Under Secretary General National Society Development and Operations Coordination

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Geneva, Switzerland

About International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) 

SRI Executive has been entrusted by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), to support the executive search of an exceptional leader for the position of Under Secretary General, National Society Development and Operations Coordination.

The IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation, comprising 190-member National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and nearly 14 million volunteers. It assists those impacted by natural disasters and health emergencies by providing disaster response, relief services and vital health services while promoting human dignity and peace.  

Since 1919, IFRC has assisted over 160 million people each year through its member societies. Their work is guided by seven fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. Through improving humanitarian standards, working as partners in development, responding to disasters, supporting healthier and safer communities, IFRC helps reduce vulnerabilities, strengthen resilience and foster a culture of peace around the world.
A member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, IFRC is joined by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to protect life and health while ensuring respect for all human beings. The largest humanitarian network in the world, the Movement promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all peoples. Key to this approach is that the Movement works in cooperation with governments, investors and other organisations to help vulnerable communities. Since 1994, the IFRC has held Observer status with the UN General Assembly which provides the organisation with the opportunity to participate in international debates at the highest level, and access to negotiations and deliberations within the structures of almost all international organisations.   
Headquartered in Geneva, IFRC has five (5) regional offices that coordinate and provide financial, technical and logistical support to the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for disaster operations and development programmes throughout their regions.
You can find further details on their website https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/.

Under Secretary General, National Society Development and Operations Coordination, Role Profile 
The Under Secretary General, National Society Development and Operations Coordination (USG-NSDOC), reports directly to the Secretary General, and leads the NSDOC Division. This Division consists of three departments: the National Society, Policy and Knowledge Development Department; the Disasters and Climate Crises Department; and the Health and Care Department. It also includes the Security Management Unit; the Movement and Membership Coordination Team; and hosted projects of the IFRC, namely: the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), the Risk-Informed Early Action Partnership (REAP), and the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response (SCHR).
The Directors of the three departments within the NSDOC Division and the Heads of five other Geneva-based teams within the Division report to the USG-NSDOC. The USG-NSDOC also has delegated authority to line manage all Regional Directors, to reflect the importance of alignment between the Regional Offices and Headquarters in National Society development and operations.
This position is based in the IFRC Headquarters in Geneva.

Job Purpose
Under the overall guidance of the Secretary General, and in support of National Societies, the Under Secretary General,  National Society Development and Operations Coordination (USG-NSDOC), provides vision, leadership and effective management for the Secretariat’s work and resources along the continuum from risk reduction and crisis prevention to response and recovery, with the objective of building safe, healthy and resilient communities through strong national societies.  
The USG-NSDOC will ensure that the member National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are at the centre of the IFRC’s work and will provide organizational and operational excellence in support of National Societies and the vulnerable people and communities that the Federation serves.
The USG-NSDOC supports to the Secretary General in the overall management of the Secretariat, including through membership in the Global Leadership Team (GLT) and the Senior Management Team (SMT).

Duties and Responsibilities
Within the framework of the IFRC Strategy 2030, and under the guidance of the Secretary General, the Under Secretary General, National Society Development and Operations Coordination (USG-NSDOC): 
  • Provides vision, leadership and strategic direction for the work of the Secretariat to  build stronger National Societies and to bring the Secretariat closer to National Societies, consistent with the priorities established by the Secretary General.
  • Oversees efforts to ensure that up-to-date evidence, research and knowledge are available and accessible to National Societies and within the Secretariat, including to enhance the professional qualifications, competencies and impact of RCRC volunteers and staff at all levels.
  • Ensures the establishment and implementation of a model for an independently-validated Federation-wide peer review mechanism to accredit and rate National Societies following the development of agreed criteria for excellence by which the results and functioning of National Societies can be benchmarked, and provides support in response to identified development needs.
  • Ensures the preparation and implementation of strategies, guidance and standards for sustainable National Society development - including, in particular, leadership strengthening, volunteering development, and  youth engagement in the context of the constantly changing environment. 
  • Provides vision, leadership, strategic advice and coordination for the Secretariat’s work and organizational processes in the areas of policy and knowledge development, including the development, coordination and dissemination of internal and Federation-wide policies.
  • Provides vision, leadership, strategic direction, effective management and operational coordination in the areas of disaster risk reduction and crisis prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. In full support of the National Society in country and in close collaboration with Regional Directors, the USG-NSDOC works to ensure that the resources of the Movement are mobilized  to meet needs at scale while helping to build stronger National Society capacities in these areas.
  • Provides vision, leadership, strategic direction and effective management for the work of the Secretariat in strengthening the resilience of communities and addressing the needs of vulnerable people, including in such programme areas as health, water and sanitation; shelter; food security and nutrition; climate change; livelihoods and poverty reduction; migration; prevention of violence (including gender-based violence); and social services consistent with the priorities established by the Governance Bodies and the Secretary General. 
  • Oversees efforts to ensure that the IFRC fulfils its coordination and operational responsibilities within the Movement and broader humanitarian community (e.g., shelter cluster) and is positioned as a partner of choice. 
  • Provides vision and leadership for: (i) elaborating innovative and effective programmes for safe and healthy living and strengthened community health systems; (ii) maximizing the Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) contribution to promoting healthy behaviours; (iii) reducing health risks and addressing social and environmental factors that affect health status; and (iv) expanding health and social services for under-served communities and vulnerable people. 
  • Ensures that effective systems, mechanisms, programmes and tools are in place to protect the safety and security of staff and volunteers in operational settings, and strengthens National Society capacities to ensure the safety and security of their staff and volunteers.
  • Provides leadership, expertise and support for the Secretariat’s efforts to contribute towards the achievement of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, consistent with the priorities established by the Secretary General, and in close coordination with the USG, Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization. 
  • Ensures effective support and collaboration with colleagues responsible for overall institutional planning, monitoring and evaluation, advocacy positioning and communications.  
  • Maximises Movement coordination by promoting and protecting the sovereignty of the member National Societies; and strengthens cooperation with the ICRC in a mutually respectful way. This includes ensuring that National Society collective interests are reflected and represented in key Movement processes such as the Strengthening Movement Coordination and Cooperation (SMCC) initiative.
Key Tasks:
1. Abide by, and work always in accordance with, the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and the values that underpin them. 
2. In agreement with the Regional Directors and the Secretary General, and in complementarity with other Divisions, establish the Secretariat’s strategy(ies) for the various departments within the NSDOC Division, including setting strategic objectives and ensuring the allocation of relevant roles and responsibilities. 
3. Contribute, as a member of the Global Leadership Team (GLT), to the corporate management of the Secretariat, with an emphasis on teamwork, effective and efficient sharing of Secretariat resources, and assurance that necessary synergies and complementarities between and among Divisions occur.       
4. Track new developments and maintain personally an up-to-date professional understanding at the policy and strategic level of the substantive content of the specific activities covered by the Division.     
5. Promote by personal example a culture of lesson learning and innovation as well as encourage the identification and uptake of best practices and standards.  
6. Organise and manage the NSDOC Division’s internal structure and supervise its working in a way that demonstrates objective appraisal, appreciation, and incentivisation of staff performance and teamwork along with accountability for results, and the effective and efficient use of resources entrusted to the Division.
7. Ensure effective and efficient delivery of the stated Secretariat commitments that are of priority focus for the Division in its agreed plan and budget. 
8. Communicate within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and with external partners the in-depth orientations that underpin Strategy 2030 and the strategy for implementation, especially in relation to the priorities set for the Division.  
9. Perform any other work-related duties and responsibilities that may be assigned by the Secretary General, including representing or deputising for him upon request.

