Director, Climate Governance Initiative

Director, Climate Governance Initiative

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced leader to join the Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Engagement as the Director for the Climate Governance Initiative. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to support the global transition to net zero by helping shape an international movement of top business leaders, in the only global community of non-executive directors and chairs focused on climate action.

Job Title: Director, Climate Governance Initiative

Location: Centre for Climate Engagement, Hughes Hall, Cambridge CB1 2EW

Contract Type: 2.5 Year fixed term, 1 FTE - with the possibility of extension

Probation Period: Six months

Salary Range: £86,610- £90,706  Grade 12, SP70-74

Hours of Work: 37.5 hours per week Monday to Friday (with occasional evening or early morning work, to be managed flexibly, as agreed between the College and the successful applicant.) The post holder may carry out a significant part of the role remotely.

Annual Leave: Annual paid leave of 25 days plus public holidays. Pro rata for part time members of staff.

Medicash Healthcare Plan: All staff members have access to the College’s Medicash Healthcare Plan

Mental Health Peer Support Programme: All staff members have access to the College’s Mental Health Peer Support Programme, supporting Mind’s Mentally Healthy Universities initiative

Pension Eligibility: The College offers membership of a contributory pension scheme. Subject to your age and earnings level, you may be eligible for auto-enrolment into the scheme and you have the right to opt out at any time.

Additional Benefits

• Free lunches on working days

• Free Life Assurance cover

• Enhanced sick pay

• Cycle purchase scheme

• Annual season ticket loan

• Free on-site car parking (subject to availability)

About Hughes Hall and the Centre for Climate Engagement

Hughes Hall

Hughes Hall is one of the 31 Colleges of the 800-year-old University of Cambridge, and one of just four of these Colleges dedicated to undergraduates aged 21 and over and postgraduates. A mission of the College is to use academic learning to bring about real change and growth in the world.

Hughes Hall hosts a number of Bridge Centres, which aim to bridge academic, policy and professional worlds. The Centre for Climate Engagement is one of these centres, along with Cambridge Digital Innovation, Oracy Cambridge, and the Digital Education Futures Initiative. These centres are focal points for the wider development and application of a number of special research activities and projects.

The Hughes Hall website contains further information about its history, people, work, and values.

Centre for Climate Engagement

The Centre for Climate Engagement at Hughes Hall was established in 2019 to rectify the lack of engagement in climate change mitigation in the corporate community, particularly boards. The Centre plays a unique role in bringing leading academic research to a targeted non-executive director audience in a format that enables change. Support for cutting edge research in climate law, governance, disclosure and organisational change – priority areas for boards driving climate action – informs the work of the Centre. Its leading research translation and knowledge brokering expertise turns that evidence into action.

The Centre provides the Secretariat function for the Climate Governance Initiative. The World Economic Forum established this Initiative in 2019, in response to climate change and the challenge this brings to business, together with a set of guiding principles to help boards and senior management consider the quality of climate governance at the organisations they oversee and identify aspects in need of development. The Climate Governance Initiative is now implemented by the Centre for Climate Engagement, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.

The Climate Governance Initiative supports the growth of groups of board directors around the world to form networks, known as Chapters. There are now 23 such Chapters, including Chapter Zero in the UK. The Secretariat plays a significant role in both maximising the impact and collaboration of existing chapters and accelerating the development of new ones.

Job Purpose

The role of the Climate Governance Initiative (the Initiative) is to support the growth of groups of board directors around the world to form networks, known as Chapters. The Initiative has grown to 23 active Chapters in 55 countries with over 100,000 members. The Director of the Initiative will build on the growth to date to further the development of the organisation’s infrastructure, communications and contact-management processes. The Director will continue to grow and consolidate the Initiative organisation, in line with the current strategy, and work to ensure impact of existing Chapters is enabled. The Director will lead the Initiative team (currently a team of five, which will be growing to seven in the near-term) and, together with the Board, will ensure continued development of the strategy, including the development of a sustainable business model for the future as part of a planned strategic review. The Director will provide an externally facing leadership role for the Initiative, liaise with Chapters to ensure their input into future strategy development and will also liaise with the CCE content team to provide input for thought leadership that is relevant and digestible for board members, addressing current and emerging high impact topics.

Main Duties

• Provide an externally facing leadership role for the Initiative including media interviews, speaking at conferences and panels and supporting Chapter launches.

• Draw on input from internal and external stakeholders, and work with the Chair, Board and Chapters to develop and implement the strategy for the Initiative. This will also involve developing a clear business plan.

• Ensure that Chapter members have access to relevant, timely and high-quality supporting content that meets their needs, challenges thinking, and ensures that Chapters are seen as an irresistible organisation for members.

• Utilise core management information and metrics to ensure quality and reach of content. Measure effectiveness of content and event delivery with stakeholders. Use this data to inform the content strategy to ensure maximum impact on climate action in boardrooms.

