Senior Account Director

Senior-level Professionals Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Founded in 1984, APCO Worldwide is an award-winning, independently owned global communication and business strategy firm with offices in major cities throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. APCO combines a global perspective with local expertise to help clients around the world manage challenges, opportunities, perceptions and reputations. APCO clients include corporations and governments; industry associations and nonprofit organizations; and many of the top companies on the Fortune 500. The firm is a majority women-owned business.

About APCO in the Middle East and North Africa

Home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world, the Middle East and North Africa region has a pivotal role to play in driving global conversations – from environmental policies to religion and pop culture. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are clear leaders in this equation, although the wave of innovation continues to transcend borders.

APCO launched its regional operations in 2006 in Dubai. Growing from a team of less than 10 consultants, APCO today has over 200 people from 26 countries working in teams across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Manama and Kuwait and our projects take us to countries across the region and the Levant. APCO was awarded Best Agency in the Middle East by PRWeek in 2019 and Best Agency to Work for: EMEA Network by PRovoke Media in 2017 and 2019.

With a portfolio of over 100 clients, APCO’s MENA offices deliver public relations and digital communication support across health, food, consumer & retail, finance, technology, real estate & hospitality, non-profit and public affairs practices. The region also offers specialized services, created for the Middle East, such as our Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model and our Compass and License to Operate offerings.

 In addition, APCO’s global AI Comms Lab, a first-of-its-kind innovation center which utilizes artificial intelligence to build and protect the reputations of major global brands, governments and organizations is driven from the Dubai office.

From helping governments connect with the private sector and civil society, to supporting the Pope’s historic visit to the region and launching iconic brands and destinations, we understand the nuances of the MENA region and pride ourselves on making an impact.

-The Senior Associate Director is a client leader responsible for leading/managing large client relationship(s) and client teams.
- Manages and takes ownership of client projects by supervising project teams and delegating projects and tasks effectively.
-identifies and drives the strategy which supports the client’s objectives, including everything from developing communication plans to properly scoping and pricing work, as well as managing work activities and resources within agreed upon budgets.
-Invests significant time in identifying and pursuing new business opportunities.
-Consistently demonstrates strategic and analytical abilities, as well as exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
- Interfaces with all levels of staff and serves as the primary client contact, managing the client relationship(s).

-Independently manages client relationships effectively
-Leads teams around business development opportunities
-Demonstrates an understanding of effective project management, can effectively address issues, and understands how managing account engagements tie to APCO’s business success and makes changes as necessary to improve account performance
-Develops positive reputation and has visibility within the APCO network
-Is viewed as a thought leader in the market
-Establishes strong network across APCO and engages in productive exchanges with colleagues to promote knowledge sharing and business opportunities
-Confidently leads internal and client meetings, offering knowledgeable observations and suggestions; establishing credibility by insights shared; encouraging and motivating others to communicate ideas
-Serves as principal client contact; knows when to leverage senior level relationships within APCO to further build the relationship within the client organization
-Consistently demonstrates APCO’s values in all interactions with colleagues, vendors and clients
-Participates in annual business planning, forecasting opportunity with clients managed
-Takes ownership and actively engages in team member development; demonstrating thoughtful planning to increase individual skill sets by setting smart objectives
-Shares opportunities across the network looking for the best resources to service the account(s)
-Demonstrates an understanding of effective project management, can effectively address issues, and understands how account engagements tie to APCO’s business management

Performance Competencies:

-Responsible for revenue sustainability; drives growth for client(s) under management
-Maintains labor margins of 70% or greater and appropriate service levels for client(s) under management
-Keeps overall client realization above 90% unless a specific investment decision or discount has been agreed
-Maintains realized personal utilization at target level agreed with Managing Director

-Ensures the very best work is being delivered in line with client needs
-Works with the local managers to determine staffing requirements, contributes to the evaluation of performance of client account staff; develops succession plans and recruits new talent as necessary
-Identifies and leads (and/or coordinates) new business opportunities within the organizations of clients under management
-Activates new business development/investment plans for assigned client(s) that result in tangible growth
-Proactively works with the APCO network to build relationships to enhance efficiencies, productivity and the development of new ideas/solutions for assigned account, ensuring APCO's best is always put forward
-Prepares yearly strategic client plan with metrics and staff plan, collaborating with appropriate market leaders and staff managers

-Oversees budgeting, billing, revenue projections, profitability, service levels, receivables on assigned clients
-Proactively engages in the business planning and budgeting process and communicates resourcing commitments and needs to Managing Directors; fulfills commitments made around staff utilization

-Establishes annual business development plan for assigned clients including growth targets, business development/investment budgets; tracks results
-Makes meaningful contribution to successful business development efforts that benefit the firm as a whole (participates in pitches and proposals)
-Leverages the work being done on client(s) under management to drive new business elsewhere in the firm (e.g., via case study sharing, thought leadership)
-Leads the development of new solutions that can be monetized across the enterprise
-Promotes a culture of entrepreneurship and revenue expansion

-Develops a deep understanding of the client’s business and stays informed of issues that may impact the client beyond the scope of the engagement
-Proactively offers advice and information to client contact before, during and after client engagement
-Understands client’s internal politics, decision making process, and how client contact fits within the client organization
-Quickly assesses client’s business issues and identifies key stakeholders impacting client’s objectives
-Synthesizes information for strategic insights impacting client’s business strategy
-Serves as lead in client meetings and/or develops others to take a lead role

-Builds and maintains senior-level client relationships across the client's organization and encourages client team to develop relationships
-Is responsible for client satisfaction, including retention and growth
-Solicits feedback regularly and does so formally at least once a year

-Demonstrates teamwork with peers and sets example for others
-Fosters a positive, collegial work environment within the office and with other offices in the APCO network
-Proactively addresses and resolves conflict among client team members
-Builds a cohesive and collaborative client team across key geographies
-Promotes knowledge sharing and best practice in client management and increases team’s knowledge about the client organization
-Leads regular client team meetings and participates in company meetings and internal calls
-Is reliable and fulfills commitments; injects positive energy into the work environment 

-Cultivates an environment in which development of digital competencies among the team are emphasized
-Leads by example by applying digital strategy and thinking directly and integrating it fully into client work
-Develops and activates client staffing plans that emphasize digital competencies
-Participates and promotes company-sponsored efforts to drive digital into the enterprise

-Values and respects diversity of people, ideas and perspectives
-Demonstrates and reinforces APCO values and behaviors
-Drives a culture of accountability at APCO with respect to policy decisions
-Champions innovative ideas and projects across the organization

-Leads by example through coaching, empowering and inspiring
-Creates opportunities and acts as a champion for staff growth & development
-Reinforces APCO’s performance standards and policies fairly and consistently
-Leads initiatives that recognize and reward performance

-Acts like an owner
-Complies with time entry policies
-Participates fully and positively in business management and administrative processes
-Submits expense reports, vendor bills, bills clients (if appropriate) timely and within APCO policies


EDUCATION: University degree in Communication or Equivalent

EXPERIENCE: Minimum 8 -10 years relevant experience in a consulting firm, corporation, diplomatic post or media role

OFFICE ENVIRONMENT: The physical abilities needed to perform the duties of this position, in addition to the office climate

  • Office environment is general office setting
  • Local and international travel required