Executive Director

International AIDS Society, Geneva, Switzerland

Skill Required:, Business Development/ Resource MobilizationProject/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
28th August, 2020

Job Description

About the IAS:

The International AIDS Society (IAS) leads collective action on every front of the global HIV response through its membership base, scientific authority and convening power. Founded in 1988, the IAS is the world’s largest association of HIV professionals, with members in more than 170 countries. Working with its members, the IAS advocates and drives urgent action to reduce the impact of HIV. The IAS is also the steward of the world’s most prestigious HIV conferences: the International AIDS Conference, the IAS Conference on HIV Science, and the HIV Research for Prevention Conference.

The IAS promotes and invests in HIV advocacy and research on key issue areas through our strategic programmes, initiatives, and campaigns that advocate for urgent action to reduce the global impact of HIV, including increased investment in HIV cure research; optimizing treatment and care for infants, children and adolescents with HIV in resource-limited settings; preventing and treating HIV-related co-infections; and expanding access to prevention, treatment and care for key populations vulnerable to HIV acquisition – such as men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers and transgender people – including protecting their human rights by combatting punitive laws and discriminatory policies.

Details of Employment:

The Executive Director will be based in Geneva, Switzerland and report to the IAS President. The position is open-ended and full-time to start as soon as possible.

Purpose of the Position:

The Executive Director is the chief executive officer of the International AIDS Society and an ex-officio member of the Governing Council and Executive Board. The incumbent is responsible for the overall management of the organization, including its financial sustainability, and is charged with implementing its strategic plans under the direction of the governing bodies and membership of the organization. The Executive Director reports directly to the President of the Governing Council (GC), who in turn is accountable to the GC.

In the Executive Director, the IAS requires a leader who understands the major issues defining development, global health and the HIV/AIDS response today. The incumbent is a credible and persuasive player at the highest levels and is recognized as a peer by senior colleagues in government, multi-lateral, scientific and civil society contexts.

Along with the leadership characteristics described below, the Executive Director also requires a flexibility of style and understanding of the Secretariat’s role vis-a-vis the President and Governing Council of the IAS. A sophisticated appreciation of the complexities and processes, including diplomacy, firmness and conflict resolution skills involved in multi-partner initiatives is necessary. The Executive Director is expected to be a strategic steward of the organization who is exemplary of its overall membership and values.

Main Responsibilities:

  • Lead the development of the overall vision and strategic planning of the organization and oversee its implementation, including activity, financial and personnel planning
  • Oversee all activities of the IAS secretariat with support from the members of the Executive Team, ensuring financial sustainability
  • Safeguard the reputation of the organization by ensuring that organizational principles of excellence, transparency, diversity and social responsibility are upheld at all times
  • Communicate effectively with the GC and Executive Board and provide, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the GC and Executive Board to function properly and make informed decisions
  • Provide leadership to and empower a highly qualified workforce by managing the performance and development of staff and organizational change
  • Represent the IAS on the governing bodies of IAS-hosted conferences and in other collaborative initiatives and projects with partners
  • Represent and advocate for the IAS externally, including to the media, along with the President and/or other GC members
  • Ensure the development and maintenance of strong partnerships internationally, regionally and nationally where appropriate, including with the UN family, public/private initiatives, research organizations, governments and civil society organizations
  • Perform any additional activities requested by the IAS President.

Academic Qualifications:

  • A university degree in the public health, business administration, international development or a related field
  • An advanced degree in any of the above is preferred.

Work Experience:

  • At least 10 years progressively responsible international management experience and strong knowledge of the global health and development architecture and its leaders
  • Demonstrated track record of managing multi-layered, multi-cultural teams and matrix organizations
  • Demonstrated experience working with a Board of Directors or a Governing Council
  • Demonstrated budget authority and budget management experience for complex, multi-donor programmes
  • Successful new business development and year-to-year fundraising from diverse donors across government, philanthropy and industry
  • Experience working in partnership with global civil society actors and advocates
  • Experience acting in a representative capacity.


  • Strong visionary leadership with demonstrated ability to inspire and engage with a wide range of relevant audiences internally and externally, personal presence, and excellent influencing skills
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to set and achieve strategic objectives, develop and retain high-performing teams, and demonstrated financial literacy, with the ability to set clear financial direction
  • A track record of achievement and leadership in the field and an active network among current and potential future partners of the IAS, including strong knowledge of the commercial world and ability to nurture industry partnerships
  • A thorough understanding of fundraising and new business development and the capacity to engage new sources of funding
  • Sincerity and integrity – the genuine and selfless nature of the Executive Director’s commitment to the work for the IAS must be palpable
  • Unfaltering commitment to core principles of diversity and non-discrimination, including but not limited to the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV and AIDS (GIPA) principle
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills: this person will be an inspiring presenter and ambassador for the IAS
  • Ability to travel internationally up to 40%.


  • Proficient in English – knowledge of other languages an asset.


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