Communication Specialist (Senior Photo Editor), P-3, Fixed Term, NYHQ, Division of Global Communication And Advocacy, New York, Post Number 86006

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    $115,738 - $155,087 / YEAR
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    2 weeks ago
  • Category:
    Communication and Advocacy, Graphic Design and Multimedia, Language and Writing Services
  • Deadline:


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, hope

How can you make a difference?

Purpose for the job:

Reporting to the P4 Communication Manager, the Communication Specialist (Senior Photo Editor) is responsible for supporting day-to-day operations of photography projects include generating creative multiplatform content ideas, planning and assigning photo content production, overseeing budgets and contracts, commissioning engaging multimedia materials for our audiences and platforms, overseeing production schedules and editorial calendars, and supervising staff and freelancers, as part of effective content strategy and communication in support of child rights. This includes:

  • Conceiving innovate and creative ideas in the commissioning, acquisition, dissemination and use of photo in conjunction with video products for UNICEF HQ.
  • Providing support and advice to other UNICEF offices worldwide for their multimedia acquisitions and use.
  • Creating, implementing and disseminating policies, guidelines and technical requirements for the acquisition and use of multimedia assets by UNICEF, and their use by external media and UNICEF partners, in line with child rights, international/national laws and the highest editorial  standards.
  • Promoting the development of partnerships with international photo professionals and related visual multimedia professionals, channels, institutions, agencies and corporations.
  • Undertaking or coordinating HQ photo assignments as required. Coordinating photo production with video production for an integrated approach to content creation as required by campaigns, advocacy aims or platform opportunities.

Role Responsibility

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

1. Drive the creation, conceptualization and commissioning of professional quality photography
2. Create/update/maintain and promote UNICEF multimedia guidelines
3. Support HQ photo assignments and related work
4. Manage HQ photography team

Description of the assignment:

The work in this position is diverse and the incumbent is responsible for generating and developing creative ideas, working closely with media, social media and advocacy teams across all platforms while ensuring that division communication priorities and content strategy are aligned. The role requires someone to inspire and engage in-house and independent photographers by articulating UNICEF communication, campaign and advocacy priorities in the creation and development of ideas that meet our audiences’ needs. By providing creative leadership in the development of multimedia assets, the role is expected to encourage risk taking and innovation whilst maintaining expertise in identifying trends and opportunities for outstanding content. The role requires an incumbent with strong expertise in photography production and editing along with a broader understanding of the role of video and how the two mediums together and apart can best support broader communication priorities and platform opportunities.

1. Drive the creation, creative conceptualizations and commissioning of professional quality photography

Support section operations in the development of creative audience relevant multimedia products, including:

  • Consulting with UNICEF stakeholders and policy-makers (communication and other specialists globally); with internal users of UNICEF photography (in coordination with video as appropriate), including HQ, regional, national and National Committee offices and external users such as the UN and other programme partners, international media, digital outlets etc. to define priority areas for programme, campaign and emergency coverage.
  • Acquire photographs and video globally to address these needs, coordinating with relevant field and other offices, drawing from a consistently updated roster of qualified creative development/journalist professional photographers based around the world.
  • Produce, edit and supervise the researching/writing of photo captions, ensuring accuracy and descriptions in line with UNICEF policies.
  • Oversee the timely dissemination of UNICEF photographs to maximize their broadest appropriate use in support of child rights and UNICEF priorities, including via UNICEF platforms and  in other major international/national media and social media channels.

2. Create/update/maintain and promote UNICEF multimedia guidelines:

  • Create and update as needed comprehensive guidelines on UNICEF photo assets – and related visual media – policies, rights negotiations and technical procedures/requirements and advocate for their broadest practise within UNICEF and externally, as appropriate.
  • Build partnerships with international development/journalism photographers and related visual media and/or academic agencies, channels, institutions and corporations.3. Support HQ photo assignments and related work
  • Oversee and undertake HQ and OED requests for photo support, hiring of freelancers for these assignments as required, including arranging all briefings, logistics, contacts, access, etc.
  • Ensure complete follow-up of these assignments, including the timely editing, captioning and completion of selected image acquisitions for sharing with DOC or other colleagues or external partners and for their global distribution.4. Manage HQ photography team
  • Manage UNICEF HQ photo team and ensure that all required administrative, financial and personnel policies are adhered to and that UNICEF resources are cost-effectively deployed.
  • HQ-based post, with possible travel as required.


To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…


  • Advanced university degree in communication, multimedia production, journalism, public relations, or other related discipline field.
    *A first-level university degree in combination with 2 additional years (7) of experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced degree.Experience:
  • A minimum of five years of progressive experience (preferably within an international context) in creating and commissioning creative and professional photography and video, particularly in developing countries.
  • Background in photojournalism, journalism, media, and marketing essential.
  • Demonstrated understanding of copyright issues and appropriate application for distribution internally and externally.
  • Demonstrated understanding of child protection guidelines and informed consent of subjects being filmed or photographed.
  • Experience in the creation and commissioning of video and photo assets for digital platforms with advocacy and marketing requirements.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of up-to-date photography and video workflow processes and of the application of photography and video in a range of media, including news outlets, web and social media sites, print publications and exhibitions.
  • Up-to-date experience in strategic communication efforts that utilize creative photography and video to advocate for positive social change, preferably in an international context, in a rapidly evolving multimedia and multi-platform communication environment.
  • Demonstrated track record of commissioning successful content based on a thorough understanding of genres and audience needs.
  • Outstanding editorial judgement and passion for storytelling, along with the ability to enable creativity and innovation with supervisees and freelancers.
  • Knowledge and proven track record in use of DAM systems.

Other skills and attributes:

  • Ability to express clearly and concisely creative ideas and concepts in written and oral form.
  • Ability to commission creative video and photo assignments for placement across multiple digital platforms with a mind to the needs of various audiences and stakeholders.
  • Ability to provide leadership to the creative development of multimedia materials, encouraging risk taking and innovation while identifying trends and opportunities for outstanding content.
  • Proven ability to network and manage relationships with partners.
  • Strong interpersonal communication and negotiating skills.
  • Proven ability to conceptualise, plan and execute creative multimedia production ideas as well as transfer knowledge and skills.
  • Knowledge of current theories and practices regarding digital platforms and social media.
  • Ability to gather and act on relevant data and research on the role of digital media and reaching targeted audiences with advocacy objectives.
  • Knowledge and ability to use core photo video and web-related equipment project management systems/hardware/software and related evolving technologies.
  • Knowledge of copyright standards, applications and negotiations.
  • Knowledge of child protection standards and ethical representation standards when representing children in documentary contexts.
  • Knowledge of international development issues and of UNICEF priority areas.
  • Ability to exercise good judgment under pressure.
  • Ability to handle multiple assignments with competing deadlines.
  • Able to work under pressure and to meet tight deadlines.
  • Flexibility to take on assignments at short notice.
  • Language Requirements:
    Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values

UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

• Builds and maintains partnerships (2)
• Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (2)
• Innovates and embraces change (2)
• Drive to achieve results for impact (2)
• Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)
• Thinks and acts strategically (2)
• Works collaboratively with others (2)
• Nurtures, leads and works well across teams and sections (1)

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.