Trustee of Oxfam GB (0159)

Oxfam GB, Oxford, United Kingdom

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme ManagementStrategic Alliances
Closing Date for Applications: 
30th October, 2019

Job Description

Oxfam is a global movement of people working together to end the injustice of poverty.

As part of our regular rotation of Board members, Oxfam GB seeks one or more additional Trustees with a range of skills – particularly (but not only) Trustees who could bring partner perspectives or international political perspectives - to strengthen the Board’s work.

Use your experience to help drive and support Oxfam’s strategic direction and be part of a worldwide movement of millions of people working towards one goal – an end to poverty for everyone.

You will be asked to commit between 15 and 20 days per year – including pre-reading - and in return you will be part of a diverse team making a difference globally. Applications are required by 5pm 30th October.


  • Oxfam GB is led by its Board of 12 Trustees, who are responsible for overall governance and strategic direction. Being an Oxfam GB Trustee is an influential and valuable role and you will make an important contribution to our current work and future direction – in particular you will support us to implement Oxfam GB’s strategy for 2020 onwards and to support the wider Oxfam Confederation strategy.
  • We operate in inherently unstable environments often in the face of difficult security, communications, logistics and financial challenges.
  • We are looking for people with a range of skills to support the work of the Board. At this time, we are particularly interested to hear from potential candidates who could bring to the Board (and its Programme Committee) partner perspectives or international political perspectives as outlined below. But more broadly we’d like to hear from any candidate who meets the person specification and who has a commitment to Oxfam’s aims and values.


The knowledge and skills we’ve listed below represent “the perfect candidate”. No one is perfect so please do not be deterred if you do not fulfil every line. We are looking for individuals able to fulfil the overall brief.

Required Knowledge and Skills

  • An ability to contribute significantly to the work of the Trustees, particularly through the application of relevant senior management or practitioner expertise
  • Understanding of the role of a Trustee and how Trustees can interact with Oxfam’s executive Leadership Team to best effect
  • Experience of operating strategically at a board level or of leadership and management of organisations and networks
  • If your skills are in the area of finance, risk and/or compliance then please see our separate advert for a trustee with those skills – closing date 15 October 2019. Ref 0153
  • Additional Required Knowledge and Skills for Programme Committee role/s
  • Demonstrable significant experience and knowledge in order to bring to the Board and its Programme Committee the “partner perspective” or international political perspectives on development and humanitarian issues

Key Attributes

  • Proven track-record of successfully implementing and overseeing effective policies and processes, driving accountability throughout an organisation or otherwise bringing change
  • Strong leadership skills, with the ability to motivate staff and volunteers and bring people together
  • A demonstrable commitment to Oxfam’s aims, values and work
  • Credibility in your sphere of work and personal gravitas to help lead a major charitable organisation to deliver sustainable progress towards a bold mission and to live its value
  • Strong inter-personal and relationship-building abilities
  • Ability to demonstrate appropriate sensitivity to cultural differences and gender issues, as well as the commitment to feminist leadership principles, diversity and equal opportunities
  • Commitment to undertake Oxfam’s safeguarding training and adherence to relevant policies to ensure all people who come into contact with Oxfam are as safe as possible

More information about what we are looking for in Trustees who would also sit on our Programme Committee

Applications from those from the Global South and/or who have spent significant periods of their working life in developing countries are particularly welcome.

Partner Perspective

  • The injustice of poverty demands a powerful and practical response to address both its causes and its impact on peoples’ lives. Hearing and understanding the voices of those we work with is crucial to our work, by strengthening the links with and impact of our in-country work and network of partners.
  • We are looking for Trustees to help ensure that our strategy and policies are shaped to complement and enhance the work of our partners in the Global South.
  • To bring this perspective, you would need to be currently or recently from the Global South and either well-connected (nationally and regionally) with southern partners eg NGOs, other civil or governments or have relevant experience or knowledge of the development sector.
  • We are looking for someone who can strengthen both the work of the Board and its Programme Committee. This Committee acts as a joint Management -Trustee discussion and advisory group and scrutinises programme performance and quality on behalf of the Board.


International Political Perspectives on Development and Humanitarian Issues

Oxfam has embarked on a change process in countries and regions to create a stronger Oxfam that is globally coordinated. Within this model, Oxfam GB is redefining its approach to and engagement with programmes. More information can be found on our website here

Again, we are looking here for someone who can strengthen the work of the Board and its Programme Committee.

We particularly welcome those who have experience of working at political leadership level or with multilateral organisations or intergovernmental initiatives and who will bring insights into global political and development trends (especially from the perspective of political leaders in the Global South) or who have a track record of leading, creating or inspiring change (social/political) at an international level, through working with governments and/or international corporates at a national or local level.


  • Your minimum commitment in an average year is likely to be about 15 - 20 days (including pre-reading), of which 11 would be on fixed dates, planned well in advance. We encourage active participation and Trustees often give more time. The initial term of office is for 3 years, with the potential to be reappointed for a further 3 years.
  • There are four Board meetings a year, each lasting one and a half days – usually a Wednesday afternoon and Thursday in Oxford, UK. In addition, you would typically be asked to be a member of at least one Board Committee. The Programme Committee, for example, meets four times a year in Oxford - on the Wednesday morning before the Council meeting.
  • We pay reasonable travel expenses in accordance with our travel expenses policy. Where Trustees are based outside the UK, whilst the responsibilities as a Trustee do not change, we will endeavour to enable Trustees to participate in meetings remotely as appropriate, rather than travel to them all.
  • We’d ideally like a number of new Trustees to join the Board by the end of this year/early next year. In your first few months you should allow for 2 or 3 additional days for induction (including meeting a number of the Leadership Team).
  • We also ask Trustees to visit an Oxfam programme internationally once every three years – and you’ll be invited to attend occasional events to support the charity and asked to provide support and advice when appropriate.
  • This is an unpaid role but expenses are paid for attendance at Board and Committee meetings and other Trustee activities. Some employers encourage and enable trusteeship as part of wider career development and corporate social responsibility.
  • We’ll give you a full induction and ongoing development, including sessions at every Board meeting about our work and the Trustee role. An experienced Oxfam Trustee will be your mentor for your first year.


  • Oxfam is committed to preventing any type of unwanted behaviour at work including sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse, lack of integrity and financial misconduct; and committed to promoting the welfare of children, young people, adults and beneficiaries with whom Oxfam GB engages. Oxfam expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment through our code of conduct. We place a high priority on ensuring that only those who share and demonstrate our values are recruited to work for us.
  • We are committed to ensuring diversity and gender equality within our organisation and encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.


To apply for this multi-faceted and challenging role and for further information please visit the following link:

Closing date: 5pm 30 October 2019

Interviews: For Programme Committee role/s: 27 November 2019 London SW1; otherwise, interview date to be confirmed: likely to be December 2019 in London

Screening checks

  • All candidates who we invite to interview will be screened through Refinitiv World-Check One to comply with counter terrorism and financial sanctions regulations.
  • Appointment will be subject to a satisfactory basic DBS check (or equivalent criminal records check where available, for non-UK citizens) and 2 satisfactory references.


Oxfam is a global movement of people working together to end the injustice of poverty. That means we tackle the inequality that keeps people poor. Together we save, protect and rebuild lives. When disaster strikes, we help people build better lives for themselves, and for others. We take on issues like land rights, climate change and discrimination against women. And we won’t stop until every person on the planet can enjoy life free from poverty.

Oxfam GB is a member of international confederation of 19 organisations working together with partners and local communities in the areas of humanitarian, development and campaigning, in more than 90 countries.

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