Executive Director (M/F/X)

You are an enthusiast, inspiring though humble leader? You have a strong track record in senior management roles, preferably in NGOs, medical or international development organizations? You are acquainted with fundraising & communication and you want to put your experience at the service of a long-established Belgian NGO? Then join us at Damien Foundation! We are looking for an


Executive Director (M/F/X)


Damien Foundation is a Belgian NGO active in the fight against leprosy, tuberculosis and other neglected diseases, with projects and teams in 15 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin-America as well as in Belgium.


Like many civil society organisations, Damien Foundation faces significant challenges in view of coping with the rapidly changing environment (digitalisation, social networks, information multiplication and acceleration, data multiplication and analysis, crowdfunding…). Damien Foundation needs to continuously evolve, innovate and reinvent itself in the way funds are raised, in the way missions and projects are managed, and to renew itself in the way it operates as an organization.  That is why, two years ago, we started a transformation program called “together to the top”.

As Executive Director, your main mission is to ensure that Damien Foundation (DF) successfully adapts to the changing context, being a pioneer, solid and responsible organisation, recognised and respected not only internationally for its work in the field, but also among the population as an association with a heart. You will build on trust and wellbeing for our employees and volunteers. You will create the work environment and culture that will enable the organization to improve its quality standards (processes, tools, …) and become the gamechanger we want to be in all areas of action.


The Executive Director reports directly to the Chairman, the Board of Directors and the General Assembly. He/ she is part of the General Assembly and Board of Directors in an advisory role. He/ she directly manages a Management Team composed of 4 Heads of Department as well as the administrative and finance team. He/ she leads a Head Office of approx. 40 people and overseas missions of approx. 1.000 locally based workers. He/ she is based in Brussels.


General purpose of the position

The Executive Director has responsibility for all strategic, financial, operational, compliance, reputational and performance-related aspects of Damien Foundation. Beside the effective management and administration of the existing activities, he/ she will have a particular focus on guaranteeing the continuity of the current transformation plan and bringing it to a good end, in respect of its philosophy and Damien Foundation values.

He/ she will enable the Head Office to function optimally by:

  • ensuring adequate coordination of all activities that may contribute hereto;
  • supervising and monitoring the proper implementation of the management decisions taken;
  • translating policy decisions into action at the various department levels, in the project countries and the Head Office.


Key Responsibilities:

Specifically, the Executive Director has lead responsibility for:

Strategic Leadership

  • Translating the mission and vision into a multi-year strategy and in annual plans and budgets within the various departments, projects and networks, based on objectives defined with the Board of Directors
  • Reporting transparently on progress in achieving these goals and regularly reviewing the strategic vision in the light of reality and adapt where necessary
  • Initiating, updating and supervising the execution of the strategy and the plans
  • Ensuring sustainable and sound financial management of the organization, managing Damien Foundation’s finances and providing alternative ways of funding while respecting financial regulations
  • Ensuring compliance with all applicable law, statutory reporting and sector related codes of conduct, including Integrity, Gender, Diversity & Inclusion, Environment


Culture, Leadership & People Management

  • Embracing and caring for the sustainable long term vision for Damien Foundation, its people and the organization
  • Embodying and being a role model for a participative, collaborative and open feedback culture as well as Damien Foundation’s values
  • Building trust, proximity, stability and wellbeing among employees and volunteers so that they can give their best
  • Inspiring, managing, coaching and developing Damien Foundation Head Office and local staff


External Representation

  • Representing the organization and creating visibility among relevant organisations and individuals, more particularly towards the public at large, at home and abroad.
  • Building and maintaining a strong image and reputation for the organization, first at home and eventually abroad.
  • Establishing and maintaining effective relationships with political bodies / subsidising government authorities, institutional funding organizations, decision makers in the business community and medical development organizations, at home and abroad.


Stakeholder Management & Communication

  • Identifying and proactively approaching strategic stakeholders, internally and externally, coordinating actions taken on key stakeholder relations in all fields of action.
  • Ensuring good coordination and synergy with the various stakeholders.
  • Ensuring coherent and professional communication, internally and externally, about the organizational activities in cooperation with the concerned department.


Execution, Monitoring & Cross-fertilization

  • Ensuring the proper, effective and efficient functioning of the Head Office and local projects
  • Ensuring that the strategy, mission and vision are translated into appropriate policies in all domains: people & organisation development, finance, information technology, infrastructure, project / missions, fundraising & communication and volunteer work…
  • Ensuring allocation of necessary resources and budgets
  • When necessary, leading & delivering hands-on key transformation projects in view of reaching objectives
  • Setting up the appropriate indicators to monitor the organization performance in all areas of activities
  • Capable of a helicopter view and ensuring cross-fertilisation between activities and areas of action.



  • With a Master’s Degree (academic or professional), you have at least 10-15 years of experience with significant experience in general management, leadership and people management.
  • You have a strong track record in leadership or senior management roles preferably in NGOs, medical or international development organizations, including strategic vision & execution, external visibility and stakeholder management, organizational transformation and cultural change
  • You have a proven experience in fundraising, marketing and communication; you have affinity with and a heart for volunteer work
  • A blended experience in private and non profit sector is a plus
  • You are an inspiring but humble leader, able to reinforce the image of the organization and position it among the most recognized Belgian NGOs
  • You are a strong networker and communicator, with impressive interpersonal and negotiation skills; you are able to create trust and confidence with sector stakeholders, including funders, public authorities, businesses, international organizations and agencies, academic world
  • You have the ability to translate vision into feasible, quantifiable plans and to drive teams to achieve results in ambiguous and changing environments
  • You lead with a coaching style that builds trust and encourages people to take care of their own development, balanced with the ability to take and explain executive decisions
  • You are action- and result-driven with the needed attention to detail, you work efficiently and have proven ability to drive toward long-term results, you don’t feel too good to get involved yourself
  • You have a well-balanced focus between the Belgian and the international work scenes and you have excellent verbal and written communication skills in Dutch and French as well as English; Spanish is a plus
  • You are digital savvy and are in favour of digital transformation to support and realize your mission
  • You fully embrace Damien Foundation’s history and values as well as its inspiring figures; your heart lies with the patients
  • You are loyal and ethically irreproachable


We offer

  • An exciting job with many challenges in a varied and international environment
  • A position with a large impact and added value in an internationally recognized NGO, with highly engaged colleagues
  • A full time permanent contract, with an attractive package and benefits




Please send your CV and your motivation letter before August, 15 2021 to [email protected].

Please note that you are expected to be available for a few selection rounds that are planned in the month of September 2021.