Our Executive Director Leaving: ILGA-Europe Board’s Response

“Although we are deeply sad that we will have to say goodbye to Evelyne, her departure will also present an opportunity, both for the organisation and for whoever takes on the role.

After having Evelyne as part of the movement for so long, and also leading ILGA-Europe itself for so many years, it came as a bit of a shock when she announced to the board her intention to step down. But having spoken to Evelyne at length, both individually and in a collective setting, it is clear that she has decided to take this step, both out of consideration for herself, and considering the future and innovation of the organisation.

As members of the board, we fully respect and applaud Evelyne’s decision. Of course, we are emotional too. Evelyne has been right there since all of us on the board became activists in the movement. She has been a level-headed, clear-sighted constant in an ever-changing world. Her consistency of vision, combined with highly-intelligent and informed adaptability, has provided a core, calm underpinning as we navigated huge change as a movement during the years of her tenure.

The world may continue to be in flux, but Evelyne is leaving ILGA-Europe at a time when the organisation is in a more stable position than it has ever been, not only in financial terms, but in the strength of its staff team, which is solid, cohesive, engaged and ready to step up where necessary. This is a testament to both Evelyne’s leadership, the leadership of other managers in the organisation, and the commitment and passion of every team member. Knowing this as a board, we are calm about the transition because we know whoever is appointed will be leading a holistically healthy organisation.

A strong mandate

Amid such organisational strength and stability, this change in leadership will not put ILGA-Europe in a vulnerable position. Although we are very sad to that we will have to say goodbye to Evelyne, her departure will also present an opportunity both for the organisation and for whoever takes on the role.

That person will not only get to lead a structurally sound organisation, but one that is cohesive in its values, and which has grown over recent years, not only in terms of finance and staff, but also in approaches to the work, such as increased flexibility, expanded connection with the movements in different countries, and deeper connections to institutions, politicians and policy makers, both in Brussels and nationally across the region. There is a very strong mandate from the membership for ILGA-Europe, and there is a definite opportunity for whoever takes over the role to develop their own vision alongside the team, to see how this can be further delivered upon. To see how we further develop an organisation that constantly adapts to meet what is relevant to the movement in circumstances and an environment that is changing, shifting and becoming more and more critical.

It’s a lot of responsibility – Evelyne will be the first to tell you that! –  but it’s also an opportunity to lead an organisation that encourages and embraces innovation and creativity.

Working directly with Evelyne, the entire board has taken on the task of ensuring that the recruitment of ILGA-Europe’s next Executive Director is done in a timely and proper fashion and ensuring that everyone who needs to be involved in the process has a place at the table. We will be having a General Meeting in June and we encourage members to join and ask any questions they may have, which we will be more than happy to answer. 

Smooth and easy transition

Our goal is to make this transition in leadership as easy and smooth as possible. We are working with a recruitment company who will assist us at every stage. We have appointed a selection committee of six members from the board, and the staff have all been consulted about what they think is needed in terms of both soft and hard skills for the position. The role will be advertised this week and recruitment will happen in early summer.

There will be several more occasions for us to express our gratitude for Evelyne’s commitment, consistency, tireless work and frankly great company over the years, and for us to wish her well in her future endeavours, which we know will be of benefit to the world. But at this juncture we want to express our deep appreciation for how involved and considerate Evelyne has been in her process of departure. That she is leaving in such a structured and well-thought out way is a testament to her leadership. There were tears from the board when she told us of her plan to leave, and I know from the staff too. It is hard to imagine an ILGA-Europe without Evelyne, but we know her work has ensured that it will continue to thrive in its crucial role working for a world in which each and every LGBTI person in their everyday lives is free, equal and safe.

