IFOAM - Organics International Seeks New Executive Director


Lead a global organisation that is transforming agriculture and food systems!

IFOAM - Organics International is looking for a new Executive Director to start on 1 November 2023 or as mutually agreed. We aim to fill the position as soon as possible and therefore encourage early application for this role

You can also download the call here

Organic farming systems have the potential to be a real game changer in a world threatened by ecosystem and climate collapse. Practised by millions of farmers and supported by hundreds of millions of consumers around the globe, it substantially contributes to the production of healthy, nutritious food and other natural products for a growing population. Furthermore, it enables farmers to earn a fair living, regenerates and enhances soil fertility and biodiversity, safeguards and replenishes scarce water resources, mitigates climate change and helps people who are negatively impacted adapt to that change.

Recognised globally as part of the solution to the crises of food security, inequality, climate and biodiversity loss, the task now is to upscale and further develop organic farming and food systems. This requires a new phase in IFOAM – Organics International, uniting members, staff and allies in building new partnerships, setting a global agenda and empowering our members to drive change around the world. We seek new leadership for this new chapter!

    With affiliates all over the world, a network of regional and thematic bodies and a team of 20 dedicated staff, IFOAM – Organics International represents the global organic movement. Since its inception in 1972, it has developed from an ad hoc group to a driving force for the successful upscaling of organic farming and creating shared global principles and standards as a basis for consumer trust, increased sales, farmer livelihoods and a healthier planet. Our goal is to grow the organic movement and sector while making it more sustainable and inspiring mainstream agriculture.

    In our new organisational strategy, developed in dialogue with members and partners, IFOAM – Organics International has three objectives to accelerate organic change on behalf of our membership:

    1. Global leadership of the organic movement
    2. Empowered organics worldwide
    3. Financial and organisational stability

    The Executive Director (ED) leads the organisation, provides operational guidance and motivates the realisation of our organisational strategy.

    The new ED is responsible for the development and implementation of budgets, plans and programmes as approved by the World Board. They are expected to build strategic external relationships and lead organisational development, including the development of our financial and human resources as well as brand value. 

    Specific key duties are:

    • Mission and strategy: Work with the board, staff and network to ensure that the mission is fulfilled through programs, strategic planning and partnerships. Operationalise goals and visions in concrete activities, organisational culture and a sound operational model. Value creation for our network and membership must be at the core of our operation.
    • Change management: Prepare and lead the organisation for needed change, create clear direction and implement change management strategies and communication that unite staff and board behind organisational development, enhanced value creation for members and partners, and achievement of strategic goals.
    • Strategic partnerships and collaboration: Identify and form strategic partnerships and nurture collaborative relations with allies and donors. Convene inclusive conversations on global challenges and enhance the organisation’s image by being active and visible and by working closely with other organisations.
    • Financial viability: Develop resources and operational models sufficient to ensure the financial health of the organisation. Responsible for fiscal management within the approved budget, ensuring maximum resource utilisation, transparent budget monitoring and strengthening the organisation’s financial capacities.
    • Governance: Support and ensure the smooth functioning of our internal democratic structures including the General Assembly and the World Board by ensuring transparent processes and by providing, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary to make informed decisions.
    • Operations and Human resources: Responsible for effective operations of the organisation, for the hiring and retention of competent, qualified staff, and for signing contractual agreements on behalf of the organisation. Working collaboratively with the management team and staff, ensuring a positive team spirit and working culture, and living our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in all that we do.

    This challenging, full-time position is based at the organisation’s international office in Bonn, Germany, in an attractive geographical and institutional environment with the possibility of frequent international travel. Salary is at the level of similar international non-profit organisations and commensurate with experience, skills, and performance.


      • Five or more years of senior management experience with a demonstrated ability to oversee, motivate and collaborate well with staff.
      • Experience in managing organisational change.
      • Exceptional relationship-building and fundraising capabilities, which include building donor relationships, partnership development and a drive to deliver on commitments.
      • Experience in advocacy and/or public affairs is of added value.
      • Open, transparent and high integrity leadership in a very diverse, intercultural environment, able to convey a clear vision of the organisation’s strategic future to staff and allies, build team spirit, welcome feedback and lead as an agent of change.
      • Familiarity with the organic agriculture and food sector and its challenges globally, including in low-income countries, combined with a high level of commitment to and passion for true sustainability in agriculture.
      • Sound organisational skills including planning, program development, coordinating, delegating and task facilitation.
      • Solid financial management skills and experience, including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making and reporting. Experience in project-based organisations is valuable.
      • Excellent social and intercultural communication skills, methodological competence for facilitating participatory processes, and strong public speaking ability in international settings.
      • Fluency in spoken and written English. Knowledge of German is desirable and additional languages are an advantage.
      • Ability and willingness to travel frequently.

      Application Instructions

      Please submit your completed ED Application Form and CV converted into PDF format to recruitment@ifoam.bio.

      Any special requests regarding working conditions should be specified. References of current employers will only be contacted in consultation with the candidate. Applications shall be addressed to Karen Mapusua, the President of IFOAM – Organics International and sent as soon as possible for early consideration.

      Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed via video call in early October.

      The job call will be closed after a suitable candidate has been identified!