We offer flexible working and welcome hybrid working from home and from our office in Brussels, Belgium. The role is fully remote in NL & UK.
Salary: Belgium 98,000-110,000 EUR - Netherlands 100,000-110,000 EUR - United Kingdom 88,000-100,000 GBP
Candidate Level: Experienced (Non-manager)
Contract Type: Permanent
Working Hours: Full Time
Sector: Conservation / Environment / Climate
Link to Website
Country: Belgium
Closing date: 31/07/2024
Environmental Defense Fund
Head of Operations, Europe

Put your passion and skills to work for the planet. Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time, and we need people like you to help us build a vital Earth — for everyone.

We’re Environmental Defense Fund, a fast-paced nonprofit with a growing staff of more than 1,000 people in nearly 30 countries. We deliver game-changing solutions that cut climate pollution and strengthen people’s ability to thrive despite the effects climate change is already having. We work wherever we can have the most impact, from local communities to top companies to governments worldwide, and even in space.

Our culture, values and commitment to diversity make EDF an exciting and meaningful place to work. Every job here makes a difference. Won’t you join us?

Environmental Defense Fund Europe has two legal entities in the European area, both registered charities, and approx. 50 staff across the EU and in the UK. Our UK entity is a company limited by guarantee, incorporated in England and Wales. Our Netherlands entity is a Stichting (Foundation). We are also registered as a foreign employer via the NL Stichting in Germany and Spain, and have a full Branch Office status of the Stichting in Belgium with an office in central Brussels.


The Head of Operations, Europe requires a confident and experienced operations lead who will work closely across the European geography, acting as a bridge between Europe and global operations.

This role will be responsible for ensuring that the highest standards are operated and maintained in Environmental Defense Fund’s European entities by: 1. leading the Governance function for the region and 2. ensuring smooth operations in Europe, actively problem-solving day-to-day issues as they arise. The role will drive solutions through convening cross-functional working groups to lead initiatives that bridge the geographical region with teams across Finance, HR, Legal, Facilities and IT.

This strategic and facilitative role requires a combination of diplomacy, focus and flexibility and a willingness to play an active, hands-on and behind-the-scenes role to solve problems and drive operational best practice in alignment with our strategic goals. The successful candidate will be a highly resourceful individual with strong emotional intelligence, excellent verbal and written communication skills, self-motivation, and collaborative influencing skills.

With both European entities under 6 years old, we operate in a start-up environment within the security of an established US not-for-profit. The context requires the role to fluidly navigate our matrix team structure and embrace both hands-on solutions seeking, with strategic advising and leading.

This is a joint role across our Operations & Mission teams, the role reports directly to the Executive Director Europe with a dotted line to the Senior Director Global Operations.


Person Specification
We’re looking for an experienced individual, with common sense at the core. You will be comfortable interacting with senior leaders, knowing instinctively when to escalate and share information. You might not necessarily know all the answers, but you’ll know the questions to ask and how to seek advice in the search for solutions.

Our people are at the heart of the Mission – we want someone to join our team with commitment, creativity, versatility, and a strategic approach. We are looking for someone to make this role their own, to help guide our European entities, embed stability and for someone who will learn and grow with us. You will be an experienced operations lead, with sound experience of regulatory compliance.

With your experience working across sectors and cultures, you will be able to translate operational ways of working that enable alignment with the greater organisation and provide space for nuances so that procedures and guidance make sense in a local European context.


  • Streamline and optimise operational processes and systems to enhance efficiency, quality, and scalability – adopting a hands-on approach as necessary.
  • Collaborate with Finance, HR and Operations teams and other leaders to develop, embed and stabilize effective operational systems, policies and procedures across the European entities and ensure these are effectively communicated, in alignment with our Operations & Mission strategies.
  • Provide strategic operational and financial guidance to the Executive Director Europe, the Senior Management Team and the Board of Trustees.
  • Act as an organisational lead on relevant European statutory and other compliance in collaboration with the legal team.
    Liaise with local service providers including accounting and tax firms and legal counsel as required and ensure smooth communications with the appropriate staff across the region and at headquarters in the United States.
  • Lead several ongoing Operational projects, problem solve and track their progress. Facilitate regular cross-functional Operations calls to resolve common issues.
  • Convene and coordinate relationships with third-party service providers and implement internal workstreams to establish and ensure smooth functioning of systems and operational processes across Finance, HR, Operations, Facilities and IT.
  • Identify relevant operational process and service gaps, develop and implement solutions and evaluate their effectiveness, making adjustments as necessary.
  • Additional relevant responsibilities as assigned.
  • Participates in advancing EDF DEI goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values.


  • Maintain Environmental Defense Fund's legal registration for our Stichting (Foundation) in the Netherlands and our entity (Ltd) in the UK along with additional regulatory duties as required.
  • Act as an organisational lead on relevant European statutory and other compliance regulations in collaboration with the legal team. e.g. Charity Commission for England & Wales and The Netherlands Fundraising Regulator (CBF) in the Netherlands.
  • Partner with Executive Director Europe and Mission stakeholders to track progress of ongoing initiatives, troubleshoot challenges, identify and implement mitigation steps.
  • Lead on risk management within Environmental Defense Fund Europe, including compiling and maintaining the Risk Register and reporting to Environmental Defense Fund Europe Trustees and Finance & Audit Committee on risk-related matters.
  • Lead on governance and smooth running of EDF Europe’s Advisory Committee and two compliance boards (including agendas, trustee liaison, preparation of key documents (e.g. budget, audit requirements, annual report and minutes). Ensure that all meetings are fully compliant with any legal obligations.

Skills & Experience

  • Educated to Bachelor Undergraduate level or equivalent professional experience.
  • Established track record of operations, working in a management level role within a not-for-profit or start-up sector organisations.
  • Strong and effective people leadership skills, ability to influence, motivate and engage a range of stakeholders to drive results.
  • Experience in thinking strategically to solve operational issues, working cross-functionally to seek solutions and establish new operational practices.
  • Experience of leading change initiatives that demonstrate operational impacts.
  • Experience of supporting and/or leading successful service delivery functions.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills that can be adapted for internal and external audiences.
  • Ability to write clear and persuasive documents including operational plans and board reports.
  • Demonstrated experience with and ability to interact diplomatically with key internal stakeholders, such as senior staff and Trustees. Confidentiality, tact and judgement are critical.
  • Strong project management experience; track record of facilitating decisions among groups and ensuring implementation.
  • Self-motivated, extremely well-organized, and collaborative. Ability to maintain professionalism at all times, including in situations of high stress. Willing to take initiative, jumping-in to problem solve, establish clear priorities, and work independently as well as function as a member of a team.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, emotional intelligence, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds
  • Commitment to mirroring EDF values in day-to-day work – results, respect, innovation, optimism & integrity.
  • Our business language is English, a fluent secondary language in either French or Dutch is required.

You must have the right to live and work in the EU or UK when applying.

We offer flexible working and welcome hybrid working from home and from our office in Brussels, Belgium. The role is fully remote in NL & UK.


Please send us your CV and Cover Letter through this link: link

Preferred method of response: Web
Apply link: Link to Apply
Closing date: 31/07/2024