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The Client

Hivos is a Dutch non-governmental organisation guided by humanist values. Hivos aims to contribute to a free, fair and sustainable world, where citizens – both women and men – have equal access to resources, opportunities and markets and can participate equally in the decision-making processes that impact on their lives. With innovative and creative initiatives in the right places, they work against discrimination, inequality, abuse of power and environmental overload. They strive for sustainable change, which is why they work with innovative citizens and their organizations, often in partnerships with front running knowledge institutes and private sector companies. With them, Hivos shares a dream in which societies are just and inclusive and economies are sustainable.

“Open and green societies are interwoven; together they create a free, fair and sustainable world”

With focus areas in renewable energy, sustainable food, freedom & accountability, women’s empowerment and sexual rights and diversity, their founding conviction in 1968 of “necessary changes should spring from communities themselves – from people at the base of society”, is still reflected in all the work they do.

Key Objectives

Oxford HR worked with Hivos in the search for two Trustees to sit on their Supervisory Council in 2018. They were looking for multiple requirements across the roles, to add to and compliment the colleagues they would be working with who came from different backgrounds, but they all had to have a team driven, constructive and critical attitude, independence and impartiality and the ability and willingness to exercise this role from a distance. It was a critical moment for HIVOS along with many other organisations, as the funding landscape is and continues to change, and they wanted to add someone to their board of trustees who could contribute new thinking and initiatives, whilst also helping to audit the current programmatic achievements.


  • Executive Search
  • Board & Advisory
Claudia with group of indigenous peoples

Claudia Surjadjaja fitted the bill perfectly for what HIVOS were looking for in one of their available roles and was very excited to be taking it on. When asked how she found the support she had from Oxford HR along the recruitment process, she says:

“Ah, wonderful! I can talk with Yolanda – it doesn’t feel like an interview – it’s sharing my experiences, what I could bring and what HIVOS could bring to me.”

In terms of what the future holds, Claudia wants to write a memoir about her experience as a public health worker and her Trustee role with HIVOS is adding to her experience in writing this. She has already learnt so much and wants to share her experience with younger generations to inspire them as she has been.

They (OXHR) were very accommodating in terms of time differences as I was in Africa at the time and gave me very clear timelines. I felt we were on the same page in terms of core values.

Claudia SurjadjajaSupervisory Council Trustee, Hivos