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May 26, 2022



The Roma Education Fund is seeking a new Executive Director

Bucharest, 25.8.2010 16:22, (ROMEA)

I. Introduction

The Roma Education Fund (REF) is seeking a new Executive Director to lead the organisation in the fulfillment of its 2010-2015 Strategy, approved by the REF Board in October 2009.

The REF runs six major programmes:

- Project grants to NGOs and governments
- Tertiary education scholarships to Roma students studying for BA, Masters and PhD.
- Policy development and capacity building
- Direct implementation of large-scale EU-funded projects
- Reimbursable grants to NGOs to ensure Structural Fund projects can start on time
- Communication and outreach

The REF annual budget has averaged around 6 million EUR over the last three years, but this is expected to increase over the course of the medium term strategy as the organisation becomes more successful in securing funding from European and national sources.
The Roma Education Fund is a headquartered in Budapest, Hungary, but has established foundations in Switzerland, Hungary and, most recently, Romania. The Executive Director serves as Executive Director for all three foundations. The Director is responsible to the REF
Board of each foundation.

In its headquarters, REF currently has 15 staff, but will shortly appoint two new staff members. In addition, REF has engaged consultants on a near full-time basis in five (soon to be six) countries as Country Facilitators to provide support to local organizations preparing and implementing projects with REF support and has 14 Country Coordinators for managing the REF Scholarship Programmes in their respective countries.

A Senior Management Team, consisting of the managers of the grant, scholarship and policy development programmes and the financial manager is chaired by the Executive Director. In addition, a Project Management Committee, consisting of the country officers and chaired by the Executive Director, is responsible for reviewing and making recommendations to the REF Board for funding of project grants. Decisions on scholarship awards are made by national boards in each country.

In addition to its staff, the World Bank and the Open Society Institute each second an advisor to REF, providing technical advice to REF staff about education policy issues and about monitoring and evaluation.

The Executive Director manages these staff and is responsible for assigning tasks and conducting performance reviews.
Finally, the Chair of the REF Board is a full-time position based in Budapest. In addition to his responsibilities for chairing the Board, the Chair also carries out outreach and fund raising activities. In carrying out these activities, the Chair acts at the direction of the Board and in close
consultation with the Executive Director of REF.


  • Manage REF staff so as to ensure the right balance of skills and knowledge and to motivate and support staff for better performance.
  • Solely responsible for managing the staff and has full responsibility for the daily operation of REF
  • Plan for and oversee the development of the foundation in Romania and any new foundations in other countries as approved by the Board in consultation with the Chair
  • Plan and manage REF’s budget
  • Develop strong collaborative links with all stakeholders, including those involved in the Decade of Roma Inclusion
  • Ensure, through the Chair of the Board and other staff, that REF is represented effective externally, so as to promote REF’s demonstrated successes and to advocate for improved educational outcomes for Roma
  • Provide timely and clear advice to the REF Boards, in the role as Secretary
  • Ensure all REF decisions and actions are taken in line with existing policies and that accurate and complete records are kept
  • Sustain the independence, objectivity and integrity of REF and its programmes


  • The successful candidate is expected to have:
  • A successful track record of at least five years of managing staff, resources and fiduciary responsibilities in a multicultural environment.
  • Demonstrated success in managing complex, international projects
  • Ability to work effectively and sensitively with a very wide range of stakeholders,including minority groups, civil society and international organisations and governments.
  • Familiarity with policies of international organisations in Europe, especially the European Commission, Council of Europe and OSCE
  • Experience with minority inclusion issues, programmes and projects.
  • Knowledge of education policy and practice as they pertain to minorities. Experience of these issues as they relate to Roma will be an advantage
  • Excellent spoken and written English. Knowledge of other relevant European languages spoken in Central and Eastern Europe, including Romanes will be an advantage.
  • The highest personal integrity
  • A Master’s Degree or equivalent academic qualification in a relevant field of study, such as education, social science, political science, management or economics.

REF encourages applications from women and members of ethnic minorities including Roma. All applications will be considered in their merits against the criteria above.

Salary and benefits: Commensurate with experience. The Director will be employed on a contract under Hungarian Labour Law.

Applicants should send a letter of interest, a statement of up to 500 words of how they would contribute to REF implementing its 2010-2015 Strategy, a full CV and the names of three references who may be contacted before interviews are held.

These materials should be sent to Costel Bercus, REF Board Chair is a confidential email address to which only the Chair and the current Executive Director have access.

Only applications received at this email address before 16:00 hours Central European Time on Wednesday 15 September 2010 will be accepted.
All applicants will receive an email confirmation that their application has been received; after that only those invited to an interview will be contacted.

More information about the Roma Education Fund, including the medium term strategy, can be found at:
Manage REF’s operations so as to reach the targets set out in the medium term strategy and so as to continue to increase the flexibility, efficiency and effectiveness of programmes.

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