Managing Director War Child Holland

“seasoned and strategic leader with international mind-set, to lead War Child in reaching its scaling ambitions and its transformation towards a networked expert organisation”

Your Challenge

War Child Holland (WCH) is committed to protecting and supporting children affected by armed conflict. We strive to empower them to claim their rights, develop to their full potential and contribute to a peaceful future for themselves and their communities. Together, WCH helps children and young people make their voices heard. WCH implements programs in Asia, the Middle East, East Africa, and Latin America and in Europe (with refugee children in the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany). Next to implementing its own programmes, WCH works in close cooperation with partner organisations in 17 countries around the world. The funds for War Child’s operations are predominantly raised from European donors through the joint efforts of program countries, global programmes and the fundraising teams the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden. War Child started in the Netherlands in 1995 and since 2015 has new organisations in Sweden and Germany.

Currently, WCH has started a change process towards creating a new organisation with an international identity and structure. In order to develop a new and modern international organisation, aiming to steer away from the more traditional ‘INGO with International Head Office structure’, WCH will implement one shared program platform for all its related countries (both for donor countries and War Child Holland’s program countries) to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and quality through the sharing of a common implementation network. The platform has the ambition to evolve towards a true internationally networked organisation with a distributed global team.

As Managing Director of War Child Holland you are responsible for leading the implementation of this transformation and, later on, leading the new War Child network towards growth in both quality, network and partnerships in the years to come. Next to it, as the Managing Director you are end-responsible for all results and operations of War Child Holland (and soon the new War Child networked organisation) with its shared program platform. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Profit & Loss of War Child Holland/Group
  • Strategy and leading the change process towards the networked organisation
  • Culture and Quality of the Organisation
  • Building the reputation and assets of an expert organisation
  • Building and expanding the network with implementing partners, major donors and other relevant stakeholders.

The ideal candidate is able to find the right balance between running a professional, modern and inclusive international NGO and leading the strategic transformational process towards the War Child networked organisation. You lead the people in the global team and build a global and solid network of international innovation and implementing partners. As the Managing Director you chair the International Management Team and have 8 direct reports consisting of the Managing Directors in Germany and Sweden, Director of Research and Development, Director of International Programs, Director of Marketing and Fundraising, Director of Communications and Advocacy, Director of Shared Operations (Finance, HR, Logistics, Travel and IT) and Manager Governance & Organisational Development. The team is supported by an Executive Assistant.

The Managing Director’s role is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. A successful candidate is expected to move, if currently living in another country. Assessment will be part of the selection process.

Your responsibilities

The key area of responsibilities of Managing Director are:

The specific responsibilities include:

  • Continuously lead the development and implementation of the strategy of War Child, in conjunction with the Supervisory Board
  • Lead the change process toward the networked expert organisation that scales its impact through a network of partners
  • Lead and represent the organisation at all levels in line with its Vision, Mission, Core Values and overall strategic directions
  • Develop and implement a strong vision on an agile, effective International NGO, where all relevant stakeholders feel represented and included
  • Develop and manage the organisation in line with its envisioned global network, implementing the envisioned global shared program platform with a distributed global team
  • Fostering an innovative approach to the current humanitarian challenges
  • Ensures that all statutory requirements of the organisation are met
  • Lead, guide and direct the War Child International Management team. Work with the leadership team to ensure strategic and business objectives are met
  • Oversee the complete operation of the organisation in accordance with the directions established in the strategic plans
  • Represent War Child both internally and externally, be a spokesperson and the overall figurehead for the organisation
  • Strengthen War Child’s global reputation in the sector and ensure that War Child’s brand becomes a convening power, a go-to source of expertise and guidance for programming for children affected by conflict that others in the sector will actively seek
  • Support the fundraising countries with advice in the relevant fundraising processes and be able to represent the organisation at relevant events of donors, sponsors, ambassadors of the organisation
  • People Management and Development
    • Lead by example and build a culture of trust, inclusion and integrity in combination with accountability and creativity
    • Practice a participatory and inclusive leadership style (incl. actively engaging staff to participate in decision making)
    • Embrace the organisation’s ‘Duty of Care’ with a strong commitment to Integrity and Staff Well-Being
    • Create an open, transparent and stimulating work environment
    • Identify development potential of direct reports and supports them in the implementation
    • Actively promote, encourage and invest in learning and development of people
    • Manage direct reports by assessing their performance according to agreed sets of objectives; conduct planning and performance appraisals
    • Serve as point of contact for IMT members with questions and problems
    • Be transparent, fair, inclusive as well as compliant with national employment laws in the daily management of staff.

