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Chief Operating Officer | CARE International UK

CARE International UK is looking for an ambitious and dynamic new Chief Operating Officer who will contribute to leading the organisation at a time of change and ambiguity. We are committed to attracting candidates from diverse backgrounds who share our passion for change, values and have the skills and drive to help modernise CARE.

  • Location: Vauxhall, London
  • Salary: Up to £80,000

(CARE/Toby Madden)

About the role

CARE International UK have been working globally for over 75 years, from our roots delivering the CARE package to support poor families in Europe to now saving lives right across the globe. We promote gender equality as an integral part of all our work from humanitarian response to supporting people with resilience to climate change, women’s economic empowerment and supporting women and girls with their sexual, reproductive and maternal health & rights.

At the root of poverty is social injustice and gender inequality. This is why we work with the poorest and most vulnerable communities to develop programmes and projects to help people to help themselves. By empowering women, we empower communities.

(CARE/Apel Pavel)

(CARE/Darcy Knoll)

We work closely with our country offices to develop and deliver much needed support projects and programmes in complex environments including Syria, Yemen, Uganda and Bangladesh. This is high-risk and challenging work, but necessary and highly rewarding.

We are there to provide life-saving assistance when disaster strikes, and to help people rebuild their lives afterwards. We see ourselves as advocates for change; poverty is a result of inequality and injustice. It is not inevitable. During 2019, we reduced poverty and social injustice for over 68 million people across humanitarian response, supporting women and girls with their health, rights and freedom to live a life free violence, as well as supporting people with resilience to climate change and women’s economic empowerment.

Currently, we are reviewing our Global Strategy for 2020-2030 as we want to continue our work to support more people. We have worked hard to engage people globally in conversations about our programmes, our organisation and our future.

Who we're looking for

We seek a financially qualified Chief Operating Officer to lead our high performing teams in Finance, HR, IT, Risk and Compliance, together with responsibility for company secretarial and legal. We need someone who can contribute to organisational wide leadership on strategy, business modelling and operational effectiveness and who is comfortable making decisions despite uncertainty.

Professionally, you will bring experience from the charity, public or private sectors and will have worked at Director or Senior Management level within a sizeable and complex international organisation. We are most keen to attract candidates from diverse backgrounds.

(CARE/Josh Estey)

You will be joining a team and organisation of highly committed and passionate people who are all committed to our mission and vision.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential conversation, please contact the executive search team at Peridot Partners:

Phil Southern | 07702 678653 | phil@peridotpartners.co.uk

Liz Holderness | 07872 031079 | liz@peridotpartners.co.uk

(CARE/Julie Edwards)

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Phil Southern

View profile

Dear Applicant,

We are delighted that you are considering putting yourself forward to be our Chief Operating Officer at CARE International UK. This is a vital role at CARE International at an exciting and critical time for the work we do globally.

As we work through a period of change influenced by uncertain political and socio-economic developments, the Covid pandemic, climate change, and welcome demands for gender and racial equality, we are reviewing our Global Strategy for 2020-2030 to ensure that we not only maintain, but increase, our potency as global advocates for change. Our vision is of a world of justice, without poverty, because poverty is injustice and it is not inevitable.

To support this new strategic phase, we need a Chief Operating Officer who can lead several high performing teams, and contribute to organisational wide leadership on strategy, business model and operational effectiveness.

We want to attract candidates who have a commitment to social justice and share our values in the way they treat all people. We want candidates with the senior leadership skills to oversee a wide variety of team functions and to see the opportunities across the organisation for improvement. We want someone who is comfortable with making decisions despite uncertainty, and has the tools and experience to support agile, smart decision making.

We are keen to attract candidates from diverse backgrounds.

Professionally, you may have gained your skills in the charity, public or private sector. You will have experience of managing large commercial contracts and working internationally.

