Chief Executive


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  • Expected Salary:
    c. £125,000
  • Location:
  • Sector:
    Third sector
  • Start Date:
  • Contract Type:

Since 1971, Refuge has been at the forefront of addressing violence against women and girls, and they are now the largest specialist provider of domestic abuse services in England. Refuge is committed to a world where domestic abuse is not tolerated, and where women and children can live in safety.

The new Chief Executive will build on their unique legacy and track record, ensuring that our services continue to be as effective as possible, and developing new approaches and capacity to address what is a continually evolving threat.

You will work closely with colleagues and volunteers to shape services in which safeguarding is paramount, and will collaborate with partners (including local authorities and RSLs) to plan provision that matches need across England. Other areas of responsibility will include shaping the conversation about domestic abuse, overseeing their income planning and financial sustainability, and ensuring that Refuge remains a great place to work and volunteer. They are a campaigning organisation, and you will play an influential role in articulating what they do and how they do it in a way that not only changes minds, but also leads to positive outcomes for Refuge. Moreover, you will work closely with their dedicated and supportive Board to draft and deliver a new strategy for the future which builds on the great achievements to date and which can further increase impact.

Above all else, we want to hear from those whose exceptional professional repertoire is matched with outstanding interpersonal skills. An instinctive listener and authentic communicator, you’ll have the personal breadth to encompass the many varied people, places and scenarios you’ll encounter. The same working morning might see you in both a policy meeting in Whitehall and a refuge where you’ll chat with a child, and your ability to deftly bridge the different arenas of our work will be critical to your success. Relationship building will be fundamental, and candidates will exemplify an open, meaningful and positive approach to finding ways to achieve change with and through others.

Your style, working practice and ability to develop great teams will inspire all your colleagues to do their very best and to have confidence that their views and opinions will be valued and respected. Evidence of having created a positive culture in your current organisation is essential. Your background is likely to include experience as a Chief Executive, Deputy or Executive Director in a not-for-profit organisation; leaders with more diverse experience outside the not for profit sector will also be valued. Many of the services we deliver are commissioned, so an understanding of the commissioning model – and its success factors – will be a distinct advantage.

Whatever your background to date, you’ll need to demonstrate that you combine a full leadership skillset (strategy, change, people, finance, influence) with a particular understanding of, and commitment to, the work of tackling domestic violence and abuse.

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For an informal discussion please contact the team at Cadence Partners on +44 (0) 20 7947 4960 or email

If you require the candidate materials in an alternative format, please request it in your initial contact.

Closing date: 14 December 2020