Social Market Foundation is looking for a new Chair

The Social Market Foundation (SMF), Westminster’s leading cross-party think tank, is looking for new Chair, to take the place of Mary Ann Sieghart, who is stepping down after ten years in the role.

The SMF produces evidence-based policy research and events aimed at delivering a fair and dynamic market economy, rewarding employment, cutting-edge public services and renewed faith in democracy.

Our Chair will be expected to lead the board working closely with our Director. The board of ten members includes a diverse range of opinions and backgrounds, including parliamentarians from the major political parties.

The role is not remunerated. The successful candidate will likely spend between 15-20 days per annum on this role.

The role

  • The principal advocate for the SMF’s core values and mission; and taking the lead responsibility for keeping both values and mission up to date and relevant
  • Ensuring that the SMF’s governance and financial regimes are compliant and fit for purpose
  • Leading the board and ensuring that Trustees properly consider the SMF’s forward strategy
  • Acting as the principal sounding board to the Director and senior team
  • Leading in the appointment of a Director and holding him/her to account
  • Supporting the Director in raising of funds and establishing partnerships
  • Where appropriate, chairing and leading public events organised by and for SMF

The person

The SMF will welcome applications for this role from individuals of any professional or political background. Our chair will need to have demonstrated the capacity to work with colleagues and partners of all shades of democratic opinion. Party membership will not be an obstacle, but she or he will be expected to adhere to the SMF’s tradition of non-partisanship.

The successful candidate will be likely to have demonstrated, or be willing to develop, the following qualities:

  • A strong belief in the social market principles espoused by the SMF
  • A commitment to open debate and innovative thinking in public policy
  • The capacity to chair and to lead a high-calibre, diverse board, operating by consensus, but also encouraging constructive debate and challenge
  • A good grasp of the governance of a high-profile charity, including the financial, legal and statutory requirements
  • An understanding of the public policy framework and the ways in which it can be influenced
  • A capacity to represent the SMF and its mission in public where necessary
  • An open, inclusive and engaging style consistent with the SMF’s values and mission

Application process

The selection process will be made by the full board; the full membership can be seen at https://www.smf.co.uk/people/ under ‘Trustees’.

If you are interested in this role please send a brief letter of application (no more than 500 words is necessary) and a CV by midnight on Tuesday 8 December to: opportunities@smf.co.uk

If you have any questions or would like to have an informal discussion about the role, please email opportunities@smf.co.uk with the subject line ‘SMF Chair – Questions’.


Click here to download the full description of this role.

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