Location:  Geneva, Switzerland

The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) is a United Nations-backed public health organisation working to increase access to, and facilitate the development of, life-saving medicines for low- and middle-income countries. Through its innovative business model, the MPP partners with civil society, governments, international organisations, industry, patient groups and other stakeholders, to prioritise and license needed medicines and pool intellectual property to encourage genetic manufacture and the development of new formulations. To date, the MPP has signed agreements with nine patent holders for thirteen HIV antiretrovirals, one HIV technology platform, three hepatitis C direct-acting antivirals and a tuberculosis treatment. The MPP was founded by Unitaid, which serves as sole funder for the MPP’s activities in HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis.
The MPP is now expanding its activities to cover Essential Medicines, which requires engagement with many new stakeholders, including potential funders.

Main Duties/Responsibilities:

Communications is a vital discipline for the MPP, given the multi-stakeholder nature of its mission and the context in which its work must be executed. Communications should help to increase the effectiveness of the MPP’s work by improving understanding of the MPP among its key stakeholders – pharmaceutical companies, generic manufacturers, inter-governmental orgnaisations, NGOs, governments, and civil society. The ultimate aim is to facilitate the MPP’s core work increasing the number of targeted medicines reaching those in need in developing countries.

The Head of Communications is responsible for the overall management, development and leadership of the communications strategy for MPP, working closely with the Executive Director and other senior managers. This will mean having extensive senior-level experience with a range of communications tools, including the traditional media and public relations, as well as the latest communications’ techniques, particularly digital and social media, and the most appropriate use of events and other means to bring MPP closer to all its stakeholders.

The Head of Communications reports directly to the Executive Director and is a member of the Senior Management Team.

Core responsibilities include:

  • Developing, implementing and managing the communications strategy with clear objectives, messaging, and transmission channels for each target audience;
  • Developing and leading the implementation of publicity, media relations and digital marketing campaigns and developing strong relationships with key media;
  • Engaging with external stakeholders, such as pharmaceutical companies, generic manufacturers, governments, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs and civil society, to support communication activities;
  • Developing creative programmes, including events, speaking platforms and other activities that will drive positive understanding of the MPP and support public relations activities;
  • Overseeing the strategic development of the MPP website including recommendations of updates, commissioning of analytics;
  • Developing and upgrading MPP publications and background materials, including through managing design agencies;
  • Developing materials that will support fundraising;
  • Identifying multi-platform content opportunities to promote MPP work: writing opinion/editorials for target media, crafting articles for the MPP’s website, writing press releases and briefing notes;
  • Identifying video and other digital tools to promote MPP work;
  • Responding to queries for information from media and stakeholders;
  • Managing the Communications Manager and the Communications Officer;
  • Recruiting and supervising consultants when required;
  • Performing other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

The Head of Communications must have:


  • Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills in English;
  • Interest and understanding of public health, and specifically issues related to access to medicines and intellectual property;
  • Ability to develop and explain complex and innovative concepts in a clear and concise manner;
  • Experience in writing press releases;
  • A network of media contacts.

Personal Qualities:

  • Demonstrable personal commitment to the public health goal of MPP;
  • Strong negotiation and influencer skills;
  • Sensitivity to different cultures and work styles;
  • Collaborative and supportive approach to teamwork and people management;
  • Diplomacy, tact and courtesy.

Education and Special Training:

  • Advanced university degree in communications, public policy, health economics or equivalent relevant subject area.

Experience (length and nature):

  • At least 15 years’ experience working in communications in a pharmaceutical company, government, an international organisation, or a non-governmental organisation;
  • Experience in corporate pharmaceutical communications and/or in journalism is an advantage.

Use of Languages:

  • Native-level fluency in written and spoken English is a must;
  • Oral and written proficiency in a second language is an advantage.

MPP Values:

The MPP respects all individuals regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, HIV status or disability.

If you are interested by this opportunity, please send a cover letter and C.V. to recruitment@medicinespatentpool.org including “Head of Communications” as reference in the subject line by May 26, 2019.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted


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