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Senior Proposal Director - Europe
ICF is a growing, $1.5 billion USD strategic advisory and digital services provider (NASDAQ: ICFI), but we are not your typical consultants. Founded in 1969, ICF is a purpose-driven company with a strong culture and underlying values that prize collaboration, open communication, diversity and inclusion, opportunity for growth, equality, and mutual respect. Smart, compassionate, innovative, and committed, we combine unmatched expertise with cutting-edge engagement capabilities to help our global clients crack their most complex challenges, navigate change, and shape the future. Working at ICF means applying a passion for meaningful work with intellectual rigor to solve the leading issues of our day; we are in the business of Making Big Things Possible. Guided by our deeply-held values and enduring commitment to corporate and global citizenship, we share a passion for building a more prosperous and resilient world for all.
Help accelerate our positive impact by joining ICF’s Europe & Asia (E&A) Business Development (BD) Team as a Senior Proposal Director! We are looking for a highly collaborative senior leader to steer our bid & proposal (B&P) efforts and manage our B&P team based in Brussels, Belgium. Focusing on bids to the European Commission (EC) and other European institutions, our Brussels B&P team is responsible for managing many of the highest-priority efforts across our E&A BD portfolio—procurement with worldwide impact.
ICF’s Brussels-based B&P team currently comprises approximately a half-dozen bid managers and bid coordinators, as well as full-time and on-call writers, editors, and graphic artists accessed through a resourced stratcomm studio. As the Senior Proposal Director, you will be responsible for supervising & managing these staff, who work with bid project teams from across E&A to create compelling, high quality, compliant, winning bids in response to a diverse array of tenders. You’ll engage with ICF subject matter/capability experts across critical EC policy & programme areas (e.g., energy, climate change & the European Green Deal, sustainable tourism, public health), as they work to advance information technology (e.g., IT modernisation, digital transformation & the digital economy, data analytics) and strategic communications & marketing outreach (e.g., citizen engagement) in support of Directorates-General (DGs) and other clients.
This position reports to E&A’s Vice President of Business Development. In addition to coordinating professional B&P support to our EU institution-focused bid project teams, as a people manager you will also help grow the careers of your B&P staff, sharing best practices and lessons learned with ICF’s global Community of Practice of B&P professionals. You will play a key role in the life-cycle of E&A BD (as well as BD at ICF writ large: from marketing and brand awareness, to lead identification and qualification, through pursuit and capture, through B&P, to the award decision!). You will be based in Brussels but may have to travel from time to time between our offices, including offices in the UK and USA.
What you’ll be doing:
Conduct advance planning with E&A’s BD/growth leads to ensure early pipeline identification of captures/tenders that are must-win/must-have EC opportunities
Collaborate with BD leaders, capture managers, group leadership, and other staff to manage and monitor workload planning and ensure appropriate resources are available & allocated to support bandwidth
Oversee the successful development of compliant, compelling, highly-competitive & ultimately winning proposals through effective collaboration & leadership across bid project teams:
Participate in reviews of critical proposals
May be required to manage strategic priority bids
Recruit and maintain a pool of 3-5 pre-qualified bid manager contractors or consultants to augment internal staff during peak periods
Contribute to growth and process improvement initiatives & techniques:
Drive the development, maintenance and implementation of standard bid management processes, templates, artefacts, and tools, coordinating and sharing best practices with other B&P teams across ICF
Train & mentor B&P staff
Ensure standard processes are executed across all bids
Minimum 15+ years proven successful experience managing proposal teams and leading them efficiently in a dynamic, multi-task, fast-paced (yet structured) environment
Significant experience with all aspects of EC bid preparation, development, and production
Understanding of how “price to win” (i.e., competitive pricing) is developed within an EC proposal environment
Thorough understanding of how EC bids are evaluated, with a proven track record of leading the development of successful, winning proposals for EU institutions (e.g., significant, sustained contract win rates of 90%+ success on re-competes; 40+% on new bids or takeaways)
Strong proficiency in the Microsoft Office Suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
Proficiency in the use of SharePoint and Microsoft Teams, collaboration tools such as Mural, internal BD knowledge management systems/databases, and pipeline and customer relationship management (CRM)systems
Excellent verbal, interpersonal, and written communication skills: you must be fluent in written and spoken English; fluency in French would be a bonus
Experience developing and delivering training on proposal processes and procedures
Ability to manage geographically-disparate teams, including both full-time and on-call staff
Ability to manage and work with all levels of internal staff, including not only direct reports but also technical subject matter/capability experts and staff from “corporate” (e.g., Contracts, Legal, Pricing, Marketing, Growth, etc.)
Ability to lead successful bids that integrate policy/programme acumen with technology, stratcomm, etc.
Excellent negotiation skills, highly developed persuasiveness skills, and a positive, collaborative attitude, even when under pressure: ability to appropriately challenge the status quo and “hold one’s own” in internal BD discussions to ensure the best solution is developed in response to client requirements and the agreed bid strategy
Strong organisational skills, initiative, and commitment to high-quality work: commitment to process & efficiency (but adaptable to change via flexible, agile application of an “80/20” rule to adjust actions in response to changing priorities, etc.)
Strong analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making capabilities: ability to apply logic and reasoning to solve complex problems, identify potential issues, make sound recommendations for resolution, and drive implementation of final decisions (with an awareness of the impact of those decisions on other stakeholders)
Sound business ethics, including the protection of personal, proprietary, and confidential information
Working at ICF
Working at ICF means applying a passion for meaningful work with intellectual rigor to help solve the leading issues of our day. Smart, compassionate, innovative, committed, ICF employees tackle unprecedented challenges to benefit people, businesses, and governments around the globe. We believe in collaboration, mutual respect, open communication, and opportunity for growth. If you’re seeking to make a difference in the world, visit www.icf.com/careers to find your next career. ICF—together for tomorrow.
Brussels, Belgium (BE75)