Job Opportunity

NLGN Chair Recruitment

Dame Jane Roberts will be stepping down as Chair of the New Local Government Network in December 2018 having reached the end of her term. As such, NLGN is seeking a new Chair and welcomes expressions of interest from potential candidates.


NLGN has been the leading think tank for local government innovation and policy for over twenty years. At its heart is a network of 50 local councils and their partners who are committed to working together to reinvent local public services for the future.

Our work with our network and our thought leadership is delivered by a team of fourteen based in Westminster. Strategic leadership and overall governance is provided by twelve independent Board members and the NLGN Director. NLGN operates as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.

NLGN is in the process of rolling-out a new strategic vision agreed by the Board in Spring 2017. This is focused on the following areas:

  • developing a radical ‘changemaking’ vision for public services that can meet the challenge of rising demand, the popular desire for participation and influence, and rapid socio-economic change;
  • growing and deepening the NLGN network of members based on a new offer built around peer-learning, a high impact events programme and a shared vision of change;
  • using an innovative thought leadership programme to both drive transformation on the public sector frontline while challenging and rethinking national policy and models of public service.
Over the last year, NLGN has made rapid progress towards these goals.

The Role of NLGN Chair

NLGN is looking for a Chair who is inspired by our new mission to challenge and rethink the models of public service delivery that dominate public debate but which are increasingly shown to be unfit for purpose. The Chair will, of course, have a formal governance role and fiduciary responsibilities to fulfil but, more than anything, we are looking for someone who can act as an ambassador and thought leader for a new way of delivering public services based on a wholesale shift to a preventative model, much greater popular participation and close collaboration with communities.

The Chair’s full range of responsibilities are:

  • to act as an ambassador and influencer for NLGN’s vision of change at national and international level.
  • to work closely with other Board members and, in particular, the Vice Chair, Treasurer and Director to ensure NLGN remains a financially sustainable and strategically effective organisation;
  • to support the Director in implementing NLGN strategy as agreed by the Board;
  • to play a key role at occasional NLGN events particularly the annual parliamentary reception and the annual conference;
  • to chair the quarterly meetings of the Board.

The time commitment for the post is flexible and can be adapted to the needs of the new Chair. Support will always be available from the Director, Vice Chair or Treasurer where other commitments might make the Chair’s involvement in an event or other activity problematic.

As with all Board members (excepting the Director), the post of Chair is unremunerated although all expenses incurred in fulfilling the post’s duties are reimbursed.

The Chair is appointed for a term of three years which can be renewed by agreement of the Board for a further two terms.

The person we are looking for

Our ideal Chair would fulfil the following criteria:

  • a national or international reputation for thought leadership and influence;
  • awareness of how small not-for-profit companies, and ideally thinks tanks or membership bodies, work;
  • a willingness to prioritise raising the profile and influence of NLGN and its membership network;
  • a willingness to support NLGN’s efforts at building partnerships particularly in relation to fundraising;
  • evidence of working in a highly supportive and collaborative fashion and in line with NLGN’s three ‘changemaking’ values of collaboration, creativity and self-determination;
  • a willingness to get to know the membership network and work with them to grow their influence and impact;
  • an understanding of local government, the wider public sector and the public service reform debate;
  • experience of Board membership and understanding of governance processes.

How to apply

Potential candidates should express their interest in their role by contacting Board member, Ada Burns (, who is leading the appointment process and NLGN Director, Adam Lent (

Application will then be by CV with shortlisted candidates invited to an interview with the Chair Appointment Panel comprised of Board members Ada Burns, Claire Kennedy and Robert Pollock. The preferred candidate will then be subject to approval by the full Board of NLGN at its meeting in September following meetings with the Director and staff team. Interested candidates are advised to contact Adam or Ada before 20th July 2018.

NLGN is very strongly committed to being an equal opportunities employer and organisation. We don’t just ‘value diversity’, we think it is central to what makes for a high impact, successful organisation. We positively encourage you to express and interest in this role. If you have a disability and need any assistance applying, please do not hesitate to contact Adam Lent on