Country Director Needed at British Council
The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. We work in two ways – directly with individuals to transform their lives, and with governments and partners to make a bigger difference for the longer term, creating benefit for millions of people all over the world. We help young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections they are looking for to realise their potential and to participate in strong and inclusive communities. We support them to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. Our work in arts and culture stimulates creative expression and exchange and nurtures creative enterprise.
We connect the best of the UK with the world and the best of the world with the UK. These connections lead to an understanding of each other’s strengths and of the challenges and values that we share. This builds trust between people in the UK and other nations which endures even when official relations may be strained. We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.
Country Director Ghana, Cameroon & Sierra Leone
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language and education. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.
Through an in-depth understanding of Ghana, Cameroon, Sierra Leone and the UK, the Country Director will lead the development and delivery of effective, sustainable and corporately aligned cultural relations between the two geographies, drawing on the UK’s cultural assets and thereby strengthening awareness of, positive attitudes towards and collaboration with the wider UK. By role modelling inclusive leadership, the role will be unifying across all areas of the British Council, whether Cultural Engagement, Teaching and Exams or Professional Service functions.
UK and country insight and intelligence to identify cultural relations opportunities
- Has a thorough understanding of the country context, through extensive networks of opinion leaders and formers and other sources, and identifies opportunities to increase cultural relations impact through a similar understanding of the UK
- Has a sound understanding of comparators and (potential) partners to enrich insight and support business development and cultural relations impact, including competition in the ‘soft power’ space
- Ensures insight is organisational, it is shared and accessible to the organisation, rather than retained by the individual and country
Shaping, monitoring & delivering the whole country British Council strategy, narrative and brand – our cultural relations response
- Develop and deliver a strong medium-term (3 year) strategy and annual/multi-year country plan for Ghana and Cameroon, with support of regional SBU/marketing leads and relevant members of country team. Strategy and plans are based on insight and include a compelling articulation of our strengths, niche and value, drawing these from across all areas of British Council, ensuring we aim for the strongest possible cultural relations impact
- Strategy and narrative are aligned with, and inform, agreed regional and SBU strategy/global programmes and narratives to enable us to amplify our impact appropriately and ensure our cultural relations response is seen as cohesive
Identifying and leveraging partnership and contract opportunities to deliver the strategy
- Is seen as a strong public face of the British Council in country leading and contributing to relevant public debate in ways which strengthen the UK’s and the British Council’s reputation and positions the British Council to work in partnership with like-minded organisations.
- Secures partnership and contract opportunities which align to our strategy and benefit the British Council and UK, through effective market, client and partner insights and networking.
- Builds and maintains strong senior relationships with key agencies, partners and individuals to support the achievement of British Council global and country strategies and plans
Managing stakeholders: FCDO, other UK Delegations, devolved administrations, representatives of UK institutions
- Identify key in-country and UK based stakeholders at the Mission/s. These must include, as a minimum, HMA and DHM with whom CD must maintain proactive contact – at least once per month with regular participation in SLT / Heads of Section meetings
- Key HMG stakeholders are actively consulted on our Country Strategy and Plan, which are shared and agreed with the Mission. Equally, we will contribute to the Mission’s business planning and KPIs and aim to be the SRO for any cultural, educational and English sub-items in the Mission’s Strategic Plan, and to advocate for such activity as part of the Mission’s activities.
Lead Ghana, Cameroon and Sierra Leone team. Overall duty of care:
- Support and champion change within the country team when needed, and instilling a culture which embraces continuous change
- To consistently create an inclusive and anti-racist organisational culture, being aware of your own biases and taking action to mitigate against these. Ensuring people feel valued and are treated equitably, with support for people’s well-being and mental health particularly through periods of significant change.
- Have a deep understanding of and take accountability for putting the British Council’s approach to equality, diversity and inclusion and anti-racism into practice. To make time for and visibly engage with learning and development related to EDI and anti-racism
Protect trust in the British Council and the UK
- Risks (safeguarding, fraud, IGRM, safety and security etc) are managed effectively across the operation and evidence of this monitoring and challenge is clear (e.g. through recorded reviews of risk register) Concerns are escalated up the management line appropriately
- Compliance with British Council policies and processes, (including amongst teams reporting outside the country operation) is modelled and championed and staff held to account for the same
- Our commitments to EDI, the Anti-Racism Action Plan, and Environmental protection are delivered
Role specific skills
Uses a range of market analysis, research and business intelligence to develop and implement across a group of diverse products/programmes/services and markets to meet British Council objectives.
Leads teams to create new solutions to address future challenges. Actively seeks out and considers diverse perspectives to inform decision-making and collaborates more effectively with others.
Geographical Knowledge and Experience:
Connects complex information on geopolitics and demographics, establishes a vision, anticipating changes internationally, whilst effecting change through priorities.
Motivation and commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and anti-racism, demonstrated through an understanding of the British Council’s approach and of equality considerations relevant to the role, and examples of behaviours and decisions or actions that contribute to a more inclusive organisational culture or to a more inclusive programme, product or services
- The British Council systems and global processes operate in English. Written and verbal proficiency in English is required to CEF Level C1 English
Role specific knowledge and experience
- Recent experience of working in-country and an understanding of the government, education and culture sectors and decision-making processes.
- Pay Band – SMP (Senior Management Professional)
- Contract Type – 2-year Fixed Term Contract (with possibility of 1 year extension based on mutual agreement)
- Location – Accra, Ghana
- Eligibility – Local Hire or International Transfer
- Requirements – The role may include occasional travel within the country, region or internationally
- Candidates are expected to have researched whether they have the right to live and work in the country in which the role is based and the likelihood of obtaining a Visa.
- Applications are also welcomed from candidates currently based in other British Council country/territory offices
- Immigration clearance and/or on-going visa support is provided by the British Council for this role. Relocation support is also provided.
Closing Date – July 19, 2022 (23:59 South Africa Time)
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