Job offer : Executive Director – Freemuse

The Executive Director is responsible for developing and implementing Freemuse’s strategic vision, ensuring necessary funding and representing Freemuse in meetings with donors, policy makers and the extensive Freemuse network.The Executive Director reports to the Executive Committee (The Board of Freemuse) and is responsible for leading a team of approx. five at the Copenhagen secretariat and three Programme Officers overseas.The current Executive Director, a co-founder of Freemuse,…

The Executive Director is responsible for developing and implementing Freemuse’s strategic vision, ensuring necessary funding and representing Freemuse in meetings with donors, policy makers and the extensive Freemuse network.

The Executive Director reports to the Executive Committee (The Board of Freemuse) and is responsible for leading a team of approx. five at the Copenhagen secretariat and three Programme Officers overseas.

The current Executive Director, a co-founder of Freemuse, will retire early 2017 and will assist the incoming Executive Director during a short period of handover and transition.

Funding for Freemuse’s core programmes and secretariat is secured for the current project period 2016-2018 and a programme of work has been agreed with key stakeholders for this period.

Working language is English.

The position is open to any nationality.

Freemuse will assist with visa procedures if necessary.


Essential criteria

  • Substantial experience in senior management of an international organisation or similar working environment;
  • Extensive experience of working internationally, including working with partners or programmes in development countries or areas of conflict;
  • Substantial experience of representation, advocacy, fundraising and in dealing with donors, policy makers and key external stakeholders;
  • Extensive experience from the arts/culture and/or human rights sectors; and
  • Fluency in English.


Preferred criteria

Working ability in an additional language such as Arabic or French.


The successful applicant will have excellent leadership, management and organisational expertise, above average knowledge of international human rights standards as they apply to artistic freedom and cultural policies, excellent international networks, experience of working with countries violating freedom of expression, and experience of addressing small, as well as large, audiences and donors.

You are a visionary, and have well documented skills of leading, incorporating and motivating staff, and co-operating with partners in the work.

As the defence of artists is our focus, you must be a skilled communicator, who can engage with artists as well as CSOs, donors, diplomats and the media at different levels.

Remuneration: 73.000-80.000 Euro gross annually (including pension scheme); and subject to skills and experience. The net salary is subject to Danish employment and tax regulations.

Freemuse does not offer housing or school subsidies. Freemuse offers limited relocation costs.

Applications: Please send your CV – including contact details of three reference persons – and a detailed cover letter of max. two pages clearly explaining why you are applying for the position and evidencing how you meet the terms of reference.

Send the cover letter and CV as PDF to: [email protected]  at latest by GMT midnight 30 September 2016.  Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Interviews of potential candidates are expected to be conducted during October 2016.

The successful applicant is expected to start in February/March 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter.


Extensive job description:

What we do

Freemuse advocates for and defends artistic freedom and monitors violations globally. The organisation has UN Special Consultative status and is consulted by international media, the UN, CSOs, scholars and the public.

Freemuse works in five strategic areas:

  • Documentation and monitoring of violations of artistic freedom worldwide – this includes compiling the world’s only annual global statistics on violations;
  • Advocacy directed towards policy makers at UN, EU and governmental levels;
  • Awareness raising through events – We are consulted by festivals, media and scholars. We co-ordinate the annual Music Freedom Day held on 3 March;
  • Campaigns and actions – We campaign and take action on behalf of musicians and composers imprisoned or persecuted for their work.  We do this by lobbying governments, UN and EU policy offices, and by coordinating protests and offering practical and moral support;
  • Networking – We collaborate with an extensive global network of human rights defenders, artists, media, festivals, scholars and cultural organisations. Developing and maintaining good relations to the network is key to Freemuse.


Extensive terms of reference for the Executive Director:

The Executive Director leads the secretariat, reports to the Executive Committee and is responsible for developing Freemuse’s strategic vision in collaboration with the Executive Committee, and the successful planning, management and implementation of all programme areas.  This includes:


  • Developing the strategic vision for the future of the organisation; 
  • Assuming a leading role in advancing Freemuse’s international voice, visibility and its ability to foster dialogue and debate on issues of artistic freedom in international fora;
  • Ensuring effective project management and accurate, timely budget management, working in close collaboration with the Freemuse Manager;
  • Ensuring the regular quality control of procedures and results;
  • Assuming responsibility for Freemuse’s compliance with financial regulations and legal requirements, as well as ensuring best practice in financial and project management;
  • Ensuring monitoring and evaluation of Freemuse’s operations;
  • Managing the effective delivery of Freemuse priorities in collaboration with the staff team;
  • Managing and recruiting human resources;
  • Identifying and growing funding for Freemuse programmes, and managing relationships with key funders;
  • Preparing written material for grant reports and proposals, solicitation letters, programme and organisational documents, including Annual Reviews, in collaboration with the staff team;
  • Establishing, maintaining and strengthening partnerships and other working relationships with all relevant key agencies and stakeholders; and
  • Providing timely briefings and advice to the members of the Executive Committee, and enabling the governance and oversight role of the Executive Committee.


The successful applicant will have:

  • Ability to lead a dynamic organisation and a proven leadership track record;
  • Great understanding of music, arts and culture;
  • Excellent skills in identifying key priorities;
  • Systematic planning and implementation skills;
  • Demonstrable knowledge of human rights mechanisms, including treaty bodies, special procedures and specifically the United Nations Human Rights Council;
  • Experience with protocol and of addressing government officials, diplomatic staff, Parliamentarians, civil society and inter-governmental agencies – both in writing and in person;
  • Demonstrable experience of fundraising and budgets;
  • Experience of building teams and working effectively and collegially in a small team;
  • Ability to respond swiftly and under pressure in a fast-paced environment;
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to write well and to speak articulately and persuasively;
  • Excellent diplomatic and interpersonal skills; 
  • Ability to show respect and understanding for diverse viewpoints and cultural diversity, and is competent in inclusivity, dialogue and collegiality;
  • Personal integrity and ability to critically examine own biases and behaviours in order to avoid stereotypical responses;
  • Commitment to uphold Freemuse’s values and commitment to respect and equality within the organisation, our programmes and partnerships;
  • Ability to take critical decisions confidently and pro-actively, even if information is limited and in time-pressured situations;
  • An existing network with international NGOs working in relevant fields; and
  • Strong IT skills.



Freemuse is an equal opportunities employer. All staff members are required to adhere to the Freemuse charter and staff handbook.

Terms of Employment

This is a permanent, full-time contract, subject to a 6-month probationary period. The role involves international travel. Leave includes 30 working days (6 working weeks) of paid holiday annually.


Hours: Normal office hours are 9am to 5pm. It is expected that, on occasions, you will be required to work evenings and/or weekends.


News from elsewhere 2016/09/01

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