Vacancy: Executive Director

26 July 2022


The Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR) was established in 2007. Since then, GNDR has grown as the largest international network of civil society organisations working to strengthen resilience and reduce risk in communities worldwide. We are more than 1,400 organisations, many of them grassroots and local community groups as well as national, regional, and international organisations and networks. We support the interface between civil society organisations at the frontline and local, national, and international policy-making institutions and governance structures. GNDR members work together to amplify the voices of people most at risk and to influence policies and practices. We strengthen our capacities by creating knowledge, and through collaborative learning and action. Together our network is working to make an impact in over 120 countries.

Our vision is a world in which everyone works together to strengthen the resilience of people most at risk and prevent hazards from becoming disasters.

Strategic objectives

GNDR has three mutually reinforcing objectives:

  1. Strengthen the collaboration, solidarity, and mobilisation of civil society organisations
  2. Champion a localisation movement
  3. Strive for risk-informed development

The GNDR secretariat serves as a support entity to the membership operating through a global hub in London and regional hubs in Africa, Asia, and the Americas & Caribbean. The GNDR secretariat is legally constituted as a UK charity with the main responsibilities of facilitating the development, coordination and implementation of strategy, work plans and budgets, including supporting the mobilisation of adequate resources.

Purpose of the role

The Executive Director (ED) is responsible providing strategic, financial, and operational leadership and management for GNDR working closely with the Trustees, Global Board members and Senior Leadership Team, and influencing processes, policies and practices related to risk integration in the humanitarian/development sector in collaboration with member CSOs.

Position in the organisation

  • Responsible both to the Trustees and the Global Board represented by the Chair of Trustees and Chair of Global Board respectively.
  • Leads the Senior Leadership Team
  • Directly manages the Regional Leads, Policy Lead, Strategy & Development Lead and Head of Operations
  • Works in close collaboration with Human Resources Business Partner and Team Administrator/ Board Liaison Officer
  • Works in close collaboration with the Global Board, Trustees and Regional Advisory Groups
  • Works in close collaboration with the wider GNDR secretariat staff, members, and project partners
  • Is Executive Director of Stichting GNDR, established in The Netherlands in 2019, and as such sits on the Stichting GNDR Executive Board

Overall scope of the role

  • Strategic management
  • Support to the GNDR network
  • Membership engagement and influencing
  • Fundraising and donor relations
  • Secretariat leadership and management
  • Legal and compliance
  • Network governance
  • Representation

Specific responsibilities

1. Strategic management

  • Oversee and facilitate the development of the vision and strategic direction of GNDR drawing in views of Global Board, Trustees, members, Secretariat, and other stakeholders, ensuring ongoing relevance to the changing operational context
  • Oversee the development of annual work plans and associated budgets aligned to the strategy
  • Ensure effective review, monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning are in place to provide timely and appropriate reporting, quality control of GNDR activities and lessons are identified and learnt
  • Oversee effective budget management and oversight of all financial aspects of GNDR activities, working closely with finance staff

2. Support to the GNDR network

  • Support and facilitate the work of the GNDR network (through the Global Board) in ways that increase the influence of the network and amplify the voice of its members
  • Support the Global Board to further democratise the GNDR network so that members influence the implementation of its strategy, its policies, fundraising, governance, and advocacy
  • Use expert knowledge of and ability to navigate the international disaster risk reduction and climate change policy agenda to advance the work of the network

3. Membership engagement and influencing

  • Oversee GNDR’s work in each of the regions ensuring membership engagement and networking, membership capacity development, and national level advocacy and lobbying
  • Oversee and support the GNDR’s international lobbying and advocacy work of the network, representing GNDR to major stakeholders and events
  • Ensure high quality, timely implementation, and management of GNDR donor funded projects through project partners, compliant to donor terms and conditions and accepted good practice
  • Consult members as regards to project concepts and proposals relevant to local contexts, particularly related to the articulation of GNDR’s localisation agenda

4. Fundraising and donor relations

  • Drive the development of a funding strategy to establish a sustainable funding base (including diversification of fundraising) to ensure the financial health and growth of GNDR
  • Support the development and maintenance of donor relations, both institutional and trusts
  • Oversee the preparation and submission of quality funding concepts and proposals to institutional donors and trusts, aligned with the strategy
  • Ensure submission of quality, accurate, timely donor reporting, including financial reports, and compliant to donor terms and conditions

5. Secretariat leadership and management

  • Define the structure and roles of the secretariat and oversee recruitment of a diverse team to effectively support the network and deliver the strategy
  • Develop and model a team culture characterised by a shared understanding of GNDR’s vision and strategy, and a commitment to inclusion and GNDR’s principles, behaviours and ways of working
  • As team leader for the secretariat, provide inspiring leadership and effective management of the GNDR secretariat, consultants, and volunteers to ensure a highly productive, engaged, and functioning team. Lead in a way which respects and takes account of the views of others in the team, delegates with appropriate support and, where possible, reaches decisions through discussion and consensus
  • Lead the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), ensuring clarity over plans, budgets and priorities, coordination and monitoring of activities while providing supervision, guidance, and mentoring, and encouraging effective teamwork
  • Be self-aware and cognisant of the use of power, whenever possible empowering others
  • Implement GNDR’s performance management policy with direct reports, setting objectives, regular catch ups, performance appraisals, and development planning, and taking appropriate remedial action to address areas of underperformance

