Jan 052018

Independent Non-Executive Chairperson - Behavioural Insights Team

Recruiter: Behavioural Insights Team
Location: City of Westminster, London (Greater)
Salary: Remuneration will be generous but in line with quasi-public sector organisations
Posted: 20 Dec 2017
Closes: 15 Jan 2018
Ref: Non-Exec Chair
Industry: Government & politics, Central government, Economic development, Policy, Science, Research, Social enterprise
Job function: Consultant
Job level: Senior executive
Hours: Part time
Contract: Contract
Listing type: Job vacancy

Independent non-executive Chairperson for Behavioural Insights Ltd

  • 3 year appointment
  • Remuneration: £30,000 per annum
  • Based in Westminster

About the Behavioural Insights Team

The Prime Minister created the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) in 2010 to apply behavioural science to public policy in the UK. In February 2014 we became a social purpose company, owned by the Cabinet Office, Nesta (an innovation charity) and our employees.

BIT works with governments and organisations around the world in almost every area of government policy. Whilst the subject and output of our projects varies considerably, there are common threads: we build interventions around a more realistic model of human behaviour; try to understand the contexts in which people make decisions; we find out what has and hasn’t worked before; and we measure everything we do as robustly as we can.

As well as displaying professional excellence, BIT selects staff on the basis of cultural fit. All our staff believe passionately in our company values: prioritising social impact; empiricism and humility; fresh thinking, collaboration; and public service.

Since its original formation in 2010, BIT has roughly doubled every two years, and this pace of growth has shown little sign of slowing. We now have offices in London (Head Office), Manchester, Sydney, New Zealand, Singapore and New York. We work with clients both in the public sector and more widely to provide core consultancy and evaluation services. We also have a developing ventures business, and plan to diversify more widely over the coming 18 months to develop a suite of products and services as well as to scale our existing programmes.

The Role

We are now looking to appoint a new Chairperson to the Board as the current Chairperson (Peter Holmes) tenure is due to end in 2018. As we move forward with our 2020 Strategy we are looking for someone with strong and effective leadership ability to help underpin and support our plans for the next three years.

The Chair will work with the Chief Executive to help shape and execute the strategy by chairing effective board meetings and ensuring that meeting time is well used for discussions on the big decisions (expected to be a minimum of 30 days per year). Strong influencing skills and ability to lead effective governance are paramount to the role. BIT is now a global organisation and you will help support and challenge the strategy and ensure that the right conversations take place at the Board and committee meetings. BIT has historically held around ten Board meetings per annum plus committee meetings (audit and remuneration committee meetings). BIT’s latest annual update will provide you with background on our recent achievements. You will need to bring commercial focus as well as appreciate the nuances of public and evidenced based policy making.

Key responsibilities as Chair of the Board include:

  • Contribute to, and constructively challenge, the development and evolution of BIT global strategy;
  • build strong relationships with shareholders and take into account their views (and views of other stakeholders), promoting a culture of mutual respect, openness and debate by facilitating the effective contribution of non-executive directors in particular and ensuring constructive relations between executive and non-executive directors;
  • set the Board’s agenda (primarily focused on strategy, performance, value creation and accountability) and ensure that adequate time is available for discussion of all agenda items, in particular strategic issues;
  • scrutinise the performance of BIT Executive Directors in meeting agreed goals and objectives, monitoring the reporting of performance;
  • satisfy yourself that financial information is accurate and that financial controls and systems of risk management are robust and defensible;
  • understand and comply with the Articles and Shareholders Agreement of the Company;
  • abide by your statutory, fiduciary and common-law duties as a director of the Company;
  • set clear expectations concerning the Company’s culture, values and behaviours and the style and tone of Board discussions;
  • ensure that the Board determines the nature and extent of the significant risks that the Company is willing to embrace in implementing its strategy;
  • ensure that the Board has effective decision-making processes and applies sufficient challenge to major proposals;
  • serve on the committees of the Board and attend all such committee meetings;
  • as part of your role on the Remuneration Committee, be responsible for determining appropriate levels of remuneration of executive directors and have a prime role in appointing and, where necessary, removing senior management and in succession planning;
  • review and agree with each director their training and development needs; and
  • ensure that the performance of the Board, its committees and individual directors is evaluated at least once a year and act on the results of such evaluation.

Personal Characteristics


  • Ability to identify strategic needs of the organisation, challenge and scrutinise plans, and drive and motivate others in their delivery;
  • Strong governance experience, ideally experience working with a quasi-government organisation;
  • Stakeholder management and influencing skills, ability to build consensus around the board table;
  • Experience working with a company experiencing rapid growth and diversification, with the ability to manage and implement multiple business initiatives;
  • Strong commercial and financial skills – ability to challenge and support the management team when developing business plans and models; and
  • Strong management and leadership skills, able to effectively engage the executive Directors and focus on performance and development.

To apply please send your CV together with a cover letter of no more than 2 sides of A4 outlining how you meet the essential criteria for the role by email to [email protected]

Close of Applications: 15th January 2018 at 9am GMT

Interviews and assessment tasks: From end-January 2018

All relevant candidates will be contacted by our Search Consultant in the first instance.

Please note:

If you do not already hold the right to work in the UK and/or require sponsorship in order to continue working here, you should think carefully before applying. This is because we will be unable to sponsor you unless there is no other suitably qualified settled worker available to fill the role or your current immigration status means that the resident labour market test will not apply in your case.

The Behavioural Insights Team is committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and is determined to ensure that no applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, age, disability, religion, belief, sexual orientation, marital status, or race, or is disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justifiable

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