A strategic leader for impact

Organisatie |


The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) is a critical, independent, not-for-profit research centre with a focus on investigating multinational companies for public interest groups and civil society organizations globally. SOMO conducts action-oriented research on how multinational companies are organised and how they operate, and analyses the negative impacts some companies have on people, the environment and on democracy. SOMO conducts independent, evidence-based research with a clear goal: to create a fair and sustainable world where the democratic process is ensured and where people have greater power over production and value chains. SOMO is highly networked and works with partners around the world to use evidence-based research to create change in factories and in boardrooms, in slums and in courtrooms, with civil society organisations, media, politicians and legislators.

SOMO employs 44 dedicated, hard-working individuals and is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The staff is comprised of highly-qualified experts in their field. It is a lean organization with a unique democratic and informal organisational culture.

Functie | Executive Director

This is a rare and exciting opportunity to lead a dynamic, cutting-edge research centre with real impact. Now more than ever, the world needs evidence-based research and advocacy to challenge the power and role of multinational corporations in societies around the globe. Building from a position of strength, the executive director (ED) will lead SOMO to increase its impact, both nationally and internationally. S/he will be responsible for ensuring the organisation is well-run, and will secure a stable and more diversified funding base.

The executive director provides strategic leadership to SOMO – leadership that is participatory, empathetic and inclusive. The ED forms the executive board of the organization, reports to the supervisory board, chairs SOMO’s management team and facilitates the decision-making by the staff. S/he has extensive experience as a strategically-oriented and supportive team leader and manager, has experience in running an organization, focused on building the capacity of colleagues to deliver on organisation and strategic objectives.

The executive director has a demonstrable affinity with SOMO’s research, advocacy and vision for change. The ED must develop a coherent organizational strategy that maximizes SOMO’s impact and ensures its organizational resilience and financial health.
The executive director represents SOMO at various fora, articulates vision for social change, synthesises and communicates – alongside SOMO researchers – the essence of its activist research, and actively pursues fundraising opportunities.

Strategic-thinker Excellent-communicator Participatory-and-inclusive-leadership Diplomatic Inspiring Operationally-efficient Creative


Passionate about the vision and mission of SOMO and able to articulate this vision. A thought leader able to inspire and to motivate. The executive director has excellent internal and external communication skills and understands political and corporate research, including in low-income countries. S/he will have a proven ability to fundraise, both nationally and internationally. The ED has experience in participating in civil society alliances and networks.

The executive director knows how to run an organisation of highly-skilled, knowledgeable, independent professionals. S/he is a team player who knows how to delegate and how to make others stronger. The ED has experience with leading a horizontal and democratic organisation using participatory decision-making and policy development.  S/he is familiar with managing operational processes of an organisation. Improves operational and financial health of the organisation, and fosters a lean and effective way of working. Transparent and accessible. Fluent in English and Dutch.

SOMO is committed to equal opportunities and strives to have more diversity among its staff. SOMO therefore explicitly encourages people with backgrounds that are underrepresented in the NGO sector and specifically in management positions to apply.


A dynamic and challenging job in an organisation with a mission! The position is for 32 or 36 working hours per week, with excellent benefits and a salary, depending on relevant work experience.


In the week of October  9th, selected candidates will be presented to SOMO. The recruitment process will have two stages, in which you will meet several colleagues and the supervisory board.

  • Slow in week 43  in which there is time for more in-depth discussion.
  • Show week 43, in which you will show who you are and your approach to leadership.

Intended starting date: January 1st, 2021.


Interested in this position? Please respond directly -before Wednesday , October 7 – by uploading your CV and motivation letter (both in English).
For any questions, please contact Helga Bijker (K+V, +31 (0)6 22 698 599).

Executive Director
32-36 uur


Helaas, de inschrijftermijn voor deze vacature is verstreken, of wij hebben een geschikte kandidaat gevonden.