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International Press Institute seeks Head of Advocacy

International Press Institute 5<y Senior Level  Wien, Wien, Österreich 22 Dez 2017

Job Description

The International Press Institute (IPI) is a global network of editors, journalists and media executives who share a common dedication to quality, independent journalism. Together, we promote the conditions that allow journalism to fulfil its public function, the most important of which is the media’s ability to operate free from interference and without fear of retaliation. Our mission is to defend media freedom and the free flow of news wherever they are threatened.

IPI was founded in 1950 by a group of 34 editors from 15 countries who believed in the power of the free flow of information to promote peace. Today, IPI is an association of media professionals representing leading digital, print and broadcast news outlets in more than 100 countries. The organisation’s work is managed by a small professional secretariat in Vienna.

Position description

IPI is seeking an enthusiastic, dedicated and creative

Head of Advocacy

to drive the organisation’s global advocacy and campaign work in support of press freedom and independent journalism. The Head of Advocacy will play a leading role in shaping IPI’s priority thematic and geographic advocacy goals and in identifying and implementing specific strategies to achieve goals, in coordination with IPI members, donors and partners. He or she will aim to ensure that IPI’s advocacy work has a strong practical impact and reaches the necessary audiences.

Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Coordinating, in cooperation with IPI’s members, directors and other significant stakeholders, IPI’s overall advocacy work in the defence of press freedom and the promotion of independent journalism
  • Coordinating IPI’s public advocacy work, including, but not limited to, the development of online and offline campaigns designed to reach and engage with a broad public audience and the organisation of public events
  • Managing advocacy components of ongoing and future IPI donor-funded projects, including by overseeing the work of project coordinators
  • Conducting direct advocacy efforts with government and other official actors, including by organising and participating in press freedom missions and official meetings carried out by IPI as well as in coordination with partner organisations
  • Overseeing advocacy efforts with respect to courts, including through the coordination of amicus curiae briefs in support of cases at the European Court of Human Rights and other international legal bodies
  • Liaising with the members of IPI’s network to identify and respond to particular advocacy needs as these arise
  • Managing IPI’s submissions to international human rights mechanisms, including the Universal Periodic Review, the Council of Europe Platform for the protection of journalists, UNESCO’s Secretary General report, EU enlargement progress reports, etc.
  • Managing IPI’s Death Watch, which tracks the killings of journalists around the world, ensuring that the database is kept up-to-date and accurate
  • Developing and implementing IPI’s activities with respect to key dates, including World Press Freedom Day (3 May) and the International Day to End Impunity (2 November)

In carrying out these tasks the Head of Advocacy will work closely together with IPI staff members coordinating the organisation’s communications, events and membership work. The Head of Advocacy will be expected to work closely with IPI’s membership network and with its National Committees.

From time to time, the Head of Advocacy will also be expected to assist with tasks in other areas of IPI’s work that may benefit from his or her particular skill set.


The Head of Advocacy:

  • has proven familiarity with press freedom issues and a solid understanding of freedom of expression as a fundamental human right
  • demonstrates a sincere interest in and commitment to the overall aims of the International Press Institute and to journalism as an essential democratic good
  • is a very strong communicator comfortable with developing and publicly presenting arguments in a convincing and professional manner, including in front of individuals hostile to press freedom
  • is able to engage actively and enthusiastically with IPI’s various stakeholders, including members and partner organisations, in the pursuit of common goals
  • has very good knowledge of the journalistic profession and of the various challenges that the profession faces
  • has excellent oral and written communication skills in English; knowledge of other languages is considered an advantage
  • is familiar with international human rights law related to freedom of expression and with the workings and activities of international and regional courts and bodies tasked with defending human rights, including freedom of expression
  • is able to represent the International Press Institute and pursue advocacy aims with confidence and professionalism in various fora, including at public speaking engagements and direct dialogue with government officials
  • is familiar with the work and culture of non-governmental organisations
  • has a proven track record of project management, including the management of budgets, and is comfortable setting and meeting deadlines
  • demonstrates a strong work ethic, is able to generate ideas, and proactively pursues goals
  • is able to work independently and efficiently, making the most out of limited resources
  • is comfortable working in a diverse, multinational environment
  • demonstrates a collegial attitude toward others

Please note that this position is expected to involve regular travel.

Work experience and education

The Head of Advocacy should have at least five years of relevant professional experience. Journalistic experience and experience working for a human rights organisation in areas related to campaign and advocacy activities are highly valued and will be considered a clear advantage. The Head of Advocacy holds at least a master’s degree in journalism, politics, international relations, law or other related field. Additional qualifications are considered a plus.


Salary will be determined based on experience and qualifications. Net (take-home) salaries are paid 14 times per year in accordance with Austrian employment law. Benefits include participation in the Austrian national health, pension and workplace accident insurance schemes. The salaries of IPI employees are exempt from income taxation in Austria.

Holiday allowance is 25 days per year, in addition to Austrian national holidays.

Application procedure

If you meet the qualifications above, and wish to join IPI’s passionate team, please send a cover letter and CV to IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen ( with the subject line “Head of Advocacy”. Please include the names and contact information of at least two references. Applications must be received by no later than 18 December 2017.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview, which can be conducted at IPI’s offices in Vienna, or via Skype or other video telephony software. Kindly note that IPI is unable to reimburse travel costs for those wishing to have an in-person interview in Vienna.

Location and term

The location for this position is Vienna, Austria, at IPI’s headquarters. All nationalities are eligible to apply. A successful candidate who is not a citizen of the European Union/European Economic Area will be eligible for a work permit in Austria.

The start date for this position is 1 February 2018, or as soon as possible thereafter.

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