Vacancy Manager of Strategy, Relationship Management & Communications

Are you that charismatic manager who ensures that the special story of the SURF cooperative is well presented? Who aligns our strategy well with the challenges of the sector? And who ensures that members know which of our services and programmes will help them achieve their digital and other ambitions?

  • Level of education: wo
  • Location: Utrecht and Amsterdam 
  • Number of hours: 32-40
  • Closing date: September 1st, 2022

About SURF and the Strategy, Relationship Management & Communications team

SURF is the collaborative IT organization for Dutch education and research. SURF works with education and research institutions on IT facilities and IT innovation to make the most of the opportunities offered by digitization and to increase the sector's cyber resilience. SURF is a cooperative, whose members are universities, universities of applied sciences, vocational schools, universities of applied sciences, and other education and research institutions.

The Strategy, Relationship Management, and Communication department is responsible for communication, and for contact with and coordination with members and other stakeholders such as educational umbrella organisations and service providers. In addition, the department supports the board of directors and member communities, among other things.

What does the job entail?

As the Strategy, Relationship Management & Communication (SRC) manager, you are a liaison between the Executive Board, members, and your own organization. You know what is important to SURF members and are aware of their wishes, needs, and ambitions. You make these visible within the SURF organisation so that we can respond to them effectively.  And you ensure that members know which of our services and programmes will help them achieve their digital and other ambitions. In this way, you will be making a significant contribution towards achieving SURF's mission and vision.

Within the SURF organisation, you will determine the strategic course and ensure that it is set and embedded in policy. You will formulate a clear vision and disseminate it within the organisation.  You are the link between your department and the Executive Board, which is why you regularly sit around the table with them.

With your department, you inspire both the organization and SURF members. For the members, you create a community where experts and those interested in IT can meet and inspire each other. And by striking the right chord, you'll be able to connect members and staff to SURF.

What are you going to do exactly?

You will provide direct leadership to four team heads and indirectly to approximately 50 FTEs. You are a member of the large MT for SURF as a whole and the small MT for Strategy and Operations. You report to the Chair of the Executive Board.

Your main tasks and responsibilities are:

  • To (help) formulate and implement strategy and lead the process by which the SURF strategy is created every six years, as the mid-term review halfway through.
  • Supporting the innovation zones and roadmaps within the current strategy and monitoring them.
  • Building up a strategic, sustainable, and relevant network with the members, other buyers, and stakeholders (including UNL, VH, MBO Raad, NWO, and the ministries of Education, Culture, and Science and Economic Affairs) together with your teams and in coordination with the Executive Board.
  • Public affairs: providing information about and promoting the strategic agenda of SURF and SURF members among external stakeholders (including the Dutch and European authorities) regarding regulations, financing (subsidies), and conditions, in close collaboration with sector associations.
  • Helping to link SURF's activities and goals to those of other member organizations and the education and research sector in the Netherlands and Europe.
  • Supervising team managers in a coaching capacity and ensuring that staff develop in such a way that they make an optimum contribution to the organisation's objectives.
  • Linking the various focus areas within your department and between your department and other departments within SURF. You will discuss and record signals from the Executive Board within the department, and take signals from your department to the Executive Board.

We ask

To be considered for this challenging and responsible position you have at least:

  • Wo-work and -think level;
  • Eight years of experience in a strategic and/or relationship management position;
  • Five years of experience leading professionals.

In addition, you have demonstrable experience with strategy development, stakeholder management and communication in a managerial environment. You are a solid and critical discussion partner for SURF's Board of Directors and a leader who, because of a good reputation and excellent communication skills, is seen as a respectful and reliable ambassador and bridge builder. You are preferably familiar with the education and research sector.

We offer

  • A varied and challenging job for 32-40 hours (0.8 - 1.0 FTE) in an informal and collegial atmosphere with a high level of ambition;
  • SURF offers extensive training opportunities and excellent fringe benefits;
  • This position has a salary range of €6.148 to €8.783 gross on a full-time basis;
  • 8.33% holiday allowance, a fixed year-end bonus of 8.33%;
  • 36 holiday days per year (on the basis of a 40-hour work week);
  • An NS Business Card 1st class;
  • Our Amsterdam office is located at the Amsterdam Science Park, with good public transport facilities nearby. Our Utrecht office is located at walking distance from Utrecht CS.


You can send your resume and motivation letter to no later than September 1st, 2022.

The selection committee for this vacancy consists of Jet de Ranitz, CEO, Audrey Visscher, Manager Policy, Advice & Support and Xandra Buiter, Team Head HR and Johanna de Groot, Team Head Strategic Relationship Management. The selection committee will conduct interviews with the candidates On September 6th, 2022.

An interview with the appointment advisory committee and an assessment are part of the continuation of the selection procedure.

More information


  • For any questions regarding the content of the position, please contact the chairman of the board of directors Jet de Ranitz (06-24887194 /
  • Questions about the procedure can be addressed to Corporate Recruiter Marrit Willemsen (06-24504678 /