Jun 032020

Non-executive Director - Department for International Development (DFID) Board

Location: Predominantly Central London
Date Posted: 01/06/2020
Closing Date: 22/06/2020

Vacancy Description

The Department for International Development (DFID) is an equal opportunities employer and actively promotes and encourages diversity and inclusion. We will not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race and/or ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age, socio economic background, mobility, nationality, family, marital and/or partnership status and religion.

DFID leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty, deliver the Global Goals, and tackle global challenges in line with the government’s UK Aid Strategy. We are delivering against the Government’s manifesto to stand up for the right of every girl in the world to have 12 years of quality education, to end the preventable deaths of mothers, new born babies and children by 2030 and to fight climate change, protect the environment and preserve biodiversity. We are helping to lead the international response to prevent and mitigate the impacts of the Coronavirus and we work to save lives when humanitarian emergencies hit. We do this whilst also investing in the systems that help support Global Health Security and improve peoples’ resilience to shocks and supporting countries receiving aid to become self-sufficient.

Current investment levels are less than half of the approximately $2.5 trillion needed globally every year to achieve the Global Goals. DFID is working to fill the funding gap, by mobilising private finance. We invest through CDC, the UK’s development finance institution, one of the largest investors in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and working to remove the barriers to investment in developing countries.

DFID works in partnership across Whitehall and with governments, civil society, the private sector and multilateral institutions, including the World Bank, United Nations agencies, and the European Commission.

We do this because it is both the right thing to do and brings benefits to the UK.

DFID’s Departmental Board and Non-executive Directors provide collective strategic leadership and challenge on strategy and policy priorities, major corporate issues and risks. The Board:

  • Scans the horizon and considers strategic challenges and risks to the organisation; and
  • Provides advice on the implementation of policy priorities and the effective management of the Department.

The Departmental Board is chaired by the Secretary of State and meets at least quarterly. Membership comprises of the Ministerial Team, the Permanent Secretary, DFID’s Directors General and four Non-executive Directors.

We are seeking two new new Non-executive Directors to join the Departmental Board and the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.

Person Specification

Key responsibilities will be:

  • Contribute effectively to discussions on the leadership and performance of the business at DFID Board meetings (around 4 meetings a year), usually held at DFID’s headquarters in central London (Non-executive Directors also have an open invitation to attend monthly meetings of DFID’s Management Board and support specific pieces of departmental work);
  • One of these Non-executive Directors will be asked to sit as a member of DFID’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (5 meetings a year), usually held at DFID’s headquarters in central London, with the expectation of holding one meeting a year at DFID’s joint headquarters in East Kilbride;
  • Support the Secretary of State to examine and challenge the operational delivery of policy proposals, major projects and programmes, strategic and organisational issues;
  • Work with the Permanent Secretary, Directors General and senior managers to scrutinise the Department’s management information to ensure performance and delivery of the Department’s Single Departmental Plan and other key objectives are ambitious and achievable;
  • Bring an independent perspective to the work of the DFID Board and Secretariat, as well as providing independent scrutiny for the Department upon request.

Selection Criteria

The successful candidate will have:

  • Essential

    • Proven senior leadership experience and knowledge of effective governance in large and complex organisations in the private, public or voluntary sectors, with main board-level experience as an executive or non-executive;
    • Strong communication skills, including an ability to offer challenge in a constructive, straightforward and open manner;
    • Interest in, and passion for, international development and driving improvements in DFID’s work, as well as broad understanding of public policy and governance;
    • Adherence to the Seven Principles of Public Life and the highest levels of professional integrity and propriety.
  • Desirable
    • Experience of leading complex organisational change and people in a diverse, international organisation;
    • Experience of audit and risk management processes;
    • For one of the posts, a background in digital, data and technological change, with an understanding of how the digital world is impacting international systems and institutions.

Additional Information

The appointment will be for a fixed term of three years, with the possibility of a second term subject to approval from the Secretary of State. Candidates will need to pass basic security checks

This post is not regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should send a completed diversity monitoring form, CV and covering letter to: NEDRecruitment@dfid.gov.uk. All monitoring data will be treated in the strictest confidence and will not affect your application in any way.

Applications will be assessed on the basis of the criteria set out in the Person Specification

Please note that receipt of application will be noted back to applicants, but feedback will only be provided to shortlisted candidates that are interviewed.

We value diversity. Therefore, we are actively encouraging applications from a wide range of backgrounds and experience

When applying, please refer to the following documents:

The Principles of Public Life; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life, &
The Code of Conduct for Board members; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/code-of-conduct-for-board-members-of-public-bodies

You should disclose any potential issues or declare anything which could have, or be perceived to have an impact on public confidence on their suitability or could cause embarrassment to Government.

Please be aware that DFID will undertake due diligence, and this will include searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information.

If you have any queries or wish to discuss further, please contact NEDRecruitment@dfid.gov.uk

DFID operates a Guaranteed Interview Scheme for disabled people


This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

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