Global AIDS Fund Turns to Russell Reynolds Associates for C-Suite Leaders

International financing institution fighting a deadly trifecta of diseases -- AIDS, TB and malaria -- taps global search firm to fill two critical C-suite roles. Let's go inside this world renown non-profit and see why strategic financial visionaries with a focus on mission are being sought.

February 27, 2017 – Seeking leaders who can articulate and promote strategic financial vision but with a focus on mission, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has tapped Russell Reynolds Associates to find a general counsel and chief financial officer. Simon Kingston, head of the search firm’s non-profit sector and leader its global development practice, is leading the assignments.

In view of its primary role as the international financing institution set up to fight three deadly global diseases, the Global Fund’s CFO post is a position that is critical to ensuring effective management of the institution’s financial resources and in strengthening grant efficiency within within the non-profit.

The incoming CFO will articulate and promote a clear strategic financial vision within the framework of the organization’s mission. Reporting to the executive director, the incoming executive will closely collaborate with his/her peers and provide technical expertise, leadership and management.

Candidates to be considered must have extensive experience at the executive leadership level in the formulation and development of strategy and policy. Twenty-plus years of professional experience, including managing cross-functional teams in complex international organizations in finance, international development or health, is required.


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Proven strong leadership skills, and ability to lead and collaborate in a complex, multidisciplinary and diverse environment is preferred. The organization also seeks an individual with experience with governance processes, general management, budgeting, administrative and financial management of multi-lateral institutions.

The incoming general counsel will be a solutions-oriented leader of the legal function and a fully engaged member of the executive management committee of the Fund’s secretariat. The position requires someone who is professionally accomplished, appropriately independent, and committed to the successful delivery of the Global Fund’s mission.

Achieving this combination will require an exceptional person, according to the Global Fund. Candidates to be considered will be able to operate as an advisor at the most senior levels of governance and to manage an operationally-focused legal team, on the support of which colleagues across the secretariat can rely.

The incoming executive must have 12 to 15 years of relevant experience in an international financing institution and experience in international law. Broad experience at the general counsel level, including governance, transactions, human resources, contracting, litigation, real estate, ethics, finance, investigations & audit, strategy development and public international law experience are required. Experience with multilateral, intergovernmental, public-private, nongovernmental or private institutions is also highly desired.

The Global Fund is a 21st century financing institution and partnership organization, designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. Its mission is to attract, leverage and invest additional resources to end the three diseases.

The Recruiter

Mr. Kingston has a particular specialization focused on the higher education, development and public policy sectors. He serves clients in a range of countries, conducting searches for university vice-chancellors, chief executives and senior leaders of major global development organizations and directors of government departments.

His recent engagements include supporting the world’s largest emergency relief organization in the appointment of its secretary-general and advising on the most senior appointments of a regional development bank. Mr. Kingston has longstanding relationships with leaders in public-private partnerships in global public health where he advises and supports them on leadership appointments.


Financial Know-How and Transparency Critical

Russell Reynolds Associates’ public sector, trade and associations practice group serves a wide variety of public sector and not-for-profit organizations, related public bodies, regulators, and government-owned companies. It also fills the executive leadership needs of global charities, healthcare providers, and local government and trade associations. In much of the work it takes on, it seems, executives with strong financial acumen are in heavy demand ….. Here’s some further reading from Hunt Scanlon Media.

Russell Reynolds Associates Seeking CFO for the British Council
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The search firm has been active serving other non-profits in recent months. Just recently, it tapped John L. Lehr to serve as chief executive officer of the Parkinson’s Foundation. Mr. Lehr previously served as president of Orr Associates, a consulting firm focused on the non-profit sector. The firm also recruited Michael E. Hill as the 18th president of The Chautauqua Institution. The search was led by Russell Reynolds’ Washington, D.C., and Boston offices. Mr. Hill previously served as president and CEO of Youth For Understanding USA.

Russell Reynolds recently placed Kevin Watkins as chief executive officer of Save the Children International (SCI). Mr. Watkins joined Save the Children after a three year term as executive director of the influential U.K. think tank Overseas Development Institute. In addition, the firm is also leading Save the Children International’s chief people officer (CPO) search. The CPO incumbent at Save the Children will be a critical member of the organization’s senior leadership team, with responsibility for the HR leadership of approximately 17,000 staff worldwide.

In another recent high profile non-profit search, Russell Reynolds also placed Melanie Waters as chief executive officer of Help for Heroes, one of the best known charities in the U.K. In addition, the firm is currently leading searches for other U.K. charities, including Care Quality Commission, the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust (RBH), and the U.K. Export Finance (UKEF).

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media

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