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From Governing Board to Supervisory Board

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The way foundations and associations think about ‘governance’ has developed over recent years. There is a growing distinction being made between the management (day-to-day operations) and supervision of an organisation. Over the past 10 years, many organisations that are similar to SOMO have switched to a Supervisory Board model. SOMO’s Governing Board and staff indicated that this was their preference too. In December 2015, they decided to amend SOMO’s statutes, as of January 2016.

In January 2016, SOMO established a Supervisory Board in order to allow the organisation’s expanding practice to align itself more effectively with the formal governance structure. The statutes also had to be amended to address an outdated formal operating structure.

The staff is the decision-making body

Important decisions regarding strategy and policy frameworks at SOMO are made collectively. SOMO values maintaining a flat organisational structure, which includes participatory policy development and a horizontal organisational structure. That’s why the role of the staff and the co-workers collectively is also included in SOMO’s new statutes.

The day-to-day direction of the organisation is in the hands of the management team, which consists of Esther de Haan, Gerhard Schuil and Roos van Os and is chaired by Ronald Gijsbertsen, who is SOMO’s Managing Director.

Supervisory Board members and their expertise

Three SOMO board members have now joined the Supervisory Board, which is chaired by Ronald Messelink, Director of ICS. His focus area within the Supervisory Board is financial matters. Angela Wigger, Researcher and associate Professor of Political Economy and International Relations at Radboud University, focuses on maintaining SOMO’s relationship with the academic world. Jasper Teulings is General Counsel at Greenpeace International and his focus area within the Supervisory Board is legal affairs.

SOMO is currently in the process of selecting two additional members for its Supervisory Board. Particular attention will paid to their specific areas of expertise and how this can serve as an asset as part of their supervising position at SOMO. The focus areas include: communications & technology development; and personnel affairs & organisation development.

Are you interested in playing a role in SOMO’s Supervisory Board? Would you be interested if we approached you about any future openings? There is a profile (in Dutch) on the SOMO website where you can submit your response. Suitable candidates will be placed on a long list. As soon as there is an opening available, SOMO will begin the selection process – based on this long list – by contacting eligible candidates.

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