Communications Assistant

Communications Assistant

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The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 120 people, plus over 150 associates and consultants, come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries. We are currently looking for a Communications Assistant to join our Economic Law and Policy (ELP) Program.

IISD’s ELP Program is devoted to supporting the elaboration and improvement of economic governance frameworks and tools that support the achievement of sustainable development objectives. ELP does so by developing research outputs, providing training and capacity support to the relevant stakeholder groups, organizing conferences and dialogues, and various other approaches. Increasingly, our work involves a dedicated “virtual” component, both in terms of the events we deliver and the communications and outreach efforts we undertake. Our team includes lawyers, economists, policy analysts, and journalists, among others, who are located across various countries and world regions. The program encompasses several workstreams, including investment law and policy; international trade; agriculture; sustainability standards; sustainable finance, procurement, and infrastructure; and mining.


We are seeking dynamic and experienced communications professionals with a talent for making complex ideas accessible to wider audiences and with a passion for virtual events and digital media.

We are looking for candidates who are strong organizers and multitaskers with strong writing and editing skills, expertise in digital media and social media messaging and engagement, experience in virtual event organization and management, and a keen interest in and knowledge of sustainable development issues, including multilateral processes on economic governance that support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The candidates will report to the Senior Communications Officer, Economic Law and Policy (ELP), or their designate and work regularly with the ELP programmatic teams.


  • Working with ELP’s programmatic teams to develop written and visual content that communicates complex policy ideas to broad audiences.
  • Ensuring that social media accounts are relevant, timely, and engaging, along with being targeted to the needs and interests of key audiences. This includes developing specific content for social media, targeting key influencers online, and reporting on results on a regular basis.
  • Serving as an event organizer and producer for virtual conferences, workshops, and training sessions, from their initial conception to their final execution and related outreach.
  • Implementing strategic communications plans for a broad range of projects, reports, and events.
  • Using analytics software to monitor, assess, and report on performance and advise on best practices.
  • Ensuring brand coherence and compliance with existing IISD communications practices.
  • Cultivating and managing relationships with journalists and influencers, with the aim of gaining attention and coverage for research and initiatives in key publications in target geographies.
  • Conducting media monitoring on a regular basis for assigned areas of work.
  • Tracking current events related to specific workstreams and communicating these to the relevant colleagues, identifying opportunities for further work and/or public engagement.
  • Developing and pitching ideas for digital media outputs to team members.
  • Maintaining and updating webpages using content management systems (i.e., Drupal, WordPress).
  • Assisting in developing stories, infographics, animations, and other content as needed that make IISD's work accessible to expert and non-expert audiences.
  • Working with digital images (retouching, resizing, etc.).
  • Continuously discovering and sharing new industry best practices to maximize impact.

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • 1–3 years of relevant professional experience in communications at a public policy-focused organization (think tank, non-governmental organization, government, etc.).
  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, public relations, public policy, or a related discipline.
  • A high level of computer literacy - must be able to work in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and be familiar with virtual event software, such as Zoom and MS Teams. Knowledge of Adobe Creative Cloud applications is an asset.
  • Proven experience in managing virtual conferences and/or other event types is a strong asset.
  • Excellent English verbal and written communication skills, other languages (including Spanish) are an asset.
  • Demonstrated interest in issues related to sustainable development, especially economic issues.
  • Experience and comfort working with online content management systems and website monitoring tools (especially WordPress, Drupal, Google Analytics).
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills.
  • Self-starter, able to work independently as well as within a team.

All submissions must be in English.

Accommodations for job applicants with disabilities are available on request.

Please include:

  • A CV (no longer than two pages)
  • A letter of motivation, one page.