Director, Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media

Vienna, Austria
Industry Sector:
International Public Sector
Type of contract:

Director, Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media

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ISSUED BY: OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media


VACANCY TYPE: International Contracted

FIELD OF EXPERTISE: Political Affairs




DATE OF ISSUE: 5 March 2019

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: 16 April 2019 – 23:59 Central European Time (CET/CEST)


The OSCE has a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects. It therefore addresses a wide range of security-related concerns, including arms control, confidence- and security-building measures, human rights, national minorities, democratization, policing strategies, counter-terrorism and economic and environmental activities. All 57 participating States enjoy equal status, and decisions are taken by consensus on a politically, but not legally binding basis.

Free expression and free media are basic human rights. To ensure compliance with media-freedom commitments agreed upon by participating States, the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFoM) was established in December 1997. The function of the Representative is to observe relevant media developments in OSCE participating States with a view to providing early warning on violations of freedom of expression. The Representative concentrates on rapid response to serious non-compliance with OSCE principles and commitments by participating States. In case of serious problems caused, for instance, by obstruction of media activities and unfavourable working conditions for journalists, the Representative seeks direct contacts with the participating State and other parties involved, assesses the facts and contributes to the resolution of the issue. Another task is to assist participating States by advocating and promoting full compliance with OSCE principles and commitments regarding freedom of expression and free media. Assistance is typically provided in the form of legal analyses of legislation, organizing conferences and roundtables during which best practices are shared and promoted, preparing topical publications and guidebooks on media freedom matters and providing training seminars for media and government officials.

The OSCE is committed to gender equality. This is a senior management role and women are currently underrepresented in senior management grades across the Organization. Women candidates are therefore encouraged to apply.

Tasks and Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Representative on Freedom of the Media, the successful candidate will be tasked with:

  1. Organizing and managing the team of RFoM, including reporting lines, procedures, respecting deadlines, and the proactive planning of office activities;
  2. Co-ordinating the work of the Representative with OSCE institutions, field operations, other international organizations and international media NGOs; co-ordinating with the Secretary-General and the Chairmanship when required;
  3. Overall responsibility for budgetary and personnel-related issues, including liaising with the respective units of the Secretariat;
  4. Assessing and responding to major policy issues, procedures and practices to improve the effectiveness and to increase the visibility of the RFoM; managerial follow-up on the implementation of its media-related decisions and policies;
  5. Maintaining the political calendar; keeping deadlines and organizing the Office in a way that allows the Representative to fulfil her/his political mandate;
  6. Screening and commenting on proposals submitted for the decision of the Representative including complex and sensitive issues requiring action in relation to the functions, structure and activities of this independent OSCE Institution;
  7. Overseeing and contributing to the report writing of the Office and maintaining the necessary contacts to diplomatic representations of OSCE participating States;
  8. Developing and maintaining a network in support of the wide range of tasks, drawing on extensive diplomatic and multilateral experience and representing the Representative by attending high level meetings on her/his behalf, as required;
  9. Performing other related duties as assigned.

Necessary Qualifications

  • Second-level university degree in communications, political science, international relations, journalism or a related field; a first-level university degree in combination with two years of additional qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the second-level university degree;
  • A minimum of twelve years of progressively responsible experience, including at management level, in a governmental, intergovernmental or international organization;
  • Experience in the promotion/protection of human rights, especially in the freedom of expression field, profound knowledge, proven adherence and practice of international standards in that respect;
  • Knowledge of the OSCE’s activities, and demonstrated experience in budgetary and personnel related matters;
  • Political sensitivity and mature judgement; strong analytical and/or negotiation skills;
  • Ability to master a wide range of administrative and political issues simultaneously;
  • Ability to identify and analyse emerging problems and propose solutions;
  • Professional fluency in English, with excellent communication skills and drafting and editing ability; knowledge of other OSCE languages is an asset;
  • Media and/or communications experience;
  • Demonstrated gender awareness and sensitivity, and an ability to integrate a gender perspective into tasks and activities;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with people of different national and cultural backgrounds;
  • Ability to operate Windows applications including word processing, internet and other software applications.

Required Competencies

Core values

  • Commitment: Actively contributes to achieving organizational goals
  • Diversity: Respects others and values their diverse perspectives and contributions
  • Integrity: Acts in a manner consistent with the Organization’s core values and organizational principles
  • Accountability: Takes responsibility for own action and delegated work

Core competencies

  • Communication: Actively works to achieve clear and transparent communication with colleagues and with stakeholders of the Organization
  • Collaboration: Works effectively with others on common goals and fosters a positive, trust-based working environment
  • Planning: Works towards the achievement of goals in a structured and measured manner
  • Analysis and decision-making: Analyses available information, draws well-founded conclusions and takes appropriate decisions
  • Initiative-taking: Proposes and initiates new ideas, activities and projects
  • Flexibility: Responds positively and effectively to changing circumstances

Managerial competencies (for positions with managerial responsibilities)

  • Leadership: Provides a clear sense of direction, builds trust and creates an enabling environment
  • Strategic thinking: Identifies goals that advance the organizational agenda and develops plans for achieving them
  • Managing performance: Helps to maximize team performance by providing active feedback and skill development opportunities

Remuneration Package 

Monthly remuneration is approximately EUR 10,512, depending on post adjustment and family status. OSCE salaries are exempt from taxation in Austria. Social benefits will include possibility of participation in the Cigna medical insurance scheme and the OSCE Provident Fund. Other allowances and benefits are similar to those offered under the United Nations Common System.

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Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

The OSCE is a forum for political dialogue on a wide range of security issues and a platform for joint action to improve the lives of individuals and communities. The organization uses a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses the politico-military, economic and environmental, and human dimensions.

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