Senior Communications Officer, Nigeria
At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation we believe that by creating an environment for our employees to personally and professionally thrive, we will have maximum impact toward our missions to achieve our vision.
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The External Communications team helps advance the foundation’s global advocacy priorities through strategic communications while strengthening and protecting the foundation’s reputation. The team is responsible for driving the foundation’s overarching communications strategy through targeted issue-specific and cross-cutting campaigns designed to reach and engage influencers. We oversee editorial planning and develop strategies to optimize leadership voice, brand, and creative content through the foundation’s owned channels and earned media.
Leadership & Culture
Our culture shapes our choices about what we do and how we do it. We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment can do extraordinary things. We expect foundation employees to intentionally and consistently embody our four agreements; show respect, offer trust, be transparent, and create energy.
The primary responsibility of the Senior Communications Officer, Nigeria, is to develop and implement a coordinated and innovative communications and media strategy that will use a range of high-quality communications tactics, dissemination strategies, materials, specific events/initiatives; and creative tools, including social media to help achieve the foundation’s programmatic and advocacy goals in Nigeria. This will be done in close collaboration with Nigeria-based leadership and staff, communications partners in the Gates Foundation’s Africa Regional and Seattle offices, program teams, and other policy and advocacy colleagues. It will also involve collaboration with a range of external foundation grantees and partners, including-given the Gates Foundation’s work with Nigeria’s government-government communications professionals at both federal and state levels.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works in close partnership with Nigeria’s federal and state governments, civil society, the private sector and development partners in support of the country’s development goals—particularly in Human Capital Development, Health, Agriculture, Digital Innovation and Data, Nutrition, Gender and Financial Services for the poor. The Senior Communications Officer must be well-positioned to lead communications interventions that support the country program and will have a good understanding of reputation risk management. The Senior Communications Officer will report to Nigeria-based Deputy Director for Policy, Advocacy, and Communications, with a dotted-line reporting relationship to the Africa Regional Office’s Deputy Director for Communications, based in Johannesburg.
- With leadership and staff colleagues, develop and implement a Nigeria communications strategy that deploys foundation assets (e.g., grants and contracts, leadership voice, convening ability, staff time) in support of the Gates Foundation’s strategy and its programmatic, policy and financing goals.
- Work internally with Abuja-based, regional, and global program partners and communications colleagues to align strategies, gather information and lead on communications projects, including managing partners and consultants to work on communication work.
- Work with internal partners – and lead investments in outside partners – to develop communication materials, events, and initiatives.
- Collaborate with colleagues in the region and in Seattle to support the foundation’s advocacy goals and corporate communications priorities, including dissemination of the foundation’s flagship campaigns and publications.
- Lead and manage communications and media engagements of executive and foundation leadership visits to the country(primarily the Nigeria Country Director, but potentially including Co-chairs, CEO, Division Presidents and other Directors visiting Nigeria).
- Build and maintain relationships with Nigerian media partners, and communications partners at other relevant government, donor, and civil society organizations in Nigeria – in coordination with internal foundation communications colleagues.
- Work closely with the global External Communications team, the Africa Communications team, the Program Advocacy, and Communications team, and Program Strategy teams to coordinate and prioritize the foundation’s use of voice in Nigeria.
- Potentially represent the foundation and the Nigeria program to internal and external audiences, including both formal and informal presentations – explaining the foundation’s priority issues, policies and operational goals, making speeches, attending conferences and other meetings as necessary.
- Lead project development, coordination and post-production activities of specific communications initiatives.
- Drive strategic insights to ensure that communications strategies are aligned with the broader foundation and advocacy objectives.
- Risk Management: monitor perceptions, track shifts in opinion and respond to inquiries while providing and updating key facts about the foundation’s priority issues.
- Identify opinion leaders and influential organizations in Nigeria at national and states levels and guide a strategy for engagement.
Position Reports to: Deputy Director, Program Advocacy and Communications, Nigeria
Core Knowledge and Skills
- Outstanding knowledge, experience and expertise in media and communications in Nigeria – either directly involving global health and development issues or in areas that have provided strong and meaningful experience that can be translated to health and development issues.
- Experience and/or shown ability in engaging with government communications partners in Nigeria, preferably at both national and sub-national levels. Experience communicating around policy and advocacy efforts, and in working with NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) and the private sector (in addition to the media and government), preferred.
- Experienced in crafting an essential communications portfolio and building and developing strategic communications and media partnerships.
- Collaborate within teams and across boundaries. Encouraging partnerships that strengthen support for the foundation’s priority objectives and mitigates reputational risk.
- Understanding of strategic audience segmentation, and how to use communications channels, traditional and social media, and multi-media approaches to reach audiences with appropriate messages. Able to recommend appropriate distribution channels that reach intended audiences.
- Deep awareness of communication industry trends, channels, and resources. Demonstrated experience in a multicultural team. Demonstrates awareness of global differences when communicating with people in other countries.
- Proven track record to generate ideas that support audience and channel strategies.
- Ability to translate sophisticated ideas and information into simple messages aligned to targeted audiences.
- A dedication to using facts and sound rationale to convey benefits to goals, as well as a demonstrated commitment to creativity and innovation.
- Outstanding verbal and written communication skills; with demonstrable experience of writing engaging articles on social impact issues.
- Experience working with international organizations (in a communication role) and/or in multiple countries is preferred.
- Experience or high ability to work in a complex, matrixed environment – requiring cultural awareness, and a collaborative nature that knows the benefits of seeking consensus.
- Ability to work with flexibility, entrepreneurship, and diplomacy both individually and as part of a complex team effort. A shown ability to effectively manage and adapt to a changing environment.
- Capacity to work simultaneously on a variety of issues and tasks independently, adjusting to priorities and achieving results with agreed objectives and deadlines
- Solid experience working in Africa, with a strong country experience. A deep dedication to development issues in Nigeria.
- Ability to travel up to 25% domestically and internationally.
Education and Experience
- Masters or Bachelor’s degree in relevant field; Communications, English, Journalism, Literature, Public Relations, Political Science or other relevant area of study.
- At least 7+ years of progressive experience to include senior and leadership roles, or equivalent experience in relevant fields including marketing, PR, media, and communications, public policy or international relations.
- Senior level roles held working in non-profit/public health or development, government, communications agency, or private sector organization is strongly preferred.
*Must be able to legally work in the country where this position is located without visa sponsorship.
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
Learn more here
Job posted: 2020-04-22