Chair, National Leadership Centre Advisory Board

Body: National Leadership Centre, Cabinet Office
Appointing Department: Cabinet Office
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Charity & Public Sector, Communities, Culture, Media & Sport, Defence, Education, Energy, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Health, International, Judicial, Prison & Policing, Prison & Policing, Regulation, Science & Technology, Transport
Location: Mostly London
Skills required: International Experience, Major Projects
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: No
Time Requirements: 4 meetings per year

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift

    Week commencing 01/07/2019

  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement


Vacancy Description

The Chair will:

  • provide leadership to the Advisory Group, contributing to strategic growth and organisational development;
  • play a significant role in maintaining and further developing the National Leadership Centre’s relationship with key stakeholders in the UK including government departments and Ministers, representing the organisation and opening doors;
  • provide encouragement and inspiration to staff and managers in their efforts to achieve the National Leadership Centre’s objectives;
  • lead the Advisory Group in holding the Executive to account for the delivery of the NLC pilot;
  • review the effectiveness of the Advisory Group and its composition, ensuring that appropriate processes are in place to appoint new members.

The Chair will be critical to delivering the National Leadership Centre’s purpose. The Chair must be credible with senior stakeholders and able to operate at the highest levels on a global stage, both within and outside government.

The Chair must have a passion for the National Leadership Centre’s mission, and an enthusiasm for and deep understanding of public services in England and beyond.

Candidates must demonstrate a strong record of achievement at the most senior level in large and complex organisations. They must have demonstrable credibility among the most senior level of stakeholders across the public services.

Strong strategic leadership, organisation transformation and influencing skills are essential, as is proven ability to hold the executive to account. The Chair will offer advice, expertise and support, whilst avoiding involvement in executive management.

Candidates must subscribe and adhere to the seven principles of public life (the “Nolan Principles”) – see

They must demonstrate the qualities and values required of all holders of public appointments as well as cultural sensitivity in complex societies.

Candidates must be British citizens.

Person Specification

Essential criteria:

  • Demonstrable passion for the organisation’s mission, and deep personal experience in executive leadership. Seen as a national “expert” in the field of leadership.
  • Ability to operate within public service networks, building and managing complex stakeholder relationships at the highest level, including with government in the UK and internationally.
  • Expertise in leading large scale research projects, ideally with tertiary education institutions.
  • Experience of recently directly leading a large scale public service or sector.
  • Demonstrably high standards of personal integrity and the ability to maintain and build on the values of the organisation.
  • A demonstrable personal commitment to driving executive diversity in the UK.

Desirable criteria:

  • Experience of effectively operating in a complex, interconnected environment, working across silos.
  • Strong skills in communicating, influencing, inspiring and advocating. Willing and capable of being a strong voice in advocating the work of the National Leadership Centre and in championing public services.
  • Expertise in the driving and/or measurement of productivity.

Additional Information

As public sector leaders, we have a direct, lasting and often profound impact on citizens’ lives. Public service can be immensely fulfilling, but it is not always easy. Leaders tell us that despite their best efforts, they sometimes find themselves frustrated by the level of impact they are creating.

The National Leadership Centre was established in October 2018 as a three year pilot, to help leaders overcome these constraints to create transformational change across the system.

Our unique aim is to enhance the social and economic well-being of the country by supporting the leaders of public services to work together across the public sector system.

We define success as:

  • demonstrably improving the quality of leadership of public services;
  • facilitating wider and more effective collaboration between public service leaders;
  • helping public service leaders to become more resilient, more adaptive to change and more innovative; and
  • improving the understanding of public sector leadership and its relationship with social and economic well-being.

Our work has three strands:

  • Programme – an intensive professional programme for up to 100 top public service leaders each year.
  • Network – a professional hub for all public service leaders, not just those served by the programme, to support communication between leaders and subject matter experts.
  • Research – to better understand the impact of leadership on public service outcomes and productivity.

We adhere to the following values:

  • Human – We enhance and develop relationships; increasing connectivity between the public sector’s most senior people.
  • Bold – We have the confidence to push boundaries with new approaches that create impact through our work.
  • Open – We share our knowledge, our ideas and our experiences in a collaborative environment.
  • Expert – We bring talent together to become a hub of global best practice and cutting-edge research.
  • Visionary – We lead the way in inspiring and leading change that will have positive outcomes for the nation.
  • Exceptional – We provide a unique space for our most accomplished public servants to grow, develop and continue to succeed.

How to Apply

In response to the advertisement, please submit your full application by email to:

Closing date for applications is at 5pm on Friday 28 June 2019.

All applications must include the following:

  • A short covering letter of not more than two A4 sized pages explaining why this appointment interests you and how you meet the requirements as detailed in the candidate profile.
  • A current CV with educational and professional qualifications and full Non- Executive and Executive employment history giving details, where applicable, of budgets and numbers of people managed and relevant achievements in recent posts.
  • Names of at least two referees who may be contacted at short list stage, i.e. before final interview.
  • Confirmation from you that you are happy for us to undertake any necessary background checks, including career, credit and qualifications, or similar, post short list stage.
  • Notification of any dates you are unable to accommodate within the indicative timetable set out in the previous section.
  • Your mobile number – and any other useful contact telephone numbers – together with your preferred e-mail address which will be used for all correspondence between us.

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

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