Permanent, Full-time
Job description

Location:  Currently homebased UK with ability to travel to Central London. Flexible working possible.

Reports to:  Chair of Trustees and Board.

Annual salary:  £120,000

About Lumos

Lumos is an international children’s charity founded in 2005 by children’s author J.K. Rowling to end the harmful practice of institutionalisation of children. Lumos’ mission is to fight for every child’s right to a family by transforming care systems around the world.  Our vision is for all children to grow up in safe and loving families. 

Despite clear evidence of the harms of institutionalisation, an estimated 5.4 million children worldwide continue to live in institutions. Separated from their families and communities, these children are deprived of the love, attention, and opportunities they need to thrive. We have made important progress in closing harmful institutions and reuniting children with their families. And where children are unable to live with their birth families, we promote alternative family-based care, such as kinship care and quality foster care.  Thanks to our tireless efforts alongside many other champions of care reform, the harms of institutionalisation are now more widely understood. A global movement is underway and the UN, the EU and some large development agencies have joined individual countries in pledging to change how they care for vulnerable children.  We are committed to ensuring that global policy commitments are translated into local action, leading to sustainable change for vulnerable children.

Over the past 15 years Lumos has worked directly in different countries around the world to demonstrate that it is possible to change systems of care and fulfil children’s rights.  Building on our heritage and direct experience of systems reform, our new strategy focuses on sharing learning with others to reach more children and amplify the impacts of our work on children’s lives. 

During the past year, Lumos has carried out three major reviews:  a culture review; a governance review; and an organisational review.   Action plans have been developed to implement the recommendations of these reviews, providing strong foundations for our strategy for 2021-23.  To support the implementation of the new strategy Lumos are seeking to recruit a Chief Executive Officer, a Global Director of Fundraising and Engagement and a Global Director of Systems Change.

There is a high level of commitment from trustees and staff to the change programme and to delivery of our bold new strategy and plans for the next phase of Lumos’ development. Our new strategy for 2021-2023 has three priorities:

Building Global Expertise: We will use our knowledge and experience to support those responsible for reforming care systems in their own countries. This will include providing technical support, evidence, and guidance to help design and run better care systems, as well as learning exchanges where they can share experiences and challenges.

Catalysing Change: We will use evidence to motivate and press governments to reform the way they care for children. This will involve leading targeted research and advocacy campaigns to identify and tackle the drivers of institutionalisation, promoting accountability by tracking and highlighting progress, and influencing international funding, programmes, and policy.

Demonstrating & Innovating: Building on our heritage of successful programmes showing how care systems can be reformed, we will use what we have learnt in the past to support partners with their own reform efforts. Over the next two years, as we complete our current country demonstration work in Eastern Europe, we’ll identify programmes in new regions – building expertise and evidence of what good care reform looks like in new and challenging contexts, particularly for those children that typically get left behind.

Role Description

The new Chief Executive Officer will assume the following responsibilities:


  • Mobilise the organization to achieve our mission with a focus on the three priorities of our new strategy: Building Global Expertise; Catalysing Change, Demonstrating and Innovating.
  • Nurture a thriving organisation where people are passionate about their work and strive for excellence in everything they do. Be a champion for the work of the Culture Review Implementation Group in creating a people centered culture.
  • Strengthen our fundraising strategy and income generation, ensuring sustainable and diverse sources of income and resilience in the face of the effects of the global pandemic
  • Lead, empower and develop the Executive Leadership team to deliver our strategy and model our values
  • Build Lumos’ profile and credibility as a thought leader in the field of child rights and care reform.

Finance and Fundraising

  • Ensure plans to bring income and expenditure into balance are delivered through a robust fundraising strategy and achievement of fundraising targets.
  • Give active and significant support to Lumos fundraisers and take a leading part in the cultivation of potential and actual donors. Support the Director to diversify the fundraising base and ensure sustainability.
  • Engage with corporates and high net worth individuals, attracting new donors and continuing to grow the charity’s partnership base and international network.
  • Be accountable to the Board for strategic finance and operational financial management, consolidating financial stability, efficiency, and impact.


