Head of Host State Relations Section (IR-DS-RH-2021-102-LD)

18 Aug 2021
15 Sep 2021

Company description

At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. Using the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments, they study the basic constituents of matter - fundamental particles that are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives physicists clues about how particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. Find out more on http://home.cern.

Job description


As part of the International Relations Sector, the mission of the Host States Relations Section is to contribute to the effective functioning of CERN by coordinating the Organization’s relations with the Host State authorities (France and Switzerland) at different levels, working closely with all Departments at CERN.


As Head of the Host States Relations Section, you will:

  • Serve as CERN’s focal point for diplomatic relations with the Host State authorities;
  • Coordinate processes and situations at CERN requiring interaction with the Host States, facilitating the compilation of input from Departments at CERN and information-sharing, and ensuring effective liaison;
  • Support Departments in the interaction with the Host States on technical topics, facilitating engagement and information-sharing;
  • Build and maintain strong working relationships with interlocutors in the French and Swiss public authorities;
  • Monitor developments in the Host States of relevance for the Organization and provide advice to the CERN Management and concerned Departments;
  • Draft substantive correspondence and other communications in the context of Host State relations and the handling of situations requiring the intervention of the authorities, as well as official information for members of the personnel;
  • Coordinate the work of the section and lead the team.


Master's degree or PhD or equivalent relevant experience in the field of international relations, public policy, public relations, law or a related field.


  • Proven experience establishing and maintaining professional relations inside and outside an intergovernmental organisation or national institution.
  • Practice in defining and applying administrative rules specific to intergovernmental organisations and their relations with a host state.
  • Proven experience drawing up strategies and making recommendations on questions of principle to senior management and ensuring implementation of follow-up in an independent manner.

Technical competencies:

  • Stakeholder relationship management.
  • Drafting and writing of official documents: and communications.
  • Knowledge of French and Swiss political and administrative institutions.

Behavioural competencies:

  • Demonstrating accountability: working conscientiously and reliably; delivering on promises declaring own intentions clearly in dealings with others; using influence constructively.
  • Working in the interest of the Organization: focusing on the broader picture; being able to set aside individual or team needs in the interest of the Organization.
  • Creating vision and strategic partnerships: demonstrating respect, diplomacy and tact with external partners creating shared interests and promoting contact and collaboration with key external partners.
  • Communicating effectively: delivering presentations in a structured and clear way; adjusting style and content to the audience; responding calmly and confidently to questions.
  • Working in teams: understanding when teamwork is required to achieve the best results; including others accordingly and sharing information building and maintaining constructive and effective work relationships.

Language skills:

Excellent spoken and written French and English: ability to understand and speak both languages in professional contexts as well as the ability to draft texts for publications, official communications and to make oral presentations in both languages.

Excellent command of French in the context of international relations, public and/or diplomatic settings is a must.

Additional information

Eligibility and closing date:

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization. Employing a diverse workforce is central to our success. We welcome applications from all Member States and Associate Member States.

This vacancy will be filled as soon as possible, and applications should normally reach us no later than 15.09.2021 at 12PM CET. 

Employment conditions

Contract type: Limited duration contract (5 years). Subject to certain conditions, holders of limited-duration contracts may apply for an indefinite position.

Job grade: 6-7
Job reference: IR-DS-RH-2021-102-LD
Benchmark Job Title: Communications/Public Relations /External Relations Professional