Team Leader, Communications Outreach and Engagement (COE)

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) envisions a more equitable world where forestry and landscapes enhance the environment and well-being for all. CIFOR is a nonprofit, scientific institution that conducts research on the most pressing challenges of forest and landscape management around the world. Using a global, multidisciplinary approach, we aim to improve human well-being, protect the environment, and increase equity. To do so, we conduct innovative research, develop partners’ capacity, and actively engage in dialogue with all stakeholders to inform policies and practices that affect forests and people. CIFOR is a CGIAR Research Center and leads the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA). Our headquarters are in Bogor, Indonesia, with offices in Nairobi, Kenya, Yaoundé, Cameroon and Lima, Peru.
CIFOR is looking for
Team Leader, Communications Outreach and Engagement (COE)
The Team Leader, COE will lead a talented, motivated, multicultural team of communications professionals in implementing CIFOR’s ambitious and respected global communications program.
Serving as second to the Director and overseeing a team of about 20 staff and consultants, the Team Leader will create and implement bold, innovative communications strategies aimed at building and strengthening engagement pathways for CIFOR’s high-caliber research and knowledge products.
To achieve these aims, CIFOR’s communications and outreach program leads and leverages global, regional and national events (including the Global Landscapes Forum), Forests News (a virtual news service with multimedia packages:, social media, media engagement and monitoring, video, photography, listservs, dissemination and regional communications activities across Africa, Latin America and Asia. The program moves quickly and uses a data-driven, journalistic approach to science communication, leveraging global news and events to inform the political agenda on forestry and sustainable landscapes.
The COE Team Leader will also contribute to proposal writing, oversee the unit’s budgets, and provide strategic communications advice to senior management and researchers.
This is a challenging and exciting role for a dynamic, creative strategist with a passion for science communications, a knack for seizing opportunities, a proven ability to manage multiple projects and people, and a flair for bringing out the best in teams. A background in journalism would be a plus.
Summary of responsibilities
  • Lead the development, implementation and monitoring of communications, media and outreach strategies to build CIFOR’s reputation and maximize the policy and development impact of its research across Asia, Africa and Latin America.
  • Lead the strategic use of a broad range of communications tools, including events, media engagement, social media, web presence, blogs and multimedia packages, direct mail, contact lists, video and photography, among others. This includes overseeing editorial planning and strategic use of Forests News (CIFOR’s virtual news site:
  • Strategic communications support for the DG and Director of COE.
  • Lead media tracking and monitoring, key message development, strategic positioning and crisis management, and provide strategic communications advice to CIFOR management and researchers.
  • Manage budgets across the COE unit and ensure project deliverables are met on time and within budget.
  • Lead the development and implementation of communications plans for CIFOR’s involvement in major global events.
  • Contribute to proposal writing and fundraising efforts.
  • Supervise a multicultural team of 20+ staff and consultants.
  • Lead integration and cross-cutting work with Project Management & Coordination, RM and Research To Impact.
Education, knowledge and experience
  • a master’s degree in communications, journalism or a related discipline.
  • a minimum of 7 years of professional work experience in media/communications, preferably internationally, with experience of a range of communications tools and techniques
  • a minimum of 5 years of experience of managing teams and budgets
  • be a strong and fast writer and editor with a flair for turning complex research findings into accessible content
  • have a proven good understanding how media and social media work
  • have experience in planning, implementing and evaluating complex communication programs
  • experience in working for a research facility or within the development sector would be an advantage
  • fluency in English is essential; fluency in other languages (especially in French, Spanish or Indonesian) would be an advantage
  • journalism experience would be an advantage.
Personal attributes and competencies
  • self-motivated, resourceful and energetic
  • able to work with significant autonomy
  • able to find creative solutions
  • enjoy managing multiple projects and initiatives
  • able to strategize at both macro and micro levels
  • a team player with outstanding interpersonal communications skills
  • strong client service approach
  • proven ability to work well under pressure
  • have a sense of humor and a thick skin.
Terms and conditions
  • This is an Internationally Recruited Staff (IRS) position.
  • CIFOR offers competitive remuneration in United States Dollars (USD), commensurate with skills and experience.
  • The appointment will be for a period of 2 years, including a 9-month probation period, with the possibility of extension depending on performance, continued relevance of the position and available resources.
  • The duty station will be at CIFOR Headquarters in Bogor, Indonesia.
Application process
·         The application deadline is 11 August 2017.
·         We will acknowledge all applications but will contact only short-listed candidates.
To apply, please visit our careers site at
To learn more about CIFOR, please visit our website at