Head of External Relations

Team: Operations

Location: London, UK

Employment Type: Permanent

Salary: Competitive

Closing Date: 12 September 2019

Head of External Relations


MedAccess is the first of its kind: a UK-based social finance company with the pioneering mission to make global healthcare markets work for everyone.

MedAccess offers volume guarantees that reduce commercial risk for manufacturers in developing-world markets and thereby enable them to lower their pricing and invest more aggressively in rolling out important new products. In this way, vaccines, medicines, diagnostic tests and medical devices can reach patients far sooner than existing market forces would allow.

MedAccess is the world’s first sustainable financing vehicle built to deliver volume guarantees with speed, scale and professionalism. MedAccess was founded with initial capital of $200 million and a mandate to deliver vastly improved health outcomes for patients in the poorest corners of the globe while preserving and reusing capital to maximise impact. Fuelled by not-for-profit capital rather than aid, we are uniquely able to apply business and investment methods to achieve humanitarian objectives.

At MedAccess we believe that patients in the poorest corners of the globe deserve health outcomes no worse than patients in the wealthiest countries. To achieve this vision, markets must serve all patients equitably, offering rapid and sustainable access to the best possible technologies. Yet in today’s world, real and perceived risks in bringing critical new healthcare technologies to places like Africa and South Asia consistently produce chicken-and-egg dynamics that hinder access to critical products.

MedAccess is a not-for-profit UK company governed by an independent board. MedAccess’ parent company, CDC Group, is the world’s oldest development finance institution (DFI), with 70 years of experience investing in businesses in Africa and Asia. It is wholly owned by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and plays a key role in DFID’s private sector strategy to alleviate poverty.

For further information on MedAccess, please see our website: www.medaccess.org


The Role

This is a new and critical role with responsibility for the promotion and handling of all aspects of external relations including communications with partners, donors, consultants and facilitators, governments, potential investors and other stakeholders.


The communications manager will undertake proactive communications to maintain confidence in, and enhance the reputation of, MedAccess’ work, particularly amongst the global public health community and its shareholder.


The role will develop our positioning in MedAccess’ markets and internationally, for example through  thought-leadership, digital media, events and conferences, branding and advertising through, for example, client companies, partners and stakeholders.


The role may also involve work with CDC Group’s Communications team to improve co-ordination around associated visits by UK Ministers and parliamentarians; understanding of political priorities in MedAccess’ markets, and co-ordination with DFID.


Key Responsibilities:

Responsibility for proactively creating the identity and presence of the company through multiple channels, devising a strategy to promote understanding of the MedAccess role, and enhancing our credibility and impact in the public health environment (potential clients, partners, stakeholders, regulators, in-market Governments, donors and procurers).

Develop and maintain communications for these audiences across all channels including pitchbooks, publicity materials, digital media, scripts, speeches, stakeholder documents, press releases, interviews, and any other external communications.


Managing and growing the MedAccess brand, developing brand values and quality control.


Digital and online communications and publicity including website and social media, in particular, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Agree a high-level strategic and integrated communications approach with the Senior Management Team to promote MedAccess’ services and its Development Impact.

Work with the CEO and Chief Investment Officer to develop a fundraising strategy, including building relationships with key philanthropies, bilateral donors, development finance institutions, and high net worth individuals.


Work with the Chief Markets Officer to support communications and events to generate new impact opportunities. 


Identify and lead support on marketing and PR activities for deal flow and managing our reputation in the market (promoting successes and managing risks in our portfolio).


Identify opportunities to promote MedAccess’ thought-leadership in Africa and South Asia and with public health, governmental, and financial / business audiences.


Develop and maintain close relationships with external relations leads in partner organisations (e.g. UN agencies, philanthropies, etc), as well as journalists and thought leaders.  Proactively monitor and shape debates in global public health on MedAccess priorities. 


Identify regional priorities and where appropriate to support regional visits from UK Ministers and other senior figures.  Co-ordinate with CDC Group’s Communications team in any relevant areas of work.


Fundraising strategy, freedom of information, marketing, event launches, other public and UK governmental affairs. 


Support individual MedAccess teams to develop and deliver their external relations activities.


Preparation of presentations, annual reports, and Development Impact  reports. 


Development and maintenance of external-facing document template forms. 


Candidate Background

We are looking for an individual with a proven track-record in public and private sector external relations.  Experience in global public health, especially relating to Africa and South Asia, is strongly desirable.  


The successful candidate will be confident, articulate and collaborative. They will be credible with civil servants, public health professionals and investment professionals and comfortable advising senior colleagues.  While being an expert communicator with financially and medically literate audiences, we are looking for a candidate who takes a plain English approach, avoids needless jargon and is able to help translate our investment activities in to lay language to support our efforts to communicate MedAccess’ development impact.


The candidate should be creative, resourceful and strategic in their approach.  This role demands taking a bird’s eye view to help us direct resources efficiently, but also requires someone with the attention to detail and ability to get to grips with more detailed information to support the investment teams. The right person will have a political antenna and able to spot controversial issues that need handling.


The role will require some overseas travel.  Ability to speak French is desirable.


Alongside all of this we are looking for someone who cares about our mission and will be able to relay the passion that we all feel for what we do to our stakeholders and public and private sector audiences.



At least seven years’ experience leading and executing marketing and PR plans for a governmental, public health, pharmaceutical, financial or investment institution, e.g. an international organisation, pharmaceutical company, bank, investment fund manager, government or NGO.


Proven relationship management with business, political and public health journalists.


Strong written and verbal communications skills – clarity and conciseness of expression and able to support others to do so too.


Strong budget management - project management with capacity to organise financial and human resources within timeframes and budgets.


Technical skills

Familiar with social media, in particular, Twitter and LinkedIn.


Adobe Illustrator / Photoshop highly desirable


Word processing and Microsoft Office suite.


Ability to speak French or other languages used in our markets is desirable.


Personal skills

Collaborative – this role will involve working across teams, and will involve bringing people together to reach agreement on positioning.


Open to giving and receiving feedback.

Energetic style and can-do attitude.

Ability to prioritise and delegate: we expect to have exposure and aim to make an impact in more than 60 countries and are growing fast.



Please provide a cover letter with your application

Role opened: 14/08/2019

Role closes: 12/09/2019

Salary: Competitive

Apply now