Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen (KIT)
17-06-2022    2021-00286   

“KIT, the Royal Tropical Institute is a non-profit, independent centre of expertise, education, intercultural cooperation and hospitality dedicated to sustainable development and international cooperation. They focus on key areas where it can make a difference: health, gender and agriculture. Taking the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a general framework for action, KIT provides innovative and practical solutions for low- and middle-income countries. Their work encompasses research, advice and training & education for international organizations, companies, NGOs, governments and students. Their landmark, historic premises in Amsterdam serve as a broader platform for the exchange of knowledge and intercultural cooperation, through the SDG House, a physical and virtual community. Around 50 innovative social entrepreneurs and organizations working on sustainability have chosen to set up office within the KIT building. KIT also hosts Amsterdam’s ‘Impact Hub’, a network of collaborators focused on making a positive impact in our world.”

The core strategy is to:

  • position itself as a thought leader and think-tank with a number of multi-year knowledge programs;
  • strengthen its worldwide activities and impact by setting up a “global partnership organization”;
  • increase its impact on the SDGs in the Netherlands as well by increasing the effectiveness and visibility of the KIT campus as initiator, curator and host of SDG activities in the Netherlands, and to strive to make her impact more explicit in everything she does.

KIT has two main business activities:

  • Campus with the components Hospitality, (Conference and Events, restaurant and hotel), Real Estate / SDG House;
  • Knowledge Unit, consisting of sub-units dedicated to Health and Sustainable Economic Development plus Gender.

In addition, there are staff units that often work for both equally important business activities. A number of activities are housed in separate BVs. The workforce consists of 150 employees (approximately 125 FTE) and additionally 28 employees (23 FTE) in the hospitality sector.


The values of KIT are:
“All our decisions and operations are guided by sustainability. By sustainability we mean development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and therefore takes a long term perspective.”

“At KIT we empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all people. Our approach to sustainable development is also founded on the principle of inclusion. Our experience shows that in any change process, all actors need to be consulted and included from the outset in order for progress to be sustained.”

“Our organization is guided by transparency. We strive to exchange all the information required for successful collaboration, decision-making and accountability.”

“KIT is independent. We act according to our own values and judgement, not colored by religion, politics, ethnicity or the influence of any group or class.”

KIT values diversity of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, and national origin and is taking steps to become a more inclusive workplace, taking into account diverse needs and personal circumstances.

KIT is organized as an association with an underlying holding. The association is represented by the Members’ Council. Next to the Members’ Council, KIT has a statutory Supervisory Board, who oversees and advises on all matters concerning KIT. The CEO of KIT reports to the Supervisory Board.

The CEO of KIT is responsible for the long term strategic and day-to-day operational management of the organization and is therefore integrally responsible for the results and the functioning of KIT in terms of content, business economics, commerce, operations and people. 

Next to that, the CEO is responsible for implementation of the mission, vision and ‘One KIT’ strategy 2021-2024. This includes expanding the Campus’s various service propositions and the programming/SDG house. It also includes realizing the Knowledge Unit's ambitions for thought leadership, the development of global partnerships and innovation of the education and training offerings. The CEO ensures cohesion and further development of and between the various KIT activities and builds on the culture of joint decision-making and consensus building.

The CEO is the ‘face’ of KIT, responsible for inspiring and effective engagement of and communication with KIT’s stakeholders, internally and externally, in the local community around KIT in Amsterdam and internationally. 

The new CEO is purpose driven and has an intrinsic motivation to contribute to a sustainable and inclusive world through KIT's activities. An academic thinking and working level is important.
The following experiences are relevant:

  • Track record of success in Board/executive role(s);
  • Leading purpose-driven heterogeneous organizations;
  • The achievement of financially sustainable results;
  • Management of academic professionals and knowledge-intensive projects and education;
  • International development, fundraising and a relevant network or strong affinity with related stakeholders (e.g. governments, companies, knowledge institutions, international parties such as the World Bank and WHO);  
  • Building and managing an engaged campus community (including hospitality and real estate);
  • Continuous improvement in a constantly changing world, not only in numbers and operational management, but also in the field of culture and efficiency of the organization.

It is preferred that the new CEO has:

  • a background in one or more of KIT's knowledge areas;
  • experience in the management of a service organization in the hospitality/real estate market;
  • experience and affinity with creating substantive, reputational and financial added value of a 'campus' through clear labeling and branding and building a community;
  • a strong affinity and relevant network in, among others, the large Amsterdam metropolitan region (local politics, business, venues, etc.).

The following competencies apply to this position:

  • naturally connecting and inspiring leader who is recognized as such both internally and externally;
  • strategic insight into a constantly changing world;
  • ability to represent KIT as a figurehead, networker and ambassador;
  • organizational sensitivity;
  • commercially pragmatic;
  • communicator, clear and consistent, with professional distance, diplomatic but also able to shape the necessary decision-making;
  • ability to successfully maintain contacts with all relevant external and internal stakeholders;
  • ability to cooperate and;
  • fluent in written and spoken English and Dutch.

Additional information
KIT Royal Tropical Institute aspires to be an equitable and inclusive community. We consider inclusivity of talent and diversity of people and perspectives as valuable resources that contribute to our mission. KIT provides equal opportunities to all employees and applicants regardless of gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, age, neurodiversity, functional impairment, citizenship, or any other aspect, which makes them unique. We look forward to welcoming you to our community.

KIT is guided in this search and selection procedure by Nicole Boevé and Karen Kragt, partners at Partners at Work. They will conduct initial in-depth interviews with potentially suitable candidates. Subsequently, the most suitable candidates are invited for the selection interview(s). Selected candidates will then be invited for various introductory meetings with other stakeholders, such as representatives of the Works Council and the Members' Council. Also part of the selection procedure is an assessment and reference verification.

To apply for this vacancy, please upload your CV and motivation via 'SOLLICITEER'.

For further information, please contact Nicole Boevé or Karen Kragt via telephone: 0031 – 35 – 548 0760, or by email /