Job Vacancy: Chief Executive Officer

Job vacancy: Chief Executive Officer   

About Comhlámh:

Comhlámh is the Irish Association of Development Workers and Volunteers. Our mission is to nurture, guide and mobilise development workers and volunteers to work for social justice locally and globally. We work to promote and support volunteers and development workers to critically engage in volunteering and action for development, and to create societal and attitudinal change on development issues.

Comhlámh is the leading independent voice and source of information on volunteering for development in Ireland, and the coordinator and advocate for good practice in this area through all the stages of the volunteering life cycle from pre-decision to post-return. We enable our membership groups made up of returned volunteers and development workers and those interested in local/global justice issues to work on a range of issues. Through our work in Global Citizenship Education, we support exploration of the complex, interdependent and unequal world of which we are part and provide a space to envisage a more just and sustainable future for all.

Purpose of the role:  

This hands-on CEO role is responsible for leading on the vision of Comhlámh, managing a very talented staff team with the support of the Board, delivering on the commitments in the current Strategy as well as leading in the development of the upcoming one.  This role encompasses a broad range of responsibilities and provides opportunities to make a difference amongst those interested in international development and global solidarity work. This role will suit someone who is steeped in social justice or human rights with a deep understanding of development education and the principles of community development.  An understanding and analysis of the current discourses on the relationships between values-led volunteering and global citizenship would be a central aspect of the role. Integrity, probity, courage and authentic leadership are hallmarks of this person. A track record of securing and attracting funds from a variety of donors (existing and new) is a pre-requisite to be successful in this role as well as experience in dealing with government departments.  Important aspects of the culture of Comhlámh include a process orientation to the work, space to innovate, learn and grow, trust in the staff team as well as the importance of supporting and developing the team.  Working from a values perspective is essential to what Comhlámh is about. 

Reports to: 

Chairperson of the Board.

Key Result Areas:

AreaPerformance Criteria
Leadership of Comhlámh’s Strategy    Drive a vision of Comhlámh that is the catalyst to strengthen values-led volunteering and global citizenship, to challenge Irish society and to bring about measurable change on development and global justice issues; In conjunction with the Board lead on the development of a new strategic plan for Comhlámh in its support to values-led volunteering, development education and global citizenship education activities; Overall responsibility for monitoring, review and delivery of Comhlámh operational plans; Oversee the development and implementation of the association’s policies.

Governance, Risk and OversightResponsibility for the role of Risk Manager; Co-ordinate Board engagement/meetings and facilitate Board communications; Monitor and keep up to date with compliance standards of the Charities Regulator.

Donor Management      Lead the development and execution of an overall fundraising plan to secure diversified sources of income for the association; Maintain and deepen current institutional donor relationships and access new income streams by proactively seeking new funding relationships; Develop and grow the association’s private income streams through its Solidarity Circle and Solidarity Partnership schemes.

Membership DevelopmentExpand and develop further the membership base of Comhlámh as the association of those of the international development sector; Oversee and support the development of the activist membership groups of Comhlámh.

Communications &   Public Engagement  Build a strong public profile for Comhlámh, including delivery of the Comhlámh Communications Strategy; Act as a media spokesperson and promote Comhlámh activities and campaigns accordingly.

Strategic Networking and Relationship Building  Deepen strategic alliances and partnerships with like-minded organisations in volunteering, human rights, Southern activist and European activist organisations; Build and maintain relationships with organisations and institutions working on international development; Develop and initiate media and networking activities as part of the Communication strategy.  

Programme Management        Lead and motivate Comhlámh staff to achieve agreed targets and work as an effective team; In conjunction with the Programme Manager, develop systems of coherent and effective reporting to the Board on Comhlámh’s delivery of its Strategy; Ensure timely and effective donor reporting; Oversee the association’s M&E systems that demonstrate the impact of Comhlámh’s work against the planned strategic outcomes while integrating findings from evaluations as appropriate.  

People  Development Overall responsibility for the development of a strong team ensuring best human resource policies and practices are in place; Nurture the culture of Comhlámh in fulfilment of the Strategy.

Financial Management  In conjunction with the Finance and Administration Manager, develop systems of coherent and effective financial reporting to the Board; Report on finances and major risks to the Board; Oversee the development of annual budgets and financial planning.

OtherOther relevant duties as agreed in consultation with the Chair of the Board.  

Qualifications and experience:

  • Masters level or equivalent acquired learning in international development / community development;
  • Minimum 5 years experience of working in international development, solidarity or humanitarian work;
  • Minimum 8 years experience in managing teams/groups;
  • Strategic planning experience preferably in a decision making or influential capacity;
  • Skilled in the management of an organisation, programmes, people, resources and financial management;
  • Experience in development education and global citizenship programmes;
  • Experience of the not-for-profit sector and the necessary governance to ensure probity and accountability to all stakeholders;
  • Experience dealing with government departments and navigating funding processes, contracts and KPIs successfully;
  • A track record of securing government and European Commission funding;
  • A track record in private donor fundraising.

Personal specification:

  • Empathy with the values of Comhlámh;
  • A strong analysis of the global justice issues that are core to Comhlámh’s programme of work, including the importance of perspectives from the Global South;
  • An understanding of the links between volunteering and global citizenship education;
  • Resilient and tenacious with the ability to learn and adapt;
  • Collaborative decision-making approach with an understanding of the importance of process and of working with people to shape and achieve results;
  • A leader who is reflective and action oriented;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including tact, diplomacy and approachability;
  • Excellent communication skills including verbal and written as well as the ability to influence and persuade;
  • Flexible and adaptable to working in a changing environment, diverse cultural contexts and in resource constrained settings. 

Comhlámh has an Equal Opportunities policy and all employees are expected to develop an understanding of and commitment to equality and social justice.

All staff are required to adhere to Comhlámh’s Child Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct with Children and Comhlámh’s values

Terms & Conditions:

  • Contract:                     Permanent
  • Probation:                   6 months
  • Salary (5 day basis):    €50,000 – €63,500 plus 3 long service increments to max €68,000
  • Working week:            4 day week – (salary pro-rata)
  • Working hours:           28 hours – the role requires work outside normal working hours
  • Annual leave:              24 days – pro rata
  • Company leave days:  3 days
  • Pension:                      After 9 months service a matched contribution up to 6%
  • Workplace:                  The role is based in our office in Dublin with possibility of remote working

Application Process:  Please submit a cover letter outlining how your motivation, interest and competencies fit this role, along with a CV to, and include ‘CEO application’ in the subject line of your email.  All applicants are required to hold a valid work permit at time of application.  Comhlámh welcomes applications from all sections of the community.  If you would like to talk to someone about this role before applying, please email Marie Therese Fanning at

Closing date:               Monday 7th February 2022 at 17:00

Interview date:           Friday 18th February 2022 (interview will be via Zoom)

Second interview:      Thursday 24th February (interview will be via Zoom)