Vacancy: IGRAC Managing Director - Groundwater Specialist (position closed)


Deadline has expired. Applications will no longer be taken into consideration.

Location: DELFT, The Netherlands 
Deadline: 31-July-2021
Type of contract: One-year contract under Dutch Law (renewable)


Groundwater provides almost half of all drinking water worldwide, about 40% of water for irrigated agriculture and about 1/3 of water supply required for industry. It sustains ecosystems, maintains the baseflow of rivers and prevents land subsidence and seawater intrusion. Aquifer buffering capacity is an important part of climate change adaptation and groundwater is often a solution for people without access to safe water. Globally groundwater resources are under fast-growing pressure due to human activities and climate change. The response to this pressure is often not adequate, also due to limited knowledge of groundwater resources and limited awareness of their importance.  

IGRAC (International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre) facilitates and promotes international sharing of information and knowledge required for sustainable groundwater resources development and management worldwide. IGRAC is the UNESCO Global Groundwater Centre, it also works closely with WMO and it is supported by the government of the Netherlands. IGRAC contributes largely to UNESCO-IHP and to the work of a number of other United Nations agencies. IGRAC also fulfils an important role in raising awareness on the importance of groundwater and its unique challenges. The government of the Netherlands recently reaffirmed its commitment to IGRAC, by assuring funding for IGRAC for the period 2022 - 2027.

As the only global centre dedicated to groundwater assessment and monitoring, IGRAC’s role is more important than ever. In the coming decades, sustainable utilization of groundwater resources will be critical to achieving sustainable development at large, and the SDGs of UN Agenda 2030 in particular. In the international groundwater year 2022 IGRAC will play a leading role.

After years of excellent work, IGRAC is entering a new phase and is looking for an inspiring leader that is able to connect an excellent knowledge of groundwater with the new financial opportunities to grow the vibrant Centre that IGRAC is.   


The IGRAC Managing Director - groundwater specialist (further referred as “incumbent”) is responsible for the general management of the IGRAC centre and hence for reporting to the Foundation and Governing Board. He/she combines an excellent groundwater knowledge with management expertise. 

Together with IGRAC Senior Scientific Staff member, the incumbent leads IGRAC activities and prepares yearly plans and reports. 

The incumbent will be responsible for general management (30%). He/she:

  • Allows for a favourable environment for the IGRAC staff by managing human resources on both a practical level (recruitment, contract renewals) and a leadership level (supervision, personal development plans);
  • Conducts administrative tasks related to financing, pensions and insurances. 
  • Provides annual (financial) reports and work plans to the Governing Board and Foundation Board; and
  • Conducts procurement/project acquisition activities, to strengthen IGRAC’s financial situation. 

Scientific direction of IGRAC (50%). He/she:

  • Ensures the implementation of IGRAC’s strategic plan (2019-‘23): Groundwater in a changing world;
  • Ensures IGRAC’s activities are aligned with the conditions of its funding scheme DUPC3 (2022-2027): Transformations to inclusive and sustainable water futures;
  • Participates in the preparation and implementation of IGRAC core activities and external projects, including assessment, monitoring and management of global groundwater resources;
  • Represents IGRAC at (ground)water-related conferences, forums, scientific panels and roundtables; 
  • Supervises capacity building activities and updates the content of the Global Groundwater Information System (GGIS); and
  • Supervises organisation, execution and follow-up of trainings and workshops in various parts of the World.

Strengthen partnerships (20%). He/she:

  • Further strengthens the cooperation with the in-house institute IHE Delft;
  • Further strengthens the cooperation with UNESCO-IHP and WMO; and
  • Explores opportunities to expand IGRAC’s existing network of partners and donors.

Education and skills 

  • Master's degree or PhD in hydrogeology or related environmental science;
  • Strong, proven management skills;
  • Formal training in project management and business administration is preferable; 
  • Knowledge of an additional United Nations language is an asset;
  • (Basic) knowledge of Dutch language is an asset;
  • Capacity to lead high-level discussions;
  • Ability to deal with frequent missions abroad;
  • Capacity to strategically position IGRAC in the technical, academic, and high-level political field.

Work Experience

  • At least 10 year of experience in the area of groundwater resources assessment and management. 
  • Broad international groundwater experience and experience in working in an international environment.  
  • Interest in line-management is essential.    


Applications, including a letter of motivation and CV should be sent by e-mail to Vera Schouten at no later than 31-July-2021. For more information please contact using IGRAC in the subject header.