Position Title

Head of Communications & Public Relations



Reporting to

Executive Director

Position Location

Nairobi, Kenya


3 Years Renewable

Closing date

15 December 2017

Organisation Overview

The AAS is a pan African organization headquartered in Kenya, which aims to drive sustainable development in Africa through science, technology and innovation. It has a tripartite mandate of pursuing excellence by recognizing scholars and achievers; providing advisory and think tank functions for shaping the continent’s strategies and policies; and implementing key Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) programmes that impact on developmental challenges through the new agenda setting and funding platform, the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA).

An emerging new initiative “Coalition for African Research & Innovation (CARI)” is being led by AAS/AESA in partnership with leading African and global organizations with the aim of building a highly coordinated, well-funded and African-led African innovation enterprise. CARI is an initiative to bring new resources and better connect existing investments to support Research and Development in Africa. The coalition will mobilize public, private and philanthropic partnerships and will capitalize on a moment when funders, private sector and many African governments are seeing the potential of Science, Technology and Innovation to drive economic and social development in Africa.

Position Overview

The Head of Communications & Public Relations is responsible for establishing and managing AAS brand development in Africa and supporting the growth of science and innovation. The role works with colleagues across AAS Offices and within the CARI Network to ensure that AAS is strategic, coherent, and compelling in its engagement of supporters, partners, and other key audiences. The role is responsible for running a strategic assessment of AAS communications and brand status in key territories and key audiences in Africa, and for developing a robust plan - including allocating human and financial resources – to increase AAS’s influence and perception which will assist the development of fundraising and marketing plans.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop and deliver an integrated communications and advocacy strategy to launch CARI, with a particular focus on making the case for CARI, developing new partnerships, building visibility and CARI’s social/political licence to operate as well as increasing understanding of CARI’s mission
  • Leads development and building of an engaging and compelling AAS brand in Africa
  • Works with the Directors to develop and implement a pan Africa communication, fundraising and marketing strategy that leverages the unique strengths of AAS to achieve Africa’s ambitious targets for research and innovation growth.
  • Directs, coordinates and supports resource mobilization strategies for Africa with Government Agencies, foundations, corporations and other potential streams of income that might benefit from a continental level.
  • Advises on the development of appropriate pan-African government engagements, in line with AAS policies and approach
  • Devise and manage a media relations strategy, building strong relationships with relevant journalists.
  • Build and manage CARI’s influence, reputation, voice and brand with key external and internal audiences - this will involve securing and maintaining buy-in with stakeholders and within CARI’s operating environment such as African governments, global NGOs, Pharma, researchers.
  • Identify opportunities for proactive advocacy and campaigning (including key events attended by key decision makers) to build support for CARI
  • Write or devise campaign and other materials to make the case for CARI, such as presentations, case studies, reports, content and campaign assets
  • Promotes the effective integration of communications and marketing messages and activities across Africa.
  • Directs, coordinates and manages the work of the Brand, Media, Science Communications and Technology & Applications units of AAS through their Managers.
  • In collaboration with the CARI Network and global funders network teams, monitors the performance of AAS in terms of fundraising, communications and marketing performance, including, growth and brand recognition.
  • Serves as a member of the Senior Management Team and participates in the communications meetings as assigned by the Executive Director, ensuring follow up and implementation of recommendations for all engagements.
  • Provides regular consolidated briefs and updates to the Director, in terms of the key progress, under-performance and challenges.
  • Performs other duties as requested by the Executive Director.

Professional, Skills and Experience

  • An advanced degree in management, communications, public relations & marketing, or other relevant field.
  • At least 10 years’ professional experience in a leadership role within communications or marketing, with demonstrated success in managing teams.
  • Experience of engaging with and influencing senior political, government, business and scientific leaders especially in Africa.
  • Proven editorial judgement and thorough knowledge of on and off-line media markets.
  • Experience in developing and implementing marketing, communications strategies which leverage the power of online media and audience engagement.
  • Experience providing stewardship of brand and reputation across diverse stakeholders and multiple markets/countries.
  • Proven ability to commission and manage external agencies Demonstrated leadership ability, including the ability to build a team of highly motivated and well qualified staff, and to foster the integration of diverse, multi-disciplinary actors into focused initiatives addressing clear targets.
  • Superlative diplomatic and communication skills, including an ability to work and communicate effectively with a broad spectrum of individuals (individual donors, business leaders, public figures, AAS staff), within a broad range of cultural environments.

Application: The position is open to qualified candidates who can work in Kenya. Applicants must email a completed application form from the AAS website, curriculum vitae, and a cover letter to, with the Position and Vacancy Number as the Subject by 15 December 2017. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.