Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chief Executive

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, founded in 1909, owns and operates Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park and manages a variety of programmes dedicated to conservation, education and research domestically and internationally. With a mission to “inspire and excite our visitors with the wonder of living animals, and so to promote the conservation of threatened species and habitats”, it is one of Europe’s leading centres of conservation, and Edinburgh Zoo is one of the UK’s leading visitor attractions, enhanced by the recent arrival of two giant pandas from China. The position of Chief Executive of the Society is therefore one of significant visibility and influence with considerable responsibilities and opportunities.
Reporting to the Board of the Society through the Chair of the Board, the Chief Executive will be responsible for leading the senior management team in the development and management of the Society as a commercially sustainable organisation in pursuit of its charitable aims and objectives.

Person specification

The Chief Executive must be an experienced and successful business manager, an excellent communicator, a strong leader with sound financial skills and the ability to inspire and motivate staff and manage stakeholders. They will require strong commercial skills and be required to have displayed commercial judgement in previous roles. A background of working in a zoological, wildlife or relevant animal environment would be an advantage as would experience in a customer focused organisation. The Chief Executive must be capable of championing the Society’s excellent commercial and charitable aims both within the organisation and in the wider business, conservation and political communities. They should have significant experience at senior management level where they have a proven track record of leading an organisation.

Key Criteria for this role are as follows:

Leadership - the ability to provide strong and authentic leadership in a setting where they have had responsibility for significant budgets and staff numbers and have contributed at the most senior level to the management of a business.

Strategy/Performance - the ability to define the strategy and monitor/evaluate the performance of an organisation, enabling successful delivery of its products and/or services.

Business and Financial acumen – the ability to manage a successful business, identify and exploit appropriate markets, build and maintain market share and manage budgets in excess of £10 million.

Organisational Change - the ability to lead significant organisational change, to embed values and culture appropriate to an organisation with over 100 years’ heritage and with stewardship responsibility to ensure successful sustainability.

Constructive challenge/Influencing - the ability to challenge constructively and influence decision-making within a board or team setting.

Stakeholder management – the ability to build relationships with and influence a wide range of stakeholders, from members of the Society to Scottish and UK governments.

Communication – The ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences, with experience of acting in an ambassadorial role.

Conservation– dedication to and empathy with the conservation mission and aims of the Society.

Risk – the ability to effectively assess and analyse risks that could adversely impact on the Society either internally or externally and to develop appropriate controls and monitoring procedures to remove or substantially mitigate significant risks.

Key Responsibilities for this position are as follows:

-Provide vision, leadership, direction, inspiration and motivation for the management, staff and volunteers of the Society

-Ensure that the Society is run in accordance with relevant legislative requirements and good practice, and within its Constitution, applying appropriate levels of corporate governance

-Further the interests of zoos and conservation through promotion of relevant conservation, education and research activities

-Recommend appropriate strategic plans and policies for the future development of the Society to the Board

-Develop, maintain and promote constructive working relationships and effective communications with internal and external stakeholders, in particular the Society’s members

-Create and nurture a successful, dynamic fundraising climate in the Society as a critical component in successfully building up revenue.

To apply for this role please send your CV with a covering letter to Judy Wagner at

For more information please see www.fwbltd/currentopportunities or contact Judy at the above email address or on 0131 539 7087


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