Director for Advocacy, Press & External Communication

Danish Refugee Council

Are you passionate about changing the lives of people affected by forced displacement through policy influencing and public awareness? Do you master the art of communicating complex humanitarian policy and displacement issues into clear policy positions? Do you have a track record of leading strategic communications for policy influencing? Then the position as Director for Advocacy, Press and External Communications might be your next challenge.

Who are we?

Danish Refugee Council is Denmark’s largest Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), and a global leader in forced displacement. Human rights and the humanitarian principles are the core of how we approach our work as an independent organisation. We aim to provide protection of refugees and internally displaced persons in situations of conflict and persecution while promoting lasting solutions to problems that arise from displacement.

As of October 1, 2022, DRC will merge its global responsibilities for advocacy, press & external communications into one highly specialized Division under the leadership of this Director. DRC’s Advocacy, Press and External Communication Division facilitates a prominent position for the external engagement of DRC, and works to ensure that the wealth of evidence generated across our 40 operations is utilised for transformational change. More specifically, the Division is responsible for consistent communication of DRC’s purpose and strategic positions and ensures that DRC’s global policy influencing, and advocacy efforts are proactive, well-coordinated, evidence-informed, principled, and lead to impactful policy influencing at all levels; national, regional and global.

The Division works closely with the Secretary General and the senior leadership across the organisation. The Director reports to the Executive Director for Programme, Policy & External Relations (PPE).

About the job

DRC’s strategy 2025 sets clear ambitions for DRC’s advocacy work in the years ahead as we intensify our fight against systemic inequality and structural discrimination towards displacement and conflict affected people and use our presence on the ground to influence donors, policy makers and the public to help and support displacement affected people towards living a life in dignity.

To achieve our strategic ambitions, we want to further strengthen evidence-backed advocacy efforts and humanitarian diplomacy globally and locally; we commit to forge stronger advocacy partnerships at all levels; to convene the voices of conflict and displacement affected persons within policy fora and support their direct representation.

The Director for Advocacy, Press and External Communication will take on a crucial role in ensuring that we achieve these strategic ambitions. The position offers an exciting opportunity to join DRC’s senior leadership and develop DRC’s advocacy work to the next level of professionalization and outreach. The Director must have a strong track record of delivering concrete results through advocacy and policy influencing and master the communication skills required to convey a shared understanding of purpose across a global organisation. Furthermore, we are looking for a Director with strong managerial skills who is experienced in navigating and mobilizing broadly within complex matrix organisations.

In leading a division that can only achieve its targets by working closely with the executive leadership of the organisation, our regional offices, the DRC Representations in Geneva and Brussels – as well as DRC’s global programme policy and partnership and engagement expertise areas, a collaborative mindset and facilitating approach is a must. Furthermore, the Director should be a master tactics and politically savvy.

The Division is part of DRC’s department for Programme, Policy & External Relations (PPE), and the Director will be a member of the PPE management group. PPE is responsible for DRC’s global programme policies and quality assurance and drives global advocacy, press & external communication efforts and is responsible for high-level global strategic partnerships, engagement and global fundraising.

Key responsibilities

The director will oversee the work of 3 teams; a global press team of 3 employees; a global advocacy team of 7-8 employees, out of which the Director line manages 2 global advocacy advisors placed in DRC headquarters, and holds a technical management line to the remaining advisors who are placed in DRC’s regions and Representations. In addition, the Director should over time build a global communications team once the specific responsibilities for such a team have been defined.

For all three teams, the Director’s prime role is to prioritize and set direction for their work to ensure that DRCs advocacy and external communication is directed by our strategic positions and specific strategies and in accordance with our policies and mandateand leads to changes in perceptions and policies that benefit people affected by forced displacement. The Director will directly engage, when needed, in the production of products and material and serve as first point of entry in sign-off processes, with the accountability to escalate to the Secretary General when required.

The Director will work closely with the Special advisor of the Secretary General to ensure that the global advocacy and press work is aligned with and supportive of the specific engagements of the Secretary General.

