Communication Director

Position Objective

The Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) in Timor-Leste, collaborating with the Government of Timor-Leste and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the Government of the United States of America, is responsible for implementing the $420 million Timor-Leste Compact, which, together with an additional contribution of $64 million from the Government of Timor-Leste, represents a total $484 million investment in Timor-Leste. The Compact aims to address human capital development as a binding constraint to economic growth in Timor-Leste through two projects: the Water, Sanitation, and Drainage (WSD) Project and the Teaching and Leading the Next generation of Timorese (TALENT) Education Project.

The Communications Director is responsible for leading the MCA Communications and Public Relations Team under the guidance of the Executive Director. The Communications Director is accountable for strategic planning and implementation of successful communications related to the entire Compact program (from initiation, to execution and completion), including building collaborative relationships with project stakeholders, and overseeing communication team budgets, contracts and staff. The Communications Director ensures the alignment of project execution with the overall objectives of the Compact and the judicious management of its resources.

The Communications Director is a key management position that demands a strategic, holistic approach to planning and execution of information-sharing and communication-related activities, proactively supporting public understanding and knowledge of the overall Compact mission while bringing appropriate counsel to the Executive Director and Compact team. The position also requires a strong understanding of proactive and reactive risk management.

While Tetun is Timor-Leste’s lingua franca; English is required for this position. The position requires strategically considering messaging language as appropriate. Native speakers are encouraged to apply.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Lead the Communications and Public Relations across all project activities and ensure that these are aligned to the established strategies, frameworks, budgets, and resources defined by the Compact; this includes leading and managing events, media and stakeholder outreach, and public information campaigns, while ensuring the use of resources and the implementation of project activities are aligned to the overall project plan.
  • Develop an integrated communications strategy including outreach to local and national media, government officials, stakeholders and other audiences relevant to the success of projects throughout the life of the compact. The strategy should consider how to amplify Compact work and utilize communications to advance project success through events, media, materials, and other channels.
  • Develop a crisis communications strategy and evaluate ongoing projects for possible public risk, responding and acting promptly and accordingly as needed.
  • Establish a workplan to guide and track work against the communications strategy.
  • In partnership with management, project directors and stakeholders, evaluate project components and activities as these are developed to ensure their relevance to the country context and ensure that they are adapted to address requirements on the ground.
  • Develop a cohesive messaging framework to inform all aspects of Compact and project outreach and create tools, which may include talking points, fact sheets, presentations, and other materials, to support outreach undertaken by staff and managers across the MCA.
  • Work closely with MCA directors, managers, and staff to provide clear key messaging for the Compact for use in all communications with stakeholders including local communities, administration and project affected parties—all in support of established communications strategy.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationship with the media. Proactively identify opportunities to amplify compact successes and convey information via media, including supporting the drafting of briefers for messaging by management, and members of the Board and Government working with MCA (i.e., Principal Representative).
  • Serve as an official spokesperson for MCA and the Compact; strategically considering who should deliver the message considering the context and language as appropriate.
  • Develop and manage the MCA brand throughout the life of the compact while adhering to MCC’s branding guidelines.
  • Represent Communications and Public Affairs as an integrated component of the Country MCA program to project stakeholders (e.g. with national/local government counterparts, civil society, project beneficiaries, etc.) ensuring that collaborative relationships are built and maintained to facilitate the delivery of the program.
  • Support the Social and Behavior Change Manager in the management and oversight of the media outreach component of the Social and Behavior Change activities including coordination with external implementers.
  • Collaborate with the Monitoring and Evaluation Director and WSD and TALENT Project Directors to strategically keep stakeholders and audiences apprised of progress via targeted channels (i.e., blogs, reports, newsletters, social media) to provide updates on Compact and project impacts, including highlighting beneficiaries and progress.
  • Establish, manage, and leverage channels, including the MCA website and social media, to ensure public access to information on MCA and compact activities, such as upcoming procurement activities, MCA environmental and social policies, and health and safety bulletins. Develop and implement market outreach activities for procurements when relevant.
  • Coordinate closely with MCC Resident Country Mission (RCM) and MCC Headquarters (HQ) on communications strategy, planning, high-profile issues, and ensuring consistency in messaging and data shared across MCA, MCC RCM and MCC HQ reporting and promotional platforms. Coordinate high-profile efforts with the local US Embassy.
  • Develop and maintain a library of indexed communications tools, including photos, videos, and other materials, as needed to strategically support the communications strategy.
  • Manage the Communications and Public Relations team to ensure the use of resources and the implementation of project activities are aligned to the overall project plan;
  • Build and manage the Communications and Public Relations team through recruitment, training and development, and performance management of staff to ensure a capacity to deliver the project’s objectives.
  • Seek out and manage communications-related contracts with third-party companies or consultants that support the communications strategy.

Requirements (Education, Experience, Technical Competencies)

  • A Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Journalism, Community Development, Business Administration or related field (advanced degree preferred).
  • Approximately ten (10) or more years of relevant working experience in corporate and public communications, community and public outreach, or advocacy communications, approximately five (5) years of which should be at a supervising level.
  • Ability to manage programs and provide strategic advice to senior leadership
  • Experience working with national and local media; previous on-the-record experience.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and expertise in managing public information campaigns.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and expertise in crafting and delivering messages to diverse stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and expertise in navigating public relations risks and maintaining positive brand reputation, experience addressing mis or dis-information a plus
  • Strong and documented writing skills.
  • Experience coordinating communications across technical teams.
  • Experience managing a team of communications professionals, PR firm contracts and/or outside consultants
  • Strong computer skills (MS Office, Social Media).
  • Fluency in Tetun, English, and Portuguese is preferred.
  • Experience working with international organizations or donors a plus.

How to apply

These employment opportunities are open to all eligible candidates regardless of their nationalities, race, ethnicity, gender and religion. Timorese Nationals are strongly encouraged to apply. All positions will be based on Dili, Timor-Leste. Competitive compensation package will be provided.

Detailed information on the vacancies, position descriptions (PDs), and requirements (education, experience, competencies) can be viewed on

How to apply: applications must be submitted in English and online on Applications submitted by email will not be considered.

Applications documents must include : 1). A CV of no more than 3 pages describing the candidate’s qualifications and experience related to the PDs.; 2). Electronic copy of the relevant Academic Certificate(s); and 3). A list of 3 professional references (including at least 1 former supervisor), including name, title, relationship with the candidate, telephone number, and e-mail address.

To ensure equal opportunity and neutrality, application documents should not include details related to: age, marital status, political and religious affiliation, family information.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for further recruitment phase. Short-listed candidates will be expected to submit samples of relevant past work assignments and demonstrate English proficiency when applicable. All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and security checks, results of which will form the basis for the final hiring decisions.

For any queries, please contact:

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