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Head Of Secretariat, Media Freedom Coalition

Status: Open

Organisation: Media Freedom Coalition

Deadline: Ongoing

Location: London, England

The MFC is seeking a candidate for the position of the Head of the Secretariat. The MFC is a partnership of countries working together proactively to advocate for media freedom, online as well as offline, and the safety of journalists and media workers, and hold to account those who harm journalists and severely restrict them from doing their job. The Secretariat will work with the MFC co-chairs, Executive Group and the Consultative Network to support and promote the work of the coalition, providing comprehensive administrative services.  These will range from ensuring effective outreach to members of the Coalition, Consultative Network, High-Level Legal Panel and UNESCO, as well coordination of MFC statements, monthly consultations and meetings for a range of stakeholder groups.

Additional functions will include increasing the visibility of the Secretariat through an effective communications plan, managing the MFC’s online presence, creating, managing and coordinating a calendar of activities and events, multi-layered relationship management, and managing the organisation’s budget, amongst other activities.  The Secretariat will be established as a standalone unit hosted by Thomson Reuters Foundation, under the umbrella of its Media Freedom Programme.

Working with TRF’s TrustLaw team, the Head will investigate ways in which to set the Secretariat up as a fully independent organisation after two years of operations. The Head will report to the MFC co-chairs, who will set the strategic direction of the Secretariat, and to the TRF Director, Media Freedom Programmes, for day-to-day administrative requirements and initial setup support. Early tasks will involve establishing the right management structure, building working relationships with key stakeholders, devising clear agreed upon Secretariat TORs, policies, and ways of working, and overseeing the technical set-up and administration of internal functions.  For these activities, TRF will provide early support.

About the Role:

As Head of Secretariat, you will:

  • Have overall responsibility for the effective launch and operations of the MFC Secretariat, making sure it fulfils its functions to agreed timelines and budgets, meeting stakeholder expectations
  • Ensure the appropriate systems and procedures are established and followed, and best practice in event and relationship management is upheld
  • Ensure the MFC is supported with, and the Secretariat is capable of handling the significant volume of administrative support required
  • Build excellent relationships with key stakeholders, including MFC members and the Consultative Network, and a wide range of Media Freedom aligned organisations
  • Line manage and coordinate a small team to scope and manage Secretariat events, coordinating content, agenda, logistics and attendees, and follow up reporting, communications and actions as needed
  • Oversee development of communications and outreach plan for the Secretariat and within the MFC, and maintaining an online presence through timely and appropriate updates to the MFC website and associated social channels
  • Represent the Secretariat to a wide range of stakeholders and at public events
  • With Foundation colleagues, lead efforts to investigate options to establish and set up the Secretariat as an independent organisation
  • Promote culture of collaboration and promote high standards through personal example


To be the Head of Secretariat, you will likely have:

  • Excellent organisational skills with a high degree of creative and flexible thinking
  • Experience working with the international civil service community, high profile projects and actors
  • A demonstratable understanding of the journalism and media sector and its challenges would be highly advantageous
  • Experience in start-ups or setting up projects, building teams, processes and policies
  • Experience working with international donors.  Familiarity with PM lifecycle (programme management, programme startup, mobilisation and close down) and donor reporting requirement
  • Excellent budget and financial management
  • Excellent interpersonal skills – able to establish and maintain positive working relationships both internally and externally, with people from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds
  • Resilience, ability to cope with high pressure and work environments and find solutions to problems when they arise. Ability to quickly understand complex information and communicate to non-experts
  • Strong leadership and people management skills. The ability to effectively resolve conflicting opinions and interests
  • Excellent communication, presentation and facilitation skills. Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to persuade
  • Fluency in English; other languages would be an advantage

When safe to do so, some travel is anticipated. The role is based in Canary Wharf in London. Please note, this is a fixed-term contract of two years or up until 31 March 2024. Please apply with a CV and cover letter. Early applications encouraged. To apply please click here

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