Stichting IKEA Foundation

IKEA Foundation has a vision of a better life for the many people. We believe the two greatest threats to the future of children are climate change and poverty. It’s our mission to improve the lives of vulnerable children by enabling families to create sustainable livelihoods and fight and cope with climate change.


These are complex problems that require collaboration to drive systems change. We work in partnership to identify solutions that allow us to create the greatest impact with our funding. We value our partners because they bring knowledge and experience that we don’t have. We build long term relationships based on transparency and learning so we can course correct when things don’t go as planned. The IKEA Foundation is funded by INGKA Foundation, owner of the Ingka Group of companies. The IKEA Foundation is independent from the retail business with a sole focus on creating brighter lives on a liveable planet through philanthropy and grantmaking. Learn more at www.ikeafoundation.org or by following us on Twitter or LinkedIn.


We are looking for a Programme Director for our People pillar to strengthen our Programmes team.

Role purpose

Role Purpose

Together with the Chief Programmes Officer (CPO) and the Programme Director – Planet, the Programme Director – People (PD) is a core member of the Programmes team leadership. The PD is responsible for the development and delivery of the People pillar strategy including leading the multiyear planning and execution of funding according to IKEA Foundation’s current 5 years plan. The PD collaborates with Portfolio Leads to develop plans for the different portfolios in the People pillar. These include Agricultural Livelihoods, Employment and Entrepreneurship, Renewable Energy and Refugee Livelihoods. The PD ensures that resources for the People pillar are allocated and utilized effectively.


As PD you will be part of an enthusiastic team of people committed to make a difference. You will report to the Chief Programmes Officer (CPO) and you will be responsible for leading a team of Portfolio Leads.


Duties and Responsibilities


Programme Leadership

  • In collaboration with the CPO and the PD- Planet, co-design overarching strategy for the IKEA Foundation grantmaking;
  • Lead the development and implementation of the programmes strategy for the People pillar, where possible creating strategic alignment and cohesion with the Planet pillar;
  • Work with Portfolio Leads and other programme staff on the development and implementation of specific elements of the strategies, with associated budgets and work plans;
  • Support Portfolio Leads to develop a strong partner base that delivers the desired strategic outcomes;
  • Ensure that portfolio strategies within the People pillar are reviewed and revised according to evidence and insights gathered from various internal and external sources;
  • Identify opportunities to coordinate grantmaking activities within the People pillar, where such collaboration will lead to greater impact;
  • The role includes responsibility for a small number of partners/initiatives.


People and Organisational Leadership

  • Together with the CPO and PD-Planet, serve as a member of the Programmes Team leadership where collaboration, openness and innovation are modelled;
  • Act as the link between the Leadership Team and the different portfolios in the People pillar;
  • Manage Portfolio Leads including provision of on the job support, guidance and coaching;  
  • Assess and evaluate work performance and encourage professional development of the Portfolio Leads;
  • Create a strong and collaborative team culture;
  • Secure team buy-in and support for the People pillar strategy;
  • Collaborate with the CPO and PD – Planet to identify and execute on opportunities for cross-pillar collaboration;  
  • Develop and maintain a network of external stakeholders, including from other Foundations, who can inform the development of the IKEA Foundation programmes strategy and help with the identification of opportunities;
  • Present programme management strategies, reports and applications to the CPO, Board and other approval committees as needed;
  • Ensure effective collaboration between teams and departments to optimise the quality and efficiency of grantmaking;
  • Represent the IKEA Foundation at conferences and other relevant meetings and events.


Education, Qualifications & Experience

You have


  • An advanced degree (Masters or PhD) or similar in a relevant discipline;
  • Skills and proven experience in strategy development;
  • Proven people management skills. Ability to lead, motivate and direct people in the different teams. Ability to collaborate effectively with people throughout the organisation;
  • Significant international/cross-cultural work experience;
  • Excellent communications skills and strong public speaking skills. Ability to communicate in a confident, simple, straightforward and inclusive manner;
  • Genuine appreciation of applying measurement and learning to build and share learning;
  • Knowledge and understanding of grantmaking;
  • The ability to work with available information to identify patterns and trends and draw meaningful conclusions to make decisions and recommendations;

You are 


  • Motivated by living and sharing the values of the IKEA Foundation;
  • Purpose-driven with a deep commitment to improving the lives of people and protecting the planet;
  • Able to combine high-level strategic planning with on the ground execution and delivery;  
  • A strong influencer who can achieve results through others;
  • Able to overcome obstacles to cooperation and to foster harmonious relations;
  • Able to work effectively and constructively with a range of internal and external partners; able to work as a collaborative member of our different teams;
  • Flexible and pragmatic, open to the ideas of others and willing to adapt to achieve results;
  • Able to have difficult conversations in a constructive manner;
  • Fluent in English, oral and written;
  • Able to travel internationally up to 30%.


Terms of Appointment           

At the IKEA Foundation, you are welcome no matter where you come from, what you believe, and what you look like. We are interested to see what you can bring to the Foundation. We are convinced that our different views, talents, and personalities make us better at understanding ourselves and our partners, and inspire us to think differently. If you feel like you might not tick all the boxes for this role and this is the reason you hesitate to apply, we would like to encourage you to still give it a chance. Perhaps your unique background could spark a great idea of how to create a better everyday life for the many people.


We offer a dynamic working environment amongst co-workers from different nationalities. Amongst these nationalities, we share a single culture and set of values. You will be able to contribute to constantly improving the grantmaking experience at the IKEA Foundation. In doing so, you will have the opportunity to work with innovative solutions and you will be challenged to come up with ideas for improvements in all areas. The better we can support our co-workers and partners, the more time and energy they can spend on the causes that we support!


Some key details of the package:

  • A public transport (NS) subscription (2nd class) pass between home address and work place in Leiden
  • Working from home policy: the majority of the working hours at the office in Leiden
  • Pension: the IKEA Foundation will pay a defined contribution up to the maximum pensionable salary as determined by Dutch law
  • 30 holidays per year based on fulltime employment
  • Relocation costs for individual and family


Role Location

Leiden, Netherlands


How to Apply


If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form below on or before 24 March, 2023. In addition, we encourage you to please attach a copy of the most recent English version of your CV.

All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.


If you have an initial query rather than an application, kindly email us at [email protected]


SRI Executive is exclusively retained by IKEA Foundation to undertake this assignment.


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