Add Listing Sign In

Communications Director

Consultant @External in IT and Computing Email Job
  • Share:

Job Detail

  • Job ID 13415

Job Description

Location: Nairobi, London, or Johannesburg

Compensation: Nairobi and Johannesburg: US$90,000 per annum; London: UK£80,000 per annum Expected start date: June 2024

Dear Applicant,

Launched in 2004, Crisis Action is a pioneering organisation that works behind the scenes to enable civil society to respond more effectively to violent conflict. Crisis Action’s unique model and record of impact earned the organisation the 2012 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions and the 2013 Skoll Foundation Award for Social Entrepreneurship.

We work through innovative campaigns that shift power towards populations at risk and spur collaborations to ensure the safety and rights of affected people in line with international human rights and humanitarian law. We strive to empower those we work with and provide platforms to those with direct experience of conflicts to tell their stories and speak truth to power. You can watch this video for an insight into our model and find out more about our work from our recent annual reports.

We are international, independent, and not-for-profit, with a diverse global team of about 50 people strategically located in Addis Ababa, Beirut, Johannesburg, London, Nairobi, New York, Paris, and Washington DC. Crisis Action’s Board is composed of respected leaders and sector experts from across the humanitarian, human rights, policy, and business spheres.

We are looking for an exceptional, strategic, and dynamic Communications Director to help drive forward and enhance the impact and effectiveness of our work.

If you’re hungry for a challenge, are creative and passionate about driving change, and experienced in influencing the world’s most powerful people to uphold rights and protect civilian lives, we look forward to receiving your application.

Nicola Reindorp

Chief Executive Officer

Overview of the Role

As Communications Director, you will play a pivotal role in advancing Crisis Action’s unique model of campaigning by driving maximum innovation and impact in our campaigns; communicating Crisis Action’s story in new and compelling ways to our diverse network of partners and donors; and by building allies and creative coalitions globally. We are looking for an exceptional changemaker who is an all-in-one storyteller, strategic communicator, newshound, and mentor, with the ability to ensure maximum innovation and impact in our campaigns and communications for the protection of civilians from conflict.

This is not a typical Communications Director role. We do not want our profile raised: in fact, while keeping us entirely behind the scenes, you will help our campaign teams and partners develop and deliver ever-more creative, strategic, and digitally aware campaigns that can achieve cut-through in a dramatically changing geopolitical landscape.

Our new Communications Director will be a seasoned communications professional with a strong understanding of the media landscape, but also an experienced changemaker with the soul and energy of an activist. You understand how change occurs and have a demonstrable passion and track record for making it happen. You seek and drive excellence but are also unafraid to embrace experimentation and failure. Your knowledge and experience of using a broad range of approaches for influencing decision makers, strong news sense, political instincts, and knowledge of different media markets, including – ideally – established relationships in key outlets and platforms – will be critical in shaping our work and fulfilling our mission to protect civilians affected by conflict.

Reporting to Crisis Action’s Director for Emergency Response, Learning and Innovation, you will lead and support our small but powerful Communications team. While this is a senior, strategic role, this position also requires hands-on implementation. You will have the ability to deliver work through your own team, as well as a complex ecosystem of colleagues, partners, and allies from all over the globe, including many of the world’s largest and most high-profile humanitarian and human rights groups. Therefore, the ability to work with and motivate others across teams, organisations, and time zones will be crucial.

We are looking for an outcome-focused individual who enjoys working in small, flexible teams, leading with rigour, initiative, and a high degree of professionalism. You will be comfortable in a fast-paced but fun and highly supportive environment that is laser-focused on impact. You will need to hit the ground running and be ready to engage with your new colleagues and partners to harness their resources and ambition to deliver effective campaigns.


1.Develop and implement innovative and impactful campaigns to protect civilians and prevent conflict

A core part of your responsibilities will be working with the Communications team and colleagues from our other offices to lead, strategize, or contribute to the global campaigns that Crisis Action coordinates. Your success will depend on your ability to build and nurture trusted relationships with our partners and allies from across sectors; and the agility to catalyse and leverage the collective power of our coalitions to generate impact. This will require you to:

  • Lead and support teams in devising smart and savvy media and communications strategies for campaigns
  • Boost organizational creativity and impact by implementing bold and ambitious ideas, and actively scanning for new and creative campaign tactics, tools, and partnerships
  • Ensure Crisis Action has strong relationships with key journalists across different markets and develop and nurture creative partnerships with organisations and individuals from across the world of media, advertising, tech, film, and more
  • Working closely with our different offices, build and strengthen a diverse and innovative communications network by proactively engaging current and new partners and bringing on board creative allies

2. Crisis Action’s chief storyteller and a global communicator for change

You will be responsible for developing a wide array of internal and external communications products for our partners and network. As a creative engine for the organisation, you will drive innovation in how we work with traditional and new media, develop creative partnerships, and help tell the stories of our campaigns and the organisation in compelling and impactful ways. You will measure success, capture learnings, mentor colleagues through training, and communicate our behind-the-scenes work to various stakeholders in a way that enhances Crisis Action’s reputation with partners and donors. This will require you to:

