Under Secretary General Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization

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, Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization.
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, Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization, Role Profile

The Under Secretary General, Global Relations and Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization (USG-GRHDD), reports directly to the Secretary General, and leads the Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization Division. This Division consists of three departments: the Partnerships and Resource Development Department, the Communications Department, and the Digitization and Information Technology Department.
The USG-GRHDD has several direct reports, including the Directors of the three departments within the Global Relations and Humanitarian Diplomacy (GRHDD) Division, as well as the Heads of the following IFRC offices, which have significant fundraising and/or humanitarian diplomacy activities: (i) Red Cross European Union Office, Brussels, Belgium; (ii) the IFRC Office of Permanent Representation to the African Union, Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia: and (iii) the IFRC Gulf Cluster Office, Dubai.
The IFRC Regional Directors also have coordination lines to the USG-GRHDD to ensure effective coordination across the Secretariat.
This position is based in the IFRC Headquarters in Geneva.

Job Purpose

Under the overall guidance  of the Secretary General, the Under Secretary General (USG-GRHD) provides vision, leadership, and effective management for the Secretariat’s work to ensure the we have a strong collective voice as a Federation, working closely with National Societies to define and re-shape humanitarian and development agendas and decision-making.  This position leads the IFRC’s work in strengthening its relationships with global partners and ensuring that the IFRC is positioned as a principled and trusted network to provide solution-driven approaches to pressing humanitarian issues through strong national and local institutions. 
The USG-GRHDD supports 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), to ensure organizational excellence in support of vulnerable people and communities.

Duties and Responsibilities

Within the framework of the IFRC Strategy 2030, and under the guidance of the Secretary General, the Under Secretary General, Global Relations and Humanitarian Diplomacy (USG-GRHDD):
  • Provides vision, leadership and strategic direction for the work of the Secretariat to expand, strengthen and maintain strategic partnerships and engage in humanitarian diplomacy and resource mobilization, consistent with the priorities established by the Governance Bodies and the Secretary General.
  • Provides leadership and inspiration in identifying, fostering, expanding and maintaining partnerships both within the RCRC Movement and the Federation, and with governments, other external stakeholders and constituencies.
  • Provides vision and coordination of the Secretariat's efforts to promote wider understanding and support for the RCRC Fundamental Principles. 
  • Ensures that other key messages of the Federation, including the protection of human dignity, the articulation of the needs of the vulnerable, and the primacy of community resilience and local actors, remain at the forefront of humanitarian debates.
  • Oversees the promotion of greater understanding and awareness of the RCRC Movement and the IFRC, including through coherent and consistent positioning and messaging throughout the Movement and the Federation, common or joint messaging within the Movement when appropriate, and ensuring standards of excellence in both external and internal communications.
  • Provides leadership and strategic oversight for continually updating and implementing  a Federation-wide communications strategy (including for engagement with global, regional and national media networks, websites, social media), and creating opportunities to maximize the engagement of young people in the RCRC Movement.  
  • Provides leadership, strategic guidance and advice relating to resource mobilization for the Federation and its membership, including identifying and pursuing new opportunities to expand resources at global, regional and national levels as wel as ensuring the provision of critical information and analyses for resource development, donor reporting, and planning and budgeting processes.
  • Explores innovative ways of collective financing and working with National Societies in the roll out of the Federation's Resource Mobilization Strategy, all of which are geared at growing the overall resource base, increasing the Federation's collective absorptive capacity and boosting stakeholder confidence.
  • Leads the Information Technology (IT) portfolio, optimising IT investment and maintenance. This includes developing IT strategy, tools and support to the IFRC Secretariat worldwide.
  • Oversees the design and roll-out of digitalization initiatives within the IFRC and its National Society membership.
  • Provides guidance and support to the Red Cross European Union Office, the IFRC Office of Permanent Representation to the African Union and the IFRC Gulf Cluster Office in order to help ensure coherence and alignment of approaches and activities with Headquarters.
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 the other Divisions, establish the Secretariat’s strategy(ies) for the various departments within the Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization 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 Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization 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 business plan.
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 Federation’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 line manager.

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, including competence in partnership development, communications, resource mobilization and/or digitization initiatives.
  • Proven experience in the international humanitarian and development system, including working with external partners.
  • Proven experience in general management with a strong understanding of partnerships, resource development and communication.
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 and influence and inspire others including the membership, governments, other agencies, and own peers, staff, volunteers and partners.
  • Focus on quality and standards, results, and accountability.
  • Capacity to multi-task, set priorities, and meet deadlines.
  • Capacity for teamwork and trust-building, including in National Society relations.
  • Management style that inspires, builds confidence, and 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