This opportunity has now been filled

Chief Executive Officer

About the role

Salvesen Mindroom Centre (“SMC”) is an independent Scottish Charity dedicated to supporting children, young people and their families who live with all types of learning difficulty.  Our purpose is to bring together the research capabilities of the Salvesen Mindroom Research Centre (“SMRC”) at the University of Edinburgh (Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences), the clinical capacity of the NHS (NHS Scotland) and the outreach expertise of a highly specialist team of employees (SMC), to support, inform and empower those living with learning difficulties. Our vision is of a world in which no mind is left behind.

SMC is an ambitious organisation which grew steadily and organically for 15 years and has expanded rapidly in the most recent 5 years of its existence.  The aspiration is to be a world class centre of excellence by the end of this decade.  This requires strategic clarity, inspiring leadership, strong and sensitive management, investment in people and technology, setting and achieving very high standards and building a cohesive and uplifting culture.

Role of CEO

The CEO is the heart and soul of the organisation and its most passionate, personable and compassionate ambassador.   The Chief Executive works in close harmony with the Chair, the Trustees and the management team to provide visionary leadership and clear strategic direction to the Charity in order to fulfil its purpose.  The collaboration between Chair and CEO is key to the fully effective partnership between the Board, managers and staff to enable agreed objectives to be achieved.

 Principal Responsibilities

  • Provide purposeful leadership, inspiration and direction in developing, refining and executing SMC strategic plans consistent with the overall goals approved by the Board. Ensure all employees understand the strategy and the contribution of their own role to its fulfilment.
  • In conjunction with the management team and with the support of the Board, pursue and achieve the short, medium and long term performance objectives of the Charity. Do so with conviction, sound judgement, fiscal rigour, empathy and good governance.
  • Promote an open, caring, uplifting and dedicated culture in which high standards are the norm. Nurture the potential of all staff, manage with consistency and clarity, recruit and motivate high calibre individuals, build cohesive teams, communicate well and make the SMC a highly desirable place to work.
  • Build and sustain close collaborations and partnerships with other organisations, both those with whom relationships are already well established – SMRC for instance – and also where new opportunities are still to be identified. Consistent with the world class aspirations of the Charity, these relationships will be local, national and global.
  • Engage externally with – and influence – a wide range of audiences: business, academic, medical, political, profit for purpose, not for profit and communities, including parents, carers and families. Articulate the purpose of the Charity with presence, passion, persuasion, coherence and charm.  Continually raise awareness and heighten SMC’s appeal.
  • In conjunction with the Chair and the management team, develop relationships to strengthen the long term sustainability of SMC.
  • Exemplify the spirit of SMC: be inspiring, personable, astute, open, persuasive, empathetic, balanced – and uncompromising when required.
  • In the short, medium and longer term, pioneer innovative ways, using people and technology, to deliver the maximum life benefits to the greatest number of those living with learning difficulties.

The main areas of responsibility are entrusted to managers whose functional responsibilities cover the following areas: Direct Help and Support; Strategic Development; Fundraising and Business Management.

Key Qualities required for this position include the following:   

Strategic: the CEO, working closely with key staff, and supported by Trustees, should have the experience, creativity and boldness to refine and deliver a strategic vision which continues to break new ground, yet remains grounded. The balance between vision and pragmatism is fundamental.

Enterprising: SMC aspires to be a world class organisation.  At the heart of this ambition is combining the power of research with the excellence of the Charity’s own outreach capability.  Enterprise is required to nurture the productivity of these relationships.

Inspiring: inside the organisation and externally, the CEO will engage with, lead, persuade and inspire existing relationships and new contacts, including Trustees, the management team, staff, funders, partners, collaborators, other organisations and institutions, businesses, communities and individuals.

Influential: the CEO will have the presence and personality to win the respect of and influence a wide range of audiences.  Excellent communication skills, deep collaborative commitment and the power of persuasion, are paramount.

Creative: SMC has a pioneering spirit – a powerful mix of creativity and pragmatism.  This mix is critical to support innovative ways of working which deliver high quality, cost effective services to a wide range of audiences.

Astute: the role requires intellectual sharpness, diplomacy, sound judgement and an eye for the opportunities that might escape less perceptive individuals.

Adaptable: there are no existing models, maps or charts to define the SMC journey.  Willingness to observe, learn, adapt and refine along the way will be the hallmarks of the CEO’s success.

Balanced: SMC is a Charity which must be run with rigour and fiscal acumen, carefully balanced by the sensitive management needed in an organisation where people are the principal asset.

Resilient: the CEO role demands courage, conviction, enterprise and stamina.  Tough decisions will sometimes be required.  It is not for the faint hearted.

Empathetic: SMC is dedicated to improving the lives of those living with learning difficulties.  The CEO must embody the heart and soul of the Charity and be its most passionate, personable and compassionate ambassador.


Interested candidates should send their CV, with full remuneration details, to Ailsa Sutherland of FWB Park Brown at

For a confidential conversation, please call 0131 539 7087.