L’ECFR recrute un nouveau PDG pour 2016

ECFR recruiting a new Chief Executive Officer as successor to Dick Oosting who is retiring in 2016. 

The successful candidate will form part of a co-leadership team – working alongside the founding Director Mark Leonard – to provide organisational and managerial leadership to this pan-European think tank and advocacy organisation as it enters a new phase of its development.

ECFR is looking for someone with proven experience of leading a dynamic organisation – overseeing finance and operations, fundraising, human resources, and managing teams in multiple countries. The ideal candidate will be flexible, patient and a first class manager of knowledge workers. Prior experience in a non-governmental, not for profit working environment will be a plus. The successor CEO must be able to work effectively with a high-profile Board.


Since its launch in 2007 ECFR has developed into one of Europe’s prime foreign policy think tanks. Among the factors contributing to its success has been a particular organisational set-up of co-leadership, with Mark Leonard as Director providing strategic and intellectual leadership and Dick Oosting as CEO holding the overall management role.

This has functioned well as an arrangement in which both have their areas of primacy – with the Director being more outward focused and the CEO more internally oriented – as well as distinct entrepreneurial and stabilising roles while working in synergy in pursuit of ECFR’s mission.  

Renewed co-leadership for ECFR

Looking ahead at the next phase in which Mark Leonard will in his role of ECFR’s intellectual leader, ECFR intends to shape the top structure in such a way that the benefits of the current model can be retained. At the same time, ECFR will need to adjust to its growth. In the last five years, the organisation has more than doubled in size to nearly 60 staff with a budget of £6m, and it to extend its reach through its programmes and national offices.

This transition offers the opportunity to confirm and anchor a model that has evolved organically, and to structure leadership to suit ECFR’s next phase of development. The principal challenge for the coming years will be to further ‘professionalise’ ECFR and its operations without losing the agility, entrepreneurial spirit and instinct for impact that have made it such an exciting endeavour. To help lead that process, the new CEO will need to possess the right ambition, skill-set and temperament to work with Mark to continue striking that balance.

Shared mission, distinct responsibilities

ECFR’s Board confirmed a model of dual leadership, with one person leading on general administration, finance and HR, and the other on policy and programme, public face and advocacy. The co-leaders willshare overall responsibility for national offices, the ECFR Council, fundraising and communications. They will jointly with the Board in setting overall strategy.  Working together, the Director and CEO will see to it that ECFR remains fit for purpose, and ensure its financial health and sustainability. 

The key for the successful leadership formula will be to retain and regenerate the basis of trust and transparency that made it possible to unlock so much creative energy in building, stabilising and growing the organisation, and that allowed everyone to play to their strengths.


The profile for the CEO as co-leader taking the overall managerial role is that of an experienced manager. The ideal candidate is likely to have had at least some experience of not-for-profit organisations. The new CEO should be an outstanding manager of knowledge workers in conjunction with having extensive experience of human resources, financial management, managing teams in multiple countries, fundraising, and an ability to work effectively with a high-profile Board.

The ideal candidate should be a flexible, patient and creative manager of people who can marshal resources behind ECFR’s policy and organisational ambitions. The CEO will not be expected to fulfil the role of public intellectual or lead on external advocacy, as these are areas where the Director Mark Leonard will lead. Nevertheless, the ideal candidate should possess strategic sense and sound political judgement. The successful candidate will need to be a strong, self-aware person who is trusted and regarded as a peer by Mark and able to generate natural authority in the organisation.

You can find the job description here. Further information available on request.

How to apply

Please send your CV with a one-page covering letter (referencing CEO Search in the subject line) to: [email protected]

Competitive salary and benefits

Closing date 

27 September 2015

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