Global Communications Lead for Water Systems

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

Colombo, Sri Lanka 🇱🇰


Bring your experience in communications to the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and enhance the impact of our critically important work. The Global Communications Lead for Water Systems will inspire a mission-driven, multi-cultural team of communications, multi-media, information management and content creation specialists. Together you will enhance the impact of our research and water systems science in general.

Fueled by our mission to provide water solutions for sustainable, climate-resilient development, you will connect to global and regional trends and opportunities to promote our work. You will collaborate with scientists to help them turn research-for-development into impactful communications products to expand our global presence and impact.

Communication and Outreach Water Systems Research

  • Lead the development and creative thinking of our communications and media outreach strategies to build the reputation of IWMI and CGIAR Water Systems and maximize the policy and development impact of our research across Asia and Africa.
  • Make effective, strategic use of a broad range of communications tools to repackage and communicate water systems research to key target audiences.
  • Explore evidence-based advocacy and identify key opportunities to influence regional and global processes, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and key actors, including development investors.
  • Lead the development and implementation of communications plans for IWMI’s / CGIAR Water Systems’ involvement in major global events and global advocacy days, including content creation for these events.
  • Continuously explore new communication and social media tools to convey our messages in a digital world.
  • Coordinate the media outreach strategy. This will include identifying promising stories, writing media releases and op-eds, developing press kits and building relations with media outlets and other communication partners.
  • Work with projects leaders and partners to develop effective communications within their activities.
  • Build the capacity of researchers, communications staff and senior leadership to develop content for multiple media and to be able to use communication effectively to amplify the impact of IWMI’s / CGIAR Water Systems’ research including through social media.

Manage our Brand

  • Oversee brand awareness of IWMI and its relationship with CGIAR Water Systems.
  • Manage, within the CGIAR-context, IWMIs’ brand and messaging to maintain its influence as a global thought leader on water related issues.
  • Coordinate the production of IWMI’s corporate materials.

Manage Communications Team

  • Supervise the communications team at IWMI headquarters.
  • Oversee regional communications staff to ensure that global, regional and project communications are coordinated, meet strategic priorities and quality requirements.
  • Overall responsibility for quality of external communications.
  • Oversee the Identification, brief and managment of contracts with writers, videographers, photographers, graphic artists and/or related resources together.
  • Provide regular updates on communications activities to IWMI Management Team and Board of Governors
  • Undertake related tasks as identified as priorities by the Director General IWMI, Senior Director CGIAR Water Systems department, and Communications and Outreach lead of CGIAR.
  • Support implementation of One CGIAR KPIs and develop and implement effective monitoring and evaluation system to better evaluate the impact of IWMI’s / CGIAR Water Systems’ communication activities.
  • Undertake other related tasks identified as priorities by the Director General, IWMI / Senior Director CGIAR Water Systems department, and the Communications and Outreach lead of CGIAR.



  • A university degree with at least 10 years’ experience in journalism, public relations, marketing, international studies or related field.
  • Proven ability to understand scientific and technical concepts and communicate them clearly to various audiences across both social media and traditional media formats.
  • Strong understanding of media/communications, preferably internationally, and experience with a range of communications tools and techniques.
  • Management and organizational experience.
  • Experience in planning, implementing and evaluating complex communication programs.
  • Experience working for a research facility or within the development sector is an advantage.


  • Creative thinker with excellent communication skills.
  • A sound understanding of strategic communications
  • Ability to communicate to with a diverse audiences.
  • Proven strong understanding of social media and of how digital media works.
  • Strong writing and editing skills, with a fluent command of English.


We Offer

This is an globally recruited position with a competitive salary commensurate with experience, an attractive retirement plan, comprehensive international insurance coverage and a transportation allowance. Additional allowances may include housing, education, shipping assistance, and annual home leave travel for you and eligible dependents. The duration of the contract will initially be for a three-year period with possible extension.

How to apply:

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through 31 May, 2022. Receipt of all applications will be acknowledged, but only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

IWMI believes that diversity powers our innovation, contributes to our excellence, and is critical for our mission. We offer a multi-cultural, multi-color, multi-generational and multi-disciplinary working environment. We are consciously creating an inclusive organization that reflects our global character and our commitment to gender equity. We, therefore, encourage applicants from all cultures, races, ethnicities, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, and gender identities.