Director Board Relations and Strategic Advisor

Field with wind turbines
Belgium, Brussels, Europe
Posted 3 weeks ago


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About Environmental Defense Fund

Put your passion and skills to work for the planet. Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time, and we need people like you to help us build a vital Earth — for everyone.

We’re Environmental Defense Fund, a fast-paced nonprofit with a growing staff of more than 850 people in nearly 30 countries. We deliver game-changing solutions that cut climate pollution and strengthen people’s ability to thrive despite the effects climate change is already having. We work wherever we can have the most impact, from local communities to top companies to governments worldwide.

Our culture, values and commitment to diversity make EDF an exciting and meaningful place to work. Every job here makes a difference. Won’t you join us?

The Role

The Director, Board Relations and Strategic Advisor reports to the Executive Director Europe serving as a strategic and tactical advisor on organizational wide issues, thus enabling the Executive Director Europe to work most effectively with internal and external stakeholders.

Overall Function

The Director, Board Relations and Strategic Advisor requires a confident and experienced leader who will work closely with the wider Europe Region and Global Mission and Enterprise operation teams. As the trusted senior advisor to the Executive Director Europe, the Director, Board Relations and Strategic Advisor is responsible for facilitating leadership in the Europe Region to ensure effective cross-organizational and intra-departmental functioning, acting as a bridge between Europe Region and Global Enterprise operations.

Responsible for the successful and effective functioning of the Environmental Defense Fund’s two European entities Netherlands Stichting and UK Ltd governing boards (EDFE Board of Trustees, and Board of Directors) and their attendant committees.  Success in the role means ensuring a first-in-class board experience, that appropriate organisational governance standards are met, that the engagement of trustees and advisors in the work of EDF is rich and deep, and that their relevant experience and networks are well leveraged.

This highly strategic and facilitative role requires a combination of diplomacy, focus and flexibility and a willingness to play an active, behind-the-scenes role to solve problems and attain strategic goals. The successful candidate will be a highly resourceful individual with strong emotional intelligence, possess excellent verbal and written communication skills, self-motivation, and collaborative influencing skills.

Person Specification

We’re looking for a highly experienced individual, with common sense at the core. You will be comfortable interacting with the Trustees and Executive Director Europe, knowing instinctively when to escalate and share information. You might not necessarily know all the answers, but you’ll know the questions to ask and how to seek advice in the search for solutions.

Strategic Partner

As a trusted advisor to the Executive Director Europe, you will work collaboratively across EDF to drive delivery of Europe Region strategy and align the ED’s priorities.

  • Support the implementation of ED’s short- and long-term strategic direction of the Europe Region mission.
  • Proactively identify issues that could impact the successful execution of commitments.
  • Facilitates high level decision-making and execution of key development objectives. Pro-actively troubleshoots emerging issues and ensures resolution of issues and key tasks.  Proactively identifies issues that potentially impact the success of objectives and the Executive Director Europe’s priorities.
  • The role bridges Europe Region and the operations functions to track progress of ongoing initiatives, troubleshoot challenges, identify and implement mitigation steps.
  • Manage coordination of the Europe Region mission in all facets of business operations including day-to-day management and execution of special initiatives.
  • Ensure the Executive Director Europe is properly prepared and briefed for meetings.
  • Acting as a strategic advisor and counsel, develop and champion new initiatives or projects as necessary requested by the ED. 

Board Relations

  • Lead the development and execution of three annual meetings each for the NL Stichting and UK Ltd boards, including agenda setting for full meetings and attendant committees, overseeing meeting locations and other logistics.
  • Provide support to the Executive Director Europe and Board Chair in all aspects of their board management.
  • Oversee interactions with the Trustees and other governance officials by acting as the representative of Europe Region as directed.
  • Support stewardship of the Governing Documents for NL Stichting and UK Ltd boards, in liaison with the Trustees and on the internal Board portal.
  • Working with the EDF Inc Director of Trustee and Board Relations to ensure records, lists, and websites are kept up to date on the internal Board portal, and works with the legal department on maintenance of compliance records.
  • Board relations including oversight of Board meetings, Board retreats, Board onboarding and staffing the committees.
  • Facilitate strong Board engagement and communication, oversee preparation of board book to ensure that Board members are inspired, through board meetings and other events, to contribute at the highest levels.
  • Work with the EDFE Chairman of the Trustees and Executive Director Europe to strengthen the Europe Board by research and tracking a diverse slate of potential Board members.
  • Ensure that all meetings are fully compliant with any legal obligations.
  • Arrange advice and guidance for the Board on any legal and regulatory implications of EDFE’s strategic plan.

Skills and experience

  • Educated to Undergraduate level or equivalent professional experience
  • You will be an experienced executive with strong interpersonal skills as well as the ability to support, inspire and motivate cross organisational teams
  • An established career of at least 10 years with a proven track record of experience delivering and working closely with executive level leaders in a complex organisational environment
  • Demonstrated experience with and ability to interact diplomatically with key internal stakeholders, such as senior staff and Trustees. Discretion, tact and judgement are critical.
  • Analytical and problem-solving ability with the appetite and energy to evaluate, challenge, collaborate and deliver change
  • Strong project management experience; track record of facilitating decisions among groups and ensuring implementation.
  • Self-motivated, extremely well-organized, collegial, and capable of functioning with grace under pressure.
  • Willing to take initiative, establish clear priorities, and work independently as well as function as a member of a team.
  • Strong strategic and analytical skills.
  • Experience of advising non-executive Trustees or similar executive levels
  • A high level of emotional intelligence and skill in managing relationships.
  • Verbal and written fluency in English is essential, and French or Dutch language required.

Job Features

Job CategoryGeorge, International Organization, Rachel
LocationBrussels, Belgium
Contract TypePermanent
Closing Date18.09.22

Apply Online


Interested in this role? Download the appointment brief below for more information and then come back to this page to apply.

All correspondence, at this stage, should be via Oxford HR. To apply for this post, click on the “Apply” button on the job advert page, complete our online application form, and submit your CV and cover letter.

Please provide a CV and cover letter in two different documents, which should be prepared before applying as they will be considered in the application process.

The cover letter should be no more than two pages long and explain why you are interested in this post and how your skills and experience make you a good fit.

The document should be saved in MS Word in the following format: Your First Name-Your Last Name-Document Name-Date (mmyy) e.g., Pat-Jones-CV-072022-EDF or Pat-Jones-CoverLetter-072022-EDF.

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Environmental Defense Fund

Job Features

Job CategoryGeorge, International Organization, Rachel
LocationBrussels, Belgium
Contract TypePermanent
Closing Date18.09.22

Apply Online

Rachel Barlow LL.M. PhD

Associate Director, Europe