12 April 2019

Vacancy: Operations Director

We're looking for a highly motivated Operations Director to join our team!

We’re looking for a highly motivated Operations Director to join our team!

The Role 

Due to a recently growing Secretariat a new senior position of Operations Director has been created. Reporting directly to the Executive Director, and a member of the Executive Management Team, the position will also be accountable to the Executive Committee of ECOS. It is a key leadership role within the organisation with the exciting objective of being responsible to develop and foster policies and systems for fundraising, finances, HR, and administration, for a growing organisation. The Operations Director will be supported by the Finance and Administration Manager and Executive Assistant.

About ECOS
ECOS is a Brussels-based non-profit environmental organisation with an exceptional team of 17 staff supported by a network of 40 technical experts and nearly 50-member organisations. ECOS is the only environmental organisation worldwide specialised in standardisation. ECOS is supported by the European Commission & EFTA with Framework Partnership Agreements under which we have Operating and Action Grants. We also have seven H2020 and LIFE projects, eight philanthropic grants, and a number of service contracts. The organisation is financially robust with solid reserves.

We are an international network of members sharing a vision of a clean and healthy environment where people live in respect of the planet and its natural resources, preserving them for future generations. ECOS aims to influence the development of ambitious standardisation, legislation and political strategies to promote the transition to a clean and circular economy that respects planetary boundaries. We promote and defend environmental interests in the development of standards at European and international level.

Key responsibilities will include:

Strategy and business development

  • Ensure the smooth functioning of the Secretariat and its international operations
  • Strategic oversight of the fundraising strategy of ECOS and contribute to the development of new funding streams and applications
  • Ensure funders’ requirements are successfully implemented and achieved
  • Ensure timely financial and narrative reporting to funders
  • Oversee and develop management procedures, ensuring consistency of approach


  • Responsibility for the design and implementation of ECOS’ financial strategy and systems
  • Strategic oversight of the day to day operations of ECOS finances and financial systems
  • Ensure the quarterly reporting to the Executive Committee on the status of ECOS’ finances
  • Ensure the design, development, and implementation of advanced operating systems and processes, including for strategic monitoring of staff and other costs
  • Ensure the preparation by the Finance & Administration Manager of statutory accounts
  • Liaise with Belgian and EU auditors and oversee preparation for internal and external audits by the Finance & Administration Manager
  • Ensure compliance with Belgian and EU financial legislation
  • Strategic support to policy staff in preparing funding applications, tendering, budget negotiation, management & reporting
  • Good understanding of national and cross-border VAT issues

HR, management and compliance

  • Leadership of the operations team including finance and administration
  • Develop and implement HR policies, with a focus on talent acquisition and professional development
  • Conceive, develop, and implement policies and procedures that promote good governance, corporate culture, excellence and vision
  • Ensure compliance with Belgian labour law and European laws and requirements


The ideal candidate will have the following attributes:

  • 7+ years of experience working in a finance role with increasing levels of responsibility
  • Demonstrated experience of Finance and HR management
  • Knowledge of accountancy software & management systems
  • Knowledge of employment law, including overseeing contracts with consultants
  • Demonstrated experience of line management of staff
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including ability to communicate financial information clearly to colleagues, members of ECOS and the Executive Committee
  • Ability to represent ECOS in meetings with internal and external stakeholders
  • Problem-solving attitude, results-oriented, attention to detail, initiative and self-motivating;
  • Ability to function well under pressure, prioritise and deal with a high number of demands
  • Excellent organisational and planning skills as well as attention to detail
  • Excellent command of spoken and written English, and French or Dutch


  • Experience of working within the non-profit sector (up to €2 million turnover)
  • Demonstrated understanding of the challenges of working with EU institutional clients
  • Experience of working with EU and non-EU foundations
  • Recognised accounting qualification
  • Clear grasp of Belgian labour and fiscal law and non-profit organisation requirements
  • Commitment to the environment

What we offer

  • An open-ended Belgian contract with a competitive salary package including additional benefits (meal vouchers, pension scheme, 13th month, insurances, public transport, eco-cheques) depending on skills and experience, according to the ECOS salary scale
  • A dynamic international working environment
  • Being part of a dedicated team whose common goal it is to protect the environment;
  • A very pleasant working environment

Find the full job description here.

How to apply

Applicants are requested to send a letter of motivation explaining their suitability for the position together with a CV by 23:59 on 7th May to info@ecostandard.org with the subject line “OPERATIONS DIRECTOR: full name”.

The first round of interviews will take place in Brussels shortly after the application deadline. Due to the expected interest in this position we regret that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

ECOS is co-funded by the European Commission and EFTA

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