Job Category

Job Experience

Job Location

Expiration Date

30 Sep 2019

The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) is looking to hire its new

Secretary General / CEO (F/M)

to lead the ECF into the next decade of sustainable transport and active mobility, serving our members from its headquarters in Brussels.


The ECF is the single European umbrella organization for cycling for both transportation and leisure. On behalf of our members, we strive to ensure that cycling use achieves its full potential for sustainable mobility and public well-being. We are the international voice of cyclists in European civil society and the world’s largest and best-known cyclists’ advocacy organization. The ECF has about 80 member-based organisations in 40 countries. We operate from the ECF office in Brussels’ European Quarter.

Every euro invested in cycling yields about eight times that amount of benefits in the field of public health, sustainability, climate and liveable cities. The ECF is at the very centre of the rapid development of policies in the field of sustainable transport and active mobility as part of the green economy. We want to seize the present momentum to substantially increase cycling levels in Europe. Our target is the doubling of cycling, in order to make our citizens healthier, our cities more liveable and our economies more sustainable. We want more people cycling more often and we want to reduce the number of cyclists getting killed or seriously injured and increase in the value and volume of the cycling market.

To achieve these goals, the ECF brings together all the stakeholders of the cycling world to make the case for cycling. We seek to change attitudes, policies and budget allocations at the international level. The ECF stimulates and organizes the work of the cyclists’ movement, encourages and coordinates the exchange of information and expertise on bicycle related policies and strategies.

The successful Secretary General candidate is a strong, self-confident leader who will seize the opportunities that will present itself to ECF in the next decade up to 2030. You will consolidate the organisation and make it ready for the next decade, which will see increasing attention and support for the work of ECF. That requires an innovative strategic thinker with proven experience on building and developing multi-stakeholder partnerships. You are an empathic people-manager who directs, motivates and inspires staff, but will also listen to them. The ideal candidate is a creative team-player, who exercises transparent leadership, but is willing and capable to exercise authority when necessary.

At the ECF office in Brussels we work with around 25 highly qualified and committed staff and an annual budget of around €2,500,000. The Secretary General has extensive executive powers, but is ultimately accountable to the ECF Board, which is elected by the ECF members.

For more information about ECF’s structure and activities, see

Job title and level – Secretary General / CEO Level 6

Job description

Together with the ECF President, the Secretary General is one of the senior public faces of the organization and is responsible for managing and leading the ECF’s office in Brussels and to execute the strategy designed by the Board and approved by the members of ECF.

Core responsibilities

  • To lead the advocacy work at the highest level of the European institutions and top represent ECF to the outside world.
  • To enhance the effectiveness of the ECF’s operations, by coordinating and overseeing the running of the ECF office through effective, efficient and modern working practices.
  • To inspire and motivate ECF staff to bring out the best in them in a safe work environment, where cooperation and creativity can thrive.
  • To support and promote cooperation with member organizations and other stakeholders.
  • To support and facilitate the work of the Board and AGM (Annual General Meeting) of the ECF.

Tasks (non-exhaustive)

  • To provide an effective internal administration for ECF; streamlining administrative practices, guaranteeing an optimal use of limited resources.
  • To manage tasks and workflows, to set priorities and give clear directions.
  • To guarantee an adequate division of labour, matching production to resources
  • To recruit, onboard and retain the best staff for ECF, creating a diverse and balanced organization.
  • To assure compliance with local and EU legislation.
  • To assure excellent quality of projects executed by the ECF.
  • To protect and enhance the ECF patrimony, including its intellectual property.
  • To encourage use of established working practices and effective administration in the wider ECF community.
  • To oversee and maintain a sound and balanced budget.
  • To provide and maintain adequate and up-to-date workspace and IT-infrastructure.
  • To oversee proper archiving and database maintenance.
  • To build a fruitful working relationship with national member organisations, based on subsidiarity.
  • To build and maintain productive partnerships and networks with EU officials, European city networks, EuroVelo National Coordinators and other stakeholders.
  • To oversee effective and engaging internal and external communication
  • To provide regular reports to the ECF-board

Candidate’s profile

Educational background

You have a relevant master’s degree, preferably in Business Administration, Public Administration, Management or other relevant academic education

Professional background

You tick at least 3 of the boxes below:


  • You have at least 20 years’ experience at international executive management level, with strong administrative and financial skills demonstrated in a senior role and you are ready for a career switch, seeking a role with higher societal impact.


  • You have at least 10 years’ experience in the management of NGO’s with a large diversity of members/stakeholders.


  • You have at least 10 years’ experience in a senior leadership position at an (European) NGO or other advocacy organization in EU-context with demonstrable EU-lobbying experience.


  • You have worked in or with EU institutions & bodies and have acquired deep knowledge of EU processes, EU politics, EU lobbying, EU advocacy and the Brussels’ environment as well as of EU financed projects and the related administrative framework.
  • You have shown exceptional motivational leadership skills with a track record of building and motivating effective and productive teams, also with outside partners.

In addition, we will find it highly desirable if

  • You have experience working in diverse, multicultural teams and enjoy doing so.
  • You are supportive of an inclusive and diverse work environment.

Core skills

  • People manager who is able to cultivate an environment that enables personal growth, empowers people and builds consensus, but who also has the ability to demonstrate authority, commitment, consistency
  • Effective negotiator, lobbyist, fundraiser.
  • Excellent financial, resource management & risk assessment skills: ability to effectively manage limited resources and plan the budget; experience of financial strategies for NGOs;
  • Excellent communication skills, internal and external at all levels
  • Creativity and innovation – ability to set up new procedures and practices

Other necessary skills:

  • Highest moral standards
  • Political and cultural sensitivity and awareness
  • Understanding of international development, including socio-economic development, climate change and environmental protection issues
  • Experience with and/or knowledge of Belgian & European HR legislation and regulation, especially regarding the workplace.
  • Willingness and ability to travel
  • Good command of Microsoft Office (especially Excel)


  • Essential: Excellent written and spoken English
    Desirable: Additional EU languages will be considered an asset

Affinity with cycling, active mobility or sustainable transport is not required, but will count to the candidate’s advantage as she/he will have an immediate ‘click’ with the objectives of ECF and its members.


ECF offers an employment package in line with similar non-government organizations based in Brussels. Our package includes flexible working hours with a good life-work balance, 20 legal vacation days and 10 extra-legal vacation days, cycling to work allowance and train allowance, lunch vouchers, eco-cheques and an extra-legal pension scheme.

How to apply

Please submit your motivation letter and CV no later than 30 September 2019 EOB.

The application must be exclusively submitted in an electronic format to the e-mail address: In the subject line of your email please state you are applying for the post of Secretary General. Candidates should be available for interviews on 10 or 12 October. Along with ECF Board members, representatives of ECF members and ECF staff will be invited to participate in the selection process.

The successful candidate shall ideally start work on 2 January 2020. We would like to thank all interested applicants in advance. Due to a large number of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. You will need to have a legal right to work in Belgium in order to be considered for this position.

Further information: Cristian Stoica, Secretary-general a.i. or mobile phone +32 483 08 38 81.


The ECF is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes the applications of all qualified candidates irrespective of their racial or ethnic origin, opinions or beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, health or disabilities. The ECF promotes an efficient use of resources in order to improve its effectiveness.

Employees are requested to actively accomplish this goal.


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