We have a diverse team, reflecting the diversity of London, however, our Senior Management Team is less diverse than it was, and we are very keen to attract Black, Asian and People of Colour candidates. We are also keen to attract candidates with disabilities, and people who identify as LGBT. People with experience of living or working in developing countries and who have insights into the culture, health, education and political environments are also highly desirable.

You will be passionate about supporting people to support themselves, creating opportunities and reducing barriers for people while creating change to ensure that all people are equal.

Thank you for expressing an interest in CARE International UK, and we hope you are inspired to consider joining us as our next Chief Operating Officer and seeing what we will achieve together in the future.

Laurie Lee
Chief Executive

“We aim to strengthen the voice of women and girls and enable them to effectively participate in and influence the decisions that affect their lives.”

CARE International works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. We put women and girls in the centre because we know that we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities. We current work in 100 countries, helping millions of the world’s poorest people find routes out of poverty.

We are there to provide life-saving assistance when disaster strikes, and to help people rebuild their lives.

We also work alongside poor people and communities on long-term programmes to deliver lasting change. Our programmes and our policy work tackle the underlying causes of poverty so that people can become self-sufficient. We place special focus on empowering women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to lift whole families and communities out of poverty.

Our History

Founded in the United States in 1945 to send ‘CARE packages- – packages of food and basic supplies – to millions of people in Europe in danger of starvation following World War Two. Over the next two decades, some 100 million CARE packages reached people in need, first in Europe and later in Asia and other parts of the developing world.

In the 1960s we expanded our remit to set up pioneering primary health care programmes and in the 1970s we responded to massive famines in Africa, with both emergency relief and long-term food security and sustainable farming programmes.

Since then, we have increasingly taken a ‘rights-based’ approach to development – recognising that poverty is often caused by the absence of rights, opportunities and assets, due to social exclusion, marginalisation, and discrimination. We also started focusing on women’s empowerment, recognising from our decades of poverty-fighting experience that women are key.

Today, CARE International operates in 100 countries and is one of the world’s leading global poverty-fighting organisations, supporting hundreds of development and humanitarian aid projects around the world.  Our work is supported by global policy and advocacy work, fundraising, and programme management provided by CARE offices in countries like the USA and the UK. CARE International UK is one of 14 full members of the global CARE International confederation.

As well as supporting CARE’s humanitarian and development work around the world, CARE International UK provides specific expertise in the areas of women’s economic empowerment, inclusive governance, humanitarian response, and engaging with the private sector. We also play a key role in CARE’s work engaging with and influencing policymakers and decision-makers to tackle the structural causes of poverty and social injustice.

CARE’s programmes are implemented through CARE country offices which are supported with technical assistance and programme management by CARE members (including CARE International UK). We work in partnership with local organisations to delivery many of our programmes.

CARE is non-religious and non-political, allowing us to delivery humanitarian and development assistance to anyone in need regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, political vie or sexual orientation.

Our Funding

Our total income in 2018-19 was £55.6m. Most of our income comes from institutional donors and funders, to whom we submit bids for funding for specific programmes and projects. Our largest funder is the UK government through the Department for International Development (DFID) and in 2018-19 the UK government provided £43.2m in funding. Other major institutional funders included the European Union and the European Commission’s emergency response fund ECHO.

The majority of this income is ‘restricted’ funds, with the money spent on specific programmes or projects. Restricted programme funding often does not cover all the costs of delivering a programme, so ‘unrestricted’ funds provided by individual supporters and donors plays a crucial role in filling the gap and enabling CARE to deliver life-saving and poverty-fighting programmes around the world.

During the year we faced challenges of securing new programme funding, in particular from our largest institutional donors: the European Union (due to the EU excluding UK NGOs even before Brexit) and the UK government Department for International Development (as a result of delays or cancellations in several procurement decisions). We made good progress on diversifying funding sources and despite a challenging fundraising environment for humanitarian aid organisations, we continued to receive generous support from the UK public, both directly and from donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), and from corporate partners. In 2018-19, we received £11.4m in donations and legacies from individuals and from corporate donors.

