Executive Director

International Alert

Job Summary

Have you ever dreamed about helping advance peace on a global scale?

This is an extraordinary opportunity to perform a leadership role in the non-profit peacebuilding sector. Headquartered in London, International Alert has been working since 1986 with people directly affected by violent conflict to build lasting peace. We are in this for the long haul, partnering with local civil society actors and influencing governments. Today our (circa) 250 staff are running programmes in more than 25 countries and territories, helping societies better anticipate and manage conflict without resorting to violence. Our work is supported by grants from major government agencies including the UK, US, Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands, as well as the European Union and United Nations.

We are seeking to appoint an outstanding Executive Director with creativity, entrepreneurial flair and the ability to provide strong intellectual leadership. Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the Executive Director is responsible for leadership of the institution and providing strategic direction for all of our peacebuilding activities across the globe. This role includes oversight of programme implementation, strategic planning, fundraising, advocacy and outreach. As an ambassador for International Alert, you will interact with key players in government, intergovernmental organisations, the private sector and civil society.

This role calls for an energetic visionary capable of determining and leading change. You will bring strong and proven senior management and leadership experience coupled with an ability to motivate and inspire a creative and empowered team. You will deploy effective interpersonal and communication skills with gravitas and empathy to build robust relationships across a range of stakeholders. Applying personal integrity and exceptional capacity to project our goals and vision, you will enhance Alert’s international profile and the impact of its peacebuilding work.

In sum, we are seeking an ambitious, passionate, leader who is truly excited by the prospect of being able to advance peace and help make the world a better place. If this sounds like you, we would be delighted to hear from you.


The Executive Director, based in London, is Alert’s chief executive and reports directly to the Chairman and Board of Directors. S/he will lead our activities in the UK and in over 25 other countries and territories including oversight of operations, raising funds, campaigning and lobbying those in power for change, and continuing to build a strong and differentiated profile for International Alert. S/he will travel frequently, fulfilling a key role as an ambassador for International Alert locally, as well as developing and sustaining relationships with stakeholders and partners abroad within national capitals and international organisations.

During 2018, the staff of Alert and the Board have developed a new 2019-2023 strategy – Breaking the Cycles of Violence, Building the Cycles of Peace – and a new business model, both of which contain exciting new areas of work to be developed by the new Executive Director.

The Executive Director will directly manage a creative and empowered Senior Management Team and provide leadership to over 250 staff while maintaining organisational coherence. S/he will also be responsible for the sustainable generation and growth of an annual income and expenditure, which is currently circa £19 million.

This role requires an individual with exceptional qualities, skills, knowledge and experience who will lead Alert in helping people find peaceful solutions to conflict.

In providing leadership of International Alert into the next phase of its evolution, the Executive Director’s responsibilities, each of equal weight, are to:

• Maintain Alert’s central role in thinking about peacebuilding;
• Ensure that Alert responds to unforeseen and new challenges and opportunities, determining and leading change;
• Represent International Alert and act as a spokesperson at the highest levels to secure access and exert influence in furthering Alert’s goals;
• Lead the development and implementation of our new 2019-2023 strategy – Breaking the Cycles of Violence, Building the Cycles of Peace – through robust and deliverable plans;
• Raise the profile of International Alert to generate income and drive advocacy;
• Form and develop robust partnerships and coalitions globally to strengthen Alert’s peacebuilding work, in particular further developing the global peacebuilding coalition;
• Create a strong, positive, integrated team culture, where all staff thrive and excel; and provide clear direction and support to staff in planning and implementing their work;
• Provide leadership of all risk management, financial and programmatic goals, and hold senior management accountable for delivery as appropriate;
• Directly manage the senior management team (which currently include the COO, CFO and Director of Programmes), as well as Communications and Advocacy at Alert;
• Deliver good governance and accountability, reporting on Alert’s corporate performance to the Board and working with the Chair to ensure close communication with Trustees.


The role requires an exceptional, ambitious professional who can demonstrate the following:

• A track record of building, implementing and delivering a strategic vision in an international organisation;
• A proven capacity to manage staff directly, build and lead a dispersed team towards delivery of goals, establish frameworks for holding people to account and foster a high-performing culture;
• Experience of working in a multicultural environment;
• Ability to relate activity at grassroots level to the global context;
• Commitment to and sound understanding of peacebuilding and the global, regional and local context of conflict resolution;
• Strategic, analytical and conceptual thinking skills needed to drive and deliver change and growth results;
• Financial and commercial astuteness and diligence in seeking and identifying additional opportunities for income generation, and readiness to ensure balanced budgets;
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills with proven capacity to develop good relationships within media and advocacy contacts, policy-makers and influential stakeholders in governments and organisations;
• Experience of providing senior level support to fundraising and developing relationships with donors, both institutional and individual;
• Proven ability to promote Alert with confidence and authority to internal and external audiences and be persuasive in influencing policy and practice at different levels;
• A track record of providing inspirational leadership, vision and development to a creative and empowered team;
• A clear, innovative and reasoned thinker, with the imagination to see around issues, identify opportunities, think strategically and exercise good judgement;
• A combination of integrity and pragmatism with a passionate commitment to International Alert, its mission, vision and values;
• A willingness to undertake significant travel worldwide.

How To Apply

The deadline for applications is 23.59 (GMT) on 7 March 2019. The position is based in London and the salary is in the range of £85,000 to £98,000 depending on skills and experience.

International Alert has staff members from across the world and we value the diverse range of experience that this brings. We strive to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

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