6. Legal and compliance

  • Ensure that the risk register is maintained, and identified risks are managed and reported to the Trustees
  • Ensure the establishment and implementation of appropriate policies, procedures and practices for Finance, Human Resources, Logistics and Operations, based on good practice and legal requirements
  • Ensure accurate financial records are maintained, and audited, and statutory accounts submitted
  • Ensure GNDR policies, procedures and practices are implemented in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements in each country where staff are based, including compliance with UK charitable. and companies’ registrars
  • Ensure compliance of GNDR to Safeguarding, Data Protection, and Health and Safety (including Security) regulations and commitments

7. Network governance

  • Serve as a member of and report to the Global Board, who are mandated by the membership to lead on the development and direction of the Global Network
  • Provide leadership on antiracist and de-colonial governance structures and support GNDR on its journey towards being a fully de-colonial and anti-racist network
  • Maintain regular formal and informal communication with Global Board members including conference calls, face-to-face meetings, and other activities
  • Oversee the recruitment of the Global Board, Trustees, Board Working Groups and Regional Advisory Groups, in line with the Governance Manual
  • Maintain regular formal and informal communications with GNDR members, project partners and other stakeholders to stay informed of GNDR’s progress, successes, and challenges
  • Oversee the development of good relations with members, national focal points, and Regional Advisory Groups to ensure effective functioning of the network, building a trusting, collaborative and inclusive environment guided by the GNDR principles, behaviours, and ways of working
  • Develop and regularly review GNDR Governance, and membership procedures and policies

8. Representation

  • Explore and define the future opportunities, boundaries, and positioning of GNDR in relation to other civil society and inter-governmental actors, including identifying and building strategic alliances and partnerships with climate change, poverty alleviation, humanitarian, and other sectors
  • Represent GNDR externally at a senior level to international civil society and inter-governmental actors, governments, donors, media, academic institutions, and other stakeholders
  • Develop relationship with and work closely with other civil society organisations, networks, and academia at international and regional levels to ensure coordination and collaboration in DRR-related and cross-sector learning efforts (e.g., humanitarian, sustainable development, climate change, poverty, social justice)


  • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant subject (e.g., International Development, Management, Social Sciences etc)
  • Desirable: Master’s Degree in a relevant subject


  • Substantial professional experience in programme management in the humanitarian and development sectors
  • Experience of working on disaster risk reduction, resilience, climate change policy, and sustainable development activities
  • Experience of lobbying and advocacy work with governments, institutional donors, and inter-governmental bodies
  • Experience of working in networks, umbrella organisations or coalitions
  • Experience in fundraising and managing institutional donor funded projects
  • Experience of working at senior leadership level


  • Inspiring leadership skills
  • Good people management and coaching skills
  • A team player with strong with facilitation skills
  • Excellent English communication skills both written and spoken
  • Ability to think strategically and plan, prioritise and organise in a clear and structured way under time constraints
  • Flexibility and problem-solving ability to work in a flexible, dynamic, and fast-changing environment
  • Strong fundraising skills and knowledge of how strategic fundraising works
  • Strong financial management skills
  • Desirable: fluency in other languages, preferably Spanish and French

Personal qualities

  • Strong interpersonal skills and able to communicate empathetically and cross culturally with people from different backgrounds
  • Empowering and collaborative approach to working with colleagues
  • Committed to GNDR’s principles, behaviours, and ways of working and to decolonising aid and anti-racism.
  • Actively seeking to learn and promote innovation and new ways of working
  • A calm, confident and welcoming manner
  • Capable of working effectively in a high pressure and dynamic environment
  • Able to balance focusing on the big picture and giving attention to detail
  • Able to travel internationally at short notice


London (UK) preferred; other locations considered. Salary adjusted based on the cost of labour for the country in which the candidate resides. Candidates must have the right to work in the country they are applying from.

Reports to

Trustees and Global Board represented by Chair of Trustees and Chair of Global Board respectively.

Direct reports

Regional Leads; Policy Lead; Strategy and Development Lead; Head of Operations.


£75,000 to £85,000, based on experience, plus interesting benefits.

To apply for the role, send a letter of application stating the skills and approach that you would bring to the post, along with your CV/resume (no photos) in English and in strict confidence by email only to Isabel Leal at

Please ensure that they are sent as pdf documents with the titles “your name cover letter” and “your name CV” and indicate “GNDR – Executive Director” in the email subject line. Also, please let us know where you saw the post advertised.

The deadline for applications is Sunday, 11 September 2022.

Daryl Upsall International actively promotes equality, diversity, and inclusion. In recruiting candidates, we seek candidates with the proven skills required, irrespective of race, gender, religion or belief, age, disability, or sexual orientation.

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