Vacancy: Event & Administration Assistant

The Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) is looking for an Event & Administration Assistant, who will be part of the conference management team of the foundation. As an Event & Administration Assistant you will assist in the organisation of international (scientific) conferences of the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP). The tasks entail a broad range of activities and require an independent and proactive attitude in a small and informal team with a large outreach. This position offers a unique opportunity to engage in a worldwide network within the field of ecosystem services.

Ecosystem Service Partnership (ESP)
ESP is a worldwide network to enhance the science, policy and practice of ecosystem services for conservation and sustainable development. ESP connects over 3000 ecosystem services scientists, policy makers and practitioners who work together in more than 40 Working Groups and a growing number of National Networks on all continents. We regularly organise World and Regional conferences and provides many Services to further enhance the application of ecosystem services for nature conservation, ecosystem restoration and sustainable management and our Natural Capital. Currently over 50 organizations and more than 200 individuals are member of the Partnership. For more information on ESP, please see

ESP Conferences
ESP conferences are being organised since 2009. Since 2015, ESP organises biennial world conferences and regional conferences in the in between years. Its goals are to discuss the progress of ESP, progress in the fields of Ecosystem Services Science, Policy & Practise and to provide an event for its Working Groups, and National Networks. In addition, ESP works together with other key networks and organisations to stimulate the organisation and participation in workshops and conferences.
In 2018 at least 4 regional conferences will be organised in the MENA region, Europe, Asia and Latin America with an estimate of over 1000 participating delegates in total. To make these conferences run smoothly, your support is needed coming year, but possibly also in the upcoming years too.


  • Coordination of conference processes: to make the conferences a success, many processes need to be coordinated on forehand. You will assist coordinating these processes such as the organisation of breakout sessions, abstract handling, and assisting in editing the conference program booklet. These processes need to be guided through our conference CMS, web updates and by communicating with hosts and delegates.
  • Conference administration: maintain payment system, administer payments of participants, answer to questions regarding conference registration.
  • Communication: informing and answering to questions of hosts, delegates and other interested parties. Maintain conference website(s) up-to-date, provide input for monthly ESP Update. Liaise with Local Conference Organisation.
  • Community support: to make the ESP network grow, and promote other activities of FSD, you will assist with various networking and outreach activities.
    Support with ongoing or new projects of FSD will be required occasionally. These projects will be assigned based on your interests and capacities.

Required knowledge and skills

  • Experience in the coordination of (scientific) events/conferences (+200)
  • Pragmatic, able to maintain overview, with eye for detail
  • Good in (conference) administration
  • Able to communicate effectively to different stakeholders
  • Knowledge and experience with HTML and website content management systems (WordPress)
  • Supportive attitude towards conference participants
  • Excellent communicative skills in English, both in writing and verbally. Dutch or other languages are a plus
  • Experience with intercultural communication and work in an international environment
  • Understanding of needs of a largely scientific audience
  • Education level: BSc or MSc
  • Willingness to travel occasionally
  • Advanced level of understanding of Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, Outlook, Publisher to occasionally design items.
  • Able to work independently and proactively, with a flexible attitude
  • Interest in Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital is a plus

The position is based at our FSD/ESP Secretariat in Wageningen, The Netherlands. You will work in a small core team of 5 persons. Through our activities, the Secretariat supports ESP members and is responsible for the practical side of the conference organisation and running the Partnership as a whole.
The team is informal, and works on the basis of mutual trust. We value an independent and pro-active working attitude. Since ESP is growing rapidly we are looking for someone who is flexible regarding task-division and willing and able to help building the organisation and community further. You will support the conference manager and collaborate closely together. The team receives regular support from interns with different cultural backgrounds.

About FSD
The Foundation for Sustainable Development supports the conservation and sustainable use of natural ecosystems through building knowledge and stimulating awareness of the ways in which people depend on nature. FSD gives advice and deploys activities across four main thematic areas: 1) Ecosystem Assessment & Nature Valuation, 2) Biodiversity & Climate Change, 3) Communication & Capacity Building, and 4) Ecosystem Management & Restoration. FSD has carried out over 80 projects since 1992 and is involved in a range of on-going projects and initiatives. Visit the website for more information.
ESP is part of the legal body of FSD.

What we offer
This position should be filled as soon as possible, initially for 0,6 FTE for 2018 with possibility for extension. Salary depends on the actual tasks and work experience and is based on the Collective Labour Agreement for universities in The Netherlands (CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten).

More information and application
Visit our website for more information about the Foundation. Contact Martine van Weelden (, 0317-763990 (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday)) for more information about the position and the procedure.

If you want to apply, send a short motivation email and resume to before 1 March 2018. The position will start as soon as possible.

Download the vacancy.