Become the new Chief Executive of Index on Censorship
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We live in the midst of radical changes to the ways people access news and information.  When Index on Censorship was founded nearly 50 years ago, few could have foreseen the manner in which technology would now be changing the ways we engage with politics and democracy. Although the landscape of communication has changed, threats […]
07 Feb 20

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We live in the midst of radical changes to the ways people access news and information. 

When Index on Censorship was founded nearly 50 years ago, few could have foreseen the manner in which technology would now be changing the ways we engage with politics and democracy. Although the landscape of communication has changed, threats to freedom of expression remain as grave as they were 50 years ago – in the UK and around the world.

Index is looking for a resourceful and outspoken leader to steer the organisation through this changing terrain, and to protect the right for everyone to be free to express themselves without fear of harm or persecution – no matter what their views. From tackling legislative threats to digital freedom at home, to spotlighting issues of repression and censorship in China, Russia and Azerbaijan, we are seeking a Chief Executive to put free speech for everyone at the forefront of the political, campaign and news agenda.

What you will do

Index on Censorship has a small team that punches well above its weight. You will ensure the organisation is well run and enjoys a healthy office culture, strong relationships with the board and diligent financial management, so that we are well set to protect freedom of expression for another fifty years.

You will be the main outward face of Index on Censorship and build that presence on broadcast media, in the papers and on social media. You will be confident in championing the cause of freedom of expression and when explaining why it must be protected as a universal right for all, even at times when others are looking to close down conversations. 

You will be an excellent fundraiser, nurturing relationships and developing philanthropic partnerships which allow us to continue our advocacy campaigns, our magazine and our projects to support freedom of expression. We have a strong board with which you will work closely, while also building your own networks, to ensure we receive the financial backing we need from private individuals, corporates and foundation trusts.

You will build Index on Censorship as both a publisher of freedom of expression and a campaign organisation – a leader in advocacy for freedom of expression, ensuring that voices are heard beyond those normally associated with our cause. Through building strong partnerships and networks you will enable us to grow our capacity to advocate for individuals and groups, including to the government. 

Key Components of the Role

(1) Fundraising and Finance

  • Lead fundraising and be successful at bringing in funding from a variety of sources.
  • Work closely with the board, both on our strategic vision for fundraising and on building new donor relationships.
  • Use your contact book and leverage the board’s contacts in order to build relationships to benefit the organisation.
  • Proactively seek opportunities to diversify the funding base and attract a wider range of funders.
  • Lead on and manage proposal-writing for both core and project funding.
  • Ensure obligations and reporting to funders are fulfilled.
  • Be in regular contact with donors and take proactive care of donor relationships.

(2) Campaigning, Advocacy and Publishing

  • Be the main public face of the organisation with excellent written and oral communication skills for a range of audiences, including interacting with politicians, opinion-formers and media as well as broader general public audiences.
  • Lead senior management on setting and implementing Index’s priority range of campaigns, advocacy projects, editorial and events.
  • Lead with key staff on defining policy positions across a range of free expression issues. Identify where Index can take clear, unambiguous positions and where there are complex, grey issues that may need more debate and analysis.
  • Identify and build relationships with expert analysis and key opinion formers who can contribute usefully to our policy work
  • Build coalitions where necessary with partner organisations on shared policy objectives
  • Sign-off and provide strategy guidance on key policy statements and policy papers, delegating where appropriate
  • Work closely with the editor-in-chief who manages our historic magazine and our online editor and leads on the relationship with Index magazine publishers, Sage.
  • Lead on, and develop, the Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards.

(3) Strategic Leadership 

  • Lead on developing and implementing strategic vision and framework; setting clear programmes of activities within overarching goals and priorities, in cooperation with the senior management team and staff.
  • Report to and work with the chair and board in ensuring good governance, finances, strategy and risk management. Prepare quarterly board meetings and relevant reporting requirements with the Finance Director.
  • Lead and develop rolling, state-of-the art evaluation and impact assessments ensuring all Index’s external-facing activities are high impact, increasing our influence and audiences.
  • Oversee work outputs delivered to high standards and deadline.
  • Build the team – the CEO will be an excellent team player as well as leader, ensuring integrated working across Index, encouraging creativity and innovation.
  • Encourage staff appreciation of both mission and strategy and their role in it
  • Line-manage senior staff and lead the senior management team.


The successful applicant will be expected to demonstrate the following:

  • A commitment to freedom of expression
  • Excellent fundraising skills with proven experience of all areas of fundraising including grant and bid writing
  • Excellent communication and media presentation skills
  • Excellent political and policy knowledge and experience of advocacy
  • In-depth knowledge of international current affairs, especially concerning issues of freedom of expression, digital and media freedom
  • The ability to build relationships and networks with partners and stakeholders
  • Strategic and staff management, as part of leadership experience at a senior level
  • Management experience of managing change and growth
  • A great contact book and ability to use your networking ability to grow funding and opportunities for the organisation
  • Knowledge of freedom of expression issues in relation to the digital world

The following knowledge, skills and experience are desirable:

  • An established public profile 
  • Knowledge of foreign languages
  • Experience in addressing global freedom of expression issues
  • Knowledge of the civil liberties/human rights sector

Salary: £70-80k per annum based on experience

Hours: Full time, some national and international travel and flexible working required

Based: Our offices near Old Street, London

Recruitment timetable

Friday 13th March  Closing date for applications

Monday 16th March First round interviews with board representatives

Monday 30th March Second round interviews with staff and board

How to apply

Send your CV and a cover letter of no more than three A4 pages outlining your suitability for the role to [email protected] by Friday 13th March[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]