Chief Executive

Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES)

Established in 1985, CLES is the national organisation for local economies. Our mission is to achieve social justice and effective public services by developing progressive economics for people, planet and place. CLES is a think and do tank, which means that our creative thinking and strategic policy activity is informed by our practice. We are part of a global network of “thinkers and doers” who are articulating and progressing a new, socially just mainstream in economics and social policy. Our experienced team are specialists in their fields, and at the forefront of pioneering work relating to local government, local economic development, community wealth building, system change and co-production, housing, public health, cultural assets, environmental change, place-making and planning, procurement, finance and investment, good governance and devolution, employability and skills, social value and inclusive growth.

The Role

We now need a leader who can build on our strong foundations and lead CLES through its next stage of development. You will have the opportunity to work with our hugely committed and talented Board of Trustees. Our Board members include some of the most progressive, innovative and skilled political leaders and Chief Executives in the UK and colleagues working at the front line of financial inclusion and community development. What binds us all together is our belief in CLES, our belief in our mission and our commitment not just to thinking but also to doing – making a difference in communities and places.

We are looking for someone that shares our values and beliefs and wants to become a part of our CLES family. Someone who understands completely why our model and practice is so necessary and needed. It is essential to us that you can communicate, persuade and amplify our voice. That you can both “think” and “do” and are able to move between the academic policy world and project and consultancy work. That you are a collaborator and can build alliances and partnerships. And importantly, that you can lead our group of amazing and dedicated staff with warmth and attention – so they are able to achieve their potential and deliver their best for CLES and the clients that work with us.


Download the candidate brief to find out about the role.