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Operations Director, The International Council for Science (ICSU), Paris
The International Council for Science (ICSU) is seeking an Operations Director to manage the day-to-day operations of the Paris Secretariat, in close conjunction with the Executive Director.

ICSU is a non-governmental scientific organization with a global membership. ICSU members include 122 national scientific bodies (mostly National Academies of Science), 31 International Scientific Unions, and 23 International Scientific Associates. ICSU’s activities focus on three areas:

  • International Research Collaboration
  • Science for Policy
  • Universality of Science.

This position offers a unique opportunity for the selected candidate to contribute to ICSU‘s mission of strengthening international science for the benefit of society.

Reporting to, and working closely with, the Executive Director, the Operations Director will be responsible for financial and administrative management, both internally (through oversight of a small administrative team, coordination of the work plan across the Secretariat in Paris and the Regional Offices, budget development, financial monitoring, etc.) and externally (through management of international agreements with partners/funders/host organizations and fundraising implementation).  He/she will assist the Executive Director in developing results-based management systems and in monitoring and developing organizational policies.

Working with the Secretariat team in Paris and with the staff in the Regional Offices, he/she will also support the implementation of the policies developed by ICSU’s governing bodies, namely the General Assembly and the Executive Board. This will include the planning and execution of efficient meetings, the oversight of membership administration and the provision of financial and legal input as necessary.  He/she will be in charge of the facilities in the Paris office and will take overall responsibility for the Secretariat when the Executive Director is on mission.

The ICSU Secretariat in Paris currently comprises an international team of 17 staff and supports a wide variety of high-level, international scientific initiatives and projects: consequently the Operations Director must have the ability to work in close cooperation with a broad diversity of colleagues and stakeholders.

ICSU is seeking candidates with the following:

Qualifications and knowledge

  • An advanced degree (MBA or other business/organizational management-related field)
  • A minimum of 15 years of operational experience in an international NGO environment
  • Experience in a membership-based organization would be an added advantage
  • Knowledge of financial and legal processes in the French non-profit making organization setting (“Association Loi 1901”)
  • A broad interest in science


  • Proven leadership skills
  • Financial management and budgeting skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively at all levels
  • Excellent interpersonal and diplomatic skills
  • Flexibility and ability to manage a varied workload
  • Proven writing skills, with an eye for detail
  • Full command of spoken and written English and French

Preferred start date: March 2016

Salary: dependent on the experience and qualifications of the candidate

Application procedure:

Applicants are requested to send a curriculum vitae, cover letter and the contact details of three referees (preferably in one combined PDF file) via e-mail, with ‘Operations Director’ in the subject line, torecruitment@icsu.org.  The cover letter should be addressed to Dr Heide Hackmann, Executive Director and should demonstrate the fit between the candidate’s profile and the above description, as well as indicating how serving in this position would support the candidate’s own career objectives.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held in Paris on Thursday 28 January 2016.

Closing date: 3 January 2016 (midnight Paris time)
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