Nov 082016

Chair, Board of Trustees

wig_rgb_logoRecruiter: The Whitehall & Industry Group
Location: London
Salary: Not specified
Posted: 07 Nov 2016
Closes: 25 Nov 2016
Job Function: Chair
Industry: Charities, Not-For-Profit

We believe that solutions to global, national and organisational challenges are inspired by bringing people together from across the sectors.

At the Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG), we provide a safe and supportive space for
our distinguished members from government, business and the not-for-profit sectors to have these important interactions, learn from each other and work together for the common good.

Background to The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG)

The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG) is an independent, not-for-profit and non-lobbying membership organisation established over 30 years ago. WIG builds better understanding and co-operation between the public and private sectors through a range of activities in the following three areas:

  • Events and networks – understanding and inputting into government policy, sharing best practice, and hearing from Permanent Secretaries and senior private sector speakers.
  • Talent – Career development and advice that gives unique insight into and experience of government, business and the public and voluntary sectors. The team arranges mentoring, secondments, non-executive appointments, charity
    trustee roles and a range of flexible interchange programmes.
  • Executive Development – from one-day development seminars to longer term programmes for high potential managers and senior directors, helping people to learn by being exposed to fresh perspectives.

WIG’s cross-sector membership consists of approximately 220 organisations – Our members are top FTSE companies and Whitehall departments, charities, universities, local authorities and government agencies.

WIG currently has 25 staff; all based in its London office by St. James’s Park, and a board of eleven trustees drawn from across the sectors. Turnover is in the region of £1.7m pa. Founded in 1984 as a Charitable Trust, WIG became a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee in 1997. Information about WIG’s activities is available on our website:


Day-to-day responsibility for the running of the company’s business lies with the Chief Executive of WIG. Peter Unwin CB was appointed to this role in April 2015.

The WIG board currently comprises 11 non-executive directors, as follows:


  • Nigel Whitehead CBE – Group Managing Director of Programmes and Support, BAE Systems

Non-Executive Directors

  • Debbie Alder – Director General of Human Resources, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Catherine Brown – Chief Executive, Food Standards Agency
  • Björn Conway – Partner, EY
  • Howard Davies – Head of Public Affairs, Standard Life
  • David Dinsdale – Entrepreneur in Residence, Atos
  • Janette Durbin – HR Director, Civil Service Talent
  • Charles Eales – Head of Government Relations, Microsoft Limited
  • Pippa Greenslade – Group HR Director, Bakkavor
  • Eleanor Kelly – Chief Executive, Southwark Council
  • Chris Wormald – Permanent Secretary, Department of Health

Role of the Chair:

  • Leading the Trustees and members of the senior management team in the development of strategic plans for the charity;
  • Providing leadership and support to the Chief Executive and ensuring that the charity is run in accordance with the decisions of the trustees, the charity’s governing document, and appropriate legislation;
  • Agree the strategic framework for WIG, in addition to the budget and business plan designed within that framework; lead the board in the review and monitoring of strategic and operational performance against that framework;
  • Ensuring the performance of the board is reviewed on an annual basis;
  • Supporting and appraising the performance of the Chief Executive;
  • Offer practical advice and support to the Chief Executive;
  • Ensure appropriate governance and compliance with laws and regulations;
  • Ensure, through leading the board, that WIG delivers on its core values and charitable purpose of understanding and learning between the sectors.

The Chair, alongside the rest of the board, is required to appoint the Chief Executive and monitor his/her performance.

The Chair plays a key role in promoting WIG programmes and acting as an ambassador for WIG. He/she will receive invitations to high-profile WIG events, is expected to attend two high profile events each year, and occasionally to speak at WIG events.

Details of the legal responsibilities of the Chair are available separately.

WIG Strategic Framework:

WIG is currently developing a strategic framework for 2017-2020. This will be agreed in early 2017, upon the appointment of the new Chair/Chair Designate.

Key priorities in the 2014-2017 strategy:

  • Grow WIG membership;
  • Grow member engagement;
  • Grow member learning;
  • Better understand our impact;
  • Modernise in our use of technology to help our members as well as ourselves;
  • Develop new partnerships.

In recent years WIG has grown its membership base and expanded its activities. Its financial position is strong.

The new Chair will be expected to help the organisation grow successfully.

Person Specification:

WIG is looking for applicants who are passionate about our purpose of mutual learning. The right candidate will possess the drive, ambition and the recognition of why now, more than ever, WIG’s purpose matters.

The successful candidate will demonstrate the following:

  • A commitment to learning and an understanding of the importance of co-operation between public, private and  voluntary sectors;

Executive Committee or Board level experience in a top FTSE Company, or equivalent level in another sector;

Time Commitment:

WIG is looking to appoint the Chair by January 2017. The board meets four times a year at WIG’s offices, 80 Petty France, London, SW1H 9EX and holds an offsite strategy half day in January. The current Chair also chairs the Remuneration & Governance Committee (which meets twice a year). These meetings amount to an equivalent of 2.5 days per year. With preparation time and some ad hoc meetings and engagements, the total time commitment is likely to be 5-8 days per year.


There is no remuneration for the Chair role, although reasonable expenses will be paid if requested.

Term of Appointment:

The current Chair, Nigel Whitehead, is due to stand down in 2017. The successful candidate would be invited to  join the board as soon as they were able to, and the timing of their assumption of the Chair would be for discussion between them and the incumbent. The Chair will be appointed initially for a 3 year term, renewable for a further three years. The term can then be renewed up to one year at a time, for a further 3 years, a total of 9 years maximum.

Application Process:

  • Submission of a covering letter outlining your suitability for the role and your interest in WIG, submission of a CV and also an Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form (downloadable via
  • Closing date for applications will be Friday 25th November, midday.
  • An interview for shortlisted candidates, with a view to the successful candidate being appointed by early 2017 and taking up the post by August 2017 at the  latest, subject to discussions with the current Chair.
  • Interviews are scheduled for Wednesday 11th January 2017.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact Patrick Reihill at  WIG on 020 7222 1166 or e-mail

Equalities Statement:

The Whitehall & Industry Group is committed to equal opportunities and values diversity.

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