FCO Appointed Trustee - Imperial War Museum

Body: Imperial War Museum (IWM)
Appointing Department: Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Sectors: Charity & Public Sector, Communities, Culture, Media & Sport, Education, International
Location: Board and Committee meetings will generally be held in London, but occasionally also at the Museum’s other branches in Cambridge and Manchester.
Skills required: International Experience
Number of Vacancies: 2
Remuneration: The positions are unpaid. Reasonable expenses to attend Board meetings and IWM events will be reimbursed.
Time Requirements: Part time. Trustees are expected to allocate sufficient time to the role: this is likely to be up to one day per month. There are four full Board meetings per year (generally March, July, September and December). Some additional time will be required to study papers as well as to attend events, away days, other committee meetings as appropriate and any representational engagements.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has appointed Desmond Bowen CB CMG, and Suzanne Nicholas to the Board of the Imperial War Museum

Date: 05/01/2018

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement


There has been a second extension to this competition. The final closing date for applications is Sunday 8 October 2017. Please note that dates for the panel sift and interviews remain unchanged.


Assessment Panel

  • Julian Evans Added 15/08/2017

    Panel Chair

    Director of Protocol, Foreign and Commonwealth Office • Departmental Official

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  • Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas Added 10/10/2017

    IWM Trustee and Lead Non Executive Board Member • Representative of Organisation

    Dame Judith replaces the previous IWM representative who is no longer available on key dates for this competition.

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  • Philippa Drew Added 15/08/2017

    Former Director Global Issue, Foreign and Commonwealth Office • Independent Member

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  • No longer active

    Matthew Westerman Added 25/08/2017

    Member of the IWM Remuneration Committee • Representative of Organisation

    Mr Westerman is no longer available on the key dates for this competition. His place on the panel will be taken by Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas.

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Vacancy Description

We are seeking to appoint two Trustees to the Board of the Imperial War Museum.

The Imperial War Museum (IWM) was founded in 1917 to record the story of the Great War. Its remit was subsequently extended to cover the Second World War and today, IWM is a global authority on conflict and its impact focusing on Britain, its former Empire and the Commonwealth, from the First World War to the present.

It is dedicated to recording people’s experiences of modern conflict, exploring the causes of war and its impact on people’s lives. The collections are made up of the everyday and the exceptional, drawn from people of all walks of life. They reflect the total nature of war and reveal stories of people, places, ideas and events

Members of the Board of Trustees have corporate responsibility for the general management and control of the Museum, subject to the terms set out in the Imperial War Museum Acts (1920 and 1955), subsequent amending legislation and other governing documents.   It is their responsibility also to ensure that the Museum complies with any statutory or administrative requirements for the use of public funds.   Specifically, the Board:

  • Determines the general policy of the Museum;
  • Appoints the Director-General of the Museum, with the approval of the Prime Minister;
  • Monitors and oversees the Director-General’s management of the Museum. (The Director-General is the Board’s chief executive and the Accounting Officer of the Museum);
  • Has legal responsibility for the buildings, collections and financial assets of the Museum and their care and management;
  • Approves the Museum’s Strategic Plan;
  • Monitors the process of Risk Management within the Museum;
  • Publishes an annual report and account, audited by the Comptroller and Auditor-General.

Trustees must be positive advocates for the Museum. They will exercise drive with due tact and discretion as members of a corporate body with a collective and strategic role.

Committees or Boards on which any Trustee might be asked to serve include the Audit Committee, Remuneration Committee, and the IWM Trading Company Ltd.

Person Specification

The Board of Trustees places significant emphasis on the museum’s Commonwealth role and remit, and wishes to appoint two Trustees with broad experience of foreign affairs, international relations or international security.

Candidates for these posts will not necessarily be from within government, but should be able to demonstrate an understanding of and sympathy for the museum’s Commonwealth connection as well as substantial exposure, at a senior level, to the field of international affairs.

In addition, all Trustees need to demonstrate the following

Essential Criteria

  • a knowledge of and commitment to IWM, and support of the purposes and values of the Museum, including its public educational purpose;
  • achievement in the private, public or voluntary sectors;
  • proven ability to take responsibility and demonstrate sound judgement in strategic decision making;
  • excellent representational and communication skills;
  • a clear understanding of the principles of corporate governance in the public sector.

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience of working in areas of the world affected by conflict; OR
  • Experience of working in Europe, the US, the Far East or Commonwealth countries not already represented on the Board*

*[Commonwealth countries already represented on the Board of Trustees are: Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka]

We particularly welcome applications from women and people from black and minority ethnic communities.


Additional Information

The appointments will be for an initial term of four years.

How to Apply

All applicants are required to submit a letter detailing their experience and relevant skills against the job specification, together with a full CV.

Please also provide the names and contact details of two referees who can be contacted if you are short-listed for interview.

If alternative formats of this information pack and the monitoring form (attached separately) are required, please contact us at an early stage well before the closing date for applications. If sending your application in by email please include the words FCO Trustee in the title.   Applications must be received by the closing date.

Contact details: Gill Smith, email: gsmith@iwm.org.uk   tel: 020 7416 5205

OCPA Diversity Form
Candidate Pack - FCO Trustee - 2017 (1)
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