International Dairy Federation – Director General

The International Dairy Federation is the leading source of scientific and technical expertise for all stakeholders of the dairy chain. Representing the worldwide dairy sector, IDF engages at international level, by providing the best global source of expertise and scientific knowledge in support of the development and promotion of quality milk and milk products, to offer consumers nutrition, health and well-being.

Our vision

Helping to nourish the world with safe and sustainable dairy

The growing world population needs nutritional security, and we must provide this both safely and sustainably. For over 100 years, IDF has been a recognized dairy organization and international authority which contributes actively to the development of science-based standards for the dairy sector.

IDF provides a mechanism for the dairy sector to reach global consensus on how to help feed the world with safe and sustainable dairy products. 

As the leading organization for the global dairy sector, IDF has an important role to play in ensuring the right policies, standards, practices and regulations are in place to achieve this goal.

Our organization: The International Dairy Federation

The International Dairy Federation represents the global dairy sector and ensures the best scientific expertise is used to support high quality milk and nutritious, safe and sustainable dairy products. IDF’s mission is to help nourish the world with safe and sustainable dairy. The organisation is a leading source of scientific and technical expertise for all stakeholders. It also works closely with NGOs and IGOs around the world and engages stakeholders in productive activities and research projects to further current knowledge and science on a wide range of issues. Today, dairy is one of the most vibrant and strategic sectors, with a major impact on national economies, public health and the environment. Through its working bodies, events and work programme, IDF provides a common platform, systems and processes for the global dairy sector to come together to reach consensus. 

The Individual

The International Dairy Federation is seeking a dynamic and strategic leader to join as the IDF Director General for their organization in Brussels, Belgium. This person will have a tenure of success working in a member-driven organization and a proven ability to build strategic relationships across diverse stakeholder groups.

The position requires a minimum of 10 years of leadership and management experience including a broad understanding of all aspects of the global dairy industry.  The IDF DG possesses a strong track record in leading a self-managing and highly qualified staff which has established a high level of respect within the global community.

The IDF DG is a recognized leader with self-assured, highly diplomatic, and charismatic nature as well as outstanding visionary, strategic and communication skills.

The profile of the Director General of IDF is based on five fundamental attributes:

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Knowledge & Experience
  • Management

  • The IDF DG is a seasoned operational and strategic leader with a track record of working with diverse stakeholders to achieve a common vision. The incumbent is a recognized leader that can make the organization progress continuously and evolve over time. The DG has demonstrated ability or the potential to drive an international organization effectively and efficiently.
  • While in charge of representing IDF in many organizations, the DG demonstrates a strong physical presence and must adapt his/her behavior to different situations and possible conflicts of interest.
  • With a self-assured, diplomatic, and charismatic nature, the DG is able to maintain challenging and fruitful dialogues with all types or stakeholders and international organizations. The DG develops and maintains strong cooperation and relationships with IDF membership, key industry stakeholders, other international organizations, and intergovernmental bodies.

  • The DG must represent IDF in a credible and convincing manner (National Committees, NGOs, CEOs, governments and other organizations, partners, etc.)
  • The DG must be able to deal with ambiguities and conflicting priorities, while providing strong direction in the development and implementation of the work program within available resources.
  • The DG must also be able to motivate staff and experts for continued delivery of priorities generating impact for the organization.
  • Outstanding and demonstrated communication skills with excellent verbal communication abilities in English are essential for the IDF DG and constitutes an essential attribute for the position (knowledge of French or other languages is a desirable asset qualification).
  • The DGs communication skills must be exercised for
    • Building relationships (e g. with national committees, existing and new member countries, industry stakeholders, other organizations, the network of 1200 experts contributing to the IDF work, etc.)
    • The development of a network to enlarge or consolidate membership within IDF
    • Motivating (e.g., volunteers, membership, recruitment of new members, etc.);
    • Being, along with the IDF President, the “Face and Voice” of IDF towards other international NGOs or intergovernmental bodies.
  • The DG demonstrates the ability to maintain a multi-language and multi-cultural organization.
  • The DG demonstrates the ability to use new technology, and in media management. The DG promotes and adopts new technology and media platforms to increase efficiency and maintain modern communications (e.g., intranet, social media, webinars, etc.).
  • Overall, the DG acts as the driver of communication and in doing so, ensures the necessary credibility of the organization.

  • The DG must have excellent strategic skills to move the organization forward.
  • The DG is a visionary leader, committed to facilitating the identification of strategic priorities and strategies by IDF governing bodies, and show ability to operationalize, implement and deliver the IDF Strategic Plan.
  • The DG must play a leadership role in bringing new and challenging ideas and recommendations to the Board in the elaboration of strategies.
  • The DG must have a proven record of turning strategic thinking and Board direction into concrete and deliverable actions.
  • The IDF DG has a broad understanding of all aspects of the dairy industry including a minimum of 10 years of experience within the agri-food sector – preferably mostly in dairy sector.
  • Importance is also placed on technical knowledge. Without necessarily being a technical expert or scientist, the DG possesses sufficient knowledge of the science and technical issues (e.g., science/technology/health/nutrition vs. Codex/methods of analysis/economics/sustainability) to grasp their implications and importance for the dairy industry and be able to define appropriate course or action to address them.
  • Ideally, the incumbent has already established a high level of respect within the dairy industry.
  • The DG has a good understanding of multiculturalism and has experience in international affairs (e.g., extensive experience in international cooperation and/or negotiations)
  • During his/her career, the DG has developed language and diplomatic skills, as well as a keen awareness of various countries sensitivities.
  • The DG brings solid financial and business acumen coupled with outstanding interpersonal and teambuilding skills, and has the demonstrated ability to address complex, evolving issues.
  • The DG has a track record in leading self-managing and highly qualified staff, including the maintenance of a working environment that supports staff productivity, performance and professional development.
  • The DG is able to motivate staff towards excellence in a cost-effective environment.
  • The DG has strong financial and administrative experience (e.g. budgeting, fiscal laws, etc.) and demonstrates ability to remain within budget while seeking cost reduction and cost efficiency on an on-going basis.
  • The DG shows strong ability in time management to balance overall responsibilities and changing priorities set by the Board.

Other Essential Qualifications

  • A University degree in a relevant field with preference given to candidates with Masters’ and/or Doctorate degree.
  • Experience dealing with media and other public stakeholders.
  • Ability and willingness to travel extensively at the international level.

Position is based at the IDF Head Office in Brussels. Salary and benefits are market comparable.

For interested candidates, please submit your curriculum and motivation letter by August 15, 2023

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