Open Knowledge International

Chief Executive Officer (Remote working, Full-time)

Open Knowledge International - London, London, United Kingdom - Full Time

The Organisation

Open Knowledge International is a global non-profit organisation focused on realising open data's value to society. Access to open data is a critical dimension of our mission, but access is not enough to see social impact: data mediators need to be able to use data to generate insights that are usable and used by society.

Our strategy is to work with organisations particularly government and the third sector that are seeking data-driven impact.  We work with these organisations empowering them to bridge the gap from data to insight. We do this using our expertise in data literacy, data technologies, and supporting change processes.

The Position

The space around us is changing; and Open Knowledge International needs a CEO who can help refine our identity and mission in this changing context. We are looking for someone who is both entrepreneurial and  creative, who can articulate what open means in today's world, turning our mission into reality. You will be able to harness our activist ethos to deliver the services and products while ensuring the sustainability of the organisation and the mission.

As the leader of our organisation, you will be in charge of directing our activities, shaping our fundraising and business development efforts and nurturing our relationships with our funders, partners and communities.  You will need to actively pursue new opportunities and collaborations for open knowledge. A key part of your role will be translating our open vision and  philosophy into concrete terms for and with our clients and partners. You will be central to helping our funders, partners and clients understand what open means for them and what they can do to make that a reality.


Strategy and leadership

  • Responsible for the successful operational leadership, management and financial health of OKI
  • Refining the mission and identity of OKI in a changing context
  • Management of the leadership team including their development and appraisals and ensuring that succession plans to leadership team positions are in place, so that an appropriate balance of skills and experience within the organisation is maintained
  • Development of  strategy proposals for recommendation to the Board and ensuring the implementation of adopted strategies
  • Developing annual plans, consistent with the agreed strategies
  • Create a fair and ethical culture that inspires a high performance mindset and an organisation wide focus on achieving OKI's mission while aligned with organisational values


  • Ensuring that the appropriate resources, structure, processes and systems are available to enable OKI to implement its plans and to achieve the intended outcome
  • Establishing and monitoring key indicators of the impact of OKI's work as well as financial health
  • Designing and managing a business model that support our strategy and financial success
  • Fostering a culture of support and development of the whole OKI team in a remote and virtual working context
  • Reporting to the Board on progress and performance against key strategic objectives and ensuring that the flow of information to the Board is timely, complete and accurate
  • Ensuring that the appropriate systems and structures are in place for the Board to fulfill its statutory responsibilities and exercise effective control of OKI's affairs
  • Developing and maintaining an effective framework of internal controls over risk in relation to all business activities and that appropriate action is taken to remove, mitigate or manage those risks

Representation, partnership and communication

  • Establishing effective engagement with OKI's stakeholders including funders and partners and ensuring that mechanisms are in place for listening to their views on OKI's performance and that their confidence is retained
  • Building and retaining key partners and other collaborative relationships;  opening new avenues for grant funding and revenue generation
  • Working closely with other leaders within the open movement to coordinate our work and deliver our collective mission
  • Building a communications strategy and function for OKI
  • Visibly championing OKI's work and our role as an important innovator within the Open space and beyond

Required skills and experience

  • Broad understanding of the issues currently facing the Open movement and an affinity/understanding of open source, open data and the open paradigm either as an advocate or as an end user
  • Previous experience of leadership at a senior level,  preferably within the open movement or in organisations using open approaches or in data driven environments
  • Confident operating in changing environments and experience of forging new paths in such contexts
  • Proven experience of inspiring and leading management teams, fostering effective relationships with the Board and key stakeholders, of building  partnerships and coalitions to deliver projects and change
  • Experience of strategic planning, risk management, financial planning and business planning
  • Effective business development and fundraising skills and the ability to implement new strategies for income generation
  • Ability to operate and manage effectively in a virtual environment and with distributed, virtual teams
  • Can demonstrate the ability to work across cultures and geographies
  • Growth focused with a strong drive to prove our proposition
  • Strategic vision, independent judgement
  • Entrepreneurial and creative  mindset
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills


  • Experience as a champion of open issues or related agendas, including working with people  from grassroots activist to civil servants and politicians
  • Experience with growing SME or non-profits
  • Developing talent
  • Understanding  of software products, consultancy or change management consulting would be of interest

Location: Based in the UK or with right to work in the UK preferred.

Travel:  Local and international travel will be required as part of this role.

How to apply

If you'd like to apply, please do so via the "apply now" button below. Include your CV and a cover note highlighting why you are interested in the role and outlining your suitability for the same. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis and early application is encouraged.

This role will remain open until filled.

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