Head of Policy (home-based option)


GFI Europe is looking for a Head of Policy to significantly influence how quickly Europe and the world moves to a more ethical and sustainable food system.

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Job description

Helping people, animals and the planet by leading a team to deliver supportive public policy for plant-based and cultivated meat in Europe

Industrial animal agriculture is at the root of many of the most pressing global issues of our time, from climate change and global hunger, to antibiotic resistance and poor animal welfare. 

The Good Food Institute Europe (GFI Europe) is at the forefront of the movement to use food technology to replace the products of industrial animal agriculture with plant-based and cultivated alternatives. Please check out our U.S. affiliate’s website (gfi.org) and read the 2020 Year in Review (gfi.org/2020) to find out more about who we are and what we do. We are at an exciting stage in our growth, and are looking for a Head of Policy to lead and build our growing policy team in Europe. For more information about this role and the team you will be leading, please read the Head of Policy job brochure.

How you will make a difference:

Your role will have high responsibility and high impact. You will significantly influence how quickly Europe and the world moves to a more ethical and sustainable food system. 

You will be responsible for leading, coordinating and growing a team to drive policy impact on alternative proteins at EU and national levels across Europe.  You will provide strategic oversight and manage a team that works directly with policymakers, nonprofits, and other stakeholders. 

Specific work-streams that the policy team are working on include, amongst other things, delivering a fair, evidence-based regulatory path-to-market for plant-based and cultivated proteins, driving significantly more public investment into Research and Development for plant-based and cultivated meat, and ensuring that the labelling of plant-based food products is not unfairly restricted. Our team recently played a key role in defeating the “veggie burger ban” labelling proposals in the EU Parliament. 

In addition to providing strong leadership and management, you will also be a senior external spokesperson for GFI. Depending on where you are based, you may also take up responsibility for some direct advocacy in your country, if appropriate. For example, if we hire a candidate who is based in the UK, you may take direct responsibility for some of our UK government engagement work. If we hire a candidate who is based in Brussels, you may directly support the team on some EU-facing lobbying. 

In this role, you will: 

  • Lead and support our growing and high-performing policy team in Europe.
  • Provide strategic direction, oversight and coordination of GFI Europe’s policy work. 
  • Help plan and organise our policy work by overseeing objectives, key results, and action plans, and ensure that we deliver on those plans.
  • Manage and support our policy team, including performance assessment, professional development and other aspects of line-management. 
  • Oversee policy team budgeting, growth planning and, in collaboration with our Operations team and the Managing Director, recruitment of new policy team members.
  • Personally contribute to lobbying efforts in some areas, where needed. 
  • Oversee and assist the policy team in developing and coordinating lobbying strategies to deliver positive policy change to support plant-based and cultivated protein, based on thorough research and mapping of decision-makers.
  • Oversee external contracts relating to GFI Europe’s policy work, including with service providers such as political consultancies, and grant-funded partnerships.
  • Act as a senior spokesperson and representative for GFI in meetings with stakeholders (including donors), in the media, and at public events, as needed.
  • Build and maintain relationships with senior politicians and officials in relevant public institutions such as the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council of the EU, and national level decision making bodies.
  • Build alliances and work cooperatively with other organisations, companies and stakeholders, and engage respectfully with people who are still to be persuaded. You will cultivate relationships with nonprofit organisations, industry, and other stakeholders, including those focused on the environment, global hunger, public health, animal welfare, and food safety.
  • Together with Communications colleagues, work with the media and use social media to help deliver our objectives.
  • Perform other tasks as required. 

Who We’re Looking For

You must have:

  • A passion for GFI’s philosophy and mission.
  • A demonstrated ability to drive policy change.
  • Significant experience working on policy at the EU, national (within Europe – whether in an EU member state or a non-EU country) or multilateral level, for example in a government, public institution, political party, NGO, think tank, industry association, consulting firm, multilateral, or other relevant institution.
  • Demonstrated experience as a supportive, collaborative, empowering line manager.
  • An excellent ability to think and work strategically to set a compelling and optimised strategic direction for GFI’s policy work in Europe, including vision-setting, prioritising between competing workstreams and opportunities for impact, etc.  
  • Excellent people-skills – the ability to influence, network, build alliances and work well in a team.
  • Enthusiasm, a strong work ethic and self-motivation; a sense of ownership and responsibility to drive outcomes. A positive, can-do attitude. 
  • Fluent English, both written and spoken.

It would be an advantage to have some or all of the following attributes, but none of them are prerequisites, and we welcome applications from candidates without any or all of them:

  • Experience leading and managing a team, potentially including leadership and management qualifications.
  • Experience leading/managing teams working remotely across multiple geographies.
  • Experience in one or more of the following policy areas: research and innovation, food and agriculture, legal and/or regulatory affairs, climate and environment policy, public health.
  • Experience working on policy at the EU level. 
  • Comfort with, and a history of, interacting with and influencing senior officials and politicians.
  • A strong network of high-level contacts in relevant institutions.
  • A demonstrated ability to build alliances with NGOs and industry actors.
  • Fluency in European languages other than English.

We want the best people and we don’t want biases holding us back. We strongly encourage people of every colour, orientation, age, gender, origin, and ability to apply. Because we value a diverse workplace, we prioritize an inclusive climate absent of discrimination and harassment during the application process and after you join the team.

Benefits and the fine print

  • Terms of employment: Full-time, permanent
  • Reports to: Managing Director of GFI Europe
  • Location:  Flexible. This is a remote role – you will be working from home, or wherever you choose. We will consider candidates based anywhere in Europe. (If the successful applicant for this role is based in Brussels, they would be able to join the Brussels-based members of the policy team in their office, as needed). Once the COVID situation has cleared, the whole GFI Europe team will aim to get together in-person approximately twice per year for around 3-4 days at a time, most likely in the London area or Brussels.
  • Salary and benefits: We offer competitive salaries and benefits, based on experience and prevailing rates for similar roles in non-profits in the country where you are based. 
  • Right to work requirements: You must have the right to work in the country where you are based.
  • Application Deadline: 24th May 2021 at 11.59pm CEST. We will be assessing candidates on a rolling basis, so please apply now!
  • Application process: Please complete this short form to upload your CV and cover letter – thank you. Your cover letter (of 1-2 pages) should set out:
  • what motivated you to apply for this role
  • how you meet each of the requirements for the role as listed in the job description 
  • which bit of the job description energises you the most.

The full application process is outlined in the Head of Policy job brochure here. We really look forward to hearing from you!

Any questions?  If you have any questions about this role, please do reach out to us at  europe@gfi.org. If you’ve read this far but decided not to apply, please feel free to share this job description with someone else in your network who you think might be a good fit for the role! Thank you.

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