Regional Communications and Public Engagement Director

International Role - Yes
2+ Years

*Position location to be determined by home country of successful candidate within the Southern Africa Region where WVI is registered to operate. However candidates outside Southern Africa region are also encouraged to apply.

*Please submit your CV in English.


The Director of Communications and Public Engagement is responsible for the strategic direction and successful implementation of communications and public engagement work across the southern Africa region. The role will lead efforts to strengthen World Vision’s reputation and influence, building trust with key audiences for greater organisational impact. The Director will provide oversight of core communications business, including content production, media and digital, risk management and internal engagement across all countries where World Vision works in the region. As a key member of the regional leadership team, the Director will ensure the quality planning and delivery of high-impact communications for local to global audiences, in support of World Vision’s Partnership strategy, Our Promise.


Strategic Communications Leadership:

  • In partnership with the regional office, field offices across the region and the Global Marketing and Communications team, the director leads and executes an integrated communications strategy to build World Vision’s reputation and brand with key audiences.

  • The role directs work that encourages innovation in order to optimise ways of working, increase stewardship of resources and strengthen the quality of communications deliverables for the World Vision Partnership.

  • Advises Regional Leadership and National Directors in field offices across the region on strategic reputation, brand and communications opportunities and issues to elevate understanding, performance and accountability across the region.

  • Leads communications efforts which contribute to supporting Partnership fundraising and brand priorities such as Leapfrog, Chosen™, Childhood Rescue, grant acquisition and communicating evidence of impact that builds trust.

  • Directs response communications in humanitarian emergencies to ensure Partnership media and fundraising needs are met through talent mobilisation and provision of targeted content, proactive and reactive messaging and media spokespersons.

  • Collaborates closely with regional office colleagues to strengthen effectiveness of operations and deliver maximum value to field offices.

  • Leads communications work around the global campaign It Takes A World to End Violence Against Children, agreed Global Moments, disasters, fragile contexts, and key regional engagement initiatives.

  • Represents communications issues and priorities to World Vision’s communications network and the Partnership through forums such as the Communications Leadership Council.

  • Is an active member of the Regional Communications Leadership Team, sharing and scaling best practice across field programmes globally.

Reputation Risk Management:

  • As the regional focal point on reputation risk management in the region, the role will identify, assess and coordinate World Vision responses to current or potential issues. The Director will escalate major issues and messaging to Global Centre risk specialists as part of the Integrated Risk Management approach.

  • The Director will socialise a proactive risk management approach with leaders across the region, identifying opportunities to build reputation and decrease impact of specific risk issues.

Content Development Leadership:

  • Directs and oversees production of high-quality, child-focused content/multi-media packages to meet World Vision’s priority audience needs, including advocacy and external engagement, grant acquisition and other fundraising and resource development activities at regional level.

  • Efforts enable delivery of high-quality content packages from within the team as well as oversight of content produced from across the region for global use.

  • Promotes wise stewardship of resources through content sharing and trip and assignment planning and coordination.

Media/Social Media Leadership:

  • Directs an aligned and engaging digital presence that leverages World Vision’s strategy through oversight of regional office digital platforms, managed in-house, and quality assurance of national accounts.

  • Engages media at regional level, in coordination with Partnership media managers, to maximise positioning opportunities with targeted outlets, developing regional spokespersons and messaging as needed.

Team Operations and Management:

  • The role performance manages a core team of communications specialists and associates. Together they will deliver a focused portfolio of first-class content, media and engagement work covering development, humanitarian affairs and advocacy ministry that supports income and influence goals.

  • Region-wide coordination and management national teams, through a matrix relationship will include coordination with national leadership to ensure that teams are high performing, delivering on Partnership priorities and advising on capacity gaps.

  • Peer facilitation will be provided to clusters of like-context national communications teams for learning, sharing and accelerated delivery of communications objectives.

Internal Engagement:

  • Leads the development and implementation of an internal engagement approach and plan that connects, informs and inspires leaders and staff across the region around our local to global operations through the lens of operations across southern Africa, building ambassadors for our work through all offices.


  • An advanced university degree in Communications, Journalism, Marketing, Public Relations, or other related field.

  • Excellent leadership, organisational and management skills.

  • A demonstrable track record of critical and analytic thought that influences organisational direction and change, and forges strong partnerships.

  • Excellent presentation, written, verbal and numerical skills.

  • Proven ability to provide authoritative input and solutions on strategic issues.

  • Strong track record in media relations, creating constructive relationships and having the confidence to represent the organisation in the media.

  • Ability to react very quickly to disasters and provide strategic and operational advice on handling them.

  • Demonstrable track record of developing and executing external communications within scope and budget to positively impact the organisation’s influence and visibility.

  • Ability to identify and understand different audiences and utilise appropriate communication channels and content.

  • Demonstrated experience leading effective digital communications, including social media and an understanding of relevant tools and trends.

  • Ability to define and strengthen organisational brand awareness and reputation through multiple channels.

  • Experience leading/managing multiple and/or overlapping content production assignments across multiple contexts that engage, compel and demonstrate knowledge, impact and expertise.

  • Proven ability to effectively team and project manage to deliver outcomes on time.

  • Experience linking communication outputs with fundraising, especially in a non-profit setting.

  • Demonstrated understanding of international development and humanitarian (relief) systems, and communication/donor networks working in fragile contexts.

  • Fluent English is essential; knowledge of one or more regional languages is an asset.

Preferred Skills, Knowledge and Experience:

  • At least ten years of progressively responsible and relevant professional work experience in communications, marketing/PR, journalism – at least three years senior/director level experience demonstrated.

  • Experience leading a team in the international humanitarian sector. Background/familiarity in disaster management communications.

  • Leading and supervising, formulating strategies and concepts, relating and networking, persuading and influencing, entrepreneurial thinking.

  • Adopts thinking that is informed by context and practice, and shows consistency of treatment and a clear strategic focus. Able to select and evaluate critical information to plan and manage communications and public engagement for local/regional entity.

  • Able to enable an efficient, effective and transparent flow of information, across entities and with key stakeholders (requiring high levels of written communication and reporting as well as clear and persuasive verbal presentation style).

  • Ability to manage multiple requests and prioritise according to strategic needs, applying an agile approach to decision-making and execution.

  • Experience negotiating with multiple business units in a large, federated structure, preferably in a matrix management environment.

  • Solid/advanced work experience at a similar level, leading communications and public engagement strategies in the NGO or private sector.

Work Environment/Travel:

  • The position requires ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally up to 30% of the time.

  • This position demands responsiveness to context, openness to working flexibly, and willingness to adjust according to operational realities.

  • This role involves working in a virtual /geographically dispersed / multi-culturally team.