Head of Council Secretariat - Tenders Global

Head of Council Secretariat

European Patent Office


Position description

The Administrative Council, together with the European Patent Office and the Boards of Appeal, form the European Patent Organisation. The Council, comprising representatives of the 39 member states, acts as the Office’s supervisory body.

The Council Secretariat is the official secretariat of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation. It is placed at the disposal of the Administrative Council to enable it to carry out its duties. The Secretariat is responsible for organising and co-ordinating all meetings of the Administrative Council and its bodies and for providing administrative support to the Organisation’s Board of Auditors.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) concluded between the Office and Council in early 2020 defined the scope of the Secretariat’s support to the Council. The Strategic Plan 2023 programme on the modernisation of external governance complemented the MoU with particular emphasis on the ongoing modernisation and digitalisation of services.

Among the Secretariat’s achievements is the support it provided to the Council in swiftly and effectively responding to the pandemic to ensure the Council’s seamless functioning. The Secretariat, in collaboration with other Office units have been working steadily to provide the Council with new services, to streamline procedures for greater efficiency as well as to facilitate the new ways of working, making hybrid meetings standard practice.

To build on the progress already made, the Office is now seeking to appoint a Head of Council Secretariat to lead a team of professionals in delivering these important missions. The Head of Council Secretariat will report direct to the Vice-President in charge of the Directorate-General Legal and International Affairs.

With us you will

  • assist and advise the chairpersons of the Administrative Council and its committees on all operational matters, in particular all aspects of proceedings, and facilitate liaison with delegations and collaboration with Office stakeholders as well as the President of the Boards of Appeal;
  • organise and co-ordinate all meetings of the Administrative Council, including drawing up agendas, processing CA documents, drafting minutes and documents on behalf of the chairpersons, preparing topics for discussion, co-ordinating communication with the Council;
  • support and handle procedures for the recruitment, appointment and promotion of Council appointees;
  • interact closely with all EPO departments contributing to the activities of the Council Secretariat, in particular Legal Affairs and BIT;
  • exercise the role of delegated controller within the meaning of the Data Protection Rules for the Council and the Select Committee;
  • provide the Board of Auditors with administrative support;
  • lead the Council Secretariat team, managing the performance and development of its members;
  • implement measures to deliver services of the highest quality and timeliness as required by the legal framework and/or expected by the chairpersons, delegations and other stakeholders.

Apply if you have

  • a comprehensive understanding of the European Patent Organisation, its mission and institutional framework, as well as a sound understanding of the European Patent Office and its strategy or, alternatively, experience and understanding of a similar international organisation;
  • a solid understanding of the Administrative Council (or similar supervisory body) and its institutional set‑up and function;
  • background and experience in international relations, including significant experience in international negotiations, preferably within international organisations;
  • track record in building strong professional networks and the ability to establish collaborative and effective relationships with internal and external stakeholders;
  • proven ability to react swiftly and decisively when faced with unforeseen situations in a dynamic environment, while remaining calm and dealing with matters quickly and professionally in an agile manner;
  • demonstrated management ability to lead a team in an area where political, legal and procedural understanding is key to solving complex issues;
  • capacity to manage performance effectively, providing feedback and staff development to create a highly focused, connected and supported team;
  • ability to plan and prioritise and a proven track record in the effective delivery of services;
  • significant experience, knowledge and interest in digital innovation and the use of digital tools to lead the Council Secretariat towards a more digitalised future, driving and delivering initiatives to simplify and digitalise processes and restructure workflows accordingly;
  • embrace the Office’s sustainability efforts and embed them smoothly in your own area of competence;
  • high degree of service orientation, diplomacy and integrity;
  • ability to handle highly sensitive information with the utmost confidentiality and discretion;
  • personal resilience and ability to handle multiple issues effectively, even under time pressure;
  • excellent written and communication skills, preferably in the three official languages of the Office, and the proven ability to converse with people from diverse backgrounds; experience in legal matters, including a good understanding of data protection and the ability to take responsibility in implementing relevant rules and workflows.

Our minimum requirements for this post

  • Diploma of completed studies at master’s level or – in exceptional cases – equivalent professional experience;
  • Generally, an excellent knowledge (at least C1) of one official language (English, French and German) and ability to understand the other two; alternatively, excellent knowledge (at least C1) of at least one official language (in such cases, the willingness to learn the missing languages and to reach level B2 within a set time frame would be required);
  • Citizenship of one of the member states of the European Patent Organisation.

Candidates wishing to apply should upload their CV to SuccessFactors. Please indicate your motivation in the Reasons for applying field (1 024 characters or less) or upload your motivation letter as a Word or PDF attachment under Application documents, making sure to indicate “Please refer to attached motivation letter” in the Reasons for applying field.

The successful candidate will be selected on the basis of qualifications, competencies, professional experience and language knowledge, supplemented as appropriate by interviews, tests and/or a personality questionnaire. The Chairman of the Administrative Council will be consulted during the recruitment procedure as per the Memorandum of Understanding.

If, following the selection procedure, we identify more suitable candidates than we have vacancies for at this time, we will establish a reserve list that will remain valid for 18 months. We may then use this list to fill any vacancies with substantially the same profile that arise during this period.

Key information

Job group: 3
Grade: G13/3 (net (basic) monthly salary* for this vacancy: EUR 14 460)
Duration of appointment: 5 years
Career path: Managerial
Location: Munich
Application deadline: 27 November 2023
Interviews planned: 8 December 2023

* after deduction of EPO-internal tax and before deduction of staff contributions to the social security and pension schemes.

We welcome all applications for vacant positions. We consider each on its professional merits – regardless of your nationality, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, parental responsibilities, age, religion or belief.


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