Head of Communications

  • Full Time
  • Kathmandu
  • Applications have closed

Website International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)


Head of Communications – ICIMOD

Application deadline: 21 Nov 2022
ICIMOD is seeking applications for the position, Head of Communications.


Position overview

A dynamic position heading ICIMOD’s communications team, based in Kathmandu, Nepal, with an attractive remuneration package, offering an exceptional opportunity to lead and support our communications, outreach and engagement activities across the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. This will be an exciting period replete with opportunity, as we embark on the implementation of our new Strategy 2030: Moving Mountains. The Strategy also lays out our intention to bring about a step-change in communications – aiming to make our communications world class.
We are looking for a creative communications professional with experience (ideally within our climate and environment sector) who demonstrates excellent communication, and human relations skills and is highly motivated to make a positive difference. S/he should also be someone who can seamlessly work across executive, internal and external communications, digital platforms, publications and media engagement and who is comfortable leading a multidisciplinary, cross-cultural, and impact-oriented team within a vibrant working environment – that is ICIMOD.
ICIMOD is a unique regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge centre based in Kathmandu, Nepal, focused on building a greener, more inclusive and climate resilient Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH). We work on behalf of our eight Regional Member Countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. We aim to influence policy and practice, by bringing researchers, practitioners and policy makers together, to identify better ways of helping the people and communities of the HKH meet the increasing climate and environmental challenges while encouraging regional cooperation and collaboration for more sustainable mountain development.
We have just developed a new Strategy 2030: Moving Mountains, which will frame our next two Medium Term Action Plans – MTAP V (2023–2026) and MTAP VI (2027–2030) whilst building on, and taking further forwards, our very solid foundations. We are now proceeding through a transition towards a new structure that will be constituted of three Strategic Groups housing six Action Areas and the role of the Head of Communications will be to lead the Communications unit, whilst also supporting delivery of highest communication standards across ICIMOD’s various other units – including the Strategic Groups, Action Areas and others.

Responsibilities and task

This position heads the Communications Unit and plays a critical role in strengthening the outreach of our knowledge and innovations to our member countries, development partners, knowledge, and implementation partners, as well as the media and in enhancing our regional and international profile.
Leading this busy, creative, demand-driven, and fundamental unit in ICIMOD, entails both vertical responsibilities at the highest institutional, regional and global levels, as well as horizontal responsibilities across all other ICIMOD units, functions, and work areas. The Communications Unit is already at the heart of all that we do as a knowledge and learning centre, and its importance will increase further over the Strategy 2030 period. The position therefore requires expertise in managing a creative, diverse team and supervising multifaceted workflows as well as nurturing and building capabilities to envision, design and articulate strategically.
Anyone joining this position must want to contribute passionately to mountain agendas of the Hindu Kush Himalaya, whilst also being able to organise, innovate and mentor and guide sensitively.

Key tasks

1. Develop an overarching ICIMOD Communications Strategy that directly supports the ICIMOD Strategy 2030 and Medium-Term Action Plan (2023-26), and updates previous ICIMOD communications strategies. This will entail:

  • Working in collaboration with the communications team and staff, ICIMOD Directorate, ICIMOD professional staff and external partners to maintain oversight for ICIMOD’s communication effort, both institutional and programmatic.
  • Establishing indicators of progress, which are regularly monitored and reporting on, and fed back to senior management.

2. Lead the Communications Unit, ensuring that there is an efficient central communications support function to other ICIMOD units and programmes. This will entail:

  • Providing strategic advice and support on knowledge sharing and corporate communications to senior leadership, and other units, such as Resource Mobilisation and Business Development, and Strategic Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
  • Managing a team of communications and design professionals
  • Strengthening media and social media outreach
  • Overseeing the multiple activities related to communications, outreach, and engagement, including regular social and print media engagement; web site development, maintenance and promotion; and publications production and promotion
  • Establishing and maintaining efficient systems for screening and approval to ensure consistency with ICIMOD policies
  • Ensuring effective engagement of human and financial resources in cooperation with relevant and units and work areas
  •  Coordinating and developing regular communications to ICIMOD`s external audience (e.g. monthly newsletters, op-eds or other promotional materials)
  • Contributing to senior management committees, including updates, for example on key progress indicators such as uptake/downloads/citations etc.