We continue to face challenges and we are facing a period of change influenced by uncertain political and socio-economic developments; the proposed FCO and DFID merger, the Covid pandemic, climate change, and welcome demands for gender and racial equality.

Our Staff

Globally, CARE has over 9,000 staff, the majority working directly in poor and developing countries. Nearly 95% of our staff are nationals of the country where they work. CARE International UK (CIUK) employs around 110 staff and most are based in the UK, but some are based in CARE offices around the world. CIUK staff help ensure that CARE staff on the ground have the funding, technical assistance and support they need to make the biggest impact on poverty.

Our Mission

CARE works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice.

Our Vision

We seek a world of hope, inclusion and social justice, where poverty has been overcome and all people live with dignity and security.

Our Focus

We put women and girls in the centre because we know that we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities.

Our Principles

  1. Demonstrate personal and professional integrity.
  2. Promote equal rights and opportunities, and respect for the dignity of individuals.
  3. Deliver high quality development programmes that make a tangible difference.
  4. Uphold Humanitarian Principles: Humanity, Neutrality, Impartiality, and Independence.
  5. Work with others to multiply our impact.
  6. Be accountable and transparent.
  7. Be responsible stewards of all of our resources.

Our Impact

In 2019, CARE worked in 100 countries. Since September 2015, CARE and partners have contributed to positive impacts for 45.8m people (70% women and girls), through 713 projects and programmes in 74 countries.

  • Poverty – CARE projects have enabled over 2.3m women and men, girls and boys, in 16 countries to get out of poverty or improve their access to basic services.
  • Zero Hunger – Since 2014, CARE has helped nearly 5.9m people to increase their food and nutrition security, across 23 countries.
  • Health and Well-Being – CARE supported close to 15.2m women to exercise their rights to sexual, reproductive and maternal health, across 27 countries.
  • Gender Equality – Since 2014, CARE has helped nearly 5.3m women and girls to increase their levels of empowerment or equality, or to exercise their right to a life free from violence, across 57 countries.
  • Work and Economic Growth – Nearly 6.1m people have been helped by CARE to increase their economic empowerment, across 55 countries.
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities – Care projects since 2014 reported quality humanitarian assistance for nearly 14.5m women and men, girls and boys, in 41 countries.
  • Climate Action – CARE advocates on climate action in global and national policy spaces to multiply our impact. CARE projects have helped increased resilience for nearly 5.1m people, in 32 countries.
  • Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions – CARE projects have reported increased participation or positive influencing on policies, programs and budgets for nearly 1.3m people in 35 countries.

To access a full job description and application details,
please fill out the form below.


If you would like an informal conversation about the role you can contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Phil Southern | 07702 678653 | phil@peridotpartners.co.uk

Liz Holderness | 07872 031079 | liz@peridotpartners.co.uk

To apply, please submit a CV, supporting statement that clearly outlines your interest and motivation in applying and your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, and completed Equal Opportunities Form.

Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “COO, CARE International UK” into the subject field.

We will send an acknowledgement email within three working days from receipt. If you have not received a response, please contact Oliver Gardner on oliver@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07807 014772 or Kerry-Ann Charles on kerryann@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 398905.

We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief. All applications will be considered solely on merit.

Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the job, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.


Closing date:                                    Monday 24th August (by 5pm)
Preliminary interviews:               Tuesday 8th September
Final interviews:                            Thursday 17th September

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

Peridot and CARE International UK are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete and return the CARE International Equal Opportunities Form with your application.

The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

We treat all job applicants equally and fairly and do not unlawfully discriminate against them. We do this by ensuring that we operate an open and fair recruitment process, and making decisions using selection criteria which do not discriminate. We will take every possible step to ensure that employees and volunteers are treated fairly, with the aim of creating a culture that respects and values each other’s differences, that is free of discrimination and promotes dignity, equality and diversity.

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