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Career Development: Job Postings

Job type: Full-time Position
Location: Seattle, WA
Position: Media Relations Officer
Organization: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
Date posted: 05/21/18

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent research center at the University of Washington. Its mission is to monitor global health conditions and health systems, as well as to evaluate interventions, initiatives, and reforms. IHME carries out a range of projects within different research areas including: the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors; Future Health Scenarios; Costs and Cost Effectiveness; Local Burden of Disease; Resource Tracking; and Impact Evaluations. The aim is to provide policymakers, donors, and researchers with the highest-quality quantitative evidence base to make decisions that achieve better health.

IHME aims to be nimble and entrepreneurial in its work, taking on daunting analytic challenges in order to provide critical information that can help answer big-picture questions at the most local level possible. We accomplish these aims by working with a range of collaborators across the world. Currently, the Institute engages with more than 3,000 collaborators from more than 135 countries.

IHME has an outstanding opportunity for a Media Relations Officer.  The primary purpose of this position will be to cultivate and sustain open channels with a wide range of media covering local, national, and international topics of interest. In particular, this person will work within the Local Burden of Disease (LBD) research area.

The LBD team at IHME is seeking to revolutionize the way we track diseases around the world by developing innovative geospatial analytic methods to produce increasingly granular estimates of diseases and determinants. Just a few of the diseases this revolutionary work will touch on are pneumonia and its etiologies, diarrhea and its pathogens, malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, Ebola, as well as select neglected tropical diseases. Through the development and use of geospatial techniques to synthesize information at the local level, and in partnership with key collaborators around the world, IHME will present results in interactive high-resolution maps to illuminate levels, trends, and disparities in health outcomes.

The LBD Media Relations Officer must gain a thorough knowledge of subject matter related to the types of health research conducted by IHME. He/she must help faculty and researchers package findings from complex analyses in ways that are palatable to media and must prepare faculty and researchers appropriately to act as media contacts for the work itself. The individual is responsible for achieving a robust presence for the LBD work in a variety of media channels as a critical pathway to reach varied audiences including government, nonprofit organizations, health service organizations, and donors. The LBD Media Relations Officer is responsible for helping to create and disseminate high-quality stories that demonstrate the policy-relevance of IHME’s results and methods in clear and compelling ways. He/she must help execute strategies for great media outreach and uptake, as well as use analytics to measure and analyze the impact of that outreach and update.


Knowledge command

•             Working knowledge of key concepts, goals, and conclusions of LBD and IHME’s portfolio of work. Able to articulate results, central messages, and future implications.

•             Develop in-depth familiarity with media organizations and journalists around the world, including their political and cultural contexts.

•             Regularly review the landscape of international media coverage on a range of health and global development topics and identify ways for LBD’s work to be woven into the global dialogue.

•             Present summaries of research, implications, and opportunities to multiple audiences, including audiences from local government and donors.

•             Social media outreach and influence are fundamental to the success of this role. He/she will collaborate closely with IHME’s Digital Media Specialist with content creation for messaging around publication of studies, papers, and other products.

Relationship management

•             Help IHME expand its network of media contacts, particularly in areas where IHME has an active research network.

•             Work closely with others at all levels throughout the organization, as well as key communications staff at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and other stakeholders to engage IHME’s growing research network in working with the media to explain research findings.

•             In collaboration with others, manage and develop relationships with key opinion leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders to disseminate LBD’s evidence-based research effectively and seek to influence global health policy.

•             Field and obtain answers to inquiries and requests from journalists for findings and interviews with experts in IHME’s research network.

•             Speak to diverse audiences in a language and manner that connects with their interests while explaining in clear terms LBD’s work and IHME’s mission.

•             Communicate collaboratively and effectively with other members of the Institute’s Marketing and Communications Team, as well as other faculty and staff.

Writing and outreach

•             Research and write content for all outreach products, which include messaging briefs, fact sheets, press releases, media pitches, and infographics.

•             Play a vital role in the development and implementation of LBD’s communications plans and messaging, targeting internal and external stakeholders, including policymakers, decision-makers, multi- and bilateral organizations, donors, researchers, and practitioners.

•             Develop and maintain a calendar of media outreach opportunities.

•             Work with faculty and staff to transform complex research into compelling and policy-relevant messages that are comprehensible to targeted non-scientific audiences.

Other responsibilities

•             Take on other duties as part of the overall Global Engagement Team as needed.

Minimum qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or related field plus three years of experience in a role or roles focusing on media relations and/or communications with internal and external stakeholders and influential health-related organization and individuals.

•             A minimum of one year’s experience with and solid grasp of analytics as a means to measure the impact of mainstream and social media and web content.

•             Excellent communications skills, both written and oral.

•             Ability to take technical and highly scientific research and make it relevant, clear, and concise for the general public.

•             Aptitude for public speaking before large and small audiences.

•             Creative and strategic thinking.

•             Ability to manage multiple work streams and numerous stakeholders simultaneously, setting and shifting priorities as needed, under the direction of the Senior Marketing and Communications Manager.

•             Professional maturity, with an ability to work both independently and collaboratively to achieve objectives.

•             Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.

•             Ability to work effectively in a team-based structure with excellent interpersonal skills that foster productive relationships with colleagues and the Institute’s third-party service providers.

Desired qualifications:

•             Substantive knowledge of the Global Burden of Disease study and other related topics of IHME’s work.

•             Strong interest in global health, and health policy.

•             Prior experience transforming statistical information into compelling written and spoken content targeted at a general audience.

•             At least one language in addition to English.

Conditions of employment: Travel may be required up to 20% of the year, both domestic and international. Weekend and evening work may be required.

Further Information: See IHME’s website:

To Apply: Please apply through the UW Hires Website and enter Req 153711

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