London, Greater London
Temporary, Full-time
Job description


Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.

The International Rescue Committee Europe is part of the IRC global network. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries providing emergency relief, relocating refugees and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through over 20 regional offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees resettle in the US and become self-sufficient.

The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve who are the world’s most vulnerable in the most crisis affected places around the world.

IRC UK Background

Our original European headquarters, IRC UK, was established in London in 1997 to support the organisation’s global activities and particularly to diversify its donor base and be able to better advocate European policy makers on behalf of the people we serve. Whilst the IRC in Europe has grown beyond our office in London, the UK office remains IRC’s largest in the European network and hosts regional and global positions with approximately 130 staff across six departments including Finance & Operations, External Relations (comprising Communications, Policy & Advocacy and Fundraising), Awards Management and Crisis Response, Recovery and Development Department.It is recognised as a hub for technical excellence in women’s protection and empowerment, refugee livelihoods, and working with and advocating to UK and European government entities.

IRC Europe

IRC UK is part of IRC Europe, which comprises IRC’s offices in the UK, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Sweden with a total of approximately 220 staff. We also have programmes to consult with European governments and to support vulnerable refugees and migrants in Europe managed through a separate reporting line to our Crisis Response,Recovery and Development Department. 

The Purpose of the Role

IRC UK is looking for an exceptional individual to support and represent the Senior Vice President Europe as the Executive Director for IRC UK. The Executive Director will coordinate and co-lead the work of all IRC global functions that work out of the UK and manage the relationship with IRC UK’s governing Board of Trustees. The Executive Director will represent IRC UK in a variety of external contexts and build relationships with critical donors and partners.

An important objective for the Executive Director will be to  establish the UK as a net contributing office within the IRC in terms of private fundraising. In addition, the Executive Director, IRC UK should aim to broaden, deepen, and make more sustainable the IRC’s access to donor funding in the UK. This must be through a compelling and relevant external engagement strategy that harnesses the best of our programming globally and brings together the work of our External Relations teams. It is critical that the sum of the efforts far exceeds the individual parts.

Reporting to the Senior Vice President, IRC Europe, the Executive Director, IRC UK leads the UK Management Team, is a member of the IRC Europe Senior Management Team and a member of IRC’s global Senior Leaders Group. The Executive Director works closely with other members on forming and implementing the organisational agenda, priorities, and funding, resourcing and intended outcomes.

The candidate will have extensive management experience in not-for profit organisations, ideally working with private donors, both philanthropists and corporate partners and have successfully managed a complex scope in a fast-paced environment.

The role will ideally suit an individual with an understanding of operating in a complex, matrixed  global organisation with internal stakeholder management needed, and a tolerance for ambiguity at times. Much of the IRC’s large departments are organised around functions at a global level, whereas this role is focussed on a specific geography. Therefore it is important for the Executive Director to reconcile geographical leadership in the UK market with global functional teams.

Scope and Authority

Planning, Delivery and Performance

  •  Lead strategic initiatives and projects which are critical for IRC UK growth and development. To this end work closely with other members of the Europe Senior Management Team and global functional leads to facilitate decisions and deliver results;
  • Be accountable to the Board of Trustees and SVP Europe for achieving agreed performance measures for IRC UK focused projects and initiatives;
  • Advising and supporting the fundraising function in developing critical relationships and building a pipeline of private donors particularly in the areas of philanthropy and corporate partnerships.

External and Internal  Representation

  •  Lead ambassador for IRC UK with high level external stakeholders - government; politicians, key statutory, institutional and private donors;
  •  Develop a strong relationship with UK charities and regulators to proactively improve the standing of the organisation, and ensure its compliance;
  • Effectively engage with all media and opinion-forming organisations to protect and enhance the reputation of IRC UK;
  • Communicate corporate values and lead by example in organisational ethics and morals;
  • Represent IRC UK at high level conferences; networking and fundraising events;
  • Build and deliver the IRC UK thought leadership programme for internal and external audiences- including blogs, articles, discussion forums.

Board Engagement and Governance

  •  Represent IRC UK at the Europe Senior Management Team meetings
  •  Lead the IRC UK Senior Management Team
  • A member of the Global Senior Leaders’ Group led by the IRC President
  • Reports to the IRC UK Board of Trustees and prepares three annual Board meetings and Board Committee meetingsIs accountable for ensuring IRC works effectively within all relevant statutory, regulatory and quality frameworks and to the highest ethical and governance standards
  • Is accountable for ensuring effective operational controls are in place for the organisation including systems to ensure fundraising operates on a highly ethical basis
  • Is accountable for ensuring IRC UK has an appropriate risk management culture and process


  •  In partnership with global operating and funcitional leaders motivate and build a highly effective and collaborative UK senior team to deliver performance against targets in private and statutory fundraising, advocacy, communications;
  •  Embed a high-performing, “can do” culture across IRC UK which brings together contributions from all functions;
  • Provide effective and collaborative matrix management along with colleagues in regional functions in Europe (e.g., Communications, Policy & Advocacy, Human Resources, Finance and Operations) and IRC’s global Award Management and Technical units.
  • Communicate corporate values and lead by example in organisational ethics and morals.

Key Internal Working Relationships

  •  Reports to Senior Vice President, Europe;
  •  Works in close coordination with all members of the Europe Senior Management Team and Executive Directors across Europe;
  • Supports the UK Board of Trustees.

Key Europe relationships: Senior Finance Director, Head of HR Europe, VP Award Management Unit, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Europe, Director of Communications, Europe are accountable to the ED UK for the delivery of IRC UK shared objectives

Key IRC Inc relationships: Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel, SVP, , Award Management Unit, SVP, Crisis Response, Recovery and Development Department, VP Strategic Communications, VP Global Policy& Advocacy, Chief Strategy Officer and etc.





Significant experience in leading, managing and executing across complex United Kingdom not for profit organisations;

  •  Flexibility and the ability to thrive in a global matrixed environment;
  •  Strong fundraising skills and track record of driving fundraising results;
  • Track record of advocacy and influencing senior stakeholders across government, business and other not-for-profit organisations;
  • Ability to build strong relationships across a complex, matrixed stakeholder map evidenced by moving stakeholder groups to action;
  • Excellent diplomatic and negotiation skills;
  • A deep, observable and passionate commitment to IRC’s mission;
  • Superb written and verbal communication skills

Deadline for applications will be midnight between 9th and 10th August 2020.

Candidates must have the right to work in the UK.

IRC-UK is committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination for all applicants and employees. IRC-UK seeks to ensure we achieve diversity in our workforce regardless of gender, race, religious belief, nationality, ethnic/national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability. IRC-UK welcomes applications from all candidates, including refugees who have the right to work in the UK.

More about International Rescue Committee UK
International Rescue Committee UK

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Posted on: 27 July 2020
Closed date: 09 August 2020
Tags: Business Development

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