Executive Director, International Detention Coalition

Remote Position (Europe preferred) · Melbourne, Victoria
Department Remote Position (Europe preferred)
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Senior Manager/Supervisor

International Detention Coalition (IDC) is a powerful global network of 400+ organisations, groups, individuals, as well as representatives of communities impacted by immigration detention, based in over 100 countries. IDC advocates to secure the human rights of people impacted by and at-risk of immigration detention. In partnership with civil society, UN agencies, and multiple levels of government, we strategically build movements, and influence law, policy and practices to reduce immigration detention and implement rights-based alternatives to detention. IDC staff work across the world, nationally and regionally, in Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and at the global level.


The IDC is a highly recognised, impact-driven organisation, offering a stimulating workplace committed to change at national, regional and global levels. The current Head Office is based in Melbourne, Australia, with staff located around the world and working together remotely.

An exciting opportunity has recently become available for the pivotal role of the IDC Executive Director, to be located in Europe.


The Role:


The IDC Executive Director’s role is to provide strategic direction, fundraise, and manage the resources of the organisation so that, along with its members, it fulfils its long-term mission to end immigration detention and establish rights-based alternatives to detention as a best practice. 


The IDC is looking for an experienced and committed leader with a successful track record in managing an organisation with international reach, fundraising with diverse donors, and bringing strategic perspective to work relating to global migration. This role requires a person with strengths in strategic thinking, expert stakeholder engagement, and staff empowerment, as well as the capacity to build consensus amongst diverse civil society actors. The Executive Director should have a relevant postgraduate degree (for example, in human rights, development studies, or migration studies) and the ability to communicate clearly and effectively in English and another language (preferably Spanish, Arabic and/or French).


This role reports directly to the IDC Governance and Finance Committee (the Board). The job holder will be required to travel internationally and work flexible hours in order to support staff in multiple time zones.


Responsibilities include supporting, motivating and mentoring a team of highly skilled advocates to implement national, regional and international multi-year strategies. The Executive Director will develop and oversee projects across various locations within sensitive contexts, and ensure the delivery of high impact outcomes. The Executive Director will collaborate with the IDC team to provide technical and advocacy support, and expertly engage with multiple stakeholders to promote IDC’s vision: A world where immigration detention no longer exists and people who migrate live with rights and dignity.


The Executive Director will work with IDC staff to develop and implement fundraising strategies to secure continued support to carry out the organisation’s mission and goals.

This role will be Europe-based, and involve the establishment of a new Head Office in Europe within the first year of appointment. The location of the role within Europe is flexible.


Key Selection Criteria:


Strategic and Visionary Leadership

The Executive Director will provide inspiration and leadership to effectively resource the organisation to ensure its ongoing capacity, and ensure that staff achieve IDC’s mission. The right person should have:

  • Excellent leadership and management skills, particularly in leading staff who work in different locations globally
  • The ability to inspire, energise and mentor staff
  • The ability to maintain a workplace culture underpinned by a set of organisational guiding values: the IDC is solutions-focused, and values innovation, collaboration, respect, and representation
  • The proven ability to ensure legal compliance, maintain accountability for governance, and engage in risk assessment and management


Resource Development and Management

The Executive Director will play an active role in fundraising and managing the financial, technical, intellectual and human resources for the IDC. The right person should have:

  • A proven track record in fundraising and developing diverse organisational funding portfolios
  • Experience developing strategic partnerships that strengthen international reputation and organisational capacity
  • Experience leading an organisation with international presence, and utilising resources effectively to achieve optimal impact on the ground
  • Experience developing and managing complex budgets, and developing strategies for financial stability
  • Experience supervising the strategic development of multi-year projects


International Advocacy

The Executive Director will represent the IDC in international, regional, and local fora on the topic of immigration detention. The person will play a key role in developing tailored and persuasive advocacy arguments. The right person should have:

  • Specialist technical knowledge in international migration or other related human rights issues, preferably immigration detention
  • A track record in high-level, multilateral negotiations, with the ability to influence and persuade key actors, including through forums led by United Nations regional bodies, national governments, and other state and non-state actors
  • Experience engaging with stakeholders in politically sensitive and culturally diverse settings


Networking and Coalition Building

The Executive Director will lead key relationships across all aspects of our work, including with members, partners, and stakeholders located around the world. The right person should have:

  • Experience providing inspiration and guidance for building partnerships, collaboration and consensus with members of a network
  • Significant experience in maintaining and growing relationships with key partners, stakeholders and existing funders, and building new relationships
  • Interpersonal sensitivity and the ability to navigate complex dynamics amongst internal and external stakeholders, with a strong gender, race, class and intersectional analysis on identity and systems
  • A commitment to involving people with lived experience of detention in shaping the policies that directly impact their own lives and communities
  • Excellent interpersonal skills in cross-cultural settings
  • Willingness to work outside regular office hours in order to collaborate with staff and network members in other time zones.



Essential Qualifications

  • A relevant postgraduate degree (for example, in human rights, development studies, or migration studies)
  • Five or more years of managerial experience at the executive level – or equivalent experience at the senior management level – at an international NGO, coalition or network
  • Demonstrated track record in staff and performance management
  • Demonstrated track record of effective fundraising and cultivating donors, working with trusts and foundations
  • Demonstrated experience in financial management including budgeting, forecasting and preparing financial reports for internal and external stakeholders
  • Experience and skills working with a board of directors on organisational governance
  • The ability to communicate clearly and effectively in English is essential; the ability to communicate effectively in another language (preferably Spanish, Arabic and/or French) is highly desirable.


Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience.


Applicants must be eligible to work in Europe while also being able to travel internationally. Public health conditions and visa approvals permitting, the successful candidate will need to work in Melbourne for 1-3 months as close as possible to the start of the appointment.


We are looking for people who bring a different perspective. We value diversity, equality and inclusivity. Applications are welcome from all backgrounds.  We especially encourage those from underrepresented backgrounds, including but not limited to gender, race, age, sexual orientation and religion, to apply.

Applicants must submit a cover letter and a current resume. The cover letter should address the Key Selection Criteria and Essential Qualifications; the resume must include names and contact information for three professional references. Applicants will be notified before any references are contacted. 


For full consideration, applications must be submitted no later than 18.00 British Summer Time on 17 July 2020, with interviews to be held soon after.


For questions regarding this search, please contact John Slocum, Executive Search Consultant, at jslocum@oakparksearch.com

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  • Location
    Melbourne, Victoria
  • Department
    Remote Position (Europe preferred)
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience
    Senior Manager/Supervisor