Deputy Head of External Affairs
Deputy Head of External Affairs
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
£51,528 - £59,740
With large and wide-ranging responsibilities, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) works collaboratively to protect the environment and to maintain and grow the rural economy. Our vital work is far-reaching and complex. Plus the UK’s impending exit from the EU continues to set us absorbing challenges. Join us and you will contribute to the development of new approaches and policies affecting millions of people across the country. This is a career-defining opportunity that offers networking and professional development.
With around 80% of our work impacting across borders, it is imperative that we are able to successfully engage with stakeholders, sectors and the wider public. As a key member of our newly established External Affairs team, you will work very closely with policy colleagues to manage all external engagement activities. You will:
- Lead a team of six people to help shape integrated communications strategies and deliver key department priorities. Ensuring the right relationships are in place to achieve these goals, you will identify and build beneficial relationships with a wide array of external partners.
- Seek out fresh ways to reach your desired target audience, ensuring this work remains anchored in overall business objectives. You will also facilitate discussions, supporting all parties in order to reach consensus views.
- Build a broad network of partnerships with internal policy teams, arms-length bodies, members of the press, influencers and internal digital teams.
- Use behavioural insights to advise Ministers and policy colleagues.
- Take responsibility for devising Defra’s EU Exit strategic engagement programme which will include visits, events, roundtables, consultation and listening exercises.
This is a career-defining chance to take on high-profile challenges during a key moment in time for Defra. You will excel with us in this role if you have experience of delivering effective external or public affairs solutions, with a comprehensive knowledge of all strands of communications activities including digital, PR, marketing, external affairs and events. You will need to be able to translate complex issues into easy-to-understand language, you will have the capacity to build strong working relationships with policy colleagues, cross-government departments and multiple external partners. You will also have fluent verbal and written communication skills, and you will be a motivational leader with the capacity to see the bigger picture and bring fresh perspectives to every situation.
Everyone in Defra is supported to develop their skills and capabilities. You will have access to learning and development from quality providers and support from mentors and coaches. We offer flexible working alongside a range of other policies and schemes to support your physical and emotional wellbeing. Our comprehensive benefits offer includes generous annual leave, a contributory pension, staff bonuses and recognition, volunteering days, childcare vouchers and other salary sacrifice options, and an employee discount scheme.