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Humanity and Inclusion / Handicap International

Director, Institute for Humanitarian Action

As the Director of the HI Institute for Humanitarian Action, you will be in charge of a unit serving the global network of Humanity and Inclusion (previously known as Handicap International), providing support and advice on ethical questions and international humanitarian law. You are experienced and knowledgeable of NGO field operations and international humanitarian law, as well as a savvy networker and relationship builder, ready to grow strategic relationships within the federation and with external partners.

About the HI Institute for Humanitarian Action

Established in 2014 by the Humanity and Inclusion Federation (formerly Fédération Handicap International), the “HI Institute for Humanitarian Action – Operational Ethics” is a foundation under Swiss law. The general mandate of the HI Institute is to support the HI network in the implementation of its values and principles of intervention and to promote reflection. In this context, the HI Institute develops activities to support ethical and political questions arising for all entities within the Humanity and Inclusion organization, including direct support for programs that represent the core of the organization’s mandate. As a place of analysis and monitoring of HI’s operating environment and the conditions under which solidarity action is carried out, the HI Institute also encourages the sharing of experiences of ethical dilemmas and key elements that have formed the history of the federal network and influenced its practices. The HI Institute is governed by a foundation board composed of directors of the federal board, and presidents or former presidents of the National Associations and of the HI federation. It is chaired by the president of HI federation.

Purpose of the Role

  • Management and general organization of the HI Institute’s activity and development
  • Management and team leadership
  • Ethical and political analysis, monitoring and positioning activities

Duties and Responsibilities

The Director is responsible for:

  • The administrative and financial management (specific complexity of a foundation under Swiss law) in compliance with legal frameworks and HI’s federal frameworks.
  • Overseeing the development of the institute’s strategic plan in support of the federation’s strategy and in line with the institute’s mandate (ambitions, action plans)
  • Leading the team (currently four staff members), to provide and deliver research and service on international humanitarian law and ethics related questions from within the federation. This includes contributing to the development and individual objectives of employees, and ensuring that the needs of the organization match the know-how and motivation of employees.
  • Overseeing and contributing to analysis and positioning activities on all ethical and political issues relating to programs, particularly during major crises, advocacy and communication, as identified with the relevant federal director.
  • Coordinating the drafting of ethical doctrines and contribution, in conjunction with the relevant departments, to the revision of institutional policy documents that define the federation’s ethical and political framework.
  • Expanding HI’s network and relationships with think tanks, academia, and thought leaders on major issues related to the ethical, political and operational environment of the humanitarian sector. The director will seek to develop partnerships with some of these institutions to increase the institute’s capacity for influence and analysis, in order to ensure the strategic positioning and influence of the entire HI movement. The director will also travel to Geneva and field programs.

Skills and Experience

  • More than ten years of progressively responsible professional experience in the international solidarity sector, with NGOs, working in the field and at headquarters.
  • Expertise in international NGO operations, especially working across humanitarian interventions.
  • Knowledgeable in international humanitarian law, refugee/displaced persons’ law, protection, humanitarian principles, institutional frameworks.
  • Demonstrate experience leading project teams.
  • Strong diplomatic and negotiation skills to engage and commit stakeholders inside and outside of the organization.
  • Excellent mastery of French and fluency in English.