Executive Director

Full Time
Posted 1 month ago

About the IAS

Founded in 1988, the International AIDS Society (IAS) is the world’s largest association of HIV professionals, with members from more than 180 countries. IAS members work on all fronts of the global response to AIDS, and include researchers, clinicians, policy and programme planners and public health and community practitioners on the frontlines of the epidemic.

The IAS organizes the world’s two most prestigious HIV conferences, each convened biennially in alternating years. The International AIDS Conference is the largest conference on any global health or development issue, and provides a unique forum for the intersection of science and advocacy. The IAS Conference on HIV Science brings together a broad cross section of HIV professionals and features the latest HIV science, with a focus on implementation – moving scientific advances into practice.

In addition, the IAS programmes 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 at higher risk for HIV – such as men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers and transgender individuals – including protecting their human rights by combatting punitive laws and discriminatory policies.

More information on IAS can be found at www.iasociety.org

Details of Employment:

The Executive Director position is based in Geneva, Switzerland and reports to the IAS President. The position is open-ended and full-time to start ideally in July 2018.

Purpose of the Position:

The Executive Director is the chief executive officer for International AIDS Society and an ex- officio member of the Governing Council and Executive Committee. S/he 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 governance and membership of the organization. The Executive Director reports directly to the President of the Governing Council, who is accountable to the Governing Council (GC).

In the Executive Director, the IAS requires someone who understands the major issues in development, global health and in the HIV/AIDS response today. S/he 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.

Main Responsibilities:

  • Contributing to the development of the overall vision and strategic planning of the organization, including financial strategic planning
  • Overseeing the implementation of the vision and strategic plan of the organization
  • Overseeing all activities of the IAS with support from all the respective members of the Executive Team
  • Overseeing fundraising for the organization, with support from the Resource Mobilization & Development department
  • Ensuring 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
  • Financial oversight of the organization with the support of the other members of the IAS Executive team
  • Ensuring transparency of financial reporting and accountability to GC members, donors, with the support of the Executive team
  • Moving forward the organizational principles of diversity and social responsibility
  • Overseeing the organization’s Human Resources
  • Leading and empowering the secretariat; managing the performance and development of staff and organizational change with the support of the other Executive team members after consultation with the Officers
  • Representing the IAS in the governing bodies of IAS hosted conferences and in other collaborative initiatives and projects with partners
  • Representing and advocating for the IAS externally, including to the media (along with the President and/or other GC members)
  • Maintaining strong technical knowledge and staying current with issues pertinent to the

HIV/AIDS epidemic and response and to other Global Health issues. 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 is a minimum requirement
  • An advanced degree in any of the above is preferred.

Work Experience

  • At least 8 years international experience including substantial experience in a leadership role
  • Demonstrated experience working with a Board of Directors or a Governing Council
  • Demonstrated track record of progressive management experience including multi-layered teams and matrixed organizations
  • Demonstrated budget authority and budget management for complex, multi-donor programmes
  • Successful year-to-year fundraising from diverse donors including government, philanthropy and industry
  • Experience working in partnership with global civil society actors and advocates
  • Experience acting in a representative capacity.


  • A thorough understanding of HIV/AIDS, this will include the social and political context in the response to HIV/AIDS, as well as an appreciation of the evolving clinical and scientific dimensions of the epidemic
  • Appreciation for core principles related to HIV programmes and advocacy including the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV and AIDS (GIPA) principle
  • In-depth knowledge of the global health architecture and its leaders
  • A track record of achievement and leadership in the field and an active network among the partners of IAS
  • Strong visionary leadership with demonstrated ability to foster integration and teamwork
  • Ability to identify and attract talented professionals to manage IAS programmes
  • Ability to lead, develop and retain a diverse team of professionals
  • Strong management, negotiation and delegation skills
  • Ability to inspire and engage with a wide range of relevant audiences; personal presence; excellent influencing skills
  • Demonstrated financial literacy; with the ability to set clear financial direction
  • A thorough understanding of fundraising and the capacity to engage with non-traditional sources of funding
  • Strong knowledge of the commercial world and ability to nurture industry partnerships
  • 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%
  • Sincerity and integrity – the genuine and selfless nature of the Executive Director’s commitment to the work for the IAS must be palpable.



Proficient in English – knowledge of other languages an asset.

How to Apply

Interested and qualified candidates should send their application, in English and by email only, to recruitment@iasociety.org by Monday 26 February 2018. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

The applications must include the following documents:

  • A cover letter
  • A short bio
  • A current CV including the names of three referees*

* Please note that the referees will not be contacted until later in the process. The shortlisted candidates for in-person interviews will be asked to provide three letters of reference.

IAS employees are evidence-based, human rights-focused, inclusive and accountable partners in the HIV response. Candidates should display genuine commitment to IAS values (learn more here).

The IAS is committed to recruiting and sustaining a skilled, effective, diverse and gender- balanced secretariat, and to the greater involvement of people living with HIV (GIPA) in all aspects of its work. People living with or affected by HIV are strongly encouraged to apply.

For more information, please contact Catherine Berner at catherine.berner@iasociety.org.

Job Features

Job CategoryExecutive Director