2021 Interim Director of Chevening Secretariat Recruitment

Deadline: March 2, 2021.

The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) is looking for a dynamic and experienced individual to lead and manage the Chevening Secretariat responsible for the administration of the Chevening Awards Programme.  Chevening is the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s flagship international scholarships and fellowships programme and has been delivered by the ACU since 2012. 

The ACU is an international organisation dedicated to building a better world through higher education.

They believe that international collaboration is central to this ambition. By bringing universities together from around the world – and crucially the people who study and work within them – they help to advance knowledge, promote understanding, broaden minds, and improve lives.


  1. Oversee the work of the Chevening Secretariat, in association with the FCDO in London and British Embassies/High Commissions (Posts) worldwide, across all functional teams, including marketing and recruitment, application and assessment, welfare and immigration pre and on award, data protection, scholar engagement, alumni relations, partnership development, talent acquisition, and monitoring and evaluation
  1. Work closely with the FCDO’s Scholarships Unit, attending regular meetings, reporting to FCDO governance structures, and facilitating effective communication on all aspects of Chevening administration
  1. Set Chevening Secretariat objectives to ensure a high-quality service against contract KPIs and ensure continuous improvement
  1. Lead Chevening Secretariat team (approx. 50), including managing, coaching and setting direction for the Secretariat’s leadership team (including 5 direct reports)
  1. Working with the ACU Senior Executive and Senior Management Team, lead the implementation of the outcomes of a shared services review to enhance excellence and maximise value for money
  1. Working with ACU and FCDO finance teams to ensure accurate, timely and responsive financial reporting against contract budget, and ensure accurate forecasting of programme spend
  2. Serve as a member of the ACU Senior Management team to contribute to effective strategies, policies, procedures and resource management issues within the organisation
  3. Maintain up to date knowledge of UK and overseas government policies that may impact on the delivery of Chevening across the network, and implement administrative enhancements as required
  4. Represent Chevening, the ACU and the UK to a wide range of national and international stakeholders and partners, including senior civil servants and Ministers, as required



  1. Proven client management and experience of exceptional customer service delivery
  1. Ability to lead, motivate and manage a high performing team, championing collaboration, to deliver a large-scale service to diverse stakeholder groups
  1. Strong experience of stakeholder engagement and networking, acting with gravitas and confidence
  1. Experience of leading and managing change
  1. Expertise in setting strategic direction and operational management to achieve performance KPIs
  1. Significant knowledge and experience of international relations, soft power and/or foreign policy, and an understanding of the role that scholarships can play in advancing these policies
  1. Substantial project management experience of managing high value or high-profile strategic partnerships, and identifying areas for developing new partnerships or funding streams
  1. Significant experience of managing large or complex budgets
  1. Competence in translating policy into strategy, establishing governance structures and processes that are compliant with regulations or legislation
  1. Exceptional oral and written communication skills, including writing for and presenting to high-level audiences and negotiating, influencing and networking skills
  1. Positive, proactive and consultative approach to problem solving and flexibility in responding quickly to rapidly-changing issues concerning the programme’s policies, procedures and delivery
  1. Understanding of higher education policy, particularly related to international higher education students
  1. Experience of the higher education sector ideally in relation to international exchange and student mobility, with established networks desirable.
  1. A strong commitment to delivering a genuinely world-leading experience for international scholars and fellows and achieving maximum return on investment for the FCDO.


  1. Knowledge of the Chevening Programme and/or another international scholarship programme
  2. Experience of delivering high value or high-profile commercial contracts to government


  1. The benefits include 31 days holiday per year (including 4 Christmas closure days) plus bank holidays, competitive pension scheme (10% employer contribution plus 5% employee contribution), season ticket loan and excellent support for learning and development through a range of educational and networking activities.
  2. Salary range from £57,187 – £66,149

OFFICIAL LINK: https://acucareers.ciphr-irecruit.com/Applicants/vacancy/99/Interim-Director-of-Chevening-Secretariat

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