International IDEA - The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance

Executive Director

International IDEA - The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance

Stockholm, Sweden

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance - International IDEA is an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide. International IDEA’s mission is to support sustainable democratic change by providing comparative knowledge, and assisting in democratic reform, and influencing policies and politics.

International IDEA acts as a catalyst for democracy building; by providing knowledge resources, policy proposals and supporting democratic reforms in response to specific national requests. It works together with policy makers, governments, UN organizations and agencies and regional organizations engaged in the field of democracy building.

International IDEA develops, shares and enables the use of comparative knowledge in its key areas of expertise: electoral processes,constitution building,political participation and representation, democracy and development and democracy assessments.

It also addresses the important issues of gender, diversity, and conflict and security as they relate to democracy.

International IDEA is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and works worldwide through offices in New York, Brussels, The Hague, Latin America, Africa and Asia.


The Executive Director is responsible for the direction and management of the Executive Division of International IDEA and will implement the infrastructure and systems needed to support the strategic objectives of International IDEA. These include human resources, operations and risk management, programme development, budget, finance, resource mobilization, reporting, facilities, IT, procurement, host country issues, legal issues and related support activities. The Executive Director will be required to act on his/her own authority as delegated by the Secretary-General and is responsible for decisions made affecting the work of the Executive Division and International IDEA as a whole.

As a member of Senior Management and a member of the Management Committee, the Executive Director will be involved in a range of strategic planning and internal initiatives, actively contributing to the overall management of the organization by providing guidance and direction in the development and implementation of strategies in support of International IDEA’s mandate and work programmes and acting as the primary liaison to strengthen International IDEA’s financial position. She will continually evaluate best industry practices in comparison to internal systems and needed resources, with an eye toward both future needs and budget realities.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Leads the Executive Division, ensuring the division delivers effective management and support to all activities of the organization;
  • Contributes to the management of International IDEA, as a member of the Senior Management team, by participating in the generation of new initiatives and approaches to how the organization manages its operation;
  • Collaborates on the development of the multi-annual strategy;
  • Coordinates programme planning, monitoring & evaluation and results-reporting;
  • Oversees the timely production of high quality reports including the Annual Results Report and Financial Statements;
  • Oversees the finance function, ensuring proper administration of the Institute’s financial affairs, including advising and assisting the Secretary-General and other Directors on budget and financial planning strategies; monitoring and revising the budget in line with changing demands and projected out-turns; and preparing the annual financial statements;
  • Ensures effective control and management of the Institute’s income and expenditure and provides management accounting and performance measurement information as required;
  • Develops and implements resource mobilisation strategies, and liaises with funding institutions, donors and partners to develop networks in collaboration with the Secretary-General and Regional Directors;
  • Oversees the human resources function, ensuring the provision of advice on HR matters to the Secretary-General and Senior Management team, including the development and review of relevant HR strategies, policies and procedures and providing advice and guidance on organisational development matters;
  • Oversees the IT function, ensuring the ongoing development and implementation of the Institute’s IT services;
  • Oversees the Facilities unit, ensuring the overall management of the premises, and the development and maintenance of the Institutes registry and archive system;
  • Contributes to the development, and implementation of International IDEA’s risk management policies, and the monitoring and updating of the Corporate Risk Register;
  • In coordination with the Secretary-General’s Office (SGO), liaises with host country representatives on issues related to privileges and immunities of staff and general support to the Institute by the host country to the Institute.

General Profile

  • Recognised as an expert within the organization; Combines in-depth and/or breadth of expertise in own discipline and broad knowledge of other disciplines within the function;
  • Provides leadership and direction through managers; Has the intellectual leadership to integrate innovation into his/her field of expertise;
  • Is accountable for the performance and results of related disciplines;
  • Decisions are guided by functional strategy and priorities; Executes functional operational plans and contributes to the development of functional strategy;
  • Solves unique and complex problems that have a broad impact on the organization;
  • Integrates a gender and diversity perspective in all activities; Supports the implementation of organization’s policy in relation to equality of opportunity;
  • Is expected to travel globally to any geographical area involved in his/her projects.

Reporting Line

  • Secretary-General.

Programmatic Knowledge

  • Demonstrated experience in financial management and accounting, audit, legal compliance, and budget development; Has in-depth knowledge and extensive work experience in organizational development and human resources management.

Operational Knowledge, skills and experience

  • Applies broad sector and global awareness to drive financial and operational performance across sub-functions;
  • Has broad and comprehensive understanding of different systems, theories and practices of relevant issues in the key geographical zone where his/her work is implemented;
  • Has the ability to conceptualize, innovate, plan and execute ideas and to transfer knowledge and skills;
  • Is active in the search for information on donors and partners, and identification of opportunities for initiation of new projects, and all other activities related to resource mobilization and partnership building;
  • Has knowledge of statutory frameworks and international accounting standards;
  • Has demonstrable experience in implementing significant change processes;
  • Illustrates integrity, a collaborative spirit, a sense of achievement, and an understanding of risk management.


  • Leads through subordinate managers of managers (direct and indirect); Executes functional operational plans and contributes to the development of functional strategy;
  • Acts as a model and resource for colleagues;
  • Acts as Officer in Charge (OIC) in the Secretary-General’s absence.

Problem Solving

  • Directs the resolution of highly complex or unusual operational problems applying advanced analytical thought and judgment.


  • Guided by functional strategy, impacts results of part of a function, division or region or facilitates the work done by other functions by providing support to impact the organisation.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Fluency in English and at least one other widely spoken language in an International IDEA priority region (Arabic, French, Spanish) is essential;
  • Negotiates and influences the opinions of others within the unit and in external organizations; exercises sensitivity to the audience;
  • Represents International IDEA effectively in all professional circles.

Education and Experience

  • Post-graduate qualification in financial accounting, public administration, business administration or similar relevant subject;
  • Membership of a professional accountancy body is essential;
  • Minimum ten (10) years’ experience in financial, budgeting, and administration management;
  • Minimum six (6) years’ experience at a senior management level in an organization with a record of success in human resources and financial management linking service delivery to strategic objectives;
  • Proven track record of achieving results in a corporate or a non-profit environment, with demonstrated success in developing policies, procedures and processes and building systems and tools to support a growth-oriented organization;
  • Experience of high level representation on behalf of organizations and with donors, member states and partners;
  • Experience of governmental, intergovernmental and/or non-governmental organizations;
  • Experience in project management and related financial reporting;
  • Experience with negotiation of donor agreements or government contracts is highly desirable;
  • Knowledge of issues related to democracy support is highly desirable;
  • Experience overseeing the implementation of robust monitoring and evaluation and results reporting systems;
  • Experience with fundraising and resource mobilization.

Terms of Contract:

  • Three (3) year fixed term appointment;
  • Competitive salary plus benefits.

Applying for this position:

  • Applications should be submitted online no later than 12 October 2017;
  • Applications must be sent in English.

International IDEA is an equal opportunity employer which seeks to further diversify its staff in terms of gender, culture and nationality.

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