Basic Function of Position:
Under the direct supervision of the LE Staff Information Specialist (Country Media Advisor), the general supervision of the Information Officer (IO) and the overall guidance of the Public Affairs Counselor, the Public Engagement Assistant (Information Assistant) bears responsibility for advising the U.S. Embassy on media trends, media climate, and dealing with the media on a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues. Develops and maintains contacts with Afghan media outlets and their owners, commentators, analysts, thought leaders and senior government officials, and others and advises the IO on appropriate contacts for different policy priorities. Recommends placement of USG policy-related materials. The incumbent functions in an extremely sensitive political environment in which an ongoing insurgency adds to the urgency of accurate media reporting to make key security decisions, which requires skill and tact when dealing with contacts, military officials, Afghan government, media and civil society representatives. Analyzes general trends in local media, provides advice to PAS and Embassy senior leadership in design of proactive messaging, and makes recommendations to ensure that U.S. foreign policy priorities are clearly conveyed in local and international media. Monitors and analyzes the country's media climate through monitoring print and broadcast media, to gauge the state of debate on topics of vital interest to the United States in Afghanistan, including how the U.S. is perceived and portrayed by various political and public opinion leaders, the goals, aims, and strategies of Afghan political parties, and public perception of U.S. policy. Of special focus are local current affairs, issues concerning bilateral relations between Afghanistan and the United States, and matters concerning Afghanistan's relationship with its neighbors and the international community. Coordinates with local staff in the Political, Economic, USAID and other sections on media events and media reporting requirements. Provides the full range of press events, producing regular analysis summaries and in-depth focus pieces on specific topics. Translates for senior Embassy officials during press conferences and high level meeting with a wide range of contacts, including, but not limited to, civil society leaders, public opinion influencers, political contacts, and GIRoA officials. Serves as the Acting Country Media Advisor in the absence of that employee. Performs other duties as assigned.