Chief Communications Officer – Public Diplomacy

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Foreign & Commonwealth Office



Chief Communications Officer - Public Diplomacy 2

Position description

Are you a motivated, highly driven communicator looking to expand your experience of international affairs working in a fast-paced environment?

The British Government’s Embassy in Washington is looking for a dynamic, proactive person to join our high performing Communications Team as a Chief Communications Officer for Public Diplomacy This is a rewarding role at the forefront of the Embassy’s diplomatic efforts to develop the special relationship between the UK and the US, in order to make a real difference globally.

Play a critical role:

This job is a chance to directly contribute to the way in which both Governments leverage and deploy soft power to engage audiences. The position would help develop and implement impactful campaigns, projects and events, developing strategic partnerships with key influencers and organisations and working with a range of key stakeholders to promote British Soft Power and the UK-US relationship through art, culture, values and sport, while underlining the UK’s relevance to the US as a modern and dynamic partner of choice.  You will gain hands-on exposure to international relations, diplomacy and high-profile senior officials from the British government. The job holder will frequently work directly with the Ambassador and other senior UK and US officials as you source and deliver soft power opportunities to promote British interests in America.
The successful candidate will work within a busy, motivated and experienced communications team, reporting to a Head of Strategic Communications & Public Diplomacy, and will lead on the delivery of small and large public events, external media activity and communications campaigns centered on key issues or important moments in the calendar. Typical tasks involve delivering creative and innovative communications plans and events engagements relating to your portfolio, including proactive Soft Power activities, as well as supporting the Embassy’s wider public engagement and relationships with US stakeholders.

Be at the heart of international diplomacy:

As part of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), you will contribute to delivering the UK’s diplomatic work in the United States through our communications approach. In response to global challenges and opportunities for increased international cooperation, the Communications Team is looking to modernise perceptions of the UK, reach new audiences and deliver consistently high-quality communications activity in Washington and across the US. 

Ideal candidate:

The Embassy is looking for an energetic self-starter who brings together: strong personal impact with external stakeholders as well as colleagues across the UK government’s consular network; excellent project management and organisational skills; and creativity and a flair for innovative communications engaging a broad range of audiences through in-person events as well as traditional and digital media. 

The British Embassy offers a unique career enhancing opportunity and is committed to supporting its staff through a variety of benefits including generous leave, insurance packages and a highly competitive 401k programme.  In this role you would be working in a diverse international environment to support UK diplomats, armed forces personnel and other country-based staff operating across the British Government’s network of Consulates and Government Offices in the United States. This network provides a platform for approximately 30 Government departments and agencies to conduct their work in the United States and is made up of over 900 staff with a rich and diverse background, skill sets, and experiences. 

Roles and responsibilities:

  • Under the direction of the Head of Strategic Communications, lead the development and implementation of impactful events, projects and comms campaigns that leverage and amplify British Soft Power – particularly British arts & culture, the creative industries and UK values – to promote the UK as a modern, creative country as well as critical ally to target audiences in the United States. 
  • Manage the British Embassy’s work as assigned to promote the UK’s long-term reputation in the US, including events at the Embassy and throughout the DC area, coordinating the communications aspects of historical anniversaries and working on the communications opportunities offered by high-profile cultural and sporting moments and planned activities in the Washington, DC area.
  • Support the Head of Strategic Communications and Public Diplomacy in growing the Embassy’s Sports Diplomacy initiatives.
  • Engage and coordinate closely with other UK bodies in the US, including UK cultural institutions and sporting institutions, to promote British culture and opportunities.
  • Develop and strengthen strategic partnerships with influential US external organisations, including civil society, and cultural institutions, sporting bodies, and creative industry partners that can facilitate our engagement with US audiences and multiply UK messages.
  • Help deliver many of the Embassy’s participation largest annual Public Diplomacy events, including UK-US Friendship Day, White House Correspondents Dinner receptions Embassy Open House and other events as assigned.
  • Work with others in the embassy’s communications team (including the Press and Digital sections), and other government departments, to help get better traction for UK cultural messaging with broad range of US audiences.

Resources managed (staff and expenditure): 

N/A

Essential qualifications, skills and experience  

Essential on arrival:

  • Substantial prior experience in public diplomacy, communications, media, campaigns, and/or events planning.
  • A solid understanding of local and national US cultural institutions. An existing network of contacts with these organisations is highly desired. 
  • An interest in and knowledge of US-UK relations. 
  • Ability to work with tight deadlines and multi-task short-term and long-term projects simultaneously.
  • Demonstrated experience in capacity and strategic partnership-building and delivering through others.
  • Excellent team-working and interpersonal skills, including experience working with senior level officials or executives.
  • Excellent written and verbal skills, including the ability to write concise preparatory materials for senior leadership.

Language requirements: 

Language: English
Level of language required: fluent, excellent, conversational 

 

Please Note: Under US State Department requirements, the UK Government in the US may only employ, as non-diplomatic staff, persons who are US citizens, US Permanent Residents, A and NATO visa holders with EAD cards, and L2 visa holders with an up-to-date I-94 form.  You may refer to our website for additional information:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-the-usa. All selected candidates are subject to background checks and will require a security clearance prior to starting work. 

Desirable qualifications, skills and experience  

Desirable:

  • Experience of working with/for a government organisation
  • Policy knowledge of international issues – especially economic, tech or trade portfolios
  • Experience managing and developing content for social media platforms

Required behaviours  

Communicating and Influencing, Delivering at Pace, Managing a Quality Service, Seeing the Big Picture

Application instructions

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