More specifically the Director will be responsible for:

Leading DRCs global advocacy work:

  • Continuously develop, update and implement DRC’s Global Advocacy Strategy
  • Provide technical support and direction to global advocacy advisors and ensure the strategic alignment and prioritisation needed for DRC’s advocacy work to support DRC’s mandate and core positions.
  • Support the development of country- and region-specific advocacy strategies
  • Ensure the development of DRC advocacy positions of relevance for our global work, and ensure policy- alignment coherency across the organisation.
  • Ensure accountability with DRC’s advocacy tools. Guidelines for advocacy products, sign-off and procedures for high-level engagement should always be up to date and available across the organisation
  • Jointly with the Programme Director, ensure that prioritised policy agendas of strategic relevance within the field of forced displacement and the humanitarian and development areas are being followed, and that an overview of focal points for the selected policy areas is available
  • Advise on and coordinate DRC’s participation in key global policy processes, conferences and events
  • In close collaboration with the office of the Secretary General, ensure that DRC’s high level international engagement is proactive, structured, strategic and well-coordinated.

Leading DRC’s global press engagement:

  • Ensure that DRC through its press work increases awareness and understanding of DRC’s work and contributes to a better public understanding of refugee and displacement matters
  • Develop a global press strategy, which sets direction and ambitions for the press team’s proactive engagement with media to promote DRC’s work around the globe
  • Technical oversight, sparring and final accountability for press material. Facilitating support to DRC staff engaged in press work in countries and regions
  • Advise DRC senior managers on press relations and ensure that DRC spokespersons receive the relevant training to excel in their role
  • Together with relevant managers, ensure alignment between press, fundraising and external communication and branding
  • Specifically lead and oversee that DRC increases its positioning and visibility in the international press

Build and lead an external communications team

  • This is a development area where the Director will ensure that a thorough analysis is carried out to map existing capacities, resources, and needs, and subsequently develop a business plan and a strategy for how DRC can further professionalize our external communication. This will be done in close collaboration with the Special advisor of the Secretary General’s office.

Cross cutting

  • Lead and build the Division to best support the leadership and implementation of DRC’s 2025 strategy
  • Ensure that the Division facilitates and maintains communities of practice and networks across the organisation of relevance for the accountability of the Division.
  • Ensure efficient and fruitful collaboration between the Division and other parts the organization, in particular the office of the Secretary General
  • Represent the functional areas in the PPE Department Management Team and towards the Executive Management Team and group of Directors, to ensure collaboration, coordination, and support
  • Contribute to fundraising when relevant
  • Represent DRC towards relevant external stakeholders with a view to influence policy and decision makers relevant to our work

Requirements – your profile

To be successful in this role we expect you to have a proven track record within several of the above-mentioned areas of responsibility. It is very important for us that you have a strong understanding of programme responses and approaches within the areas of humanitarian and displacement work. This to ensure that our advocacy, press and external communication work is always deeply rooted in our mandate and approaches. Ideally you are a master of both communicating the why and understanding of the how. It is equally important that you have a very strong strategic and political mindset. Preferably you come with a strong network within our sector.

Moreover, we also expect the following:

  • Experienced manager with significant experience with and understanding of humanitarian and displacement policy issues, and documented results in terms of policy influencing
  • Strong experience with media relations and press work
  • Excellent communicator able to communicate technical complexity in an easy-to-understand way
  • The overview to set strategic direction, while still having the needed attention to details to co-create and quality assure communication products
  • Strong networking skills and a proactive mindset
  • Flexible and team-oriented colleague, willing to share responsibility and go the extra mile for your colleagues.
  • Experience with change management
  • Excellent level of English, knowledge of Danish, French and/or Spanish is an asset

We offer

We offer an exciting role where you will have the possibility to define the role and how the tasks are performed. You will have a lot of freedom to strategize and operate based on your expertise as long as the results are achieved and in accordance with the respective areas of responsibility

Contract length: Permanent

Workplace: Borgergade, Copenhagen

Start date: As soon as possible

Salary and conditions will be in accordance with the agreement between DRC and Lederaftalen between Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening og Lederne (agreement for managers), which can be found here:

How to apply

All applicants must send a cover letter and an updated CV in English. Apply online on our page Current Vacancies at

Closing date for applications: 15 September 2022.

Further information

For questions regarding the vacancy please contact Rikke Friis, Executive Director for PPE by email [email protected].

For further information about the Danish Refugee Council, please consult our website

Closing date: 9/15/2022