3. Provide support and guidance to the network of communications staff who will support the communications and knowledge management work of the Strategic Groups and their Action Areas (or programmes). This will entail:

  • Setting and maintaining communications standards, procedures, and principles, whilst also ensuring smooth coordination with central support functions (such as web, publications production, etc), as well as workflow management and skills development
  • Overseeing the quality of the communication and giving regular feedback
  • Promoting the regular sharing of ideas, learning and experiences among this network, as well as programmatic staff, partners, and other stakeholders

4. Support and guide the strengthening of communications capabilities of key ICIMOD staff. This will entail:

  • Developing an internal capacity plan on how to build writing, presentation, media skills of key ICIMOD staff, as well as of the Communications Unit
  • Giving strategic advice to ICIMOD teams and partners how to make best use of interactive learning and information sessions (e.g., workshops, training, field visits)
  • Advising on and supporting the establishment and nurturing of communities of practice through such means as web platforms, workshops, and guidance

5. Ensure that there is proactive and targeted communications outreach in the HKH and beyond. This will entail:

  • Establishing and maintaining an active network of communication focal persons, organisations or firms in ICIMOD’s eight Regional Member Countries and ensuring that ICIMOD’s advocacy and publicity materials are widely communicated and accessible in relevant languages
  • Maintaining a network of knowledge partners in the region and beyond and communicating relevant articles/posts/news items to the Directorate and other units as appropriate

6. Ensure that the communications function remains agile, creative and keeps abreast of, and is able to apply, the latest developments, particularly in new technologies, techniques and methods, especially social media and other digital technologies as they might arise.

7. Maintain a functional knowledge management system. This will entail

  • Improving and implementing collaborative processes and tools for pooling and consolidating internal knowledge and promoting innovative approaches in sharing knowledge and best practices
  • Maintaining a dynamic intranet for internal staff use

Minimum qualifications

  • A degree in journalism, marketing, public relations or a communication related field. A Master’s degree, and additional advanced training/courses, are an added advantage
  • At least 10 years of progressive experience in communications management at international and national levels, including at least five years in a leadership position. Experience in any of the countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya is an added advantage
  • Strong understanding of multiple communications tools: such as content management systems, graphic design, digital as well as conventional technologies
  • An understanding and/or exposure to the range of climate change, natural resources, environment and development issues across developing countries that impact the UN SDGs, will be an asset.
  • An established media and communications network, and experience of the communications innovations and technologies an added advantage.
  • Excellent written and spoken English, including strong interpersonal and engagement skills. Knowledge of additional languages is seen as valuable.


  • Impactful communication: Is an excellent communicator with clarity in articulation of messages and listener, able to convey thoughts and ideas strategically and tactfully, as well as clearly and concisely.
  • Cross-cultural impact: Adapts and is sensitive to various customs and practices.
  • Teamwork and cooperation: Solicits ideas and opinions to help form specific plans and take decisions cohesively and a highly collaborative style of working.
  • Result and impact orientation: Is highly driven and takes responsibility for fulfilling challenging goals set in line with organizational processes.
  • Behavioural flexibility and managing change: Adapts to change and adjusts to new circumstances while helping others do the same.
  • Analytical thinking: Uses logical thinking to solve problems, develop plans, and contribute to the decision-making process while taking different viewpoints into account.
  •  Continuous improvement and innovation: Seeks to improve work processes by implementing new practices and technologies.
  • Developing others: Supports a culture of learning and provides feedback on the performance of others, including adherence to protocol


Reporting lines
The Head of Communication will report to the Deputy Director General and to the Director General on specific matters as and when required.


ICIMOD has set of core values which are an expression of our culture and are central to the guiding beliefs and principles of our work and behavior. Our core values will lie at the heart of ICIMOD operations and delivery. Staff are expected to operate and adhere to the values. Some of these core values are: integrity, neutrality, inclusiveness, openness.

Duty station

You will be based at our head office in Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Nepal. Most people enjoy living in Kathmandu. People are friendly, living costs are comparatively inexpensive, food is delicious (with a range of local and international cuisines) and there are good local and international schools and a low crime rate. Nepal offers, amazing trekking, white water rafting and safaris, combined with a charming yet lively nightlife.


Three years, with a probation period of six months, with the possibility of extension subject to performance and ICIMOD`s future funding levels.


Salaries and benefits at ICIMOD are competitive compared with other international organizations. We offer a comprehensive benefits package, which includes provident fund, health insurance, severance pay, children`s education grant, and paid leave (30 days holiday and 10 days public holidays). For expatriates there is tax exemption in Nepal; they are responsible for home country tax payments. Expatriate staff are also entitled to housing allowance, annual home leave ticket, shipment of personal effects, as well as an installation and removal allowance. Remuneration is commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Gender and equity policy

Qualified and eligible women candidates and those from disadvantaged backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply. ICIMOD upholds a gender equity policy and is supportive of women professionals. It operates a day-care centre at the campus and is committed to the integration of gender equity at organizational and programmatic levels.

Method of application

Applicants are requested to apply online before 21 Nov 2022 (11:59 PM Nepal Standard Time) through ICIMOD’s online application system.

Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

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