The Asfari Foundation is an energetic young British grant-making charity set up by Ayman and Sawsan Asfari in 2006. Our vision is for a world where people actively work together to create productive, inclusive and just societies. Our mission is to educate young people from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and the UK and to strengthen civil society organisations in their communities. We have a budget of some £5m per year and make grants to international, national and local organisations and universities and research centres through three programmes: Civil Society, Youth Empowerment and Relief. We currently fund projects located in Lebanon, the UK, Palestine/Israel, and occasionally in Syria, Turkey and Jordan. More information about our programmes can be found on our website (www.asfarifoundation.org.uk).
The Foundation has made considerable progress in recent years. It has established its presence as an impactful organisation in its fields of operation. In 2017, we funded 52 projects implemented by 47 partners. An evaluation in 2017 resulted in the Board adopting a new five-year strategy (2018 – 2022) which will provide fewer but larger flexible three-year grants to ten civil society organisations per year; the grants include organisational capacity building (for more information, click here).
After eight years in post, our current CEO is stepping down for personal reasons. The Trustees are keen to employ a dynamic, experienced and capable CEO to lead the Foundation during its next phase of development.
The CEO will work closely with the Asfari family and the Foundation’s six Trustees to ensure that the Foundation is dynamic and resilient and continues to respond in creative and effective ways to deliver change for civil society and young people from Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and the UK. He/she will provide visionary, innovative strategic support to the Board and supportive leadership and guidance to the five-member team to ensure implementation of the Foundation’s new five year grant making strategy. This will include identifying and monitoring ten new partners per year under the new strategy; developing innovative new ideas and research projects; providing continued support to the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at the American University of Beirut; and other projects as they arise. The CEO will be in charge of the Foundation’s £5m annual budget provided by the Asfari family (no fundraising is required). The CEO will also oversee the management and growth of the Foundation’s investment portfolio, currently worth some £12m, which the Asfari family aims to increase over the coming years to fund the Foundation in perpetuity. The CEO will ensure the Foundation is following best practice in governance and implementation and ensure it is represented in relevant sector discussions.
Job Title: Chief Executive Officer of the Asfari Foundation
Reports to: Board of Trustees
Contract: Permanent position after successful completion of a six month probationary period
Hours: Full time, Monday to Friday 09.00 to 17.00
Location: The Asfari Foundation office, Unit A, 1-3 Canfield Place, London NW6 3BT
Salary and benefits competitive salary and benefits (depending on experience and qualifications)
Annual leave entitlement: 25 days per year, growing to 28 days in year 4
Note: Travel in the UK and the Levant region up to six weeks per year is required
Provide internal and external leadership to realise the Foundation’s mission.
- internal leadership: providing the direction, inspiration and motivation necessary to ensure the growth, effectiveness and reputation of the Asfari Foundation.
- external leadership: contributing on behalf of the Foundation to the dialogue on the Foundation’s target communities and themes and in the field of development and philanthropy more broadly.
KEY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
In close cooperation with and overseen by the Board of Trustees, working with the team and within the mandate of the Foundation, the CEO will be responsible for implementing the Foundation’s vision and mission, in particular:
- Mission stewardship: Implement and communicate the Foundation’s vision and mission internally, and ensure that they continue to inspire and guide all its work.
- Board relations: Ensure that the Board is properly constituted, supported, informed and advised to conduct effective governance.
- Values and ethical standards management: Ensure adherence to the Foundation’s values and ethical standards.
- Identity management: Ensure proper care and development of the Foundation’s history, culture, reputation and image.
Internal organisational management
- Staff management: Ensure that staff are properly selected, supported and guided, individually and as a team, and that their professional development is nurtured.
- Financial management: Ensure effective asset investment management and financial and administration strategies and systems to manage and control income and expenditure appropriate to the Foundation’s activities. In particular, help the Foundation develop its investment portfolio for long term sustainability.
- Programmatic management: Develop, improve and implement effective and innovative strategies and systems for programming, grant making and grant management that make the greatest impact on the target communities.
- Legal Issues management: Work with the Board and staff to ensure compliance with legal standards and best practice.
- Accountability and evaluation management: Establish and improve accountability standards and systems that track and communicate the Foundation’s effectiveness and impact.
- Visionary leadership: Where appropriate, represent the Foundation by contributing to philanthropic thought leadership and communicate its vision.
- Partnership management: Work collaboratively with other private and/or public funders and grantees for greater social impact.
- Education and public engagement: Where possible and appropriate, participate in shaping the agenda and decision making of government and other external stakeholders in areas related to the Foundation’s work.
- Thematic leadership: Contribute to vision and thought leadership on the foundation’s thematic areas and communities and communicate this vision.
- Other duties consistent with the position which the Board of Trustees may reasonably from time to time require.
This job description may be changed from time to time.
Essential skills, knowledge and aptitudes
- Fluent or native English language skills.
- Strong knowledge of and/or experience with at least two of the Foundation’s target countries of Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and the UK.
- A very good understanding about either civil society or education (or both).
- Knowledge of the UK charity sector.
- Excellent people skills and a strong and inspiring team worker, enabling the building of strong relationships with Trustees, staff, and partners in various countries.
- Excellent writing skills.
- The credibility and communication skills to represent the Foundation externally.
- Passionate about the development of the Arab region and young people.
- Flexible and adaptable.
- Innovative and creative, with strong analytical and strategic capacity.
- Self motivated and highly organised.
- Ability to participate at all levels of the Foundation’s day-to-day work and to ‘pitch in’ wherever needed.
- High level strategic planning and analytical skills matched by financial acumen and an ability to assess long and short-term risk.
- Fluent or native Arabic language skills and knowledge of relief work and knowledge of grant making in conflict zones are desirable.
- Willingness and ability to travel on behalf of the Foundation for up to six weeks per year.
- Ability to travel to most or all of the Foundation’s target countries (Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Jordan and Turkey).
- Sensitivity to Arab culture; tact and diplomacy.
- Passionate about the development of the Arab world and a proven commitment to civil society and young people, and productive, diverse and inclusive societies.
If you are interested in applying, please submit a CV and a covering letter explaining your suitability for the role to email@example.com by 09.00 on 21 January 2019.
Candidates should indicate clearly in their covering letter whether they have the right to work in the UK, and if so, on what basis.