• Develop strong relationships with the Chair and board members, committees, advisory board members, Chapter Directors, CCE, Hughes Hall and the World Economic Forum in addition to the broad range of strategic partners the Initiative has.

• Take overall accountability for the Initiative income, budget and management. Including building relationships with funders and creating funding pitches.

• Provide role-model leadership to the Initiative team, promoting equality of opportunity and diversity to ensure the development of an inclusive culture.

• Ensure the provision of development opportunities for the Initiative team and enable effective collaboration with the team and across the Chapters, CCE and Hughes Hall.

The above is not an exhaustive list of duties. The post-holder may be asked to take on different tasks as required, and all employees are expected to work collaboratively to support the overall work of the Climate Governance Initiative.

Person Specification

Leadership Competencies 

• Recognises trends and events including social, environmental, political and cultural trends that may influence the Initiative.

• Ability to lead the development of a compelling strategy and narrative for the Initiative.

• Demonstrate creative, innovative, and original ways of thinking about and solving problems and issues.

• Experience of effectively building commitment and excitement at multiple levels both inside and outside an organisation.

• Ability to form networks of effective relationships with all kinds of internal and external partners to drive success.

• Understands how to read the political landscape internally and externally and how to build coalitions to bring the Initiative’s voice to the appropriate decision makers.

• Encourages open discussion of different ideas and views. Welcomes new and unusual thoughts and ideas, challenges and solicits feedback.

• Ability to set ambitious goals and establish priorities with clear responsibilities to ensure results.

• Ability to create and manage a diverse team in a way that is motivating and engaging.

• Demonstrates ability to lead in the face of complexity and ambiguity. Demonstrates responsiveness to change, with creative ways of solving problems, learning from mistakes whilst balancing shorter and longer-term considerations.

Skills and Abilities

• Outstanding interpersonal, relationship building and advisory skills.

• Ability to work at all levels across a range of organisations, to form solid working relationships.

• Effective communication skills, public speaking, and ambassadorial skills.

• Ability to work well within a team, to listen, be flexible and committed to the collective output of the project, and to be able to manage oneself independently in a high-pressure environment.

• Entrepreneurial with a willingness to work at a strategic and operational level.

• Ability to work at pace whilst maintaining attention to detail.

• Ability to self-motivate, with strong organisational and time management skills.

• Ability to have a vision and strategy and communicate it while incorporating others’ ideas.

• Provide clear, strategic and agile thinking.

• Provide creativity and innovation to tasks and challenges.

• Excellent stakeholder skills and relationship management at C-suite level.

• Ability to be persuasive and entrepreneurial in a dynamic environment.

• Ability to provide resilient leadership with energy and enthusiasm.

Education and Experience

• Bachelor’s Degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject, e.g. Sustainability, Economics, Business Administration or similar.

• Significant relevant professional experience.

• Experience of Business, Non-Profit and/or Membership organisations.

• Experience of working at board level across a wider variety of international businesses and industry sectors.

• Comfortable achieving results through partnership strategies.

• Experience of thought leadership development and dissemination.

• Experience of strategic planning and deployment of resources at a senior level.

• People management experience.

• Experience of leadership, motivating, and developing colleagues.

• Experience in negotiating and managing contracts.

• Experience of business planning and managing against budgets targets and key performance indicators.


• Knowledge of ESG and climate issues and the importance of embedding this into corporate governance is highly desirable.

• Good understanding or interest in climate risk/opportunity for businesses.

• Practiced in systems change and organisational change models.

• Good understanding of major business sectors and key companies across the globe.

• Good understanding of how large businesses operate and deal with stakeholders.

All staff at Hughes Hall are expected to engage in continuing professional development, to comply with the data protection legislation and to comply with College’s Staff Handbook, Health & Safety Policy and all relevant procedures.

Screening Check Requirements

The College has a legal responsibility to ensure that all its employees have the legal right to live and work in the UK. Any offer of employment will be subject to the College verifying that you are eligible to work in the UK before you start work.

If you are invited to interview, you will be asked to bring original documents from List A or List B (below) and a copy will be taken; alternatively, if you hold a 'digital immigration status', your Share Code will be required to access this status online.

• List A: Documents/statuses which denote an unrestricted and unlimited right to work in the UK

• List B: Documents/statuses which denote a temporary and/or restricted right to work in the UK.

Application process

To submit an application for this vacancy, please complete the job application form and include a covering letter outlining how you meet the job description and person specification.

You are also encouraged to complete the College’s Equality and Diversity Form. Hughes Hall values diversity, and is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity. The College welcomes expressions of interest and applications from candidates from all communities and a diversity of backgrounds.

All documentation should be emailed to The closing date for applications is Monday 21st April 2023 at midday. Interviews are expected to take place at Hughes Hall.

Data Protection

Any information given will be processed for employment selection and statistical purposes. To understand how your personal data will be processed during the application process, please see the Data Protection Statement for Job Applicants

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Emily Farnworth on If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the HR Manager on

Closing Date:

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