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L’Arche International

International Leader

About L’Arche

L’Arche is a worldwide movement of  160 communities in 36 countries where people with and without intellectual disabilities share life and contribute to a more human society. L’Arche International is the Federation unifying all these communities within a joint mission. 

The Federation is organised by country, some with a national structure when the number of communities is high enough. The Leadership Team of L’Arche International gathers the National Leaders of the four countries with the highest number of communities (L’Arche France, L’Arche UK, L’Arche Canada, L’Arche USA) and the three International Delegates who supervise the communities spread across Europe, Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Africa and Central & South America. 

The team of L’Arche International represents around 50 employees, half of them being in direct support and oversight of L’Arche communities around the world, the other half being members of the International support team (finance, HR, communications, administration, fundraising, evaluation and learning, training, etc.).

About the Role

The new International Leader, in close collaboration with the Vice International Leader, will lead at a time when a focus on strategic clarity, building trusting and effective working relationships, and a critical review of the existing structures of the Federation will be essential.

The International Leader, with the Vice International Leader, leads the Federation and has authority over the mission of L’Arche. They call for the Federation to live and grow per the Charter of the Communities of L’Arche and the Identity and Mission of L’Arche and to adapt to an ever-changing world. 

The International Leader fosters unity in the Federation and leads the implementation of the Mandate of the Federation, as approved by the Federation Assembly. The International Leader represents the Federation at the international level, ensures the proper functioning and development of the Federation and that all appropriate policies, processes and procedures are in place and followed. The International Leader and Vice International Leader participate in the selection process for National Leaders and Board Chairs in the four confirmed countries.  They lead the selection of International Delegates and Envoys and supervise the financial management of the Federation. 

Purpose of the Role

The main missions of the International Leader are to: 

  • provide leadership for the mandate of the Federation, translating the objectives into a strategic action plan for implementation;
  • provide support to countries and communities in fundraising, programme quality, and crisis management;
  • promote unity by building and articulating a vision for the Federation;
  • call the Federation to live and grow following the Identity and Mission Statements and the Charter of L’Arche;
  • represent L’Arche in international forums to grow public awareness of the mission of L’Arche and to grow networks of support;
  • lead the international leadership team and the extended leadership team;
  • supervise or oversee the supervision of the international support team.

Experience and Knowledge

  • Commitment to the Identity and Mission of L’Arche and the ability to communicate it in different contexts;
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities: dynamism, collaboration, ability to listen, to reflect and to respond;
  • Significant experience and/or training in the field of change management;
  • Proven professional experience in a global setting, navigating intercultural work and sensibilities;
  • Understanding of governance for intentional community or non-profit governance systems;
  • Experience working with federated structures /independent teams with a high level of consultation and flexibility and an ability to build collaboration across multiple levels of governance;
  • Experience in intentional communities or an international non-profit organisation working with marginalised groups (e.g. disability, migrants, children, etc.) or personal awareness of the disability sector is desirable;
  • Experience managing teams, setting culture and developing people and systems, ideally in large multi-topic and geographically dispersed teams;
  • Demonstrated organisational and delegation capacity in the context of navigating among team members spread in a variety of contexts and time zones;
  • Proficiency in English and preferably in French. Knowledge of another language of the Federation will be taken into account.

Skills, abilities and attitudes

  • Ability to articulate and build consensus around a vision, translate that vision into actions, and work collaboratively across a complex organisation and with diverse people, building relationships and inspiring trust;
  • Capacity to develop and enact a strategic plan which corresponds to the priorities of the mandate;
  • Ambition to set a vision and to innovate, modernise and improve ways of working within the International Federation of L’Arche;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills: an effective listener who can communicate succinctly and effectively with boards and senior colleagues in both writing and orally;
  • Resilient and self-aware;
  • Flexibility with the willingness and ability to travel extensively;
  • Strong diplomacy, tact, empathy, and ability to manage conflict;
  • Sensitivity to L’Arche in different cultures: the ability to envision the impact of decisions, processes and projects in different cultural contexts across the Federation;
  • Capacity to build partnerships with significant groups and leaders outside L’Arche;
  • Awareness of and responsiveness to a changing organisation and a changing world and the ability to vary the leadership style based on what is needed;
  • Proficiency in English and preferably in French. Knowledge of another language of the Federation will be taken into account. 

You Will Be:

  • Excited by working in a mission-driven organisation and by the vision of personal and social transformation through relationships of belonging with diverse groups of very different people;
  • Committed to the values of L’Arche, with the self-awareness and discipline to live them out and model them to others;
  • Confident and competent to lead in the face of changing times;
  • Passionate and caring about persons with disabilities and their place in society;
  • A person of hope, able to articulate your values, spirituality and life story – and to help others express theirs;
  • Someone with patience, compassion, courage, integrity and humility; 
  • Able to acknowledge your limits and ask for help.