Head of EU Office
Plan International is a rights-based development and humanitarian organisation working for equality for girls and better lives for all children. It is independent of government and has no political or religious affiliation. Plan International's purpose is to strive for a just world that advances children's rights and equality for girls. It has been building powerful partnerships for children for more than 80 years, and is now active in more than 70 countries.
With the launch of an ambitious new Global Strategy, Plan International aims to transform the lives of 100 million girls. To deliver this ambition, Plan International is undergoing a significant transformation with a greater focus on advocacy and influencing to drive changes in policies, behaviours and practice at international, regional, national and local level, making a substantial improvement in the lives of children and in particular the rights of girls.
Plan International has Liaison Offices in New York, Geneva, Brussels and Addis Ababa that are responsible for managing relations with the United Nations, the European Union and the African Union.
The EU is a major global actor promoting human rights, including the rights of girls and children and leading global development and humanitarian efforts. Plan International’s liaison office to the EU Headquarters in Brussels carries out influencing activity to further our strategic ambition to drive respect for the rights of girls and to ensure EU development and humanitarian institutions work to achieve the targets for girls within the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals agenda.
The EU representative is responsible for fostering strong high-level relationships with relevant EU actors, building alliances to achieve influencing objectives with EU Member States, coordinating effective Plan International participation in significant intergovernmental events and raising funds from the large EU donor institutions.
Overall purpose of the role:
- Lead Plan International’s strategic engagement with the EU institutions, EU Member States and relevant civil society partners and others such as the private sector, to drive respect for the rights of girls and children in all EU activities;
- Strengthen Plan International’s policy, advocacy and campaigning work with the EU to raise our profile and deliver impact in line with the objectives of the new Global Strategy;
- Increase funding for Plan International programming and influencing activity globally from EU institutions;
- Support Plan International’s global influencing work, feeding in the perspective of the debates in Brussels, and furthering global advocacy initiatives in EU circles;
- Coordinate effective participation in priority events and processes at the EU;
- Oversee management of the Brussels EU Office, including Human Resources, the office budget and supervising direct reports.
1) Strategic Engagement with the EU
The EU Representative is responsible for leadership and coordination of all Plan International’s activities at the EU to deliver outcomes at a new level of ambition that is in line with the Global Strategy to establish Plan International as the leading voice advocating for Girls’ Rights.
The EU Representative will be a politically astute and connected operator who will establish high level relationships, identify strategic opportunities for influencing and advance Plan International’s agenda and profile by:
- Developing Plan International’s policy, advocacy and communications strategy and objectives for the EU;
- Leading the implementation of Plan International EU’s strategy, setting tactical priorities and monitoring its overall implementation;
- Leading advocacy and influencing for policy changes through strategic engagement with EU institutions and EU Member States’ Permanent Representations at high levels to promote Plan International’s agenda;
- Building a strong network of influential contacts to ensure Plan International is connected to key developments and opportunities for supporting girls’ and children’s rights within;
- Monitoring and analysing political developments in the EU to identify strategic opportunities for influencing;
- To supervise the design and implementation of activities and events that support the influencing work of the Office, working as necessary in partnership with relevant actors (for example EWAG the yearly European Week of Action for Girls);
- Attending and actively participating in meetings and fora delivering written and oral statements to promote Plan International’s strategy. Acting as Plan International’s media spokesperson with the EU;
- Representing Plan International in relevant NGO networks such as CONCORD and VOICE; in particular, active engagement in CONCORD’s policy work relevant to Plan International.
2) Driving EU Fund Raising
The EU Representative will direct the strategic engagement with the EU as a donor, primarily DevCo and ECHO, to increase grant funding for Plan International’s global programme and influencing work. The EU Representative will do this through leadership of the EU partnerships team and by:
- Building strong relationships with key actors in relevant EU institutions, particularly DevCO and ECHO;
- Identifying and exploiting opportunities to secure funding by keeping up to date on developments within the EU funding institutions, particularly new priorities or political objectives;
- Working with EU member states and other CSOs to influence the EU’s development and humanitarian agenda;
- Supervising the development, monitoring and evaluation of EU funded programmes.
3) Communications and Working Relationships
In addition to managing relations with the EU, the EU Representative has a crucial role in strengthening communication and collaboration with other Plan International offices in order to facilitate and support their understanding, presence, and involvement with the work of the EU. The EU representative will do this by:
- Working closely with the chair and vice-chair of the Plan Europe board, the supervisory body for the Plan Europe office, to ensure the direction given by the board is followed;
- Developing the Plan EU office as a coordination hub for the Plan International family by ensuring dissemination of relevant and regular information of EU developments and encouraging engagement on EU issues.
4) Management and Financial
The EU Representative will lead the Plan EU office:
- Managing the Plan EU staff, currently consisting of six staff and two trainees, including performance evaluations and recruitment. Line management of the Senior Advocacy Manager, Communications & Campaign Officer and Senior EU Funding Manager. Supervision and responsibility for the Plan EU Office budget and general Human Resources tasks. Act as secretariat for the Plan Europe board, ensuring twice yearly meetings are successful;
- Managing the complex (decision) processes with Plan International Offices in Europe with respect to DevCO and ECHO.
- Deep knowledge and experience of EU institutions, actors and how they operate both on the political and operational level;
- Significant and proven experience in international work environments and intercultural communication, including a strong understanding of CSO/NGO structures, the girls and women’s equality movement;
- Extensive and documented experience in policy, advocacy, and campaign work with international actors;
- A masters’ degree or equivalent experience in human rights, political science, international development, or any other specific field relevant to Plan International’s work;
- Understanding of, or experience in, implementing and monitoring children’s and girls’ rights in a national/international context;
- Knowledge of sustainable development, gender and child rights are an asset.
- Excellent leadership and team building skills;
- Outstanding strategic, analytical and problem solving skills analysing EU documents, debates and discussions and producing appropriate strategic recommendations;
- Ability to work to a high standard, managing stress effectively whilst prioritising multiple tasks and competing deadlines;
- Excellent communication, representational and inter-personal skills;
- Sound diplomatic and networking skills;
- Thinking digitally;
- Fluency in English is a prerequisite. An additional EU language would be an asset.
- Demonstrated commitment to gender equality, girls’ rights and children’s’ rights;
- Team-oriented, versatile, personable and flexible;
- Independent professional able to contribute to the overall goal of the organisation;
- Works collaboratively and listens actively to the views of those involved;
- Decisive and results focused;
- Intercultural understanding.
If interested, please send your CV and motivation letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with a specification "PLAN - EU Director" in the title of the e-mail.