Natia Gvianishvili & Yves Aerts Jacobs, ILGA-Europe, Co-chairs

See also

Blog

2023: Our year in numbers

*The information in this infographic encompasses our work from October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023
read more
Podcast

The Frontline Podcast: Changing Leadership, Changing Times

In the almost 14 years since Evelyne Paradis became the Executive Director of ILGA-Europe it has grown to become the largest umbrella organisation for LGBTI […]
read more
Podcast

The Frontline: LGBTI activism now

For the past 18 years with ILGA-Europe, 15 of which she spent as the organisation’s Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis has worked closely alongside and on […]
read more
Blog

Why you might be the right fit for our latest job opportunity

At ILGA-Europe we are looking for a brand new Finance Director. We talked to the current Finance Director about why the position is such an […]
read more
Podcast

The Frontline: LGBTI rights and politics now, with Evelyne Paradis

With a decade and half of experience leading Europe’s largest LGBTI umbrella organisation, which is a driving force for political, legal and social change in […]
read more
Blog

Q&A with our new Executive Director

On October 1, Chaber will become the next Executive Director of ILGA-Europe. As they get ready to step into those shoes, let’s take a little time to get to know them, where they come from, how their activism progressed to this moment, and what they envisage for ILGA-Europe and the LGBTI movement in Europe and Central Asia in the coming years.
read more
News

New Executive Director for ILGA-Europe appointed

After a detailed recruitment process, the board of ILGA-Europe have announced the organisation’s new Executive Director. The board of ILGA-Europe have announced that Chaber, a […]
read more
Report

Overview of ILGA-Europe’s Finances in 2022

In the financial year 2022 ILGA-Europe obtained and recognized 3 687 082 € in revenues, which is approx. an 11% (over 365 000 €) increase […]
read more
Report

Treasurer’s Report 2022

While the projections for the financial year 2022 assumed a steady growth of the budget, new programmes, and a slow but steady turn to regular […]
read more
News

2040 Looking back: Future Activism Interviews

Have a look at ILGA-Europe’s zine of ‘speculative futures’ interviews, set in the year 2040, with powerful LGBTI activists from across the region.
read more
News

Our Executive Director announces her departure

Sustainability and a sense of stability are very important for any organisation. But I’ve always believed that renewal is just as important. And so, for […]
read more
Blog

How we created our brand-new website to support LGBTI activism

After 18 months of planning and work, the team at ILGA-Europe are proud to introduce our brand-new website. It shows the range of work we do and LGBTI activists and organisations can now easily find the information they need. Keep reading to learn more about how it was developed and how you can make the most of it.
read more

Organisational development & design

Creating and evolving organisations, groups, collectives and networks is at the core of social change work. There is no universal recipe for success here. A […]
read more
Report

Treasurer’s report 2021

It goes without saying, that even without the perturbations of COVID-19, both financial and organisational, the year was a period of complex work to secure […]
read more
Report

Overview of ILGA-Europe’s finances in 2021

In the financial year 2021 ILGA-Europe obtained and recognised €3,322,339 in revenues, which is approximately a 6% increase from the 2020 revenues. The share of […]
read more
News

ILGA-Europe launch partnership with fintech company Revolut

Revolut has today announced the launch of a new donations feature, allowing its five million customers to instantly round-up their card payments and donate the difference to charity […]
read more

Our Governance

Who are ILGA-Europe’s members and what is their role? ILGA-Europe is a membership-based organisation. Our members are 600-plus not-for-profit LGBTI organisations – national organisations, local […]
read more
Press Release

Annual Review 2019: Achievements gained and challenges ahead for the LGBTI movement

From the landmark Coman Case to the ban on LGBTI events in Ankara ILGA-Europe’s 2019 Annual Review reveals both achievements gained and challenges ahead for […]
read more
Report

Strategic Framework 2019-2023

For a long time at ILGA-Europe there was a sense that we needed to be experts on a range of things, on specific topics, on […]
read more
Report

Strategic plan 2014-2018

We discussed how we can make sure that what we achieve over the next five years will get us closer to making our vision of […]
read more
Report

Strategic plan 2011-2013

The first was to explicitly underline ILGA-Europe’s human rights approach as the basis of the organisation’s work. The second was to consider ILGA-Europe as a […]
read more
Report

Strategic plan 2008-2011

This Strategic Plan was adopted in October 2007 during ILGA-Europe’s annual conference in Vilnius and comes into effect from 1 January 2008.
read more
Report

Strategic plan 2005-2008

Inclusion of Equality within the LGBT communities as a focus throughout – encouraging equality for all within the organisation and all its actions. Creating links […]
read more