Job Opening

Department/Office: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 27 July 2021 - 09 September 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-Public Information-OHCHR-160217-R-Geneva (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

Org. Setting and Reporting

This post is located within the Media and Public Positioning Section, External Outreach Service (EOS), Executive Management and Direction of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Geneva. The incumbent reports to the High Commissioner for Human Rights and to the Chief of the EOS.


Under the leadership of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and in coordination with the Chief of the External Outreach Service of OHCHR, the incumbent:

- Develops and implements media strategies for OHCHR, including by working closely with senior management to strategize on how the activities of the Office and its priorities are best presented to the media and the general public at large.

- Performs media liaison/spokesperson duties for the High Commissioner. Makes official statements on behalf of the High Commissioner. Advises and assists the High Commissioner in all interactions with the media.

- Acts as OHCHR main media focal point to keep the media informed of the activities of OHCHR. Works closely with all parts of OHCHR to keep apprised of the whole range of the Office's activities and priorities. Advises and assists members of the Senior Management Team on interaction with the media, as necessary.

- Proactively expands and maintains OHCHR's network of media contacts, holding regular news briefings, giving or arranging interviews, and formulating and delivering directly, and on behalf of the High Commissioner and OHCHR, answers to questions from all types of media, including during missions of the High Commissioner.

- Supervises the research, drafting and editing of information materials (press releases, statements, speeches, opinion pieces) on behalf of the High Commissioner and other parts of OHCHR. Oversees the preparation and dissemination or placing of diverse information products.

- Develops strategic partnerships with key constituencies to elicit support and maximize impact of activities. Represents OHCHR in meetings and conferences, fulfils speaking engagements and makes presentations to groups on OHCHR's activities.

- Supervises the content and the development of OHCHR website pages that are under the responsibility of the Media and Public Positioning Section. Oversees the monitoring of the media for coverage of the Office, identifying trends and providing advice accordingly.

- Leads and manages the Media and Public Positioning Section and conducts other media related work, as required.


PROFESSIONALISM: State-of-the-art knowledge in the field of public information and communications and ability to address a range of issues related to UN information requirements, including taking the lead in planning and executing the media-related components of major public information campaigns, ability to advise on high profile and sensitive communication challenges; extensive knowledge of human rights and the human rights community and ability to identify public affairs needs, opportunities and risks in an international environment; in-depth understanding of the UN system, organization and interrelationships, specially of the UN human rights programme. Ability to plan and organize own work and to coordinate the work of others, work to tight deadlines, and handle multiple concurrent projects/activities.

COMMUNICATION: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately. Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals. Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others. Places team agenda before personal agenda. Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position. Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow. Empowers others to translate vision into results. Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives. Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support. Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions. Drives for change and improvement; does not accept the status quo. Shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

JUDGEMENT/DECISION MAKING: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly. Gathers relevant information before making a decision. Considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them. Takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization. Proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information. Checks assumptions against facts. Determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision. Makes tough decisions when necessary.


Advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) in communications, journalism, public relations or other related field. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible professional experience in journalism, communications or public relations in large multicultural institutions is required.
Out of the ten years, at least five years liaising with, or working for, international media is required.
Managerial and supervisory experience at an international level is required.
Experience as a spokesperson is required.
Experience writing media articles on human rights is desirable.
Experience within the United Nations Common System is also desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in both English and French is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which will be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.

Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfil the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover letter.

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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