Director of Operations
International IDEA
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance — International IDEA is an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide. Its objective is to strengthen democratic institutions and processes. International IDEA acts as a catalyst for democracy building by providing knowledge resources, policy proposals and supporting democratic reforms in response to specific national requests. It works together with policy makers, governments, UN organizations and agencies and regional organizations engaged in the field of democracy building.

International IDEA’s notable areas of expertise are: electoral processes, political parties, constitution-building processes, democracy and gender and democracy assessments. International IDEA works worldwide. It is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has offices in Brussels, New York, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Director of Operations

The main functions of the post are:

To lead and develop a team of diverse, dedicated and highly skilled professionals by developing and implementing clear and effective work and communication processes; foster effective collaboration between staff across different functions and localities and manage change in organizational and personal working methods, practices and behaviours;

To lead the development and implementation of International IDEA's democracy-building programmes globally in keeping with the mandate and mission of the organization. Manage the planning and implementation of the annual work plan and budget on the basis of results-based management practices;

To develop and sustain operational partnerships with other key actors in the democracy-building field, and contribute to strong relations with member states and donors;

To form part of the Senior Management Team and to contribute to and take responsibility for institution-wide matters.


Our Director of Operations is taking up new responsibilities and we are looking for his successor. We are seeking a person who thrives on managing complexity, bringing the best out of highly skilled people and driving effective collaborative processes to successful delivery. Committed to the principles and practices of democracy, the Director will lead a diverse and dedicated team of staff members worldwide in delivering International IDEA's mission to support sustainable democratic change through providing comparative knowledge and assisting in reform and influencing policies and politics.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Under the immediate supervision of the Secretary-General, the Director of Operations performs the following duties:

Strategically manages all Operational staff at Headquarters and in the regional offices, in achieving expected results defined in the Programme of Operations/Work Plan and Budget;

Manages the integration of operational programming throughout the organization and ensures effective operational communication and procedures;

Leads and promotes effective communication of operational service provision to external and internal stakeholders;

Manages the development of the 3-year Programme of Operations and the Annual Work Plan and Budget;

Manages the introduction of results based management throughout International IDEA's Operations;

Develops, in conjunction with the Director of Finance and Administration, a fully project based model for all operational programming;

Develops proposals for fundraising and coordinates fundraising efforts with the Director for External Relations and Governance Support and the Director of Finance and Administration;

Actively integrates the inclusion of a gender perspective in all aspects of the work by adhering to Institute policies and practices and maintaining a sensitivity to gender issues at all times; and

Performs such other tasks as are requested by the Secretary-General.

Basic Qualification Requirements:

Level and Type of Formal Education:

University degree in political science, law, economics, international relations or a related subject.

Professional Experience:

Minimum 15 years of varied professional experience related to Operations Management preferably in various organisations such as governmental, non-governmental, national, transnational etc;

Proven record of strong managerial skills - minimum 10 years, including motivating, leading and developing teams and problem solving;

Proven experience of project cycle management - minimum 7 years, including planning and implementation of work plans and budgets;

Excellent diplomatic and networking skills and a deep understanding of political processes.

Functional Competencies:

Deep understanding of political processes, general theory and practice of democracy. Specialised knowledge very desirable in at least one of the following: political institutions, electoral processes, conflict management, political participation, democracy assessment and gender issues;

Knowledge of development co-operation and key challenges in the area of democracy assistance; good understanding of various bilateral and multilateral donor policies and programming procedures;

Maintains and develops relevant professional contacts and networks of cooperation with those active in the field of political reform and democracy assistance, including regional organisations, democracy building practitioners, policy makers, academics and the international community;
Excellent communication skills in written and spoken English, including the ability to write concise, straight forward and jargon free material;

Excellent public speaking and presentation skills, including the ability to present complex political/technical issues to non expert audiences;

Excellent drafting and editing skills;

Excellent analytical and problem solving skills;

Excellent planning and organizational skills;

Flexible, ability to work independently and to deliver against tight deadlines;

Fundraising ability, highly desireable.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

Motivating and leading teams;

Hiring people with the skills and talent required for success;

Effectively managing teams to deliver under pressure;

To budget and control expenditure for all costs and income related to the work of the Operations Unit. Legal and budgetary responsibilities will be guided by IDEA's regulations and procedures as specified in the Administrative and Financial Regulations.

Impact of Work:

Vital, since the output of the Operations Unit contributes to the success of International IDEA.

Difficulty of Work:

High degree of strategic, social and political complexity. The Director's management of this complexity is vital for International IDEA's success.

Language Skills:

English: Excellent knowledge both written and orally;
Arabic, French or Spanish: would be an asset.

Computer Skills:

Excellent knowledge of relevant project management software,
Office and Internet.

Criteria for Professional Performance:

The incumbent of this post is expected to act according to a set of principles when carrying out her/his responsibilities both at Headquarters and in the field and, as appropriate to their role, display the following characteristics:

Be a Visionary
Be a Facilitator of Change
Get Results/ Be Accountable and Proactive
Lead By Example
Be a Decision Maker
Be a Model of Integrity
Celebrate Diversity
Be a Team Worker/Builder
Strive for Success and Excellence
Plan and Organise
Applications can be made via

Deadline for Applications

Applications should be submitted no later than the 22nd March 2009.

International IDEA is an equal opportunity employer which seeks to further diversify its staff in terms of gender, culture and nationality.


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