The Challenge

ILAE has been bringing together the leading voices in epilepsy globally for more than one hundred years. Since the membership federation for epilepsy research was founded in 1909, it had grown significantly and the Board recently looked to appoint its first full time Executive Director to provide it with the expertise and leadership to remain sustainable in the future. The Executive Director’s scale of management responsibility would be small, although this person will need to exert far greater informal influence across its many diverse global stakeholders. The successful candidate would bring experience of leading strategic planning and driving operational excellence in an organisation with an international orientation. This person would also need to understand complex, federated governance structure and be an excellent networker and builder of relationships, especially in the international health space.

Our approach and success

We led a global search to identify leaders with experience of growing and developing international membership organisations, particularly those with a health and research angle. Using the deep networks of Panorama, we leveraged our contacts across several continents: Europe (in this case mainly people based in Geneva, London, Brussels or the Hague area), North America (Washington D.C., Chicago, Boston and others), as well as Canada and Australia. We extensively mapped the global health professional membership bodies sector, reaching out to potential sources and candidates within global organisations which had an institutional membership. We also reached more widely into the Not-for-Profit sector, international Government (e.g. UN, WHO and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office), and NGOs. The appointed candidate, Julie Hall, a public health specialist from the UK, who was based in Geneva where she was serving as the Health Lead for International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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