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Vacancy: EASPD Secretary General

In October 2021, EASPD’s present Secretary General will retire. To replace him, the European Association of Service providers for Persons with disabilities is looking for a highly experienced leader to manage our Brussels-based secretariat, ensure a smooth implementation of our ambitious work programmes and to represent EASPD externally.


The European Association of Service providers of Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) is a non-profit European umbrella organisation, established in 1996 and currently representing over 17,000 social services for persons with disabilities via its membership in over 40 countries across the Europe.

 EASPD advocates for effective, high-quality, individualised and user-centred services in all areas of life for persons with disabilities. EASPD’s mission is to deliver the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by supporting its members in the design, development and set up of individualised models of support, responsive to specific needs and wishes.

 To achieve its mission, EASPD works towards influencing decision making mechanisms at European and international level, promotes the sharing of information and development of innovation in the social sector. Detailed information on EASPD, policy/advocacy and project work can be found on our website at:

Job description

As Secretary General, you will be responsible for leading a team of 16 highly skilled, multilingual and enthusiastic members of staff, with the support of the Policy Manager, Project Development Manager, Knowledge and Innovation Manager and Operations Manager. You will manage the implementation of the long- and short-term strategy, internal and external relations, financial and staff management, including recruitment and training of staff, policy development and project management. You will work in close cooperation with and report to the Executive Committee, Board and General Assembly.


Key tasks

Association management:

  • Ensure the organisation complies with all governance and legal requirements
  • Manage the financial affairs and the budget of EASPD in cooperation with the treasurer and under the direction of the Executive Committee and the Board
  • Serve as signatory of EASPD for all contractual matters, adhering to all policies and procedures which foster best governance practice as a non-profit international organisation

HR and admin:

  • Responsible for recruiting, training and managing all staff with the support of Policy Manager, Project Development Manager, Knowledge and Innovation Manager and Operations Manager
  • Oversee Finance and Admin on payroll-related matters 

Governance and leadership:

  • Provide overall leadership and direction for the organisation, delivering on all core areas of work
  • Responsible for developing the long-term strategy, strategic options, and any action plans in close cooperation with the Executive Committee and the Board
  • Participate in meetings of the Board and the Executive Committee and General Assembly on an ex officio basis

External relations and representation:

  • Act as spokesperson for EASPD by maintaining and developing relations with official bodies and institutions and policymakers, especially towards the European institutions, the United Nations and the Council of Europe
  • Nurture working relationships with other local and regional organisations as well as partner networks, including national and regional offices in Brussels
  • Represent EASPD in relevant high-level expert groups set up by the European institutions and other international bodies
  • Regularly speak on behalf of EASPD at keys events throughout Europe

EASPD membership:
Develop & enhance the involvement and satisfaction of EASPD membership:

  • Ensure good communication by the secretariat with all EASPD members
  • Ensure members are regularly updated and consulted on new developments in EU/UN/Council of Europe policies relevant for service provision for persons with disabilities
  • Support members when relevant in their work to get EU policies implemented in their countries
  • Facilitate contacts among members for networking activities
  • Arrange necessary support to EASPD Members Forums and other Committees
  • Supervise the organisation of EASPD governance meetings (Executive Committee, Board and General Assembly)
  • Lead membership recruitment strategies and activities in cooperation with our members 

Project work:
Overall responsibility for EASPD’s project work:

  • Supervise EASPD’s involvement in EU-funded projects from the application phase, implementation to reporting
  • Identify and evaluate development and project opportunities with external funding agencies in line with the values and action plans of EASPD
  • Build strong synergies between EASPD policy work and EASPD project work

Policy development:

Overall responsibility for implementing all EASPD’s policy and campaign work:

  • Develop an annual strategy based on EASPD policy priorities and EU policy developments
  • Build and maintain good links with key decision-makers within relevant EU, United Nations and Council of Europe institutions so as to influence policies relevant to service provision for persons with disabilities
  • Maximise the input of members to EASPD policy and project work, and oversee the functioning of the Member Forums
  • Be prepared to react at short notice to new developments and, if needed, to take decisions on behalf of EASPD within her/his area of responsibility

Information provision:
Oversee the proper implementation of the EASPD communication strategy:

  • Newsletters
  • Video flashes
  • Press releases
  • Publications
  • EASPD campaigns
  • Social media
  • EASPD website
  • EASPD D-LoT platform (including the members’ section)
Person specification

Personal qualifications and experience:

  • Extensive leadership experience in the non-profit sector, ideally at European level
  • A relevant qualification at master’s level
  • Excellent knowledge of the European institutions with experience of working in this environment
  • Experience of financial and budget management and strategic planning
  • Experience with human resources management and team management
  • Extensive experience in project management
  • Experience with institutional fundraising, especially EU grants, as well as diversification of fundraising

Skills and competencies

  • Ability to motivate, lead and work as a member of an international team
  • Ability to manage, to plan and to prioritise the complex workloads of Secretariat staff
  • Excellent networking skills
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • Ability to manage different priorities and responsibilities
  • Negotiation and diplomatic skills
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Creative
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Excellent knowledge of English and an additional European language highly desirable
  • Strong IT skills

Other essential aspects:

  • Willingness to undertake frequent travels within Europe
  • Willingness and ability to work irregular hours


  • Experience in running a service in the social sector or a network of services
  • Solid knowledge of service provision policies at EU level
  • Experience in leading an international team
  • Proven experience in a membership-based organisation;
  • Experience of accountability to a board elected by members
Contract information
  • Permanent contract under Belgian Law
  • The position holder must work in EASPD Secretariat located in Brussels and have the right to live and work in the EU
  • Preferred starting date: 1st September 2021
  • Gross monthly salary will be within the range of salaries for top level staff in EU NGOs
  • The remuneration package includes a 13th month and holiday bonus, lunch vouchers and complementary employer’s pension plan, in accordance with Belgian law
How to apply

If you are interested and think you fulfil the requirements, please send by email:

  • A motivation letter (maximum 2 pages) explaining why you are interested in the position and think you have the right profile for the job
  • A detailed CV
  • Any references you may have that you consider relevant for the position

Your complete application should be addressed to: luk.zelderloo(a)
Deadline to apply: 31st January 2021.
Only candidates shortlisted for interview will be contacted. Interviews will be held between February and March 2021.
Please note that EASPD cannot refund travel and accommodation costs for the interviews. EASPD has no budget to cover relocation costs for candidates who are not based in Belgium.
EASPD is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes any application, whatever gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

Recruitment Data Privacy Statement
  • EASPD commits to carefully handle the privacy and data protection of natural persons whose personal data are processed by EASPD.
  • EASPD only processes the personal data in a way that is compatible with the purposes for which the data were collected.
  • Personal data is collected to facilitate the recruitment process. Data given to EASPD is included in the CV you need to submit for your application to be considered.

EASPD takes appropriate measures to ensure your personal data is not kept for longer than necessary for the intended purposes. That is why your CV will not be kept by EASPD after the recruitment process is finished.