Chair, Northern Ireland Advisory Committee: British Council

The British Council exists to promote a ‘friendly knowledge and understanding’ between the people of the UK and wider world by making a positive contribution to the countries we work with, and in doing so making a lasting difference to the UK’s security, prosperity and influence.

British Council Northern Ireland aims to promote Northern Ireland’s cultural and educational strengths internationally through our programmes in arts, English, education and society. Its role is to ensure that Northern Ireland is fully involved in major British Council programmes, promoting the best of Northern Ireland outward and bringing the best of international experience and experience inward.

The British Council draws on strategic advice from three Country Advisory Committees – for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. These report to the Board of Trustees. 

Our equality commitment

Valuing diversity is essential to the British Council’s work. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to try and avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies.

The opportunity

The Northern Ireland Advisory Committee provides advice and fresh insights to the Northern Ireland Country Director and advocates on the behalf of the British Council in Northern Ireland. The role of the Chair is to advise the Country Director in a non-executive capacity to maximise the impact that British Council can make in and for the relevant UK country. As Chair, you will lead the Northern Ireland Advisory Committee to fulfil its purpose and objectives as set out in the Terms of Reference.

The Chair of the Committee is appointed for a three year term, renewable for a further three years. For two years, each Chair of a Country Advisory Committee takes his or her turn in representing all three Country Advisory Committees on the British Council’s Board of Trustees.

Terms and Conditions

Roles on Northern Ireland Advisory Committee are not remunerated but reasonable travel and expenses will be reimbursed at standard British Council rates. Candidates must have the right to work in the UK.

Key focus areas of the post include

Leading the Committee to fulfil its purpose and objectives outlined in the Terms of Reference

  • Chairing Committee meetings, normally three a year (and possibly an away day)
  • Acting as advocate for the British Council’s work in Northern Ireland and in the UK as a whole
  • Hosting and speaking from time to time at events organised by British Council Northern Ireland
  • Attending other relevant British Council meetings and functions
  • · Reviewing the papers for six Board of Trustees meetings a year and providing comments to the Chair of one of the three Country Advisory Committees currently serving on the British Council’s Board of Trustees
  • Attending the annual meeting of the Chairs of the three Country Advisory Committees with the Chair of the British Council

When on the Board of Trustees:

  • Preparing for, and full participation, in six Board of Trustees meetings a year in London and an away day
  • Acting in a representative role by consulting the Chairs of the other two Country Advisory Committees in advance of Board of Trustees meetings (by videoconference or otherwise)
  • Presenting a short note summarising key opportunities, risks and issues arising from each Committee at Board of Trustees meetings. This note is included in the Chair of the British Council’s written report to the Board of Trustees
  • Making a brief report during Board of Trustees meetings and feeding back to the Chairs of the other two Country Advisory Committees

What we require of the successful candidate

  • Experience of a senior role within a major private, public or voluntary sector organisation in a management and/or Board capacity
  • Significant recent experience in one or more of the three Strategic Business Units (core business areas) of British Council activity – Arts, Education and Society, and English and Exams
  • Varied range of contacts in Northern Ireland
  • Strong international background and/or interests
  • Belief in, understanding and knowledge of, what Northern Ireland can contribute on the world stage
  • Capacity to act as a ‘critical friend’ to the Northern Ireland Country Director
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Highly effective communication skills (oral and written)

If you would like to understand more about this post then please see the documents below:



Closing date: 4th December 2015

Further details

If you are interested in the post and feel that you are suitable for the role, then we would really like to hear from you. Please send your CV to: