Secretary General

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  • Position: Secretary General
  • Work base: RYCO Head Office, Tirana, Albania
  • Mandate duration: Four years, with no possibility of extension
  • Expected employment start date: March, 1st 2021
  • Application deadline: 7 December 2020, at 17:00 Central European Time (CET).


Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) is an independently functioning institutional mechanism, founded by the Western Balkans six participants (WB6): Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, aiming to promote the spirit of reconciliation and cooperation between the youth in the region through youth exchange programs. The Agreement on Establishment of RYCO was signed by the WB6 Prime Ministers at the Paris Summit, on 4 July 2016, within the Berlin Process.

The RYCO’s mission is:

  • Supporting the regional exchange of youth, and their sharing of ideas, as a ground for future cooperation prospects in our region, based on the values of co-existence, tolerance and respect for human rights and diversity, as well as commitment to inclusion and security;
  • Stepping up regional cooperation among youth and youth-dedicated institutions and ensure implementation of joint programs for young people with the focus on the principles of democratic governance, sustainable economic development, education and innovation,
  • Coordinating youth cooperation in the Western

The RYCO’s structure is composed of:

  • The Governing Board;
  • The Secretariat, and
  • The Advisory Board.

The Secretariat of RYCO consists of the Head Office, as the organizational hub situated in Tirana, Albania and the Local Branch Offices, which ensure RYCO is represented in all the six Contracting Parties. RYCO’s unique governance system brings together government and civil society representatives to ensure young people are represented at all levels within the organization.

For more details on RYCO, please click here.

The role of the Secretary General:

Reporting to the Governing Board, the Secretary-General (SG) is responsible for the Head Office and Local Branch Offices leadership and providing direction and clarity to the organization’s strategic and policy development. S/he represents RYCO at the highest level in terms of its vital relationship with partners, funders and other key stakeholders. S/he initiates and concludes international agreements on RYCO’s behalf and plays a key role in ensuring the program strategy is delivered as approved by the Governing Board. In addition, the Secretary General leads the organization’s efforts in influencing policy change as determined by RYCO core documents and strategy. S/he holds principal responsibility for promotion and implementation of RYCO Strategic Plan, in regards to the upholding the RYCO institutional and organizational excellence, supporting regional cooperation, mobility and exchange and contributing to the enabling regional social and political environment for promotion of youth cooperation.

Main responsibilities:

  • Represent RYCO in communication with key bilateral, governmental and NGO counterparts;
  • Support and advise the Governing Board on its governance and oversight role;
  • Solicit advice and guidance, when appropriate, from the Governing Board;
  • Lead the strategic development and planning processes in order to ensure the delivery of the RYCO’s mission;
  • Communicate and implement the organization's vision, mission, and overall direction;
  • Design, drive and deliver RYCO’s resource mobilization and fundraising activities, in concert with the Deputy Secretary General, and with the support and cooperation with the Governing Board;
  • Recommend the annual Strategic and Operational Plan as well as the annual RYCO budget for adoption by the Governing Board, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Governing Board;
  • Compile and submit Financial and Program reports to the Governing Board, as set out in the Rules of Procedure;
  • Oversee the complete operations of the organization in accordance with the direction established in the strategic plans;
  • Assess risks to the organization and ensure they are monitored and mitigated;
  • Effectively lead and support the motivation of the human resources of the organization according to authorized personnel policies and procedures;
  • Support to the Governing Board in lobbying and fundraising activities by identifying potential donors in consultation with the Governing Board based on the overall fundraising strategy to be implemented by the Secretariat;
  • Ensure that the organization and its mission, programs and operations are consistently presented in strong, positive image to relevant stakeholders;
  • Ensure the intercultural quality of the work within the Secretariat and of the projects supported by RYCO;
  • Perform other tasks in accordance with the Statute and policies & procedures.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Nationality of one of the WB6[1] Contracting Parties;
  • Bachelor degree in Public Administration, Management, Humanities, Social or Political sciences or related fields;

[1] As stipulated in the RYCO Statute, the nationality of the Secretary General shall rotate in a manner inclusive to all RYCO Contracting Parties. Having in mind that the current RYCO Secretary General is coming from Serbia, candidates from this Contracting Party are not eligible to apply for the Secretary General position.

  • At least seven years of professional experience in senior managerial and/or leadership positions within International/Regional/Governmental or Non-governmental organiza- tions;
  • Previous experience in youth, intercultural and reconciliation related programs/projects is mandatory.

Skills and Competencies

  • Communicates Effectively: Able to articulate in a rational, logical manner in order to convince and move the organization ahead, conveys clear, inspiring and dynamic messages, uses diverse tools of communication appropriately and effectively;
  • Drives Vision and Inspires: Able to influence and build consensus within the organization and around it, communicates vision in a compelling way;
  • Execution Driven and Manages Complexity: Able to manage contradictory or complex priorities, deal with resistance and to take care of a good work-life balance, manage a range of projects simultaneously;
  • Demonstrates Inclusion and Values Differences: An inclusive leader capable of working with a multinational team of colleagues, able to apply diplomacy and tact;
  • Drives Innovation: A self-starter who is opportunity oriented and can demonstrate energy, drive and commitment;
  • Leading People: Leads, motivates and inspires staff in RYCO, ensures clarity and alignment around organizational and individual priorities;
  • Proven track record in regional cooperation initiatives involving high level communication with public sector counterparts and civil society activists;
  • Solid understanding of WB6 context (social, economic and political environment);
  • Previous experience/familiarity with UN agencies, EU funded projects and major bilateral donors is desirable;
  • Computer savvy;
  • Proficiency in English, while the knowledge of Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Macedonian, Montenegrin or Serbian would be an asset.

What we offer

  • The Secretary General shall enjoy immunities and privileges as defined in the Host Country Agreement;
  • A competitive remuneration package;
  • An international and dynamic working environment;
  • A motivated team;
  • An inclusive environment.

Terms of Contract

  • The position is full-time and based in Tirana, Albania;
  • S/he could expect that up to 30% of her/his time would be spent on business-related travel;
  • The mandate of the Secretary General is four years, with no possibility of
  • The employment is foreseen to start on 1 March 2020.

How to apply

Interested and qualified candidates need to enclose the following documents to the application:

  • Application Form;
  • CV (Europass CV format);
  • Scanned copy of higher education degree;
  • Scanned passport copy;
  • Criminal record certificate;
  • Two recommendation

The application form, recommendation letters and Europass CV must be submitted in English language. The copy of higher education degree and the criminal record certificate should be provided with a certified translation into English. The application package should be exclusively submitted in an electronic format to the following e-mail address: no later than Sunday, 7 December 2020 at 17:00 CET. In the subject line of your email please state you are applying for the position of Secretary General.

Applications received after the given deadline as well as those not accompanied by the necessary documents will not be considered.

Candidates should be available for interviews during the period from 11 to 12 January 2020.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for the interview phase.


RYCO is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes the applications of all qualified candidates irrespective of their race or ethnic origin, opinions or beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, health or disabilities.

Candidates for the position of the Secretary General are selected through an open call and based on merit. As stipulated in the RYCO Statute, the nationality of the Secretary General shall rotate in a manner inclusive to all RYCO Contracting Parties. Having in mind that the current RYCO Secretary General is coming from Serbia, candidates from this Contracting Party are not eligible to apply for the Secretary General position.

More information.

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