Director of Communications and Advocacy

Location Name: 
Istanbul, Turkey
Closing Date: 
August 19, 2019


Istanbul, Turkey


Full-time Position, 12-month Contract


Founded in 2004, Building Markets is an award-winning nonprofit that creates jobs and encourages economic growth in crisis-affected countries by connecting competitive local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to supply chains and investment. Through this approach, the organization has built a network of more than 23,000 verified SMEs, assisted them in winning over $1.3 billion in contracts, and helped create over 70,000 jobs in countries like Afghanistan, Haiti, Timor-Leste, and Liberia. Building Markets is headquartered in New York City and currently operates programs in Jordan, Myanmar and Turkey. For more information, please visit and

Job Summary

The Director of Communications and Advocacy is an exciting position for a results-driven leader to guide Building Markets’ external relations and advocacy strategies in Turkey. This includes influencing how buyers, investors, and other stakeholders engage with local SMEs, including those led by refugees and Syrians. In addition, with the Business Development Manager, the Director of Communications and Advocacy will lead the execution of one of the project’s key objectives: Successful Integration of SMEs into the Turkish Business Ecosystem. The Director of Communications and Advocacy will have a proven track record of influencing policy, designing and executing successful communication and advocacy campaigns and strategies, building networks, events management, and excellent communication skills.

Responsibilities and Duties


  • Design the communications strategy and work plan, leading and overseeing its implementation;

  • Supervise the Communications Coordinator; 

  • Design and oversee program related events;

  • Oversee in-country social media with a measurable increase in engagement;

  • Write blog posts, press releases, and regularly document success stories;

  • Ensure success stories and project achievements are featured in national and international news media;

  • Communicate effectively to ensure relationships are developed and maintained that promote program success.


  • Design the communications strategy and work plan, leading and overseeing its implementation;

  • In collaboration with the Business Development Manager, design and implement work plan and strategy that will facilitate Syrian-Turkish business partnerships;

  • Advocate for inclusive local procurement policies and practices with buyers and international organizations and companies; 

  • Meet and exceed project’s quantifiable targets of inclusion of and participation by Syrian and other refugee-owned SMEs in local and national programs, grants, membership- or selection-based organizations, etc. to maximize their access to growth opportunities;

  • Work with the Business Development team to identify new opportunities and to help them map key Turkish and regional actors;


  • Work with the Country Director in developing a representation strategy for Building Markets at the local and national level with government, business associations, corporations, UN agencies, NGOs, and donors;

  • With Country Director, lead Building Markets’ relationships with key stakeholders in Turkey, including national and local governments, business associations, corporations, large companies, UN agencies, and NGOs, with the goal of bringing visibility to local SMEs, particularly those led by Syrians; 

  • Actively participate in relevant local and international events, facilitate BM’s connections to available opportunities for both the organization and the SMEs it serves; and routinely share these with the BM country team and HQ to advance organizational learning and strategy.

Reporting Lines

Reports to Country Director and supervises Communications Coordinator. 

Required Qualifications and Education

  • Master’s Degree in Communications, Business Management, Public Administration, Law or related sector;

  • Demonstrated senior management experience, with significant experience working on private sector or development projects;

  • Demonstrated experience achieving high impact targets in a fast-paced environment;

  • Fluency in English and Turkish including excellent written, verbal communication, and presentation skills in both languages;

  • Understanding of the Turkish operating environment and key actors in entrepreneurship, SME, and livelihoods ecosystems, as it relates to the work of national and international NGOs and the public and private sectors; 

  • Strong work ethic and commitment to timely delivery of high-quality products;

  • Desire and ability to work collaboratively with others;

  • Ability to constructively receive and provide critical feedback.

Desired Qualifications

  • Fluency in English and Turkish (written and oral);

  • Arabic language skills; 

  • Experience managing projects for international donors;


  • Travel in Turkey and the region.


  • Salary commensurate with experience


Interested candidates are invited to send a CV/resume, cover letter, and three professional references by email to not later than August 19, 2019.  The subject line must read “003-Director of Communications and Advocacy-Turkey”.  Incomplete applications will be disqualified. Only local candidates will be considered.