Independent Governor – Westminster Foundation for Democracy

Body: Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD)
Appointing Department: Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Sector: Business, Finance & Skills
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: There is no remuneration for the role, but from time to time Governors may be entitled to undertake some travel or other activities on behalf of the Foundation, for which expenses will be reimbursed.
Time Requirements: At least 4 days a year for Board meetings of 2­-3 hours, as well as additional time for sub­Committees


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

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson has appointed Thomas Hughes and Susan Inglish as Independent Governors of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. They succeed departing Independent Governors Ken Caldwell and Bronwen Manby.

Thomas Hughes has been the Executive Director at Article 19 since 2013 and brings with him a long history of working on human rights in a number of organisations, and the experience of implementing an international human rights strategy. Sue Inglish was most recently the Head of Political Programmes at the BBC, following an established career at a number of news networks, and brings with her deep experience of British politics and of democracy abroad.

The Westminster Foundation for Democracy was established in 1992 as an arms-length non-departmental public body. It is run independently of the UK Government though works closely with it. The Foundation’s vision is the establishment of legitimate and effective multi-party representative democracy.

Date: 21/04/2017

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    21/04/2017 at 20:00

Vacancy Description

The Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) is one of the UK’s leading democracy-building foundations, providing expertise in developing parliaments and  political party structures. They are looking for someone to join the Board as an independent governor to work alongside three other independent members and six governors who derive from the political parties.

With funding secured until 2018 -it is an exciting period for WFD.  As of  mid-2016, it has parliamentary-strengthening programmes in over 20 countries. WFD’s democracy projects have given it a high profile amongst parliamentarians both in the UK and abroad and securing the contract to recruit UK candidates for European Union election observation missions will only raise this further.  The new independent governor will have an opportunity to help the Board maximise WFD’s impact.

The main responsibilities of the governors are:

  • to help set the WFD corporate and strategic agenda
  • to promote the work of WFD and oversee the work of the Chief Executive and their staff; and
  • to ensure that WFD is effectively administered and managed in line with its key service level agreements.

Person Specification

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A keen interest in political systems and world events. They must display sound judgement and decisiveness as well as demonstrating personal integrity and party-political impartiality, along with a commitment to the highest standards in public life.
  • A track record of significant achievement in an academic, commercial, public or voluntary sector is essential, as is an understanding and experience of governance in a corporate body.

Other highly desirable qualities would be:

  • An understanding of democracy-strengthening, governance and political reform including in developing or transition countries.
  • Experience in promoting gender equality and participation of under-represented groups in public and political life.
  • An ability to absorb and analyse complex information and identify priority areas and potential problems while remaining ready to question conventional thinking and generate new ideas.
  • Strategic thinking, demonstrating impact and value for money, and focusing on added value.
  • Good interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with a wide range of stakeholders as well as the analytical ability to contribute to the Board’s consideration of programme proposals and evaluations.
  • Knowledge of the workings of the public sector, including relationships between NDPBs and their sponsoring department.

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

Additional Information

All Governors serve in a personal, part­time capacity.  Appointment will be for a period of three years, with the possibility of renewal.

How to Apply

Candidates should submit a letter detailing their experience and relevant skills along with a full CV.

All candidates are also required to complete a Public Appointment Monitoring Form attached separately.

Your CV, statement and questionnaires should be returned by email to by the revised closing date of 18 December 2016. Reference Number: WFD-IG-Recruitment-2016

Please note that the deadline for application has been extended to Sunday 18th December 2016 at 23:00.

Public Appointment Monitoring form
Information Pack WFD 2016
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