"Positioning You for Success"


Client: The International Cooperative Alliance 

Location: Brussels, Belgium - preferred


 Job Announcement


The Director-General of the International Cooperative Alliance is appointed by, and accountable to, the Board and President of the ICA.



The Director General will be responsible for ensuring that the business of the ICA is carried out

in accordance with the Values and Principles of the International Co-operative Alliance, the rule

book of the ICA, and the strategy agreed by the Board.



The Director General will be responsible for:

  • The appointment and management of a senior executive team and staff group.
  • The continuing drive to develop a genuine global organisation that equally values, utilises
  • and builds on the strengths of the centre, regions and business sectors.
  • Carrying out work streams to fulfil the strategy and annual objectives set by the Board.
  • The development of the architecture and structure of the organisation to meet the needs of
  • its members.
  • Maintaining the independence and impartiality of the organisation in dealings with and
  • between its members.
  • The evolution of the membership structure of the ICA.
  • The production of an annual work programme and budget and ensuring sound financial
  • practices and reporting.
  • Ensuring that the highest standards of governance are in place that will provide an
  • exemplar for the movement in governance practices.
  • The organisation of the Biennial General Assembly of the global movement.



The Director General will be responsible for keeping the role, functions, and profile of the ICA under constant review in order to ensure that it is meeting the needs of its membership; and will from time-to-time make recommendations to the Board for appropriate changes. The Director General will be responsible for carrying out the process of change within the organisation to ensure that it is fit for purpose in the economic, political, and social environment in which its members operate at any given time.



The Director General will ensure that the organisation is sensitive and responsive to the needs

of its members. In particular the Director General will:

  • Review core services to ensure that the principle of subsidiarity is fully respected and that
  • services are carried out as near to the members as appropriate in line with the Board’s
  • strategy.
  • Maintain global oversight of services delivered from the centre, regions and business sectors
  • while keeping in mind the core purpose of the organisation i.e. – to promote, develop and
  • extend co-operative enterprise.
  • Maintain a high level of organisational and professional integrity in the provision of services
  • to members.
  • Seek to ensure that productive and close relations exist with all parts of the co-operative
  • family and, where possible, bring them into membership.



The Director General will ensure overview of the global economic and political bodies to

capture all opportunities for the development of models of co-operation in new sectors of the

economy; and for securing new opportunities for the established sectors. To secure this, the

Director General will:

  • Work with partner organisations in the co-operative and mutual sectors, or others with allied values and principles in support of new ventures.
  • Provide strategic thinking in development and maintenance of a global strategic plan, including regions and sectors. Inspire the global movement to support the ICA strategic initiatives.
  • Seek to initiate or promote initiatives at international level that drive public policy or funding regimes for co-operative evolution.
  • Maximise the co-operative input into other enterprise sectors.



The Director General of ICA will represent the international co-operative movement at the

highest level.



As the international body for co-operatives, ICA must use all resources at its disposal to

influence all multilateral organizations and national governments.

  • The Director General will be expected to have, or develop a network of governmental, administration or public policy contacts in pursuit of co-operative interests and the development of co-operatives.
  • To work with the established political players in the co-operative movement in pursuit of the political objectives established by the Board.
  • Work to ensure that the voice of all co-operative sectors are heard by appropriate economic, political and parliamentary decision-makers.



The Director General of the ICA must ensure that the co-operative commitment to continuing

education and information for its members is sustained globally and will facilitate that by:

Promoting high quality codes of best practice and key performance indicators at national and regional level on:

            1. Good governance;

            2. Commercial performance analysis;

            3. Social and co-operative performance analysis; and

            4. Risk management and internal audit.

  • Ensuring that members, global policy makers and opinion formers in the global structures are regularly provided with high quality information on the size and impact of the global cooperative economy, to provide the backdrop for maximising the influence of the global movement.


10. Skills, Abilities and Attributes Sought:

  • A demonstrated empathy for the global co-operative movement including an understanding of the co-operative difference, its size, scope and breadth, its financial strength and potential, its key players and the diverse cultural and linguistic settings within which it operates
  • A demonstrated ability to operate with Intergovernmental organisations (IGOs), political, economic and media players at regional, national and international levels. Also having a good network of contacts and the ability to effectively lobby and advocate with IGOs.
  • Demonstrated ability to adjust and handle small internal co-operative events and major international conferences, and present the movement to government, the media and decision-makers in the economy.
  • An inspirational leader and effective communicator with a proven ability to excel in a global matrix organization
  • Expertise in collaboration, planning and coordinating with the ability to manage and pursue the goals and objectives consistent with the strategic decisions made by the organization, and in managing regular relations with the organizational bodies.
  • A demonstrated ability to manage a business in a constant process of evolution and change to keep ahead of the environments in which its members operate, but able to maintain a strong strategic context for the development of the business and able to increase membership internationally. 
  • Sound financial and commercial literacy.
  • Sound knowledge of business applications and operations.
  • A demonstrated ability to work with peoples of different cultures and languages.
  • Able to cope with a demanding and diverse work load – and prepared to work some evenings and weekends as well as international travel as it befits a movement led by lay members.


11. Language and Academic Training Qualifications

  • An excellent knowledge and ability with the English language (written, oral and while conducting presentations) - essential, additional languages are certainly desirable
  • Master’s degree (desirable) and in such fields as business, management of organizations, economics, development etc. 


Application Process:

The position is open until successfully filled although there is a target date for receiving first round applications by 23 October 2017.

Your cover letter should at least address the following topics:

1) Why you are interested in the position.

2) How you believe your skills and experiences will meet the needs of the position.

3) How you learned of this position.


The International Cooperative Alliance has hired Global Recruitment Specialists to assist with this recruitment effort. Please send your cover letter and a copy of your résumé/curriculum vitae (CV) to:


Patrick Shields, Executive Director and Search Manager


🌍 Global Recruitment Specialists “Positioning You for Success”

75 Main Street, Suite 285, Norwalk, Connecticut (CT) 06851 USA

 +1- 203-899-0499,