Duties applicable to all staff:
1. Work actively towards the achievement of the IFRC’s goals.
2. Abide by and work in accordance with the Red Cross and Red Crescent principles
3. Perform any other work-related duties and responsibilities that may be assigned by the Secretary General.

Required Competencies
1. Core competencies: Communication; Collaboration & Teamwork; Judgement & Decision Making; National Society & Customer Relations; Creativity & Innovation; Building Trust.
2. Managerial competencies: Managing Performance; Managing Staff Development.
3. Functional competencies: Strategic Orientation; Building Alliances; Leadership; Empowering Others.

Qualifications and Experience
Post-graduate degree in the area of management, humanitarian or development issues, or other relevant area, or a first-level university degree combined with extensive relevant experience.

  • At least 15 years of management experience at senior level, experience in dealing with governance mechanism of an organization. Practical experience of coordination at leadership level in a membership organization.
  • Proven experience of management of complex teams in multiple locations, experience of remote management and security management.
  • Proven experience in the international humanitarian and development sector. Practical experience of organizing and leading humanitarian operations and health interventions cutting across prevention, risk reduction, resilience building, response and recovery phases.
  • Proven experience of practical leadership in leading and coordinating organizational development and capacity strengthening efforts as well as in the areas of policy development and knowledge management.
  • Proven ability in representing an organization in a membership setting as well as in an external environment.
Knowledge and Skills
  • Sound knowledge and practical understanding of the Federation
  • Capacity to work with sensitivity in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills, including in public speaking.
  • Ability to conceptualize strategic approaches and translate them into practice and results. 
  • Ability to network effectively as well as influence and inspire others, including the membership, governments, other agencies as well as own peers, staff, volunteers and partners.
  • Focus on quality and standards, results and accountability. 
  • Capacity to multi-task, set priorities, adapt to and manage change, and meet deadlines.
  • Capacity for teamwork and trust-building, including in National Society relations.  
  • Management style that empowers, guides, inspires, builds confidence as well as finds creative and constructive solutions to complex or difficult issues.  
  • Fluent spoken and written English.
  • Good command of another IFRC official language (French, Spanish or Arabic).

Terms of Appointment

This is a full-time position. Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. 

How to Apply

If you wish to be considered for this position, please forward a copy of your CV and a supporting letter in Microsoft Word format, along with any relevant documentation to  Sidney Moss at [email protected] or use the Application Form below. Applications for this role are now closed. All information will be in the strictest confidence as we pride ourselves on our professional service.  We will revert to you as soon as feasible when we have reviewed your application.
SRI Executive is exclusively retained by IFRC to undertake this role along with the following ongoing IFRC assignments-
  • Under Secretary General, National Society Development and Operations Coordination.
  • Under Secretary General, Management Policy, Strategy and Corporate Services.
  • Under Secretary General, Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization.
  • Regional Directors (5 positions):  Africa Region (Nairobi, Kenya); Asia Pacific Region (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia); Middle East and North Africa Region (Beirut, Lebanon); Europe Region (Budapest, Hungary); along with Americas Region (Panama City, Panama).
  • Director, Office of the Secretary General.

Application form