s reputation.
- Thought partnership on global communications strategies: As a thought partner on the External Communications Extended Leadership Team, the incumbent will actively contribute to the foundation’s global communications strategies, approaches and plans.
- Accountability for strategy development and execution: Lead on the development and successful execution of communications strategies, plans and approaches. Provide strategic thought leadership to develop and implement communications strategies to support program and advocacy in Africa as well as localizing global campaigns and leveraging leadership voices
- Reputation management: Taking a lead on managing media relationships, direct media monitoring, organizing and staffing media events, crisis management, building and protecting the foundation brand, and collaborating with communications, advocacy, and program leads in various program areas across the foundation to ensure close coordination.
- Communications agency Support: Lead on the management of communications agency support in key countries across the continent.
- Media relationships management: Lead on the development and maintenance of strategic media relationships across the continent, including international correspondents in foundation focus countries in Africa, and function as part of the foundation’s global newsroom.
- Content development: Lead on content development plans, including drafting written communications, and performing final review of foundation material for target audiences in Africa.
- Partnering on advocacy communications: Partner closely with program advocacy strategy leads, develop strategy and execute communications plans for foundation programs in Africa (HIV, TB, Nutrition, Agriculture, Gender Equality, R&D etc.)
- Global and Pan-African Campaign management: Lead on the development of strategies to localize global priorities and campaigns in Africa, including leading on planning and execution of key global campaigns to reach African audiences (e.g. Goalkeepers, Annual letter etc)
- Influencer engagement in Africa: Lead on strategies and approaches for community management and engaging with African social media and traditional media influencers in support of campaigns and other foundation advocacy and programmatic initiatives.
- Media inquiries: Lead on ensuring that the foundation is responsive to media inquiries, including leveraging opportunities for highlighting foundation program areas for programmatic and advocacy milestones.
- Digital media engagement: Provide direction and leadership on strategies for the foundation’s engagement with target audiences on social media. Ensure smooth collaboration with global digital media engagement leads in Seattle.
- Leadership voice: Contribute to leadership voice planning for the foundation in Africa, collaborating with regional advocacy leads.
- Co-Chair and Executive Leadership Team trip management: Lead on all communications aspects of high-level trips to Africa, including executing strategies to ensure optimal use of voice.
- Partnering with grantees: Occasionally provide communications consulting to certain grantees as need arises.
- Africa Planning calendar: Manage the development of an Africa events calendar in partnership with the rest of the Africa team and the External communications team in Seattle.
- Grant making and management: Provide strategic guidance in crafting grants and contracts in line with goals and objective of the Africa communications plans.
- Budgeting for communications portfolio: Overall management of the Africa communications budget in close collaboration with the Africa team and the External communications team in Seattle.
- Internal employee events: Act as a liaison with the Seattle office and other regional offices in support of employee events and activities and provide communications support to staff and grantees.
- People management: This role will manage people and may be responsible for hiring the talent needed to achieve our goals, ensuring successful employee onboarding, communicating performance expectations, creating goal alignment, integrating project and change management, giving and seeking feedback, providing coaching, measuring progress and holding people accountable, supporting employee development, and recognizing achievement and lessons learned.
Core Knowledge and Skills
- Sharp, strategic, creative and inspiring leader with strong leadership and management skills with a sense of humour and humility and ‘roll up your sleeves’ attitude
- Understanding of the global health and development policy environment
- Demonstrated ability to work with efficiency, diplomacy, and flexibility particularly as part of a team.
- Big picture thinker with a focus on campaign development and ability to strategize with internal and external stakeholders
- Solid contacts and working relationships with African and international media based on the continent.
- Exceptional public presentation skills and ability to develop and maintain positive and productive relationships with media and policy partners.
- Excellent oral and written communications skills in English (French or widely spoken African languages would be an added advantage), and a demonstrated ability to create persuasive and clear oral and written communications.
- Demonstrated excellent written and oral communication skills
- Excellent analytical skills and ability to turn research findings into palatable communications products.
- Ability to stay calm and poised under pressure or crisis and remain focused in a rapidly changing environment.
- Demonstrated initiative to solve problems with high energy and a positive attitude.
- Passion for the foundation’s mission
Education and Experience
- Master’s degree with a minimum of fifteen years’ progressive experience in a similar leadership role in communications, journalism, public policy, or a related field, including management experience on the continent
- Experience of developing communications strategies, coordinating events, and working closely with campaigns, digital and print media, on behalf of large, matrixed, global organizations
- Strong experience in and understanding of African news media, including traditional and digital media in Africa.
- Experience working with and staffing high-level executives.
- Experience and ability to work multiple projects simultaneously in a demanding, fast-paced and matrixed environment.
- Demonstrated initiative to solve problems with high energy and a positive attitude.
- Experience working on teams with diverse cultural and professional backgrounds.
As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve—in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs—and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.
All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve the mission of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to:
* Sexual Orientation
* Gender Identity
* Gender Expression
* National Origin
* Genetic Information
* Veteran Status
* Marital Status
* Prior Protected Activity
Job posted: 2020-04-22