Executive Director

  • Reports to: Steering Committee Chair
  • Leads: GCA Core Team
  • Location: Flexible global location
  • Remuneration: $210,000 USD dependent on experience
  • Contract Type: Full time employment


The Global Commons Alliance (GCA) formed to catalyse urgent action at an unprecedented scale to protect and restore the Global Commons – the natural resources we all need to survive, thrive, and prosper (e.g., land, oceans, freshwater, climate, biodiversity). The mission of the GCA is to empower citizens, companies, and countries to become good stewards of the Global Commons and support the future stability of the planet.

The GCA has three priorities. The first is to create a mindset shift by mainstreaming a scientific understanding of humanity’s critical dependence on the Global Commons, the existential threat posed by its tipping points, and develop safe and just guardrails for people and planet. The second is creating mechanisms for action: scale the adoption and implementation of science-based targets for the Global Commons amongst companies and cities; including through engagement with governments. The third is to deepen and expand systemic approaches to solve these challenges by facilitating convergence of key actors to steward the Global Commons through research, data, tools, and facilitation at local and global levels

The Alliance comprises about seventy partner organisations who share this vision of progress. Five components hold responsibility for implementing the priorities working with these other partners. These five components are the Earth Commission, the Science Based Targets Network, Earth HQ, the Systems Change Lab, and a new Accountability Accelerator.

Job description:


The process of building the GCA began in early 2017 following the International Dialogue on Our Global Commons and the GCA 1.0 version existed from 2019 to 2021 focusing on bringing the GCA partners together, setting a common vision and mission for the Global Commons and solidifying our relationship with donors.  Following an in-depth strategic review process in 2021, the structure, governance, and content has been reviewed and GCA is now evolving towards its 2.0 version. 

GCA version 2.0 has a new Steering Committee (SteerCo) as the central governance body, providing guidance, support, and oversight on achieving progress against mission, priorities, and initiatives. This includes a newly appointed Chair, a representative of each of the 5 components’ Advisory Councils/Boards, 2 representatives of the Investor Collaborative, and 4 representatives selected from a group of Key Partners who have dedicated over time either financial or human resources to the GCA.  

GCA 2.0 also defined the role of the Coordination Team, as a group being made of the five Component Directors and tasked with advancing the impact agenda for the Alliance. To support the GCA´s evolution towards version 2.0, the GCA are seeking to recruit their first ever Executive Director to lead this transition.


The Executive Director will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for GCA core activities and will be responsible for driving the GCA strategy whilst building collaborative relationships across components and partners. Additionally, the Executive Director will lead the virtual and remote core team, which serves GCA members in a highly collaborative culture. Specifically, the Executive Director will have the following areas of responsibility:

1.      Strategy Leadership

  • Possess overall strategic and operational responsibility for GCA core activities.
  • Be responsible for driving the GCA Strategy.
  • Co-develop & recommend priorities ensuring a coherent program to deliver on the priorities.
  • Provide challenge and coordination to ensure component initiatives sufficient to achieve priorities. Drive delivery of priorities, flagging issues via Steering Committee.
  • Facilitate and embed a healthy working culture of collaboration across the Alliance.

2.      Governance

  • Provides all necessary information and makes actionable recommendations for decision to the GCA Chair and the Steering Committee.
  • Ensures full and timely preparation of agenda, materials, and planning for all Steering Committee meetings in consultation with the Chair and supported by the Alliance Coordinator.
  • Maintains a working line of communication with all Steering Committee members, actively seeking for feedback.
  • Prepares and follows-up on Steering Committee meetings in close collaboration with the Chair.

3.      Stakeholder relations – Leadership and Facilitation of Collaboration between Alliance, components, and partners and Core Team Leadership.

  • Build collaborative relationships across Alliance.
  • Lead and manage the GCA Core Team staff members distributed across Europe and North America.
  • Chair Coordination Team and drive alignment.
  • Play a leading role in building collaborative relationships across components and partners.
  • Lead the Coordination Team, ensuring alignment and integration between components.  
  • Oversight of knowledge management & information sharing across the Alliance.

4.      Resource Mobilization, Partnerships, and Communications

  • Lead all fundraising, partnering and communications activities in support of GCA’s priorities & initiatives, meeting targets defined or set by the Steering Committee.
  • Engage new prospects and maintain ongoing funder relations in order to meet fundraising targets agreed by the Steering Committee.
  • Work closely with the Investor Collaborative and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors on funder relationship management to maximize good will, results, and forward momentum.
  • Ensure consistent communications, messaging, and positioning of the GCA across the Alliance as well as with external stakeholders.
  • Develop GCA’s partnering strategy, including the partner segmentation recommended by Boston Consulting Group.
  • Publicly represent the GCA while building bridges with other movements, alliances, and campaigns.
  • Mobilize partners in support of the Alliance. This includes identifying, onboarding, and managing ongoing relations and holding the stakeholder map.

5.      Financial Stewardship & Operations

  • Oversee the GCA budget and fiscal management processes, which includes recommending the annual budget for approval to the Steering Committee, managing core staff team budget and expenditures, preparing reports for the Steering Committee, and working with the Investor Collaborative Coordinator to ensure all monitoring, evaluation and reporting expectations are met.
  • Provide operational support to the Alliance and its components.
  • Oversee relationship with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the legal and fiduciary host of the GCA, which provides financial & legal compliance, HR management, contracting & vendor agreements, financial administration, payroll, grant making as well as Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) support.
  • Set procedures and practices for procurement, finances, budgeting, and human resources together with RPA.

Candidate requirements

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will be a leader, an aligner and convener that is adept at leading complex multi-stakeholder groups and alliances.This will be coupled with demonstrated success working within the fields of science, government, business, and/or civil society.


  • Demonstrated experience leading and coordinating multi-stakeholder groups and alliances, driving focus and alignment.
  • Knowledge and experience in global sustainability (including climate, environment, water, biodiversity etc,.), ideally from both NGOs and science.
  • Demonstrated track record of fundraising across diverse channels.
  • Prior experience leading and managing globally distributed teams (virtual and in person).
  • Experience developing and implementing evidence-based strategies for change and implementing robust results-based monitoring, evaluation and learning processes.
  • Deep experience and knowledge of the major players working to tackle the planetary emergency.
  • Experience of preparing documents and budgets for transparent Steering Committee decisions
  • Experience as a spokesperson and public speaker in a relevant field.


  • Able to facilitate between many differing viewpoints whilst facilitating and engendering cooperation amongst diverse actors.
  • Strong “soft” leadership and facilitation skills with the ability to lead and set a clear and compelling vision supported by the directors of the components without ego from the middle.
  • Able to manage complexity and communicate it in a simple way.
  • High level communication skills, able to articulate a clear vision in the field of global sustainability and be persuasive.
  • Scientifically knowledgeable in relevant fields and able to demonstrate an ability to think and act strategically.
  • Good listener and empathic.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and being able to listen whilst also set direction.
  • Willingness to work outside of office hours in order to accommodate interactions with a globally distributed team and willingness to travel.

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