FCDO offers £120k a year for next comms director

Current media chief Helen Bower-Easton is set to join the Financial Conduct Authority
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, seen from Whitehall

By Jim Dunton

14 Feb 2023

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has launched a recruitment campaign to find a communications director to replace outgoing media chief Helen Bower-Easton.

The department, created out of the September 2020 merger of the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development, is offering up to £120,000 a year for the successful applicant – who will lead a comms team of more than 150.

Bower-Easton is joining the Financial Conduct Authority, where she will succeed Tom Willetts as director of communications later this month.

Bower-Easton was official spokesperson for prime ministers David Cameron and Theresa May before leaving 10 Downing Street for the then Foreign and Commonwealth Office in March 2017.

Her successor at the FCDO will lead the department’s communications function, overseeing its media and digital operations, delivery of priority campaigns, internal comms and public diplomacy.

In a foreword to the candidate information pack for the Senior Civil Service Pay Band 2 role, FCDO permanent secretary Sir Philip Barton said he was looking for someone with broad experience in different communication disciplines at a senior leadership level and internationally.

Barton said the successful candidate would also need a “proven ability” to take a strategic approach to communication to enable and deliver departmental priorities.

“First-class communication that shifts attitudes and behaviours is essential to our success,” he said.

“The FCDO communication function is continuously seeking to improve with an emphasis on audience focused, insight led and creative communication. You could play a central role in helping us to build on these achievements and move our department, and our people, forward.”

Barton added: “You will need to be an inclusive, supportive and empowering leader, proven in building capability, with exceptional influencing and stakeholder engagement skills, excellent judgement and an understanding of foreign policy and development issues.

“You will join the FCDO board and executive committee as part of a talented, experienced and supportive senior leadership team in a department that puts delivery first, values expertise, insight and diverse perspectives, encourages innovation and learning and aims to lead with kindness and respect.

“I can guarantee a fascinating and rewarding job, at the centre of world events and with the opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives.”

The new communications director can be based in either London or East Kilbride, the job advert says. However applicants are warned that three-to-four days a week will need to be spent at the department’s King Charles Street headquarters in London.

Applications close on 10 March.

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