Chair, London Executive Committee


The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative is seeking a Chairperson for the board of Trustees of our London office. CHRI is an international human rights non- governmental organisation working across the Commonwealth. CHRI is headquartered in India, with an Africa Office in Ghana and a London Liaison Office.

The London Executive Committee, as the Board of Trustees for the charity registered in the UK, provides strategic oversight over the small London office. CHRI London is going through a period of expansion and renewal, and is moving towards greater sustainability. Current activities include research, advocacy, events, and liaison with Commonwealth agencies. The London Office particularly works on issues around Modern Slavery in the Commonwealth and the rights of LGBTI citizens in the Commonwealth, in addition to CHRI’s other main areas of work, access to information and access to justice.

We are looking for an experienced human rights professional with the enthusiasm, judgment and time to lead the Board for a minimum of 2-3 years. This is an unpaid role.

Our new Chair will continue to build CHRI as the premier voice for human rights in the Commonwealth, particularly in the lead up to the UK hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in April 2018. This is a crucial time as we work to ensure that human rights are a core part of the Commonwealth agenda. As Chair, you will play a key part in advocating for human rights in the lead-up to the CHOGM and during the period of the UK being Commonwealth Chair-in-Office.

Main responsibilities

•    Build and lead a dynamic, diverse and effective Executive Committee and ensure it fulfills responsibilities in governance and providing strategic direction. This includes facilitating informed, strategic decision-making on human rights and organizational issues at quarterly meetings and in other formats.

•    Work with the London Liaison Officer and other Trustees to raise funds and achieve financial sustainability.

•    Ensure that the organisation complies with relevant charity law, including regular liaison with the Treasurer to ensure financial transparency and management.

•    Guide and oversee the work of the London Office, supporting renewal and strategic expansion to achieve sustainability. This includes appointing and managing the London Liaison Officer (who in turn manages a team of interns); guiding messaging and positioning on human rights issues; ensuring compliance with policy; and monitoring management of risks.

•    Represent the organisation with advocacy targets, donors, media and other stakeholders.

•    Maintain effective relations with other CHRI offices, including through serving on the International Advisory Commission and the Executive Committee of CHRI Ghana.

Person specification


•    Demonstrated understanding of international human rights principles and systems and commitment to CHRI’s aims and objectives

•    Past experience as a Trustee and/or demonstrated understanding of duties and responsibilities of Trustees under UK law (for example through relevant training / qualifications)

•    Experience in a management and/or leadership role in a charity or volunteer organisation

•    Sound political judgement, communication and interpersonal skills, including high level representation and negotiation

       •    Willingness to devote time to carry out responsibilities


•    Understanding of the Commonwealth

•    Experience in leading a small organisation to financial sustainability


CHRI is seeking to have a new Chair in place ASAP and is aiming to identify someone in advance to facilitate a smooth transition. To express interest in this role, please email a CV and short cover letter to