Head of Communications

Applications procedure
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    Open until the position is filled

    United Nations University objectives

    The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in research, postgraduate training and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States. It serves as a think tank for the United Nations system, contributes to capacity building particularly in developing countries, and serves as a platform for new and creative ideas and dialogue. In addition to the UNU Headquarters, located in Tokyo, UNU has established fifteen institutes and programmes worldwide.

    UNU is searching for a new Head of Communications, to be located at its Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. The Head of Communications, reporting to the Executive Officer, Office of the Rector, will have responsibility for the development and implementation of the University’s worldwide communication and dissemination strategy and for implementing a focused set of activities aimed at enhancing the UNU’s media and communications outreach in the University’s main host country of Japan.


    The Head of Communications will have responsibility for developing, coordinating and energizing UNU communications worldwide and for carrying forward the ongoing efforts to raise the profile of the University globally, but more specifically in Japan, the University’s main host country.

    Specific responsibilities, to be undertaken in a coordinated fashion with communications personnel at the UNU Centre, Tokyo, and UNU institutes and programmes globally, will include:

    • Raising public awareness of and promoting UN University activities and outcomes by informing the general public, the UN system, governments and NGOs, among others, through the use of traditional and electronic media, web products, audio visual and print productions and publications, as well as by way of promotional and special event activities; 
    • Developing University policies and strategies for strengthening internal and external communication and the dissemination of information;
    • Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with leading media internationally;
    • Developing and implementing a focused set of ongoing public information and media activities to enhance the visibility of the University in Japan;
    • Providing advice and assistance to the Rector, institute and programme directors, and other senior colleagues regarding public affairs and information/dissemination issues;
    • Serving, when necessary, as the spokesperson for the UN University, in cooperation with the Rectorate and the directors of the institutes and programmes.

    Required qualifications and experience

    The successful candidate will have a highly collaborative style, able to lead a team in an open and positive manner, and will have experience in developing and implementing communications strategies, excellent writing/editing and verbal communications skills, and a strong track record as an implementer who thrives on managing a variety of initiatives concurrently. The position requires high energy, maturity and leadership, with the ability to serve as a unifying force and to position 
communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels.

    The position also requires:

    • An advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in journalism and/or communications, or a first university degree with a relevant combination of academic and professional qualifications;
    • Demonstrated communications experience of at least four (4) years, covering areas such as knowledge management and sharing, public policy support and advocacy, website content development and delivery, use of electronic and other media;
    • The ability to take knowledge and transform it into exciting and useful messages, and disseminate it to the various target audiences through the best distribution channels;
    • Fluency in English; working knowledge of Japanese would be desirable; knowledge of French or of other official languages of the United Nations would also be desirable;
    • The ability to interact with colleagues of diverse national, cultural and religious backgrounds and with political representatives and diverse communities in both industrialized and developing countries;
    • Proven commitment to issues of human development and welfare.


    Approximate net salary (free of tax) of US$ 103,900 (single status) – US$ 115,200 p.a (with dependants) including post adjustment.  Post adjustment is subject to change.

    The post carries the standard set of United Nations benefits and entitlements for international positions in the UN Common Systems, including participation in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, the possibility of participation in a health insurance programme, education grant, removal expenses and home leave.

    For more information, please visit www.un.org/Depts/OHRM/salaries_allowances/salary.htm.

    The Rector reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below that is advertised.

    Duration of contract

    This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment. The period of initial contract would be for a one-year term, with the possibility of renewal on the basis of excellent performance. The mandatory retirement age in the United Nations is 65 years.

    Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the authority of the Rector and may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University.

    Applications from suitably qualified women candidates and those from developing countries are particularly encouraged.

    Starting date

    As soon as possible.


  • Interested applicants are encouraged to apply online (to ).

    Please submit a UNU Personal History (P.11) form with a letter of application, including full curriculum vitae and names and addresses and fax numbers of three referees. The letter of application should set out how your qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position and must accompany your application. Please include a brief vision of how you believe the Head of Communications can best contribute to advancing the work of UNU and to informing policy- and decision-making in United Nations and international circles.

    UNU is an equal opportunities employer and strives to enhance gender balance within the Organization. Female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply for senior management positions

  • By post:
    Communications Office Selection Committee
    c/o Office of the Rector
    United Nations University
    53-70, Jingumae 5-chome
    Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925, JAPAN

    By fax:
    +81 3 3499-2828

    By email: