ECDPM Director
ECDPM is seeking a new Director with a solid understanding of the evolving landscape of international cooperation and relations. The ideal candidate should possess demonstrated senior management experience in a knowledge organisation.


ECDPM is a leading independent think tank, with offices in Maastricht and Brussels, that wants to make policies in Europe, Africa and beyond work for inclusive and sustainable development.

Summary of the position

The Director will lead ECDPM towards its strategic goals and ensure its continued adaptation to a changing context, both in terms of the developing relations between Europe and Africa and between Europe and other parts of the world, and regarding possible changes in funding modalities and opportunities.

The director will provide intellectual leadership to the organisation and be personally involved in content work in their area of competence, while providing support and encouragement to experts across the organisation. They will represent ECDPM and its work on external fora.

They will be responsible for ensuring a sound financial base for the organisation and lead, participate in, support and supervise fundraising efforts at all levels of the organisation.

The director will supervise and support other ECDPM managers in facilitating core workstream work and overarching areas such as communications, learning and quality support, finances, human resources management and administrative support.

They will also ensure that ECDPM’s gender and diversity action plan continues to be implemented and further developed.

As head of the organisation, the director will ensure a participatory and communicative management style at all levels of the organisation, leading by example.

The director will be accountable to ECDPM’s board of governors.

Qualifications and experience

  • Solid experience in leading research programmes and advisory services in knowledge-producing, advocacy, research or advisory organisations, alongside proven experience in shaping and delivering on an agreed strategic direction.
  • Significant experience (8 years+) in senior management, either as a director/CEO or as a member of the executive leadership team, including board exposure.
  • Experience in senior management functions, including programme management, people management and financial management, preferably in a knowledge-producing organisation.
  • A deep understanding of and/or experience in particular policy areas relevant to the evolving landscape of relations and cooperation between Europe and Africa and/or Europe and other parts of the world.
  • Proven experience in fundraising and with networks that include public agencies and foundations which fund ECDPM and organisations similar to ECDPM.
  • A relevant network of senior-level contacts and experience in influencing networks in settings similar to those in which ECDPM operates, including in the Brussels-based EU community.
  • The willingness and ability to credibly present, showcase and facilitate engagement with ECDPM’s policy-oriented research at a high level across the topics of the centre.
  • The ability to lead by inspiring others both within and outside the organisation and at all levels.
  • The ability to lead a change process that will bring the organisation into the next phase of its development.
  • The ability to coach and mentor others, including the next generation of senior managers.
  • Active listening skills and the ability to foster consensus, yet be decisive if necessary.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and presentation skills, with fluency in English and proficiency in French. Knowledge of Dutch is an asset.
  • A postgraduate level in an appropriate discipline, and preferably a track record of policy-relevant publications.

Our offer

This position offers an attractive salary and benefits package, including a holiday and end-of-year allowance, a generous leave package, a company pension plan and flexible working hours between office and home working.

More information about the position can be found in this brochure. You can also get in touch with Marleen Ackermans, Head of HR at [email protected].

How to apply?

Applications, including an up-to-date CV and a cover letter outlining the candidate’s relevant experience and qualifications for the position, should be submitted electronically to Marleen Ackermans, Head of HR at [email protected], no later than 12 January 2024.

The preselected candidates will be invited to the first round of interviews on 8 March 2024. After this round, the remaining candidates will be assessed by an external consultant. A reference check will be done by our HR department. The final candidate will be presented to the board of governors for final approval on 25 April 2024.

We believe that diversity is good for our people and our organisation. We promote and value diversity and inclusion among our staff and candidates – irrespective of their gender, age, nationality, race, culture, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or disability.