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Vacancy Statement:
Secretary General of IFLA

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) invites applications for the position of Secretary General.

The Secretary General is the Chief Executive Officer and the head of IFLA's secretariat, located in The Hague, Netherlands.

In accordance with the Statutes of IFLA, the responsibilities of the Secretary General include:
  • the strategic and operational direction and financial management of IFLA, within the policies determined by the Council and the Governing Board;
  • the appointment of staff, within the approved budget;
  • the provision of advice to the officers and Governing Board of IFLA and the implementation of its decisions;
  • the coordination of the work of IFLA's programs and activities including the World Library and Information Congress, core activities, regional offices and language centres; and,
  • such other responsibilities as are necessary for the effective and efficient operation of IFLA.

IFLA as an Organisation

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is an independent, international, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization which is the global voice of the library and information profession. With a secretariat based in The Hague, Netherlands and regional offices, language centres and core activity offices in other locations, IFLA is a worldwide federation of national library associations, libraries of all types, personal affiliates and bodies with consultative status.

IFLA's aims are to:
  • Promote high standards of provision and delivery of library and information services
  • Encourage widespread understanding of the value of good library & information services
  • Represent the interests of our members throughout the world.

The Council (or general assembly of members) is the supreme governing body which normally meets every year during the World Library and Information Congress, held in August in a different city each year. The Governing Board is responsible for the managerial and professional direction of IFLA within guidelines approved by Council. It meets at three times a year, once at the time and place of the annual Congress.

IFLA has formal associate relations with UNESCO, observer status with the United Nations, associate status with the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) and observer status with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).


Qualifications and skills

  1. Managerial
The Secretary General is a senior manager with managerial and executive skills of a high order but must also be able to deal with the full range of management activities in an organization with worldwide interests but a limited number of staff (9.2 FTE in the secretariat). The Secretary General has overall responsibility for personnel management, financial management, legal issues, and all other aspects of association management.
  1. Professional
The Secretary General is a highly skilled manager with senior experience in a professional context. Appropriate qualities and skills are required including those relevant to the management of an international professional association and those required to establish credibility and rapport with its worldwide membership in the global library and information profession.
  1. Communication and representation
The Secretary General is a key spokesman and representative for the Federation, both nationally and internationally at the highest levels, among the membership and in the broad international professional community. The Secretary General must respond to the varied interests and cultures of IFLA's membership and ensure that those interests and cultures are reflected in IFLA's decision making processes. To facilitate that interaction, the appointee should be fluent in written and spoken English and able to communicate in one or more of the other six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Russian and Spanish.
  1. Entrepreneurial
The Secretary General is expected to further develop the IFLA brand and exploit its potential to achieve greater recognition and impact. Entrepreneurial activities are focussed on the enhancement of IFLA's worldwide influence, especially with international organisations, and on the diversification of the Federation's revenue base through sponsorship, donations and grants.
  1. Personal qualities
The Secretary General must be open-minded and impartial in resolving conflicts, a good team leader, innovative, forward-thinking, and with a great sensitivity to different cultures. Other necessary qualities include:
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities.
  • Highly developed diplomatic skills.
  • Verbal and negotiation skills of the highest order.
  • Stress resistance to cope with the demands of a heavy workload and considerable international travel, often at night and on weekends.

Position of Secretary General

The post is full-time and is offered for an initial period of three years, renewable by mutual agreement.

An attractive package of salary and benefits will be negotiated with the successful applicant. An appointee from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for significant tax benefits.

The successful candidate must be prepared to live in or near The Hague, Netherlands. It is expected that the successful applicant will relocate (if required) to The Hague at the beginning of July 2008.

The appointment will commence with a period as Secretary General Designate during which the appointee will be able to work with the current Secretary General, Dr Peter Lor, and participate in the World Library and Information Congress in Quebec City. The appointee will assume the position of Secretary General on 5 September 2008 on the retirement of Dr Lor.

How to apply

Applications should consist of a covering letter, a detailed curriculum vitae, the names of two referees, and a brief statement of the candidate's vision for IFLA. Applications by Email are accepted. If the applications are not send in by Email, we ask for 7 printed copies of the full application.

The applications shall be in English language, since competence in English is a critical skill for an IFLA Secretary General. The position of the Secretary General requires an excellent knowledge of written and oral English.

The closing date for applications is October 31st 2007.

Please submit your application to:
Ms Brigitta Frank
Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin
Breite Str. 36
D-10178 BERLIN
Email: frank@zlb.de
Tel. +(49)(30)90226-380
Fax +(49)(30)90226-387


For more information, please call:
Tel. +(49)(30)90226-380 and ask for
Prof. Dr. Claudia Lux
President of IFLA