Secretary General

SOLIDAR and SOLIDAR Foundation
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Jan 29

Position description

SOLIDAR is a network of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working to advance social justice in Europe and worldwide. With 60 member organisations based in 29 countries (24 of which are EU countries), member organisations are national CSOs in Europe, as well as some non-EU and EU-wide organisations, working in one or more of our fields of activity.

SOLIDAR voices the values of its member organisations to the EU and international institutions across the three main policy sectors; social affairs, lifelong learning and international cooperation.

SOLIDAR Foundation is the cooperation platform of SOLIDAR responsible for the “Building Learning Societies” Pillar. SOLIDAR Foundation engages through member and partner organization’s citizens in EU decision making processes, empowers people through lifelong learning and VET, and voices their concerns to the EU institutions by carrying out active lobbying, project management and coordination, policy monitoring, research and awareness-raising.

Purpose of the role

SOLIDAR and SOLIDAR Foundation are looking for a Secretary General to start in April/May 2020.

The purpose of the role is to lead and manage SOLIDAR and the SOLIDAR Foundation networks and secretariat, ensuring that the network is trusted by its members and respected within organised civil society in Europe.

SOLIDAR and the SOLIDAR Foundation are looking for an experienced team leader to oversee the management of the Brussels-based secretariat, lead the strategy and ensure the financial sustainability of the networks.

The candidate should share the values of solidarity, equality and participation and the mission of SOLIDAR and the SOLIDAR Foundation, have appropriate expertise and should have been previously engaged with social or political progressive movements or trade unions, preferably in a leadership position elected or professional, from the trade union movement, popular education associations or other civil society organisations relevant to the membership of SOLIDAR.


The post holder will be accountable to the SOLIDAR President and the Board.

Key Duties

Governance and membership

  • To represent and promote the positon of SOLIDAR and the SOLIDAR Foundation networks to the European Institutions under the responsibility of the SOLIDAR Board;
  • To lead and manage SOLIDAR, the SOLIDAR Foundation and the Secretariat in matters of strategic and operational planning, financial management and HR management. These include supervising SOLIDAR and SOLIDAR Foundation staff under the guidance and delegation of the Board and with the support of the Finance and HR Coordinator and the Coordinators of the three policy teams (Education and Lifelong Learning, Social Affairs, International Cooperation);
  • To handle the organisation of SOLIDAR and SOLIDAR Foundation statutory meetings in collaboration with the President and the Board;
  • To lead the process to review SOLIDAR and the SOLIDAR Foundation multiannual strategy, involving member organisations and consequently develop the annual strategy;
  • To lead SOLIDAR and the SOLIDAR Foundation organisational development strategy including to contribute to membership recruitment in collaboration with the President and the Board;
  • To carry out any other tasks relating to any other areas of work deemed reasonable, as requested by the organisation, the President and the Board;
  • To promote the sustainability and the development of the networks (SOLIDAR and SOLIDAR Foundation) in close cooperation with the member organisations.


  • To ensure the financial stability of SOLIDAR and the SOLIDAR Foundation through sound financial management, income and project generation contributing to the financial sustainability and development of the network.

External Representation and Networking

  • To represent SOLIDAR at the highest institutional level in collaboration with the President, the Board and the Chairs and Coordinators of the three policy teams;
  • To build strong synergies between SOLIDAR and the SOLIDAR Foundation and the political stakeholders;
  • To promote cooperation between member organisations, supporting consortia to apply for external funding.


  • At least 10 years’ relevant experience;
  • Proven ability to coordinate a team;
  • Sound and extensive knowledge of the functioning of the EU institutions. Knowledge of United Nations and Council of Europe structures and functioning will be an asset;
  • Thorough knowledge and experience of CSOs structures and culture at EU level;
  • Proven HR and financial management expertise;
  • Leadership and team-building skills;
  • Sound experience of European projects (management, procedures, legal obligations, consortia), especially in relation to Social Affairs, International Cooperation, Education policies and Migration;
  • Successful engagement with European agencies, ideally including funding bids and/or project delivery;
  • Strong track record of fundraising with a variety of donors, including foundations and private philanthropy, campaigning;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and French and public speaking skills, reaching out to a variety of audiences;
  • Very good networking skills, including the ability to build relationships with and positively influence a range of external stakeholders;
  • Good strategic planning skills and proven ability to develop and deliver successful projects;
  • Ability to develop and maintain systems to monitor and report against funder requirements;
  • Ability to plan and work under pressure within tight deadlines;
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills: active listening, empathy and diplomacy;
  • Ambition, energy and drive for the organisation and its members within a politically aware but non-partisan progressive approach sharing the values of solidarity, equality and participation;
  • IT proficiency.

The job description is intended to include the broad range of responsibilities and requirements of the post. It is neither exhaustive nor exclusive and while some variations will be expected, these will be at an appropriate level for the role.

Terms and Conditions

  • Hours: Full time, able to work flexible hours and when required on weekends. Able and willing to travel;
  • Gross Salary: To be negotiated;
  • Location: Brussels, Belgium with frequent travel within and outside the EU;
  • Contract: Contract of undetermined duration under Belgian law. Commitment of 5 years and possibility of extension.

Application instructions

If you are interested and you fulfil the requirements, please send your application by email to: [email protected] and to Pascale Charhon - Human Resources Coordinator: [email protected].

Subject heading: “Application Solidar Secretary General - Your Name”.

Your application should include:

  • A motivation letter (maximum 3.000 characters) explaining why you are interested in the position and think you have the right profile for the job;
  • A detailed CV (maximum 2 pages);
  • Salary expectation;
  • Details of three references that you consider relevant for the position.

Deadline to apply: 1 March 2020.

Interviews only for short listed candidates.

Decision to be taken before the end of March 2020.

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