Your profile

  • University degree in General Management, MBA, Development studies or related fields
  • Solid and progressive international career with a minimum of 15 years of management experience in international development sector and/or humanitarian context
  • Multi-country, multi-region experience in leadership roles (minimum of 5-10 years in country or regional office management roles) in agencies active in humanitarian contexts is a must-have
  • Demonstrated strategic and creative leadership, fostering innovation and continuous improvement within the organization and its operations
  • Extensive experience in managing international and diverse teams, distributed on multiple locations
  • Hands-on experience with building networks and strategic partnerships
  • Extensive experience with change management with tangible results
  • Strong representation and stakeholder management skills; knowledge and experience of relationship building/maintaining with major donors
  • Result-based management: demonstrated capacity to plan and deliver results in a structured manner
  • Knowledge of designing, implementing and adhering to principles of good governance
  • Understanding of legal implications and risks, in Finance, HR, ICT, procurement and logistics policies and procedures
  • Ability to perform and liaise at board level, understand and meet the needs of the supervisory board
  • Strong leadership skills: demonstrated capacity to take decisions regarding strategic, tactical, and operational and personnel matters
  • Ability to inspire and mobilize stakeholders to action, also in exploring new and innovative approaches, off the beaten track
  • Well-developed strategic and analytical skills for effective policy development and risk management
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills
  • Strong social, communication and media skills, ability to deal effectively in a variety of cultural and political contexts
  • Full professional command of English; other War Child country languages (French, Spanish, Arabic and/or Dutch) are an additional benefit
  • Affinity with and deep passion for War Child’s cause, with demonstrable evidence for this passion
  • Ready to travel regularly, incl. to War Child’s countries

Core competencies and values

Demonstrable understanding of and ability to live and work in a healthy balance according the War Child core values:

- Integrity

- Impact

- Creativity

- Inspiring

If one could describe an organisation in terms of Yin and Yang, the ideal Managing Director would demonstrate a strong performance in the War Child balancing act between:

  • Professionality


  • Playfulness.


War Child is evolving from a predominantly Dutch, if not Amsterdam, driven context towards an international and multi-cultural group of organisations in Europe, the Middle East, East Africa, Latin America and Asia with distributed multi locational leadership teams. Aiming at a greater diversity balance in War Child leadership, it would be helpful and beneficial if the ideal candidate can contribute to this balance from a both practical experience as well as personal perspective.

Please view this document for an extensive specification of the position: Confidential Position Specification

Our offer

  • A highly interesting leadership role within an international professional organization that undergoes an exciting and ambitious transformation process
  • Salary in line with the guidelines for Directors’ Remuneration of the Dutch association for fundraising organisations (Goede Doelen Nederland (GDN)).
  • A contributory pension scheme where all pension contributions are paid by War Child
  • 26 vacation days (based on 40 hours per week), plus 2 additional free days
  • Monthly mobile phone contribution of € 25
  • Compensation of commuting costs
  • Pleasant working conditions, good atmosphere, great colleagues and of course the meaningful purpose of our work!

The organization

War Child is a young and dynamic organization. We try to keep an informal ambiance within our office, with a lot of room for creativity, inspiration and self-initiative from employees. We practice what we preach: dynamic, innovative, integrity focused and a drive to reach the highest possible results against the lowest possible costs. War Child offers a challenging job in an inspiring workplace in Amsterdam.

How to apply:

The selection process for this vacancy is carried out in partnership with Stanton Chase.

Interested and qualified candidates are invited to apply by 25 October 2020. Make sure to submit your English CV (maximum of two pages) and cover letter, to Stanton Chase:

Ms. Emmely Besaril


Tel: +31 20 66 27 447

Is this not your dream job? Support War Child by sharing this job with your network!

The safety of children is essential to War Child. War Child does not tolerate or accept any form of abuse. This subject is addressed in our recruitment and selection procedures. Moreover, the accepted candidates will be required to state their commitment/ intent to be aware, consider and adhere to the minimum standards applicable in development and humanitarian settings, such as humanitarian values and principles, Sphere Humanitarian Charter, Standards in the Humanitarian Standards Partnership, Core Humanitarian Standard, International Humanitarian Law, Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Disaster Relief and IASC Six Core Principles Relating to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.


  • Only applications submitted through the above described procedure will be processed.
  • If we appoint a suitable candidate before the given closing date, we reserve the right to close the vacancy before that date. In such a case, any responses received after that time are not processed.
  • It could be that during our selection process the closing date for the vacancy is extended. If so, and you have not yet heard from us, your application will remain live.