Director of External Affairs and Communications

Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation
up to £80,000 per annum

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (the Award) is a Non-Formal Education and Learning framework encouraging young people to find their purpose, place and passion in the world. In more than 130 countries, our globally recognised accreditation is available to all 14 to 24-year-olds, of all backgrounds, locations, cultures and abilities. Through the programme, each young person becomes part of something special while developing their own interests, universal skills and life aspirations. Founded in 1956, the Award highlights the value of Non-Formal Education and Learning. Today there are consistently over a million young people taking part in the Award to believe in the power of their potential, make a difference in their community and take control of their future. The result? Entire generations of innovators and changemakers who are truly world-ready.


We are now seeking an outstanding Director of External Affairs and Communications  to lead this change. As the new Secretary General, I am seeking to build an ambitious team who will work with me and the excellent team already in post at the Award to start a ten year journey toward significant growth in participation. Our Patron and Chair provides us with unparallelled access to people of influence. Together we can offer them insight into the transforming power of the Award. I am looking for a colleague who can seize these opportunities and work with local Operators to embed lasting change in the recognition of the impact of non-formal education and learning.

This is an influential role, at the heart of the organisation, and part of the Senior Management Team. You will develop and lead the communications and external affairs strategy for the Foundation and wider Association, working with our network of licensed operators around the world to build upon the reputation of the Award. The role will include leading on our policy positioning and through the research team, strengthening our ability to use evidence to persuade others of the important work that we undertake.

Already operating at a similar level, you will bring a strong track record in delivering effective policy influence, and have the presence to engage, influence and inspire at all levels. You will be someone who understands the nuance of policy influence, serious and thoughtful with a credible presence, and with the maturity of judgement to deploy different techniques for the most effective impact. Clear and compelling with a systematic approach, you will build credibility quickly with a range of external and senior stakeholders, including major donors. You will be able to demonstrate understanding of how our operators around the world work and how our communications team can work strategically and successfully together with our partners. With a practical, flexible and entrepreneurial style, you are someone who is creative in your thinking but with an approach that is backed by rigour and evidence for change.  You will also be a practical person who is willing and able to “get stuck in” and be directly involved in the more practical aspects of the role.


Download the candidate brief to find out about the role.

How to apply

To make an application, please click on the apply now button below, with the following prepared:

  • Your CV (no more than three sides).
  • A supporting statement (no more than two sides) that sets out why you think this role is the right move for you and how you meet the knowledge and experience criteria.


Closing date
Monday 29th July 2024

Preliminary interviews
Through August 2024, depending on candidate availability

Final Panel interviews
w/c Monday 9th September (tbc)