FD in Five Minutes: Philip Kitchen

Third Sector speaks to the finance director at the Welsh Centre for International Affairs

Philip Kitchen
Philip Kitchen

Why did you choose your current career?

It offered a chance to contribute in a meaningful and tangible way to an organisation involved in great work.

What’s your biggest challenge at work?

Balancing priorities. Charities typically work with scarce resources and finding time to balance the priorities between staff, beneficiaries and donors is one that arises frequently.

What do you do outside work?

I spend time with family, friends and at our church. I try to make time to improve my photography skills in whatever time is left available.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career/life so far?

In work terms, the audit partner I first worked with once I had qualified as an accountant. In personal matters, other than family, a photographer called Michael Kenna points the way towards contemplation and minimalist simplicity.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

The ability to understand our dog when he barks and to communicate with him. It would really spook the neighbours.

Which three people would be at your fantasy dinner party?

George I, Henry VIII and Lucy Worsley. I would love to see what they think of her programmes about their lives/wives.

What three things would you take with you if you were exiled to a desert island?

My camera, my computer to look at the images and kit to print and frame the best ones.

If you were Prime Minister for the day, what would you do?

I would make payroll giving an opt-out for people rather than an opt-in. With provision for funds for an undeclared cause to be found worthwhile charities.

Are you optimistic for the future of the charity sector?

I am, perhaps somewhat idealistically. I believe the sector has some fantastic minds at work creating innovative solutions to the many hurdles that we have to face.

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