  • With the support of the Board of Trustees and in collaboration with the General Counsel oversee the implementation of the recommendations from the governance review.
  • Ensure the Board are enabled fully to carry out their role and that governance meets the highest possible standards, that Lumos is fully compliant in all areas.
  • Ensure robust project planning and reporting are championed and embedded through the new Programme Management Office

Systems Change & Programmes

  • Support the new Director of Global Systems Change to develop an effective strategy for sharing our learning so that Governments and partners have the appropriate tools, resources and understanding to create meaningful change.
  • Support the Director of Programmes to deliver a portfolio of excellent services for children, ensuring safe and successful transition of current country programmes and documentation of transferable learning. Support the Director of Programmes to deliver safe and quality services in line with annual plans and donor requirement

Evidence and Advocacy

  • Engage and influence multiple stakeholders nationally and internationally within central, national, and local governments, with the commercial sector, the voluntary sector and in the media, enhancing the visibility of Lumos and its ability to inspire social change.
  • Guide the formulation of the organisation’s position with a view to influencing policy that achieves change in line with Lumos’ priorities.
  • Represent the work of Lumos at the highest levels with partners, across the political spectrum and globally, act as a champion and advocate for the organisation externally.
  • Champion original research to deepen understanding of the drivers of institutionalisation and identify opportunities for prevention.
  • Oversee the measurement and evaluation of our work to achieve the appropriate reporting of demonstrable impact.


  • Strong commitment to working in partnership with other leading actors in this field.
  • Develop an approach to partnership working that advances the work and impact of the organisation, convenes diverse stakeholders, and enables the organisation to act as a catalyst for social change.
  • Foster positive relations with all stakeholders including.

Person Specification

Experience, Knowledge and Skills

  • Professional qualifications and experience in a relevant field coupled with sound senior leadership in an NGO or public body.
  • Demonstrable knowledge and credibility as a leader in the field of children’s services, child rights or child protection
  • Global mindset and experience of working in diverse systems and with diverse groups and cultures.
  • An experienced people leader with a track record of successfully building high performing teams and a culture of equality, diversity, and inclusion
  • Financial acumen, with experience of income generation and appreciation of the complexities of cultivating a diverse portfolio of sources of funding
  • A proven record in the cultivation of donors and success in raising high value funds.
  • Experience in leading organisational change in line with overall strategy and in response to a dynamic external environment.
  • Knowledge and experience of leading systems change programmes and achieving social impact
  • A strong demonstrable commitment to transparency, accountability and good governance with knowledge and experience which is relevant to our work as a not-for-profit organisation.
  • A talented relationship manager experienced at working with governments.
  • Demonstrable ambassadorial skills, including the ability to employ a wide range of advocacy skills to make the case to both internal and external audiences.
  • A skilled influencer, comfortable engaging with and deploying research, data, and other evidence to inform debate and change social policy and practice.
  • A talented, persuasive, and compelling public speaker; skilled with the media and with the appetite to use media and other public and digital platforms to convey messages and inspire evidence based changed.

Personal Attributes

  • Passion for our mission and drive to deliver our new strategy.
  • A real ambition to scale up our work across the world.
  • A commitment to children’s rights and social justice.
  • Places a high value on their ability to positively impact others.
  • The personal authority and credibility to command wide respect and confidence, internally and externally.
  • A collaborative, consensual, leadership style, with the ability to motivate and drive an organisation to deliver outcomes.
  • Courage, imagination, and confidence to make bold decisions and embrace change and ambiguity.
  • Committed to social change, the value of evidence and the impact of research and policy in practice.

The Chief Executive Officer will have the support of a passionate team of staff.  An experienced Executive Leadership Team and fully supportive, engaged, and inspired Board of Trustees in the US and the UK.

Refreshed on: 22 December 2020
Closed date: 10 January 2021
Tags: Fundraising, Senior Management