London, Greater London
Permanent, Full-time
Job description

Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.

The International Rescue Committee UK is part of the IRC global network, which has its headquarters in New York and London. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief, relocating refugees and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through 22 regional offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees resettle in the US and become self-sufficient.

The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.

The IRC in Europe

Our European headquarters, IRC-UK, were established in London in 1997 to support the organisation’s global activities and particularly to diversify its donor base, build its profile and be able to better advocate with European policy-makers on behalf of the people we serve. The IRC has expanded since then to become IRC Europe overseeing offices in Brussels, Berlin, Sweden, Bonn and Geneva, and programmes across Europe.



Director of Communications Europe    

The Director of Communications, Europe will join IRC at an exciting time as we drive forward IRC’s Europe Strategy to 2020 and develop the next phase of our strategy. The position holder will be a dynamic and important presence, leading on building IRC’s brand and profile in Europe as well as managing internal communications across a growing Europe network. This post will lead the Europe Communications team, which currently consists of twelve staff working across media, content and digital communications, based across the UK and Germany offices. As part of the Europe Senior Management Team, the post holder will work closely with the Senior Vice President for Europe, the Senior Director for Fundraising, the Director of Policy & Advocacy, Executive Directors of IRC offices across Europe, and communications team colleagues elsewhere in IRC.

Scope of work

  • Updating and driving forward the communications strategy for the IRC in Europe, growing our profile successfully alongside our funding and policy impact.
  •  Contribute to the development and implementation of wider strategic focus areas for the IRC in Europe, for example donor diversification and safeguarding best practice.
  •  Manage a high-performing and a highly motivated Communications team, ensuring that they are meeting Key Performance Indicators, including share of voice in the media and engagement with digital audiences across Europe.
  • Effectively represent the IRC externally as a writer, thinker, and speaker.
  • Oversee internal communications for the IRC in Europe, liaising with colleagues in New York and globally to streamline activities and approach.
  • Oversee the roll-out of a refreshed IRC brand in Europe, liaising with global colleagues.
  • Develop and manage relationships with key donor communications contacts, in particular with DFID and ECHO, in order to contribute to a strengthened partnership with donors on communication and visibility of humanitarian programmes
  • Manage the Communications budget including developing future budget proposals.

Main Tasks and Responsibilities 

Strategic oversight and delivery (50%)

  • Ensure the successful development and implementation of the IRC’s communications strategy in Europe, measured through an increase in the IRC’s profile in Europe
  • Work as part of cross organizational teams driving IRC’s influence, profile and funding in Europe, taking on strategic responsibility beyond communications where appropriate
  • Act as focal point and liaise with the IRC-UK Board as required on communications strategy and delivery, including regular reporting at IRC-UK Board meetings
  • Act as the IRC’s brand champion in Europe, including IRC-Deutschland and IRC Sweden, to ensure all output is consistent with IRC brand guidelines, culture and values, and ensuring that updates to the IRC’s brand are rolled out successfully across Europe
  • Oversee IRC’s internal communications in Europe, liaising with global communications colleagues but ensuring the right approach for Europe
  • Develop and manage the communications budget, including identifying new external and internal income streams as appropriate 
  • Lead on emergency and crisis communications strategy in Europe as required
  • Represent IRC Europe within global strategy processes and other forums, for communications and potentially more broadly

Team leadership and staff management (25%)

  • Ensure a high performing, highly motivated communications team in Europe
  • Identify and deliver cost-effective opportunities to expand the team as needed, for example in new European markets, including through use of consultants and interns
  • Set clear objectives with all direct reports, and ensure strong support and supervision against clear deliverables. Carry out annual appraisals and mid-year reviews
  • Ensure line managers are held accountable for performance management
  • Ensure that the IRC Europe Communications team is networked into the global communications team and ensure integrated and collaborative working

Delivering communications content to raise the profile of IRC (25%)

  • Drive forward integrated media and digital communications campaigns to raise the profile of the IRC in Europe, in close collaboration with global communications colleagues, Europe Policy & Advocacy and Europe Fundraising teams
  • Guide the team and support where required on delivery of communications work, including handling reputational issues in the media and writing opinion pieces
  • Develop and champion strong knowledge management within IRC Europe, including the use of the intranet to provide materials, support and communications output
  • Ensure management and delivery on visibility projects under ECHO and other donors
  • Represent IRC at a senior level in communications and other relevant forums






  • Educated to degree level
  •  Significant experience of leading and managing a strategic communications function and team and of translating broad visions and strategies into specific objectives
  • Significant experience of working with the media / press
  • Significant experience of creating and delivering effective campaigns
  • An excellent understanding of digital and social media platforms, and experience developing and using them for profile-raising purposes
  • Experience of driving forward communications in support of fundraising objectives
  • Excellent ability to communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing; strong presentation skills
  • Capacity to build and maintain professional networks and channels of communication inside and outside the organisation
  • Ability to work in close collaboration with colleagues and team members based remotely
  • Commitment to team work
  • Highly motivated self-starter
  • Flexibility
  • Good analytical skills and first-class attention to detail
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • Ability to travel overseas, sometimes at short notice, to situations of conflict.


  • Qualification related to communications , media or marketing
  •  Experience in the international not-for-profit sector
  • Experience of working in a global organization with complex matrixed structures
  • Knowledge of current debates on humanitarian/conflict issues and relevant institutions, including key donors in Europe
  • Additional language, preferably German

Candidates must have the right to work in the UK.

The application deadline is 5pm on 7th January 2020.

IRC-UK strives to be an equal opportunities employer. IRC-UK is committed to equality of opportunity and to non-discrimination for all job applicants and employees, and we seek to ensure we achieve diversity in our workforce regardless of gender, race, religious beliefs, nationality, ethnic/national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability.

More about International Rescue Committee UK
International Rescue Committee UK

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Posted on: 03 December 2019
Closed date: 02 January 2020
Tags: Communications, PR

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