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Board Trustee - Media Background
Country / Territory
Based in UK: Location negotiable
Based in UK: Location negotiable
Board of Trustees
Job Category
Pay Band
Vacancy Description
Unremunerated Trustee post with reasonable travel and expenses reimbursed 3 year term with potential further 3 year extension



Kirsty Lang is standing down from our Board of Trustees after serving the maximum term with distinction.  She’ll be a huge loss.


We’re now looking for someone else from the media who is equally dynamic, engaged and connected to take over.


About the British Council and the Trustees


We are the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.  We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.  We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by building connections, understanding and trust with the UK.

The Board of Trustees consists of 15 people who bring varied backgrounds and experience to working for the world’s leading authority in cultural relations – and one of the UK’s internationally best-known institutions which has been supporting the UK’s international relations since 1934.  


The Trustees delegate responsibility for the management of the British Council to the Chief Executive and Senior Leadership Team and they agree the Corporate Plan and the Annual Accounts. They are critical friends who are all experts in one or two relevant areas which are core to our mission. But they also contribute their insights and advice to the many issues we face as an organisation with over £1bn turnover and 12,000 staff in 110 countries worldwide, running programmes that reach 80 million people a year face-to-face and connect the UK with over 700 million people in total.


Your opportunity to help shape our approach to the media sector


We face a wide range of opportunities and challenges in how we engage and work with the media in the UK and globally. The challenge in the UK includes raising awareness of and appreciation for our work in building international connections, understanding and trust for hundreds of thousands of people and organisations in every city, region and country of the United Kingdom. These include teachers, researchers, students, artists, scientists, civil society leaders, policy makers plus influencers in the arts, education and English language teaching and testing. They emanate from every culture of the UK and they seek new connections that will help to transform their lives, communities, organisations and businesses.


Globally, we have multiple opportunities to better reach influencers and wider audiences in a variety of contexts. Increasingly we utilise well produced digital content in our social media channels and in our blended English teaching and testing offers; successfully reaching young people who see us as a global trust brand. Millions of people in the Middle East and South Asia are learning English with us on Facebook. Our Five Films for Freedom to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues were streamed in over 200 countries. Our Selector compilation of UK music is broadcast all over the world – and is the only foreign broadcast content allowed in Cuba.


As well as our media communications work, we also run programmes to support digital literacy and media freedom. We are committed to promoting shared values which demonstrate what the UK stands for in a world where trust and truth are increasingly under threat and we expect this work to expand.


To help us respond to these exciting opportunities – and also build strategic partnerships with media and technology companies in the UK and worldwide, enhancing our relevance  and competitiveness – we seek a Trustee with senior level, broad based media sector experience gained during a successful career with major international media organisations. A recognised figure who will relish this exciting opportunity and help inspire us to success.


What you will bring to the role


You will be a media business professional and practitioner with international networks and connections. You will understand media issues, trends and developments across all sub-sectors including digital media. Your experience may include time as a contributor, critic, commentator, strategist, entrepreneur and/or business leader. Skills and knowledge related to the arts, culture and education in a media context could be especially interesting.


The organisation’s performance, corporate behaviour and legal, regulatory and financial requirements all fall within the remit of the Trustees. The governance issues are uniquely challenging. We are a charity, a major business and a non-departmental public body. This means we are constantly in the public eye and our corporate governance must be of the highest standard.


You will bring to the Board a passionate belief in our mission and a commitment to teamwork, curiosity and positivity. You will possess the highest standards of personal integrity and the ability to live our values. You will be comfortable with – and able to add value to – our mixed economy model of commercial and charitable activities.


Most of all, you will share our desire to help people all over the world realise their potential by forging relationships which help to create a connected and trusted UK in a more connected and trusting world.   


Would you like to apply for the role?


If you would like to learn more about this post, then please see the documents below:


Role Profile - Trustee Media.docx


If you are interested in the post and feel that you are suitable for the role, then we would really like to hear from you. Please apply by April 3rd by emailing your CV and a cover letter to donald.macdonald@britishcouncil.org. Selection for this role will be by Panel interview and the Panel will be held on Monday 27th April in London.


Our Equality commitment


Valuing diversity is essential to the British Council’s work. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies. 


The British Council is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and is keen to reflect the diversity of UK society at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. In line with the British Council's Child Protection policy, any appointment is contingent on thorough checks. In the UK, and in other countries where appropriate systems exist, these include criminal records checks.


Requirements: Candidates must have the right to work in the UK

Closing date: 3rd April 2020


Please note that in September 2020, the British Council will relocate its new global headquarters to: International Quarter, Stratford, London E20.