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Executive Director

Forus is seeking a dynamic, motivated and creative leader to take up the role of Executive Director and guide the work of the network. The ED will work closely with the staff, members and governance bodies of Forus, to strengthen the voice and capacity of national NGO platforms and regional coalitions. This is a unique opportunity to lead a global platform working on core challenges facing NGOs today to address power imbalance to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and achieving social justice, peace and democracy throughout the world.

About Forus

Forus represents more than 22 000 organisations and brings together 69 national development NGO platforms and seven regional coalitions in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Pacific. Founded in 2008, it was formerly known as the International Forum of National NGO Platforms.  

Its mission is threefold:

  1. Connect NGO platforms and regional coalitions to build joint actions, learn from one another, and fight for an enabling environment for civil society organisations.
  2. Support and develop the capacities of members for more effective participation in decision-making processes, using the network’s collective intelligence and innovative approaches.
  3. Influence public policies together with our members, by engaging in official negotiations, deliberations and public mobilisations at national, regional and international levels.

About the Role

The Executive Director will work with diverse stakeholders to strengthen our network through cooperation, networking, partnerships and alliances at a global level. The ED will lead and manage a multicultural team remotely while managing and supervising the administrative and financial matters of the organisation.  

Purpose of the Role

  • Facilitate the participation and leadership of the member organisations in the Forus network and defend the interests of NGOs, based on the advisory of the Forus’ Council and General Assembly. 
  • Oversee the overall management, develop and implement the strategy of Forus, based on the outcomes and advice of the Forus Council and General Assembly.
  • Ensure organisational sustainability by providing leadership, strategic direction and support in the programme implementation, in collaboration with the Executive Committee (ExCom).
  • Report to the Executive Committee and consult regularly with the Chair on important developments and major management decisions.
  • Support the effective functioning of governance structures, ensuring that the governing bodies and the Executive team work well together.
  • Lead and support the staff remotely implementing Forus strategies internally. Responsible for delivering results in line with the mission and vision of Forus in an effective and efficient manner.
  • Oversee and steer the fundraising activities of Forus.
  • Represent Forus towards partners, stakeholders, public institutions and funders.

Duties and Responsibilities

Membership and Coordination 

  • Ensure strong relationships with members and foster their active participation in Forus in accordance with their needs and capacities.
  • Maintain awareness of the members’ activities, achievements, challenges and priorities through continuous close communication.
  • Provide inspiring leadership through the cooperation and partnership of members in pursuit of their shared goals and objectives.
  • Strengthen Forus’ external profile, identifying opportunities for engagement and ensuring the most appropriate individuals are leveraged in all external representations.
  • Implement the Forus strategy, as a collaborative action among members & institutions; catalyse, influence and mobilise support for collaborative action.


  • Ensure that the Council and ExCom are supported to deliver its responsibilities to lead the network.
  • Propose key strategic and policy options for adoption by Forus and its political structures in coordination and consultation with the Chair and Council members and in accordance with General Assembly/Council mandate.
  • Promote and coordinate, working with the staff in the Executive team, the activities of the working structures of the network.
  • Plan and prepare the General Assemblies and Council Meetings, organise and implement directives with the staff of the Executive team.
  • Report on the progress and functioning of the program of work to the Council and the General Assembly.

Leadership and Management of the Executive team

  • Lead the work of the executive team and inspire the participation and leadership of the members in the work and life of Forus.
  • Develop organizational and managerial structures and capacities for continuous improvement in the quality and professionalism of all operations.
  • Maintain and manage the Executive team in order to elaborate and achieve the objectives set out in the Strategic Plan and annual work plans and in accordance with the annual budget.
  • Drive and coordinate the setting of plans and budgets for Forus, and oversee their successful implementation, ensuring effective, transparent use of resources.
  • Implement and supervise the administrative & financial management and audit in consultation with the Treasurer and the Administrative & Financial Manager.
  • Ensure that the Executive team is adequately resourced to fulfil its objectives and play an active role in fundraising.
  • Ensure that the financial and legal affairs of Forus’ Executive team are adequately managed and ensure that all legal and contractual obligations are properly fulfilled in due time. Prepare project and program applications, as well as due reports.


  • Work closely with Forus members, especially with the ExCom, Council and General Assembly to advocate the interests of the NGOs on various levels.
  • Represent Forus towards partners, stakeholders, public institutions and funders, at regional and international meetings and events, share Forus’ work and activities with other affiliates, and uphold and safeguard Forus’ position and interest at such meetings and events.
  • Be a strong representative of the NGOs interests, fed by the input from its members, the Council and GA, and knowhow to influence various spheres where the Forus voice will be heard.
  • Initiate and support the development of strategic alliances with stakeholders outside Forus. 

Skills and Experience

  • Management experience in leading change and growth in organisations. Demonstrated ability in engaging staff in participatory decision making, creative problem solving and ability to motivate teams working for social change.
  • Ability to communicate and negotiate with key internal and external stakeholders at a national and international level.
  • Understanding of financial management, budget planning and budget execution.
  • Proven fundraising record with institutional and private funders.
  • Experience co-organising public events and conferences.
  • Experience of public speaking.
  • Successful track record of strategic leadership in a multi-stakeholder organisation or similar.
  • Fluency in English, and either fluency in French with working-level Spanish or fluent in Spanish with working-level French. Knowledge of Portuguese would be a plus.
  • Commitment to Forus mission, vision and values, with a good understanding of global development issues. 
  • Ability to proactively seek and provide feedback, strong emotional intelligence.
  • Ability to work effectively and cooperatively with others and towards shared objectives in a decentralised team.
  • Ability to prioritise and manage multiple projects simultaneously, and follow through on issues in a timely manner.
  • Past experience working under pressure and towards tight deadlines maintaining effective performance.
  • Minimum Qualification required: Master’s degree in Management, Social Sciences or equivalent.