Association News

New Chair for Charity Commission

The government is advertising for applicants to be the next chair of the Charity Commission, to replace William Shawcross, who is leaving later in the year having been in post since 2012.

Published through the Centre for Public Appointments, the vacancy attracts remuneration of £62,500 a year for a two-and-a-half days a week. Shawcross, by comparison, works three days a week on a £50,000 annual salary.

The successful candidate must be able to support the organisation “through a period of significant change and cultural development in either the private or charity/not-for-profit sector”, and will be responsible for leading the regulator’s board in setting the commission’s strategic priorities and policy direction over the next three years, it says. This is likely to include the subject of the regulator charging charities for its services, something the regulator has been edging towards in recent years and on which it is soon due to launch a consultation.

An ‘accessible and engaging ambassador’ for the organisation, able to ‘influence high-level stakeholders within government and in parliament, the media, the charity sector and the business world’ are requirements. As is an understanding of and interest in the charity sector, ‘including an awareness of the multifaceted challenges it faces resulting from changing social and economic circumstances’.

Applicants will be scrutinised by a four-member panel comprising Sue Owen, permanent secretary at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, and chair of the panel; Lord Kakkar, chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission; Julia Unwin, chair of the Independent Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society; and Alan Downey, who is described in the job advert as an “other panel member”. They will also have to attend a pre-appointment hearing before the Culture, Media & Sports Select Committee.

The closing date for applications is 3pm on 22 September, and the successful applicant will be expected to serve a term of up to three years.