  • Ensure timely and impactful communications to key stakeholders such as partners, donors, and board members, including overseeing the coordination, drafting, and editing of the content
  • Working in close collaboration with the fundraising team, coordinate and oversee the vision, design, production, and dissemination of Crisis Action’s annual report
  • Enhance our ways of storytelling to diverse audiences by developing bespoke content on Crisis Action and its campaigns, and training our teams on it
  • Maintain oversight of Crisis Action’s website to ensure it is fit for purpose and updated with the latest campaign and organisational information at all times

3. Contribute to the strategic growth, leadership, and impact of Crisis Action

You will be responsible for consolidating and expanding Crisis Action’s relationships and reputation with our communications and media partners, and civil society network, and for developing and implementing the Communications strategy that aligns with Crisis Action’s overall organisational strategy. As a member of Crisis Action’s Directors Group, you will also play a leadership role on organisational strategy and decision-making, oversight of team performance and well-being. This will require you to:

  • Supervise and mentor the communications team, and any consultants or volunteers that may work with the team or on Crisis Action campaigns
  • Develop and implement a Communications strategy for Crisis Action that enables our campaign teams to deliver real change for civilians in conflict, and helps Crisis Action communicate with diverse stakeholders more effectively
  • Strengthen our systems and enhance learning across teams by aassessing campaign needs periodically, and developing and delivering appropriate trainings
  • Work in close collaboration with Office Directors, and support the Senior Management Team on key aspects of organisational leadership including strategy, team management, recruitment, resource allocation, budgets, and fundraising


Essential skills and experience:

  • Commitment to Crisis Action’s mandate and values
  • 10+ years of professional experience in relevant fields and knowledge of the international NGO sector
  • Expertise in media and communications; including knowing when and how to engage the media, a deep understanding of different targets and audiences, crafting communication strategies and media stories to effect change, producing high-quality communication materials, and working across platforms, including mainstream, social, and new age media
  • Excellent political mind, with an understanding of the levers, tactics and processes that shift power and drive change
  • Excellent instincts in leading and organizing for change, with a broad range of established relationships and industry networks in the media, communications, or private sector
  • Impeccable interpersonal, writing, and editing skills, with fluency in written and spoken English

Skilled at stakeholder management, with an entrepreneurial attitude and a talent for building trust and relationships quickly

  • High levels of ambition, determination, and focus, with a hunger for collective outcomes rather than personal limelight
  • Self-aware, emotionally intelligent, and a strong team player with demonstrated ability to work as a member of a small and diverse team, and empower them to deliver their best
  • A multi-tasker, with excellent administrative, project management and information technology skill
  • Awareness and commitment to preserve your own well-being and resilience to manage the pressures of working in a fast-paced environment

The following would be desirable:

  • Fluency in languages other than English – written and spoken
  • Social media/digital campaigning experience including content commissioning and dissemination strategies
  • Experience of coalition campaigning, working with the corporate sector, social movements, or faith-based organisations to drive social change
  • Knowledge of and familiarity with conflict issues or conflict resolution, international human rights and humanitarian laws, understanding of foreign policy, and the workings of key international and regional institutions (e.g. United Nations, African Union, ASEAN, European Union etc.)

Terms and conditions

Starting date: June 2024

Contract: Permanent, full time

Reports to: Director of Emergency Response, Learning and Innovation

Location: Nairobi, London, or Johannesburg

Salary: Nairobi and Johannesburg: US$90,000 per annum

London: UK£80,000 per annum

Travel: As required (up to 20%)

Benefits: Excellent benefits package including health cover and pension; 25 days annual leave increasing to 30 days after 3 years; 3 months paid sabbatical after 5 years of service; and a family friendly work environment.

Well-being considerations: Flexible work arrangements with a policy of a minimum of 2 days in the office and 3 days work from home, plus an additional day off every month for your mental health and well-being.

Right to work: You must have the right to work in any of our preferred locations.

DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Commitment

Crisis Action values and nurtures an inclusive culture that sees the diversity of its board, staff, partners, and all we work with as a strength and source of innovation and creativity. We welcome applications from anyone no matter your background, gender identity and expression, nationality, language, ethnicity, colour, caste, race, sexual orientation, ability, religion or belief, age, marriage, civil partnership, or parental status. Equality among all is a driving force in our work and a feature of our recruitment. We strive to ensure that all employment decisions are made entirely on merit.

How to apply

Submitting your application

To apply, please upload your CV and a cover letter in English on our online system, explaining why you are interested in Crisis Action and why believe you are a good fit for the role, based on examples in your current or past positions. Submit by 7 April 2024 11:59 GMT.

Application process

There will be an online written test, following which successful candidates will progress to the interview stage. Interviews will be held online and are provisionally scheduled to take place during the week of April 22, 2024.