The next executive director of the Global Fund will be selected at a Board Retreat that will be held on 27-28 February in Geneva. He or she will replace Dr Mark Dybul, whose term ends on 31 May 2017.
The main steps of the recruitment process, as decided by the Board and as reported by GFO last November, were as follows:
- development of terms of reference and selection criteria for the position;
- appointment of a search firm, Russell Reynolds Associates (RRA);
- appointment of the members of an Executive Director Nomination Committee (EDNC);
- setting a deadline for applications (5 December);
- review of the applications and identification of a long list of potential candidates;
- development by the Nomination Committee of a short list of up to four candidates; and
- final selection made by the full Board.
The Board approved a voting process for the selection that was very similar to the process used in 2012 that resulted in the selection of Dr Dybul.
On 13 February, the final report of the EDNC, listing up to four candidates, was provided to Board members and alternates via a secure portal. Board members and alternates were asked to keep the information strictly confidential.
Aidspan understands that the EDNC final report provided details for each candidate and a rationale for the committee’s ranking; and included a proposal concerning the compensation and benefits to be offered to the successful candidate. One thing that is different from the process used in 2012 is that the EDNC presented the candidates in ranked order.
Two teleconferences for Board constituencies, to provide further details, were tentatively scheduled for 14 February. In addition, we understand that Board constituencies are also being given the opportunity of an additional call with the members of the RRA team.
The selection is expected to be made on the first day of the Board Retreat. Only Board members and alternates, plus members of the Boards Coordinating Group, have been invited to attend that day. (The Coordinating Group consists of the Board Chair and Vice-Chair, and the chair and vice-chair of each of the Board’s committees.)
Process at the Board Retreat
Aidspan understands that each of the short-listed candidates will appear before the Board for a one-hour interview. The candidate will give a short presentation on his or her vision for the Global Fund, following which the candidate will be interviewed by one representative from each of the two voting groups on the Board (the donor group and the implementer group). (The questions will be selected from a pool of questions submitted in advance by Board constituencies and the Fund’s Staff Council.)
After the candidate interviews, Board members will receive additional information on the candidates from a representative of RRA; from an expert who will present the results of the psychometric testing that was conducted; and from the Fund’s Ethics Officer.
Then, the EDNC will explain the rationale for its ranking of the candidates, after which the Board will begin its deliberations.
A straw vote may be taken to determine whether there is a consensus on the choice. If there is, the Board will proceed to take a formal decision on who should be appointed. If there is not broad agreement at the outset, the preferred candidate will be identified through what the Fund calls “multiple weighted voting cycles.” This is basically a series of ballots where Board members assign points to their preferred candidates; on the first ballot, the candidate with the least points is eliminated; and additional ballots are held until a single candidate remains. This is the same procedure that was used in 2012.
For the vote on the final decision appointing the successful candidate, a two-thirds majority of both the donor group and the implementer group is required.
The decision point will also include a salary range that the Board authorizes the Board chair to use for negotiating an employee agreement with the next executive director.
Comparison to the process used in 2012
Aside from the ranking of candidates by the EDNC, the major difference between the process for 2017 and the one used in 2012 is that the final selection occurs at a Board Retreat (2017) rather than a full Board meeting (2012). Some concern has been expressed that conducting the selection at a Board retreat, where only the Board members and their alternates are present, limits opportunities for consultation with the full Board delegations. In 2012, the full delegations were present when the candidates were interviewed.
Board leadership renewal
Concern has also been expressed about the lack of information on what the process will be for the selection of the next chair and vice-chair of the Board. The terms of the current Chair, Norbert Hauser, and Vice-Chair, Aida Kurtovic, expire at the next Board meeting on 3-4 May. The terms of the new chair and vice-chair will start immediately following that Board meeting. That is less than three months away.