Governing Board - Treasurer: invitation to apply

Cochrane’s Governing Board is seeking to appoint a new Treasurer:

This is an exciting opportunity to join an international team providing strategic oversight to Cochrane at a critical point in our history. By 2025, our ambition is to achieve universal Open Access to Cochrane Reviews immediately upon publication for both new and updated reviews. This will require some big changes in how the charity generates income, which is currently through sales of licences to Cochrane Reviews and other products in the Cochrane Library. Decisions about how we achieve this are still to be made.

We are also making a profound shift in how we are organized to produce Cochrane Reviews and other evidence synthesis. And we want to do much more to advocate for, and embed, Cochrane evidence and the wider role of evidence-based decision-making in global health policy, which we believe is essential for protecting public health.

Could you lead the organization to realize these ambitions?

The Treasurer is a member of the Governing Board who supports their fellow Trustees to fulfil their obligation to provide financial oversight for the organization. Our current Treasurer, Karen Kelly, will step down from her position at the end of August 2023. To ensure a smooth handover and to increase the number of Board members with financial expertise, we are looking to appoint a new Board member who can act as Deputy Treasurer until August 2023, taking over as Treasurer from September 2023.

Cochrane is a global organization and a registered charity in the United Kingdom, and members of the Governing Board from around the world are Trustees of the charity. The Governing Board is the organization’s highest governing body, responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of strategy and policy. Trustees carry ultimate responsibility for Cochrane.

The majority of Governing Board members are elected and others are appointed directly by the Board. The Treasurer will be an appointed position. Appointed members can be anyone with the relevant skills and experience and will not normally be Cochrane Members.

Skills and expectations:

The Board is seeking people who can play a pivotal role in Cochrane’s future success. You should bring high levels of personal integrity to the role. You must be able to challenge and debate constructively, whilst exemplifying mutual trust and respect for other Board members. You will be expected to adhere to the Board Charter and Trustees Code of Conduct.

For the role of Treasurer, the Board is seeking someone with skills and experience in financial management and accounting. There is a preference for someone with expertise in the charity or private sector of the United Kingdom, which is where the Cochrane Charity is registered. Other skills and attributes you’ll need are:

  • An enjoyment of working with people from all over the world. Our Board and organization are global.
  • A recognized financial and/or accounting qualification would be highly beneficial.
  • An ability to communicate financial information clearly, especially to other Trustees whose financial knowledge, especially in a UK context, may be less than yours.
  • An understanding of good governance, and of being a trustee or holding a senior position in another organization, would be beneficial.

More information on the operation of the Board, including past minutes, is available on the Board pages of the Cochrane Community website. Cochrane’s current strategic plan, which is ending in 2023, is the Strategy for Change. The full Treasurer role description is also available to download.

Eligibility:

In addition to the requirements for Trustees set out by the UK Charity Commission, you may not begin service as an appointed member if you have a current conflict of interest with any commercial company with a direct interest in the findings of Cochrane Reviews (Cochrane evidence), such as pharmaceutical companies or device manufacturers. This includes receiving funding, holding paid or honorary positions, or other conflicts. Candidates with these conflicts may stand for appointment, but are required to step down from their positions or otherwise end the conflict before being eligible to take up their place on the Board.

Board members come from all over the world and theworking language of the Board is English. The full job description and expectations for Board members are included in the Governing Board Electoral & Appointment Procedure.

    Time commitment:

    The term of the newly appointed members of the Board will begin on 1 September 2022. The initial term is for three years, to August 2025.

    You’ll be expected to attend one 90- or 120-minute videoconference per month and to have prepared for this meeting in advance by reading and commenting on papers on the agenda, which takes around two to three hours. In addition, the Treasurer is asked to Chair the Finance, Audit & Risk Committee; and join the Remuneration Committee. Training and development sessions will require additional time.

    On average, you should be able to dedicate at least one day per month to the role and be flexible in joining meetings and responding to emails. You should contribute actively to Board business, staying up to date with current issues and contributing to discussions. To accommodate international participation, videoconferences are usually held in the mornings North & South American time, evenings European time, and later evenings or early mornings Asian & Australasian time. If and when international travel resumes, you will be invited to attend in-person meetings internationally and there may be one as soon as October 2022.

    This is a voluntary, unpaid role, although expenses will be reimbursed. For more information, please see the Board expenses policy.

    How to submit your application:

    You should submit your application (also known as a ‘nomination’) by email to Lucie Binder, Head of Governance at elections@cochrane.org. The deadline is the end of the day on 15 July 2022 in any timezone. If you have any questions, you’re welcome to contact Lucie.

    Your application must include:

    1. A completed Appointed Member Candidate Statement - Treasurer, which includes a declaration of interests.
    2. A copy of your Curriculum Vitae (Resume).
    3. One letter of support/reference from a person who knows you in a professional capacity.
    4. The name of one other person who can provide a professional reference. This person will only be contacted with your permission if you are shortlisted.

    Cochrane values diversity and inclusion. We evaluate all qualified applicants and treat all qualified applicants without regard to ethnic origin, religious identity, disability, sexual orientation, age, or gender identity.

    Appointments process:

    Applications will be distributed by the Head of Governance to members of the Governing Board’s Nominating Committee, who will assess them. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed. The Nominating Committee will then make its recommendations to the Board. The Board will take the final decision on appointments and is under no obligation to appoint.