IUCr seeks an Executive Secretary (Chief Executive Officer)


The International Union of Crystallography (IUCr), which is both a global scientific union and a publisher of crystallographic journals and books, seeks an Executive Secretary (Chief Executive Officer) to manage the organisation and to administer its day-to-day operations.

The IUCr was founded 75 years ago to unite crystallographers worldwide and support them by providing a suite of bespoke research journals in which to publish their work, together with a set of specialised reference books. In addition, it has a long tradition of sponsoring schools, workshops and conferences globally through channelling financial support specifically to young scientists and furthering the development of crystallography in developing countries. All these activities are necessarily funded from the profits of the journals’ publication business.

The IUCr has 53 adhering members – countries and regional committees – and it is incorporated in Switzerland as a “not-for-profit” organisation. It also runs 22 specialist commissions overseeing various aspects of crystallography. The Union is governed by a General Assembly of the adhering bodies that meets every three years. Between these meetings the responsibility for the work of the Union is delegated to the elected Executive Committee.  

The IUCr is based at its headquarters in Chester, UK, in Abbey Square overlooking the Cathedral. Here it employs some 25 staff mainly engaged in the production of its 10 journals and the International Tables for Crystallography; seven of the journals are sold through the publisher Wiley and three are self-published. In addition there are teams of journal editors, co-editors and referees worldwide. The IUCr has an annual turnover in excess of USD 3 million and investments of a similar magnitude. The ability to handle financial matters, such as overseeing the preparation of the annual accounts by external accountants and dealing with taxation and investment matters, is required; attention to detail is a must.

The successful candidate is expected to direct the financial and administrative affairs of the Union and has support to help with accounting and financial matters. The Executive Secretary reports to the General Secretary and Treasurer on the Executive Committee, which is elected/re-elected every three years at the IUCr’s congresses. The Union’s Swiss registration means that meetings of the Executive Committee (annual) and the associated Finance Committee (twice a year) must take place outside the UK, and the Union’s investments must also be held off-shore. The Executive Secretary must therefore be willing to travel overseas.

The IUCr offers a competitive salary in the range £60,000–£80,000 pa, with excellent benefits. To apply for the position please submit a CV, a covering letter detailing your suitability for the post, plus the names of at least two persons who can provide references, to Alex Ashcroft (execsec@iucr.org) by 20 April 2022. In your submission please make reference to the summary below of the essential and desirable qualifications for this post.

The successful candidate must have the following:

  • An ability to manage people, possess excellent communication skills and have a basic knowledge of UK employment laws.
  • Excellent written and oral English skills.
  • Experience in the management, including the financial management, of projects.
  • An ability to work with scientists with diverse backgrounds from around the globe.
  • A willingness to travel outside the UK for IUCr committee meetings and major IUCr conferences and congresses.

Desirable attributes include the following:

  • A background in science, or in the organisation or promotion of science.
  • An interest in structural science and crystallography.
  • An interest in the scientific publications business.
  • Experience in an international organisation and planning activities.
  • Experience in a "not-for-profit" organisation.
  • Familiarity with financial investments.
18 March 2022

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