Government begins advertising for next Charity Commission chair

The successful candidate will replace William Shawcross, whose term comes to an end later this year

The government is advertising for applicants to be the next chair of the Charity Commission.

The successful applicant will replace William Shawcross, who is leaving later in the year having been in post since 2012.

The advertisement for the vacancy, which is published through the Centre for Public Appointments, says the successful applicant will be paid £62,500 a year and will work two-and-a-half days a week.

By comparison, Shawcross works three days a week on a £50,000 annual salary. 

The advert says the successful candidate must be able to support the organisation "through a period of significant change and cultural development in either the private or charity/not-for-profit sector".

The person will be responsible for leading the regulator’s board in setting the commission’s strategic priorities and policy direction over the next three years, it says.

This is likely to include the subject of the regulator charging charities for its services, something the regulator has been edging towards in recent years and on which it is soon due to launch a consultation.

The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate they can be an "accessible and engaging ambassador" for the organisation and "influence high-level stakeholders within government and in parliament, the media, the charity sector and the business world".

The person must also have an understanding of and interest in the charity sector, "including an awareness of the multifaceted challenges it faces resulting from changing social and economic circumstances". 

Applicants will be scrutinised by a four-member panel comprising Sue Owen, permanent secretary at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, and chair of the panel; Lord Kakkar, chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission; Julia Unwin, chair of the Independent Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society; and Alan Downey, who is described in the job advert as an "other panel member". 

Whoever is appointed will also have to attend a pre-appointment hearing before the Culture, Media & Sports Select Committee.

Shawcross, a journalist and writer, has been a controversial chair of the Charity Commission because of comments he has made on issues including chief executive pay and charging charities to fund the regulator.

In 2012, three of the seven MPs on the Public Administration Select Committee of the time opposed his appointment because of concerns about his political impartiality, citing previous support of the Iraq war and the Conservative Party.

The closing date for applications is 3pm on 22 September, and the successful applicant will be expected to serve a term of up to three years.

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