Communications Officer - 4 year fixed term contract


Graduate School of Media & Communications


Nairobi, Kenya


Chartered in 1983, Aga Khan University (AKU) is a private, autonomous and self-governing international university, with 13 teaching sites in 6 countries over three continents (www.aku.edu). An integral part of the Aga Khan Development Network (www.akdn.org), AKU provides higher education in several disciplines, carries out research pertinent to the countries and operates 7 hospitals (soon 8) and over 325 outreach clinics, all at international standards. It has almost 2,500 students and 14,000 staff. The University is both a model of academic excellence and an agent of social change. As an international institution, AKU operates on the core principles of quality, relevance, impact and access.

Function Overview:
Launched in 2015, the Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications (GSMC) is the premier source of education and tailored training for journalists, communicators and media executives and entrepreneurs in East Africa and beyond.
Guided by the principles of global excellence and local relevance, GSMC helps individuals to transform their careers and organizations to seize on opportunities and reap the benefits of innovation.

Position Overview:
The Communications Officer brings exceptional resourcefulness, discernment and initiative to the role. Using communications best practice, creativity and a solutions-oriented approach. He/she plans, develops, implements and evaluates communications plans to support the goals and priorities of The Futures Project: Media Sustainability and Innovation in East Africa.

The position holder will have a keen and evolving understanding of our audiences, engaging stakeholders in a dynamic way to demonstrate and gain support for the value and impact of The Futures Project. He/she will promote engagement, research and through leadership, availing a variety of audience-specific, targeted publicity and storytelling channels including events, traditional media and social media platforms.

The incumbent provides broad-based and project-specific communications advice to The Futures Project and its partners, supporting them to make informed decisions. The Communications Officer collaborates with the broader GSMC team to ensure integration in messaging and tactics and to leverage synergies.

Reports to: The Director, Innovation Center, Graduate School of Media and Communications


•    Develop stakeholder engagement plans
•    Create and regularly update stakeholder maps in a constantly changing environments
•    Identify and build strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including media
•    Serve as a liaison between the project and its stakeholders
•    Develop, implement and evaluate internal and external communications plans
•    Identify and address gaps in communications with proactive, creative and resourceful solutions
•    Build strong relationships with partners in The Futures Project
•    Use a multi-media approach to communications, matching audience to message, tactic and end result
•    Translate research from The Futures Project promoting and making it relevant in the mainstream, with a particular focus on capitalizing on thought-leadership
•    Monitor trends in East Africa’s media landscape, identifying opportunities and threats
•    Develop communications collateral through consultation with stakeholders
•    Effectively use and enhance web and social media communications in collaboration with the centralized communications office
•    Track the impact of The Futures Project in the countries represented, using that to inform communications planning and messaging
•    Understand and optimize trends in communications and communications best practice
•    Collaborate with GSMC to build relationships with regional and local media houses to show case activities and impact
•    Coordinate logistics and liaise with media for on-site events and promotions
•    Support communications for events
•    Research, write and edit compelling stories related to The Futures Project for internal and external use and promotion across channels and platforms
•    Tailor writing for audiences and for print, digital and social channels
•    Align significant communications plans with the global communication strategy


•    Degree in business, communications, journalism, social sciences or equivalent, from a recognized university.
•    Three to five years experience in communications, media relations, public relations or related field
•    Demonstrated experience creating and implementing successful communications plans
•    Demonstrated experience with communications best practice
•    Understanding of stakeholder relations and engagement
•    Experience in brand building, required
•    Demonstrated experience with digital and print communications
•    Knowledge of web content management
•    Excellent writing and editing skills
•    Event management experience, an asset
•    Understanding of the value of thought leadership 
•    Takes initiative to leverage opportunities and tackle challenges
•    Uses creativity and critical thinking to identify solutions
•    Confident, with a positive attitude
•    Anticipates and discerns issues
•    Works both indendently and as part of a larger team
•    Builds and maintains strong relationships with stakeholders
•    Superior multi-tasker, able to work quickly and effectively
•    Working knowledge and understanding of the value of storytelling in print, digital and social media channels

To Apply

​Interested candidates should submit a Cover letter, detailed Curriculum Vitae, names and email contacts of three professional referees, telephone contact, e-mail address and copies of relevant academic certificates as well as transcripts to, the Manager, Human Resources, Aga Khan University’s Campus Nairobi, Kenya. P. O. Box 30270-00100 or by email to hr.universityke@aku.edu .  Applications by email are preferred.
Only short listed candidates will be contacted.

Applications should be submitted latest by March 25, 2019