Ashoka – Country Co-Director – UK & Ireland

Ashoka UK & Ireland – Country Co-Director
Location: London, United Kingdom

The Opportunity

In a world defined by rapid change, where our social, economic and environmental problems are deep and urgent, changemaking must become the new literacy. Ashoka envisions an Everyone a Changemaker society in which every person — and young people in particular — have the confidence, ability, and support to be changemakers for the good of all.

The role of the Country Co-Director for Ashoka UK & Ireland is to co-lead the local team to bring this movement to life in UK & Ireland, and to collaborate with Ashoka teams across the world to spread this vision. You will co-lead with our other Country Co-Director, who is returning from maternity leave. Together with the Director of Community and the Director of Finance & Operations, you will all form the senior management team, which reports to the Board of Trustees.

For your application to be successful, you will have started an organisation or initiative to scale a vastly new idea that has impacted an entire sector. You are viewed widely in your sector as a role model who is skilled at building both innovative teams and the institutional infrastructure required to maximise their potential. You have an established track record in impactful knowledge creation, capture and syndication. You are entrepreneurially minded and ready to make change on an international scale.

You are someone who thinks strategically about how best to prioritize team resources to deliver impact. You therefore manage complexity with ease, and you are equipped with both the skills and confidence to represent Ashoka globally. You have excellent interpersonal and communication skills to lead on all fundraising activities and be the figurehead for the organization.

You will be primarily responsible for designing how Ashoka’s vision and strategy cascade across a range of country and European programs, building Ashoka UK & Ireland’s standing in the marketplace, and delivering on appropriate fundraising targets to fund the staffing of the office and programs around the world. You will also set ambitious targets to grow the team, programs and impact into the future. Core to this is managing the existing community and facilitating growth of it.

Besides the UK & Ireland team, you will be supported by, and expected to support, peers and teams which are part of the wider global organisation; you will be able to tap into a wealth of internal resources, as well as a network of communities that is beyond the geographical boundaries of the country office.

Country Co-Director Responsibilities

Primary responsibilities: to lead the organisation, be the figurehead, fundraise for our strategy, ensure budgets and revenue targets are met

  • Build partnerships with partners from a variety of fields in order to achieve transformative scale and increase awareness about the urgency of an “Everyone a Changemaker” world
  • Recruit major donors to the UK and manage high-net-worth donor relationships
  • Represent Ashoka internally and externally to stakeholders and community members and build relationships with new leads
  • Lead the organisation by setting strategic goals for each team, and oversee their deliverables that will ensure achieving the team’s annual objectives


Further, you will work with the senior management team on these different elements:

  • Governance: manage and report to a Board of Trustees on all aspects of risks
  • Management: oversee Ashoka UK & Ireland’s operations (building team of teams, finance, compliance) and continuously strengthen the business model
  • Talent management and development: ensure the team is high performing and set up to succeed; mentor and inspire others; provide learning opportunities for team development, and ensure team wellbeing
  • Strategy development: integrate the Everyone a Changemaker vision into Ashoka UK & Ireland’s operation, advance the vision in the UK using Ashoka’s resources, networks, and Fellowship
  • Strategy alignment & internal stakeholder management: align Ashoka’s global vision and European strategy in the local context and seamlessly connect Ashoka’s global network to advance sector-side initiatives
  • Support needs of the wider global organisation: participate in and contribute to senior European leadership discussions; collaborate with global teams within Ashoka

Country Co Director Requirements

You need to be experienced in senior leadership positions with a core focus on fundraising for impact. You must possess deep knowledge of the UK social entrepreneurship landscape, have existing networks in this sector locally (ideally internationally too), and be able to fundraise for it.

You need to demonstrate effectiveness in forming and growing major partnerships. You have a track record of mobilizing networks that cut across sectors, as well as creating multi-stakeholder partnerships around social innovation.

Our leaders are traditionally entrepreneurial in spirit as evidenced from early childhood changemaking experiences. They are ethical, with great self-definition and high social & emotional intelligence, who deeply understand and buy into the vision of Everyone a Changemaker.

You must have a minimum of 12 years’ work experience.

Why Ashoka?

Ashoka: Innovators for the Public first coined the term ‘social entrepreneur’ 40 years ago. It refers to individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing challenges whose ambition, persistence, and ability to activate others is bringing about systems-level change – for the good of all. We have pioneered the field of social entrepreneurship globally.

On the one hand, we’ve searched for and launched more than 3,600 extraordinary men and women with systems changing ideas to solve persistent, shared problems such as environmental degradation, economic inequality, and social exclusion. These Ashoka Fellows include Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia; Shaheen Mistri, whose Teach for India combats illiteracy amongst the urban poor; and Kailash Sathyarthi, one of the leaders of the global movement against child labour.

And on the other hand, we helped the world see why social entrepreneurship is a powerful way to drive change. Seeing differently helped people do differently. Investors invested in them, journalists wrote about them, universities created programs and taught courses about them, and incubators / accelerators supported them. In some countries, even governments created policies to support social entrepreneurs.

We continue to grow a global movement of social entrepreneurship, and we recognize this is not enough. Thanks to technology, the rate of change is accelerating and our problems are growing faster than our solutions. In such an environment it is not enough for a few to lead and others to follow. Everyone must be a changemaker. Above all others, four changemaking skills – empathy, teamwork, creative problem-solving, and leadership – are essential to equip each of us to respond to changes around us.

And this can happen only if we start young! Like math and science, changemaking skills need to be practiced early on.

Changemaking skills today are as important as literacy was in the industrial era. But Ashoka is not setting out to teach every child changemaking skills. Instead, we are committed to acting as a catalyst focused on creating urgency and demand for changemaking skills in society.

We intend to work with co-creators (Ashoka Fellows, young changemakers, and other leaders) to influence key actors including parents, schools, governments, media, and companies to see why changemaking skills are so important. This will open opportunities to change how we parent, what we teach our children and youth, what stories we write, how we hire and organize, and how we report success.

How To Apply

This is a permanent position based in London with some national and international travel when permitted. It is not a visa-bearing role, so you must have the right to work in the UK to apply.

If this sounds like your next challenge, and you want to work with an international network of social impact leaders, then we’d love to hear from you! To apply, please submit via the JobVite platform, your CV alongside a one page cover letter that briefly describe your background and an explanation of your interest in the role.

Link to job on JobVite platform here

  • Ideal start date: 1 September 2021 (or earlier)
  • Commitment: Full-time (We’re open to discussing flexible working arrangements with the right candidate.)
  • Salary range: £70,000 – £80,000 p.a., dependent on experience; plus 10% performance based bonus that is measured against established criteria
  • Ability to work remotely – staff has the flexibility to choose to work remotely or at the office in London (subject to government’s guidelines and legislations on COVID)
  • Benefits: 25 days of paid leaves plus bank holidays, 3% employer pension contribution, travel insurance coverage, discretionary parental leaves & pay, flexible working pattern.
  • Application deadline: Open (Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.)

We are currently seeking to widen the diversity of our team to push for greater equity in the social entrepreneurship and citizen sectors.

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