Volunteer Opportunity

Member of the International Council of PBI

Posted by
Peace Brigades International
Bruxelles, Belgium

Peace Brigades International

Published 1 month ago

A few hours per week

PBI’s International Council (IC) is made up of a maximum of 13 members with a combination of expertise related to its governance responsibilities. We are currently recruiting a new IC member who has finance management skills and experience gained in PBI and/or in other organisations.

As a rights-based global organisation we seek to have inclusive representation on the IC. Women and people with diverse backgrounds, particularly from the Global South, are strongly encouraged to apply. People with English and Spanish language skills are preferred.

1.      Organisational overview

Peace Brigades International (PBI) is a non-governmental organisation, which protects human rights and promotes nonviolent conflict transformation. PBI provides protection for threatened human rights defenders (HRDs) and displaced communities striving to promote social justice and human rights in areas of violent conflict.

PBI currently has field operations in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Indonesia, Mexico, Nepal and Nicaragua. PBI project work is supported by an international coordinating office based in Brussels and a network of 13 country groups, who carry out volunteer recruitment and support, advocacy and fundraising. PBI uses a non-hierarchical model of organising and decisions are taken by consensus. For further information, please go to

The highest decision-making body of PBI is the General Assembly (GA), made up of volunteers and staff from across PBI, including a representative of the IC. The GA meets every three years and makes key strategic decisions. The next GA will be in May 2021.

Between General Assemblies, key decision-making bodies of PBI are:

·        The International Council (IC), which is made up of independent board members appointed by the General Assembly and is responsible for governance;

·        The International Operations Council (IOC), which consists of staff from across PBI and is responsible for operational oversight.

Both councils meet annually face-to-face and monthly by conference call. They are supported by staff at PBI’s International Office (IO) and by committees and working groups whose members have specialist expertise and responsibility for particular areas of governance and operations.

The IC is the oversight entity for the whole organisation and legally responsible for the operations of the International Secretariat (ISEC) and projects. However, many of the responsibilities of the IC are delegated to the IOC, IO, committees, working groups and projects.

The key functions of the IC are to ensure the following:

·        That the conduct and activities of PBI are consistent with and advance PBI's mission, norms, and strategic directions given by the GA

·        That PBI fulfills its internal and external legal and ethical obligations

·        That an organisational structure is in place to carry out the strategic oversight, management and operations of PBI

·        That global plans are developed based on consultation with all PBI entities and presented to the GA for decision

·        That mechanisms are in place to monitor and evaluate strategic and operational plans and budgets

·        That all entities have budgets, financial management and operational plans in place and that they are regularly monitored

·        That policies and procedures are in place and monitored to comply with legal and ethical responsibilities for ISEC and project staff and volunteers

2.      Legal structure

PBI was registered in 1982 as a non-profit corporation in the State of Washington, USA. Our 501(c)(3) registration number there is 91-1179750. All IC members are directors of the PBI non-profit corporation registered in the State of Washington, USA, directors of the PBI foreign company registered in the United Kingdom and directors of the local branch of the PBI overseas organisation registered in Belgium.

While all the projects are incorporated in the countries in which they operate, they are part of the legal structure and the governance of the international organization.

PBI has 13 legally separate country groups in Europe, the Americas and Australia who undertake volunteer recruitment and support, advocacy and fundraising, and play an integral role in meeting the aims and objectives of the global organisation.

3.      Criteria for IC members

Essential general skills

·        Political awareness and familiarity with global issues relating to peace and human rights. Experience in the field of HRD protection would be an asset.

·        Skills in political analysis and capacity to analyse complex situations

·        Commitment to and understanding of the principles and mandate of PBI

·        Experience of and commitment to working with decentralised and/or field-based international organisations

·        A sound understanding of strategic planning and oversight

·        Able to travel to and participate in a four day IC meeting once a year, and take part in monthly meetings by conference call

·        Able to serve on the IC for three years

·        Able to commit an average of 10 hours per month

·        Fluency in English and/or Spanish

·        Candidates with prior experience working with PBI are encouraged to apply

Essential specific skills

All members of the IC take on specific responsibilities to support the function of the entire council and organisation at large. We are specifically looking for someone who can contribute effectively to the work of the Finance & Audit Committee (FAC).

The FAC has oversight responsibilities for budgeting, finance reporting, financial management and accountability across the organisation. This group advises the IC on issues of financial planning and accountability, ensures timely and accurate financial reporting, and develops and oversees the implementation of policies and procedures for best practice.

Skills and experience required: financial management and/or accounting experience within international NGOs.

We would especially welcome individuals with a professional accounting designation in Belgium and/or in the USA.

4.      IC conference calls and meetings

The IC meets monthly by conference call. In addition there is an annual face-to-face meeting lasting four days. It is expected that all IC members make necessary arrangements to attend this meeting.

5.      Why be a member of the International Council?

Past and current members of PBI’s IC will not deny that being on the IC is sometimes intense and occasionally demanding, as anyone who works in human rights would understand. However, the IC is also a space filled with intellectual stimulation and meaningful debate with worldly and engaged colleagues. It is a special opportunity to be part of the decision-making that manages the present and helps shape the future of a global human rights and peacebuilding organisation. As an IC member, you can expect to:

·        Gain skills and experience in the governance and management of an international human rights organisation

·        Gain an understanding of and contribute to the strategic direction and functioning of PBI

·        Work directly with a highly committed group of people dedicated to putting into practice the protection of human rights and promotion of nonviolence.

6.      Languages

All IC meetings and conference calls are conducted in both English and Spanish (when necessary) with interpretation and translations provided.

7.      Expenses

IC members are all volunteers and receive no remuneration. Communication, travel and other costs incurred while carrying out IC and international committee work will be covered by PBI.

PBI’s International Council (IC) is made up of a maximum of 13 members with a combination of expertise related to its governance responsibilities. We are currently recruiting a new IC member who has finance management skills and experience…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location


15 rue Fernand Bernier, Bruxelles 1060, BE

Apply to This Volunteer Opportunity


Please send your CV and a short cover letter explaining why you would like to serve on the IC and how you meet the criteria to: Stefan Grand Meyer,, by Sunday 17 January 2021.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview with representatives of PBI’s councils in February 2021. We regret that we will not be able to respond to unsuccessful applicants.

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