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Chief Executive Officer

About Cord

Cord is the operating name for the UK-registered charity and company, Christian Outreach. Cord is an international peacebuilding organisation with an ambitious strategy to lead the sector in developing the capacity of partner organisations in countries affected by conflict in Africa and Asia.

Cord’s approach to peacebuilding promotes peaceful societies by working in dedicated partnerships to develop the foundations for peace. Peacebuilding activities range from the rebuilding of state infrastructure to grassroots initiatives which address the issues that contribute to violent conflict. When designed and undertaken in a conflict sensitive manner, these activities can produce results that have both ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ peacebuilding impacts. These impacts may include increasing access to rights such as the development of social accountability, access to justice as well as economic, social and political development.

There is an Occupational Requirement that the Chief Executive, who is responsible to the Board of Trustees through the Chair, must be a practising Christian.

Overall purpose    

The Chief Executive is accountable to the Board for the effective strategic leadership and management of Cord. In doing so, the Chief Executive is expected to model and promote Cord’s vision, mission and strategy and its Christian ethos and values to all internal and external audiences.

Specific responsibilities

a.     Overall strategic leadership

  • Lead Cord with vision, integrity and direction, to achieve its mission, strategy and objectives
  • Work with the Board to lead the development of Cord’s strategic plan and ensure the whole organisation is committed to its delivery
  • Model and encourage a style of leadership that reflects Cord’s Christian identity
  • Ensure clear understanding of and commitment to Cord’s agreed Christian identity, principles and practice across all operations
  • Develop an organisation that is constantly seeking ways to learn and to improve its performance
  • Develop and maintain an environment that attracts and retains the best staff and volunteers and builds a sense of community across the global team

b. General management

  • Manage Cord efficiently and effectively by ensuring an appropriate management structure and management systems
  • Within the corporate governance framework, ensure that Cord maintains and complies with policies and procedures that protect the organisation and its stakeholders, enable it to achieve its objectives, and demonstrate recognised good practice within the sector
  • Ensure that business, operational and annual plans to underpin the strategic plan are developed, agreed and implemented
  • Ensure that there are suitable mechanisms for monitoring and reporting to the Board on Cord’s strategic, operational and financial performance

c.    Finance and risk management 

  • Be responsible overall for the financial management and health of Cord and its increased financial stability, including ensuring sound budgeting and financial monitoring processes
  • Support, facilitate and empower the supporter relations team and all those in Cord who are responsible for raising funds institutionally, through individuals, churches and high net worth individuals; and be personally proactive in seeking new sources of funding
  • Develop, oversee and monitor an effective and sustainable programme of institutional funding generation
  • Ensure that the major risks to which Cord is exposed are reviewed regularly by the Board and Executive Management Team, and that systems are established to mitigate these risks
  • Ensure the application of robust external and internal controls (financial and non-financial)
  • Develop effective mechanisms for the selection of in-country partners with values, accountability and service delivery systems that promote Cord’s strategic objectives while protecting its name and credibility
  • Ensure appropriate policy and legal protection for the Cord brand
  • Ensure that Cord fulfils its legal, statutory and regulatory responsibilities wherever it works

d.   Internal and external relations 

  • Lead and foster good communications throughout Cord and externally
  • Continually strengthen Cord’s media profile as a respected and capable peacebuilding organisation
  • Ensure that all external communications and materials accurately and persuasively present Cord as an excellent organisation worthy of support
  • Actively develop and foster relationships with government, statutory, voluntary and private bodies, private and corporate donors, peacebuilding and other relevant networks, and other external stakeholders
  • Set up mechanisms for listening to the views of current and future beneficiaries on the performance of Cord as well as on areas for future development
  • Act as Cord’s public spokesman unless otherwise agreed with the Chair, and as its ambassador nationally and internationally in relevant global agencies and networks
  • Scan the external environment for changes that may affect the charity, advise the management team and trustees proactively and take necessary action
  • Maintain awareness of significant changes in peacebuilding and general development thinking and practice, and contribute to sectoral thinking and practice

e.    Effective governance

  • Ensure that the Board and its Committees have timely access to reliable, balanced and relevant information it requires for the effective governance of Cord
  • Support the Chair in his/her responsibility to enable the Board to fulfil its proper functions including the recruitment, induction and equipping of trustees
  • Ensure that the staff understand and support the governance role of the Board and are clear on matters of delegated authority, and facilitate a positive and constructive working relationship between Board and Executive
  • Support the Board to develop high-level policies necessary for the running of Core
  • Ensure with the Chair that the Board periodically reviews Cord’s governing instruments and governance structure and assesses its own performance
  • Support the Chair to run successful Board meetings and  ensure accurate minutes are taken
  • Implement Board decisions and operate within Board policies

f.   Internal relationships:    

  • The Chief Executive will have regular one-to-one meetings with the Chair to openly discuss progress and problems, agree mutual expectations of each other, and plan Board meetings and programmes.
  • The Chief Executive builds and maintains wide relationships within the Cord including:
    • The Executive Management Team, who report to the Chief Executive
    • Country Directors
    • Relevant staff members at all levels.


Education/ qualifications and knowledge

  • degree level education
  • understanding of organisational management, including the management of change
  • broad knowledge of, and interest in, national and international social, political and economic issues

Experience/track record

  • minimum of three years’ senior management experience
  • delivering to agreed objectives at a senior level
  • initiating and implementing strategic planning
  • implementing organisational change initiatives
  • financial planning and monitoring
  • marketing or fundraising   

Skills and abilities

  • excellent interpersonal skills
  • ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing to a variety of audiences
  • experienced, capable advocate for an organisation or cause
  • experienced networker in UK and across cultures
  • ability to encourage and maintain excellent relationships with other organisations
  • resourceful and imaginative
  • willing/keen to travel

Personal qualities

  • inspirational, spiritually motivated leader
  • personifying a collaborative approach to teamwork and leadership
  • mature and demonstrated Christian faith and commitment
  • able to articulate commitment to Cord’s Christian ethos and vision, values and mission
  • commitment to the pursuit of peace
  • personal integrity and credibility
  • commitment to self-development
  • dedication to developing the organisation