Seeking Leaders for Global Change

ACT Alliance - General Secretary

As the face of the ACT (Action by Churches Together) Alliance, you will lead it through an important period of change, further positioning it as a recognised and credible alliance representing 140 church-related organisations committed to humanitarian aid, development and advocacy. Now ten years old, you will guide the Alliance into its next phase, building relationships with international networks, while developing a strategy and articulating a vision that adds value to its members and increases the resource base.

About the ACT Alliance

Action by Churches Together (ACT) represents a coalition that includes 144 churches and church-related organisations from over 70 countries, the majority from the global south. ACT members work in 140 countries around the world creating positive and sustainable change in the lives of poor and marginalised people. Being present in poor and vulnerable communities and having local knowledge makes it possible for ACT members to operate in difficult and sensitive contexts. The ACT Alliance is rooted in the ecumenical movement, and as a specialised ministry in relief and development, it has a strong connection with the World Council of Churches.

Members of the ACT Alliance believe that faith actors can be game changers, shifting the context from one of deprivation to one of development; from conflict to reconciliation and peace; and from consumerism to citizenship and dignity. ACT members engage in quality, life-saving action and work with communities, providing accountable assistance as they recover from emergencies, rebuild their livelihoods and transform their lives.

The alliance works from a rights-based perspective with people of all faiths and none, prioritising need. The success of the alliance is dependent on the commitment and ongoing support of its members and partners. The ACT Alliance network has the respect of the international donor community for strict adherence to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Role Objectives

The General Secretary (GS) leads the ACT Alliance and its secretariat from Geneva overseeing 26 staff in in Amman, Bangkok, Nairobi, San Salvador and New York. As GS, you will be the face of the Alliance leading external relations and communicating the policy agenda. You will work closely with the Board and staff on the development and implementation of the Alliance’s strategic vision, plan, policies and programmes that seek to bring transformative change to those most affected by poverty and injustice. 

Internally, you will secure the commitment of members, uniting and motivating them to come together as one organisation that makes use of the enormous assets of ecumenical and faith-based organisations working together.

You will develop a model for funding to secure its financial sustainability, increasing the proportion that comes from external sources, and deliver a strategy to adapt to the new challenges of a world that is changing fast. Leading the Alliance through these changes, combined with your understanding of global trends, will mean ACT is credibly positioned with international bodies such as the UN and the World Bank to create positive and sustainable change in the lives of poor and marginalised people through humanitarian aid, development and advocacy initiatives.

About you

You have the charisma and gravitas to hold a senior audience—as well as the wisdom to seek advice and the ability to communicate with people from all backgrounds. You are a communicator and negotiator and your insights and questioning will help other people to find answers.

You have a good understanding of the change that is affecting the world—and the causes of that change. You are decisive following consultation and analysis, acting with integrity in a context where faith is an important element of people’s lives.


We expect you to be able to demonstrate that you:

  • Can manage ecumenical relations with churches and other organisations within and beyond the Alliance;
  • Are able to understand the priorities and craft strategies that secure the commitment of staff and 140 member churches and specialised ministries around the world, large and small, to create a universally-supported joint vision across of all parts of the Alliance:
  • ACT members, ACT forums, ACT governance, the secretariat and related expert working groups and communities of practice.
  • Lead the staff towards the achievement of the strategic and annual plans.
  • Have the diplomacy to take others’ views into account—and to push back in the interests of the Alliance where necessary.
  • Are able to build high-level relationships with global bodies including the United Nations and the World Bank as well as other partners and donors.
  • Can present a compelling case for funding from members, as well as raising funds from external sources who understand the value of Alliance members working together.

Candidates are expected to share and be comfortable with the Christian faith, as expressed through membership in a member church of the World Council of Churches or the Lutheran World Federation.

Qualifications/ Education

  • Masters level or equivalent.
  • Fluency in spoken and written in English is essential and fluency in French, Spanish or other international languages would be a distinctive advantage.