Appointed - Head of Public Affairs at Syngenta

  • Location: Brussels
  • Salary: €Competitive
  • Ref: MD-1511-3226
  • 2017-02-21T00:00:00+00:00
  • Ellwood Atfield

This is an example of a role successfully appointed by the Ellwood Atfield team.

It was a pleasure to support this recruitment project. Register at if you’d like to hear about current opportunities.

Become part of this leading and growing global agribusiness.

This role is critical to the building of an in-depth relationship with EU institutions and developing strategic partnerships and alliances necessary for Syngenta to strengthen and expand its license to operate, upon which the company’s business performance and growth in Europe, Africa and Middle East (EAME) depends.
Given the broad perspective that this role encompasses, it is also foreseen that the Head of EU Public Affairs will closely support the development and implementation of the license to operate strategic agenda, and roadmap for the EAME region.

Specifically the Head of EU Public Affairs will:

  • Lead advocacy activities on EU policy, legislation and regulatory standards, and the re-registration and approval of the company’s products and solutions;
  • Build strong relationships with key stakeholders in the European Commission, European Parliament and Council, particularly through the promotion of the company’s position as a thought leader, and by leveraging the impact of the “Good Growth Plan” (;
  • Anticipate and highlight key issues at the EU level which will impact on the company’s License to Operate;
  • Develop public policy positions on topics of relevance to Syngenta and industry and ensure their appropriate promotion;
  • Support the further development of the company’s License to Operate platform in EAME by contributing to the strategic agenda and roadmap, and building the necessary internal networks to ensure its successful implementation;
  • Lead and/or support the development of strategic partnerships and alliances with farmer, grower, and other value chain organizations at the EU level as well as with NGOs and representatives of civil society to help mitigate threats and maximize opportunities.

Head of EU Public Affairs Responsibilities:

  • General management & leadership
  • Build recognition for the Syngenta brand with EU authorities and EU stakeholders;
  • Ensure effective strategies and actions to influence EU policies, where both legislation and regulation should benefit Syngenta;
  • Analyze the EU environment regarding Public Affairs actions and strategies. Lead the implementation of agreed strategies and actions;
  • Foster relationships with, and positively influence, key stakeholders in agribusiness, the general public and government;
  • Direct efforts to ensure that EU and country strategies are co-ordinated as appropriate;
  • Liaise and synergize all existing Syngenta teams working on EU issues;
  • Influence trade association policy by direct participation in trade associations and other business organization committees, tasks teams, etc.
  • Public affairs & advocacy
  • Develop strategies and plans which ensure effective advocacy on EU policy, legislation and regulatory standards, as well as product/ solution renewal and approval
  • To support the Head of Government Relations and External Communications in the coordination of these advocacy activities across EU-28 Member States;
  • Map the key stakeholders relevant to Syngenta in the EU institutions and build an engagement programme, specifically around the company’s thought leadership and Good Growth Plan activities;
  • Maintain and strengthen the company’s issue management tracking system at EU level, ensuring potential opportunities and threats are flagged early, and appropriate responses recommended;
  • Maintain and update the company’s messages/positions on key public policy issues of relevance to the company.
  • Strategic partnerships & alliances
  • Support the Head of EU Government and External Relations in the identification, development and implementation of the programme for engaging strategic partners and allies;
  • Develop the approach and outreach to NGOs and other civil society representatives specifically involving them in “Good Growth Plan” activities in Brussels.

Candidate Requirements

All four of the Syngenta leadership competencies which are currently being focused on are relevant to this role, and the holder must be at least ‘highly effective’ in all of them:
I. Execution and results orientation
II. Judgement
III. Self-awareness
IV. Engage & inspire

Critical Knowledge

  • Political, social, and cultural complexity and diversity of the EU institutions;
  • Development and implementation of advocacy strategies and plans and partnerships building;
  • English + 1-2 other EU languages.
  • Critical Experience
  • 3-5 years’ experience working at a political/ policy level in the EU Institutions (Parliament, Commission, Permanent Representation) or at national level, (Ministries, Parliament);
  • At least 5 years’ experience in implementing advocacy strategies and plans and building partnerships, preferably in a commercial organization;
  • Strong oral and written communications, (English + 1-2 other EU languages)/ confident and creative communicator.
  • Education
  • Master’s degree; professional qualification.