Posted on: May 03, 2023

Job opportunity: Secretary General of International Special Dietary Foods Industries Association (ISDI)

ISDI is recruiting a new Secretary General to provide strategic leadership for the association's activities and proactively represent the collective voice of the global special dietary foods industries to decision makers (including WHO and Codex) and key stakeholders.

Description of the Association:

The International Special Dietary Foods Industries (ISDI) is the leading international expert association on special dietary foods. It brings together national and international associations active in this food sector from more than 20 countries on over 6 continents.

ISDI is an industry platform for debate on regulatory, technical and scientific issues regarding special dietary foods and is the global voice of the special dietary foods industry. Issues include specialized nutrition for maternal, infant, young child and dietetic nutrition, foods for special medical purposes, sport foods and gluten-free foods.

ISDI supports access to safe, high quality, innovative and sustainable nutritious foods for people of all ages with special dietary needs. ISDI supports the promotion and protection of breastfeeding. It serves as a global knowledge hub for science-based nutrition research, solutions and advocacy.

1. Presentation of the job offer

The ISDI Secretary General provides strategic leadership for the association’s activities and team. He/she will proactively and effectively represent the collective voice of the global special dietary foods industries to global decision-makers (including to WHO and Codex) and key stakeholders. The successful candidate will have solid leadership skills and a good understanding of a wide range of nutrition and health issues and policies.

With a strong focus on excellence, the ISDI Secretary General will help inform and guide the strategic direction of the Association as well as be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the secretariat.

2. Main Responsibilities

Not exhaustively, the successful candidate will:

  • Have overall responsibility for managing the day-to-day operations, and for executing the deliverables of ISDI, such as the development and implementation of policy and communication strategies.
  • Be the voice of the global industry and lead global advocacy positions and delivery.
  • Implement ISDI’s 2025 Blueprint, focusing on objectives and outcomes, as well as bringing a global perspective to discussions.
  • Lead a team in supporting the operations of ISDI and its working groups, and maintain regular coordination with the ISDI board and Working Group Chairs.
  • Manage ISDI’s financial resources within the allocated budgets, together with the Treasurer.
  • Build and maintain the membership base and provide membership services to national associations and member organizations.
  • Coordinate the collective voice of the global specialized foods industry and be the interface between national associations, individual member companies and other consultants.
  • Develop and foster relationships with key external stakeholders.
  • Effectively represent ISDI at Codex Alimentarius and other forums and prepare reactive statements in response to publications such Access to Nutrition Initiative (ATNI), United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), etc.
  • Be aware of current and emerging issues and political sensitivities for the industry especially through Codex Alimentarius, the WHO Executive Board and the World Health Assembly.
  • Lead staff based in Brussels and potential further staff engaged remotely for specific projects.
  • Manage and develop individual development plans for the Brussels-based team, in collaboration with team members.
  • Ensure compliance with Belgian Law and Regulations.

3. Profile

We are looking for a candidate with considerable experience in Global advocacy and communications and with a keen interest in nutrition and health policies.

The ideal candidate should have leadership, organizational and networking skills and may have a degree in international relations, law, management or political science, and needs to be fluent in both spoken and written English. He/she is likely to have a minimum of 5-8 years in a similar or senior management position and +15 years broad professional experience.

The ideal candidate should demonstrate affinity for the special dietary foods industries sector and possess strong skills and characteristics such as:

  • Proven track record in effecting change on complex policy and regulatory topics. A background in food and nutrition is preferable.
  • Experience in articulating technical issues at international forums and engaging persuasively with high-level government officials, Key Opinion Leaders, and other stakeholders.
  • A strategic mindset with the ability to establish a strategic management plan to achieve short- and long-term goals.
  • Ability to influence public perception concerning misperceptions about nutrition products and ingredients.
  • Exceptional communication and strong leadership skills.
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and a sizeable workload, as well as strong project management skills.
  • Executive presence and command in driving ISDI’s vision, goals and positions.
  • Capacity to establish a positive and engaging atmosphere with members and relevant stakeholders and be reliable, solution-oriented, organized, rigorous, and proactive, as well as with strong ethical values.

4. Conditions

We are offering:

  • A full-time position;
  • Employment contract under Belgian law;
  • Competitive package including hospitalization and pension;
  • Position based in Brussels with the option for some home-working.
  • Working for a dynamic, innovative and proactive Global food sector, highly connected across the Globe.

5. Application

Candidates are invited to submit (in English only):

  • A professional CV:
  • Motivation letter including:
    • A general introduction to the candidate profile and motivation for applying for this position;
    • How the candidate profile matches the position, as described in “3. Profile”.

Applications shall be sent by 17:00 (CET) on Friday 9 June 2023. ISDI will contact the selected candidates after the deadline set for this job vacancy.

The application should be sent to the following ISDI e-mail address: [email protected] where it will be treated in confidence.

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