Secretary General

AER - Assembly of European Regions

Brussels, Belgium

As our Secretary General (SG), you will not just oversee the administration of our offices in Brussels and Strasbourg and manage our dedicated team of 11 staff. You will embody our vision, inspiring and leading the AER into the future. This is a role for a visionary leader who can articulate a shared future and drive AER’s strategic direction, ensuring our voice is heard from local communities to international forums. You will represent the AER in its working relationships with governments, the EU, international organisations, and towards the public and the media. The Secretary General reports to the Executive Board and is responsible for implementing the decisions of AER’s governing bodies.

Key responsibilities

  • Lead the AER with integrity and vision, guiding our strategy, operations, and impact;
  • Foster a culture of innovation and collaboration, encouraging new ideas and approaches to meet the challenges facing Europe’s regions;
  • Engage with EU institutions, international organisations, and regional governments, promoting AER’s interests and expanding our influence;
  • Nurture relationships and develop strategic partnerships with other regional and local organisations and partner networks. Communicate with a diverse range of stakeholders;
  • Manage and inspire a diverse team at two locations, creating an environment that attracts, retains, and develops top talent;
  • Provide and further develop a friendly and fair working atmosphere with space for ideas and possibilities to learn;
  • Oversee the finances and administration, in consultation with the Treasurer and Executive Board;
  • Prepare meetings of the Executive Board (4-5 times annually) and the General Assembly;
  • Maintain relationships and connect with members and different communities within the network. Attract new members jointly with the team and Executive Board;
  • Represent the AER at high-level events including speaking engagements;
  • The SG will be required to work in Brussels (BE), with travels to the other office in Strasbourg (FR) and to member regions and some network collaboration organised via digital channels.


  • Very good knowledge of regional realities in Europe, and of challenges and opportunities for regions at the European level. Experience of working in or with regional governments;
  • Good understanding of EU Institutions and their ways of working, policy making, and funding opportunities;
  • Desirable: Track record of working in an EU political environment and influencing policy at this level;
  • Relevant academic degree (M.A. or higher), e.g., in political science, economics and social sciences, international relations, European studies, law or another discipline related to AER activities. Applicants with a lower degree may be considered if they can demonstrate outstanding additional qualifications or experience in the AER’s fields of work.

Core competencies

  • Strategic thinker with a clear vision for the future of regional cooperation in Europe;
  • Exceptional communication skills, capable of advocating for our regions’ interests across various platforms and to diverse audiences;
  • Commitment to our values of democracy and transparency, fairness and solidarity, openness and dialogue, to embracing diversity, and to human rights, rule of law, and good governance;
  • Excellent oral and written use of English (AER working language) and at least one additional European language, with a good command of French being an advantage.

Managerial competences

  • Proven leadership in a multinational and multicultural setting, with the ability to inspire and unite a diverse team towards common objectives;
  • A successful track record in senior management, including management of staff and budgets in an international and multicultural environment, and developing sources of income;
  • Ability to develop and communicate strategies and work plans based on members’ priorities;
  • Hands-on, with the ability to be self-supporting and to assist the team at all levels of work when required;
  • Experience with network leadership and the functioning of membership organisations, including advising and reporting to boards and politicians.

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