Chair of the Board of Trustees

London (Central)
Commensurate on experience
12 Oct 2021
12 Nov 2021
Job (Function)
Senior Architect
Contract Type
Full Time

The Chair carries the same legal responsibilities as other Trustees, but has additional responsibilities assigned by the Board.

What does a Chair of Trustees do?

The Chair will hold the Board and Executive Team to account for the Charity’s mission and vision, providing inclusive leadership to the Board of Trustees, ensuring that each Trustee fulfils their duties and responsibilities. The Chair is responsible for the ensuring that the charity has high standards of governance. The Chair will also support, and, where appropriate, challenge the Chief Executive and ensure that the Board functions as a unit and works closely with the entire executive team of the charity to achieve agreed objectives. The Chair will act as an ambassador and the public face of the charity in partnership with the Chief Executive.

Strategic leadership

Provide strategic leadership to the charity and the Board, ensuring that Design Council has maximum impact for its beneficiaries.

Ensure that the Board operates within its charitable objectives and provides a clear strategic direction for the charity.

Ensure that Trustees fulfil their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the charity.


Ensure that the Board of Trustees is regularly refreshed and incorporates the right balance of skills, knowledge and experience needed to govern and lead the charity effectively and which also reflects the wider population.

Lead an annual appraisal of the Board of Trustees. Ensure there is a process for developing the knowledge and capability of the Board of Trustees.

Encourage positive change where appropriate and where appropriate address and resolve any conflict within the Board.

External relations

Be an ambassador for the Design Council promoting its ideas and strategies and work closely with the Chief Executive to build strategic alliances and networks.

Act as a spokesperson for the organisation when appropriate and represent the charity at external meetings and events.

Facilitate change and address any potential conflict with external stakeholders.

Board effectiveness

Chair regular Board meetings ensuring effective debate and collective decision-making.

Ensure that Trustees are fully engaged and that decisions are taken in the best, long-term interests of the charity.

Foster, maintain and ensure that constructive relationships exist with and between Trustees.

Work closely with the Chief Executive to give direction to Board activities and to ensure that the meetings are well-planned, meaningful and reflect the responsibilities of the Trustees.

Meet as appropriate with the Deputy Chair(s) and Chairs of the Board sub-committees.

Relationship with the Chief Executive and wider management team

Lead the process of recruiting a new Chief Executive should a vacancy arise.

Establish and build a strong working relationship with the Chief Executive, ensuring that they are held to account for achieving agreed strategic objectives.

Support the Chief Executive whilst respecting the boundaries which exist between the two roles.

Ensure regular contact with the Chief Executive and maintain an open and supportive relationship within which each can speak openly about concerns, worries and challenges.

Liaise with the Chief Executive to maintain an overview of the Charity’s affairs, providing support as necessary.

Conduct an annual appraisal and remuneration review for the Chief Executive in consultation with the Stewardship Committee and other Trustees.

Ensure that the Chief Executive has the opportunity for professional development and has the appropriate external professional support.

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