Executive Director

City of London, United Kingdom
Apply by 6 July 2018
Executive-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 11 June 2018

Job Description

Harm Reduction International’s (HRI) Executive Director reports to a global Board of Directors and is responsible for the overall implementation of the HRI strategy, business planning and performance management.

The Executive Director will be responsible for leading a growing team of (currently 15) staff, overseeing a diverse range of activities across a breadth of policy and advocacy priorities, donor relations and fundraising, finance and budgets.

This is a high-profile post that will require the successful candidate to engage with senior UN staff, national government representatives, global and regional stakeholders and the media.

This is a full-time post based at HRI’s main office in London, UK. We offer a competitive salary based on experience.


The Executive Director takes responsibility for delivering on HRI’s strategic plan and fulfils the legal, ethical, fiduciary and financial obligations of this key role.


1) Leadership

The Executive Director provides leadership for HRI, both internally and externally, and will expand HRI’s role as a thought leader, international influencer and convenor in the field of harm reduction and human rights. The Executive Director:

  • has the ability to inspire and engage with a wide range of relevant audiences;
  • provides leadership both internally and externally to foster a committed and supportive environment in which to pursue HRI’s objectives;
  • projects a prominent and positive image of HRI in the promotion of its objectives;
  • presents and promotes HRI to key stakeholders, governments, the community and the media.

2) Board and Governance

The Executive Director reports to the Board and is responsible for assisting the Board in the oversight of the organisation. The Executive Director is responsible for:

  • working closely with the Board to recruit, orient and maintain a strong, balanced Board;
  • promoting the Board’s engagement in critical thinking, strategic planning; resource/financial development and overall organisational wellness;
  • keeping the Board fully informed on the condition of the organisation and all important factors influencing it;
  • supporting operations and administration of the Board by advising and informing Board members and interfacing between Board and staff;
  • supporting the Board’s external evaluation of the strategic plan.

3) Financial Performance and Oversight

The Executive Director has primary responsibility for:

  • securing funding and other resources sufficient to ensure the health of HRI and capacity to achieve its strategic objectives;
  • developing an annual budget and business plan for review and approval by the Board; ensuring that expenditures are within the budgeted amounts; and preparing budget revisions as needed through the year;
  • maintaining an inventory of organisational property and protecting all such property.
  • administering contracts as approved by the Board;
  • maximising resource utilisation and efficiency and maintaining a positive financial position;
  • ensuring provision of regular financial management, monitoring and reporting to the Board.

4) Fundraising, Communications and Campaigns

The Executive Director has primary responsibility for implementing a development plan, which allows the organisation to meet its operational and programmatic budgetary needs as well as the organisation’s communications plan. The Executive Director is responsible for:

  • supervision of all plans, personnel and consultants in efforts to build a funding base as well as oversight of the implementation of fundraising plans; including researching funding sources, establishing strategies to approach funders, submitting proposals and administrating fundraising records and documentation;
  • solicitation of fundraising prospects at all levels, as well as maintaining relationships with all current and prospective funders;
  • development of a long-term communications plan, which aims to publicise the activities of HRI and work with the communications staff and consultants to identify current issues and opportunities to further the purposes of HRI.

5) Operations:

The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing all aspects of programme planning development and evaluation. The Executive Director is responsible for:

  • the development and implementation of programmatic plans;
  • ensuring that all programme components are strategically coordinated;
  • developing and maintaining partnerships with individuals and organisations who can work with HRI;
  • overseeing risk management and legal activities: letters of agreement, contracts, leases and other legal documents and agreements;
  • managing organisational reporting and monitoring;
  • upgrading and implementing an appropriate system of policies, internal controls, accounting standards and procedures and agreements.

6) Staff Recruitment and Management

The Executive Director is authorised to transact all personnel actions subject to HRI Policies and Procedures, and to report such actions as necessary to the Board. The Executive Director is responsible for:

  • recruiting, employment and termination of all personnel, both paid staff and volunteers;
  • providing effective and responsive management to staff, and ensuring appropriate organisational structures and processes are implemented with clearly defined roles, responsibilities and delegated authorities including that regular performance evaluations are held;
  • ensuring that an effective management team, with appropriate provision for succession, is in place;
  • managing administrative matters relating to staff, legal requirements, insurance, safety and health requirements, and establishing policies and processes as required;
  • encouraging staff and volunteer development and education, and assist programme staff in relating their specialised work to the total programme of the organisation;
  • training and professional development of new and existing staff;
  • maintaining a climate which attracts, keeps and motivates a diverse staff of top quality people;
  • providing for all staff a strong day to day leadership presence.
Essential Qualifications
  • A strong commitment to harm reduction, human rights, partnerships, and civil society strengthening.
  • Sound knowledge of international drug control policy, and the philosophy and practice of harm reduction.
  • Proven history of effective organisational management, including a successful record of grant capture and delivery, personnel management and operational coordination.
  • The ability to lead, delegate, develop, retain and manage a diverse staff team, including good management and delegation skills and quick and sound judgment.
  • Minimum of ten years of relevant work experience in one or more of the following fields: harm reduction; global health; justice, law reform and human rights; drug policy reform; HIV; and with strong networks in these fields.
  • Strong background in programme and grant management and donor relations.
  • Strong diplomacy skills and the ability to bring together diverse partners and interests.
  • Ability to problem solve within politically sensitive situations.
  • Proven negotiation skills.
  • Ability and willingness to undertake significant international travel.
  • Ability to juggle multiple projects and deadlines.
  • Postgraduate degree in a relevant field, or comparable professional experience.
  • Excellent spoken and written English, and strong presentation and public speaking skills.

How to Apply

To apply, please send a full CV, a supporting statement highlighting your experience and skills and a statement of your eligibility to work in the UK and whether or not a work permit would be required, to HRI Executive Director Recruitment - hiring@hri.global

Please direct any questions to HRI’s Chairperson, John Ryan, at Chair@hri.global.

Deadline for receipt of applications is Friday July 6th, 5pm London-time.

Applicants should be available for interview the week beginning 16 July 2018.

All applications will be acknowledged.

Harm Reduction International is committed to employment equity and encourages applications from all qualified candidates, including people living with HIV and people who use drugs.

About the Organization

Founded in 1996, Harm Reduction International (HRI) is the oldest and most visible global harm reduction organisation.

HRI is an international non-government organisation, based in London, but with a prominent role in international public health and human rights policy processes relating to drug use and health. HRI works to create a world in which drug laws, policies and practices promote health, dignity and human rights. Through high-profile research and advocacy, HRI works to reduce the negative health, social and human rights impact of drug use and drug policy by promoting evidence-based public health policies and practices, and human rights-based approaches to drug policy.

HRI is an influential global source of research, policy/legal analysis and advocacy on drug use, health, human rights issues and financing for harm reduction.

Our work includes ongoing programmatic activities including:

  • The Global State of Harm Reduction report;
  • hosting the biennial Harm Reduction International Conference.
  • 10 by 20 campaign;
  • research and policy analysis on harm reduction financing;
  • Death Penalty for Drug Offences project, and other work on human rights and drug policy issues;
  • advocacy on harm reduction in prisons;

Harm Reduction International is a Company Limited by Guarantee in the UK, and a registered UK charity.

More information


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