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Director of Communications

Location: Dakar, Senegal
Last Date: September 4, 2011



Job Description 

Director of Communications

Tostan is a Senegalese-born non-profit organization dedicated to educating and empowering Africans who have had little or no access to formal schooling. Tostanís community-led programs have resulted in thousands of villages deciding to abandon the practices of female genital cutting and child marriage, increase formal education of children, use problem solving and literacy skills to generate income and further develop local economies, and incorporate regular healthcare. This vibrant organization is rapidly scaling its successful model across Africa. In order to raise its profile with partners and global stakeholders, Tostan has created a new position for a Director of Communications.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Communications leads and mentors a dedicated team raising Tostanís public relations, marketing, communications and brand to the next level. Working closely with the Executive Director, the Director develops and facilitates buy-in on a communications strategy and action plan. Building on Tostanís strengths, this leader manages and coordinates all relevant activities internationally, leveraging proven best practices and techniques, as well as emerging trends, technologies and social media.

As the ideal candidate, you have a bachelorís degree in a relevant field, and at least ten years of experience in communications or public relations. An outstanding communicator, you are known for your writing and editing skills in both French and English. You enjoy traveling and leading an international, multicultural team. As a true mentor, building the capacity and skills of those around you is second nature. You thrive in fast-paced, deadline-driven environments, and manage multiple projects effectively. You understand how to navigate and influence within the non-profit sector; previous experience in international development, community-led development, or human rights in developing nations would be an asset.

Duties & Responsibilities

Create a communications strategy and plan that supports Tostanís operational strategy, and work closely with the executive team to facilitate final approval and disseminate the communications plan throughout the organization.

Lead all communications activities, including international public relations, media relations, branding, marketing, and coordination of conferences to maximize impact with other organisational priorities, including fundraising and programs.

Develop and mentor communications staff and volunteers to improve the internal communications function and facilitate adoption of key communications behaviours.

Plan, produce and disseminate Tostanís marketing collateral, including online and print publications and presentations.

Leverage emerging trends, technologies, and social media, in additional to more traditional platforms, to raise Tostanís profile in key areas.

Manage Tostan's small but significant role in advocacy on key issues.

Develop a cohesive international brand that reflects Tostanís values.

Support and coordinate activities related to program and internal communications.

Leverage existing assets, including an extensive database of donors, committed supporters, high level contacts and press relationships.

Key Relationships

Direct supervisor: Executive Director

Works closely with the Executive Director and Communications Advisory Board.

Manages a team of at least two staff and two volunteers on site, and additional staff and volunteers located throughout the organization. 


The position is located in Dakar, Senegal, in Tostanís international office. International travel is required.

Ideal Candidate Profile:

Qualifications and Selection Criteria


A Bachelors degree in Communications or related is required. A Masters degree in related field is preferred.

Language Proficiency

Fluency in verbal and written English and a high level in verbal and written French is required.

Knowledge & Experience

10 years of communications and/or public relations experience.

Experience leading, mentoring and building the capacity of staff, ideally within international, cross-cultural teams.

A clear understanding of how to navigate and influence within the international development and non-profit sectors.

Proven track record of strong project and budget management skills.

Knowledge of best practices in communications and public relations, including multimedia, online, print and emerging social media.

Experience working in Africa would be an asset.

Experience with community-led development or human rights organizations would be an asset.


Excellent verbal communication and writing and editing skills.

Thrives in a fast-paced, deadline driven environment and manages multiple projects effectively.

A natural mentor and coach who enjoys building the skills and knowledge of the individuals on his or her team.

Enjoys working in a multi-lingual, multi-cultural environment.

Builds relationships at all levels and communicates effectively with people in various locations and functions.

Believes strongly in Tostan's mission to empower African communities to bring about sustainable development and positive social transformation based on respect for human rights.

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to Please be sure to put ďDirector of CommunicationsĒ as the email subject. Please note, incomplete applications will not be considered.


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