Executive Director at Global Witness

Job purpose

  • The Executive Director has overall responsibility for the day-to-day management of Global Witness and is responsible for ensuring that the organisation achieves the objectives set out in its strategic plans and in line with its overall vision.
  • The Executive Director leads and manages the Management Team and is responsible for ensuring that they fulfil their objectives, both individually and collectively.
  • The Executive Director works with the Board to develop medium and long-term strategy to maintain the organisation’s profile and effectiveness.


Leadership and strategy

  • Provide day-to-day leadership across all of Global Witness’ campaigns and operations to ensure their excellence, cohesion and impact;
  • Work with the Board to maintain and evolve the long-term organisational and campaigning strategy that will maximise Global Witness’ impact and reach;
  • Encourage and maintain an organisational culture that is adroit, positive and proactive, and faithful to its founding ethos;
  • Ensure that Global Witness has the human, material and financial resources to operate effectively, and that resources are allocated appropriately to achieve maximum effectiveness;
  • Lead on the annual strategic planning process and the production of annual plans in line with the organisation’s overall mission and vision; 
  • Ensure that Global Witness produces and delivers effective and high quality outputs across all areas of its operations;
  • Represent Global Witness externally at the highest levels (where appropriate) ensuring that its message is articulated with a clear, consistent, authoritative and expert voice;
  • Ensure that the Board receives timely, accurate and appropriate information that enables it to fulfil its governance responsibilities and its statutory obligations, as well as keeping the Board informed of relevant issues at all times;
  • Ensure that the organisation’s risks (financial, operations, campaigning, legal) are properly assessed, managed, and reported to the Board.


  • Lead on delivering Global Witness’ long-term campaigning and advocacy strategy to maximise the organisation’s reach and impact;
  • Working with the Board and Campaign Directors, review and adjust strategy in the context of global developments, recommending changes and new thematic areas as appropriate;
  • Lead, manage, support, guide, and coordinate the activities of the Campaign Directors, focusing on quality, delivery, collaboration and maximising impact, whilst ensuring risks are mitigated appropriately;
  • Ensure the continual development of campaigning skills throughout the organisation to guarantee delivery of excellent campaigns and campaign materials;
  • Ensure that campaigns and advocacy are project managed and continually monitored to evaluate their success and effectiveness.


  • Manage the Director of Development to ensure delivery of the short and long-term fundraising strategy to meet agreed income targets;
  • Ensure that the Fundraising department adheres to Global Witness’ ethical fundraising policy, and that compliance and the policy guidelines are reviewed regularly.


  • Manage the Director of Communications to ensure that the organisation’s overall brand, mission, and specific campaigns are articulated in a clear, consistent, authoritative and compelling manner;
  • Work with the Director of Communications and the Board to enhance the reach and impact of Global Witness’ overall brand.

Finance & resources

  • Manage the Director of Finance & Resources to ensure that the organisation has appropriate premises, infrastructure, and resources to support its operations;
  • Ensure the fiscal integrity of the organisation, including the preparation of annual budgets for approval by the Board, regular monitoring of progress, and annual statutory financial reporting;
  • Ensure that the organisation’s policies, procedures and operational systems comply with legislation, reflect best practice in the not-for-profit sector, and maximise efficiency;
  • Ensure that all staff are effectively managed, trained and supported;
  • Ensure that the organisation’s IT services, support, and data security are appropriate for its mission and risk profile; 
  • Ensure that physical and other risks to staff are constantly monitored and that best practice procedures are in place to manage risks, especially for overseas travel and operations;
  • Ensure that the organisation maintains an appropriate and effective disaster recovery plan.


  • Any other duties commensurate with the skills and responsibilities required for this role as directed by the Board.

Person Specification


  • Proven ability to lead a fast paced organisation working on complex issues with significant global impact.
  • Demonstrable track record of success in achieving change through advocating on an international basis.
  • Proven ability to build, motivate and enthuse a senior team, as well as the wider organisation, towards delivery of key goals.
  • Demonstrable track record of effectively managing finance, fundraising, communications, people, and resources in a successful organisation, whilst driving value for money.
  • Excellent understanding of key global political, social, economic, human rights and environmental issues in Global Witness’ area of work, including the ability to identify the implication of global trends relevant to the current and future planned work of Global Witness.
  • Proven ability to identify and focus on key areas, cut through complexity, prioritise competing demands within the resources available, and to take the initiative and be accountable. 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, in particular a collaborative and cooperative approach to work, as well as ability to network and to build and maintain effective working relationships with a range of people, across a variety of settings internally and externally.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and clearly in written and spoken English, in particular the ability to draft, edit and produce a variety of written materials to a very high standard, as well as public speaking skills. 
  • Ability to travel overseas.


  • Experience of managing legal risk or similar
  • Experience of taking a lead role in coalitions for change
  • Experience of working with CSOs in developing countries.
  • Experience of leading ‘in-country’ field investigations
  • Understanding of the use of online and social media

Fluency in another language in addition to English.

Job title: Executive Director

Location: London

Salary: Competitive

Contract: Full time, permanent

Closing date: 15 April 2015