Programme Director (King’s Climate & Sustainability) – INTERNAL ONLY

King's College London


King’s Climate & Sustainability (KCS) is a new College-wide initiative to step up our response to the challenge of climate emergency and global sustainability, and to accelerate and connect research, education and action across King’s.  With an ambition to become a net zero institution by 2030, King’s has already made progress to embed sustainability into our operations. We are now uniquely positioned to amplify, connect and scale impactful research, education and action, build new connections between fields of study – including technological, socio-economic, legal, geopolitical – and create meaningful external partnerships to deliver strong, distinctive and visible contributions to the challenge of achieving just and fair transitions to sustainability.  

In order to ensure the successful delivery of the King’s Climate & Sustainability Initiative, we are seeking to recruit a Programme Director (King’s Climate & Sustainability). Over an initial three-year period, the post holder will work closely with the Assistant Principal (King’s Climate & Sustainability) and broader KCS team to implement the KCS strategy and, working with the Faculties and Functions, to support, enable and embed the commitment, relationships and processes needed for ongoing development. This includes key priorities to:  

•       provide support and leadership across Faculties in developing the volume and quality of environment and sustainability research and impact, emphasising King’s distinctiveness and research income growth, and looking ahead to the development of centres of excellence.  

•       build momentum in educational development and new offerings, including opportunities for growth and excellence across undergraduate, postgraduate, CPD, Exec Ed, and the wider student experience.  

•       work collaboratively to maximise the synergies between King’s Net Zero targets and sustainability initiatives, and its research, education and impact strategies.  

•       build King’s reputation, connections and visibility with stakeholders across business, government, third sector, funders, media and prospective staff and students. 

The Programme Director (King’s Climate & Sustainability) will be accountable for the development of a small team of professional services colleagues and will co-ordinate cross-university activity in this space, working with Directorates, Faculties, students and the broader KCS team to deliver and embed this three-year initiative for the longer term and, in doing so, drive transformation and behaviour change.  The successful candidate will be able to work creatively with multiple perspectives and at all levels including University and Faculty, strategic and operational, internal and external. 

This post will be offered on an fixed-term contract for 3 years.  

This is a full-time post.

Strategy and Programme Management  

•       Work closely with the Assistant Principal (King’s Climate & Sustainability) to manage, monitor progress and develop the KCS strategy, with particular responsibility for managing the strategic development, planning and delivery of the Academic Programme (research, education and related operational activities).  

•       Work with the KCS leadership and delivery team, Faculties, RMID, SED and relevant Professional Services Directorates to deliver the Academic programme effectively, developing new activities, academic events and recruitment, with the pace needed for achieve the 2029 targets, and ensuring integration with Faculties’ ambitions. 

•       Collaborate with RMID to develop, deliver and assess the impact of the new KCS Seed Fund, launching in early 2023; and with Faculties and PS support, deliver and monitor funds for new academic appointments, in both areas ensuring effective and timely delivery, communications and coordination with related College activities. 

•       Lead on reporting on the KCS delivery against strategy and objectives developing metric frameworks and impact measures to assess and monitor progress and outcomes, as well as leading on reporting requirements to College leadership and through the College Portfolio governance processes. Identify risks to delivery and ensuring appropriate mitigations are in place and issues are dealt with quickly. 

•       Ensure quality, consistency, and value for money in the delivery of the Academic Programme.  

•       Represents KCS internally and externally, working closely with partners and stakeholders as appropriate. 

Management and Governance 

•       Coordinate and support the work of the King’s Climate and Sustainability Steering Group to provide oversight, advocacy and accountability for the initiative.   

•       Oversight of agreed working/Advisory groups which form the governance structure for King’s Climate & Sustainability, as well as the set-up and management of an external advisory group to build connections and ensure King’s is both challenged and supported in getting to the leading edge in this area.  Ensure close connections with other relevant College committees.  

•       Build and manage the KCS Academic Devlopment Team; creating a culture of empowerment, mutual respect, accountability and continuous improvement, including training, PDR reviews, and on-boarding for new joiners. 

•       Work closely with the Assistant Principal (KCS) to manage, monitor and report on the KCS budget, ensuring resource is prioritised and focused on delivering the KCS strategy.  

•       Demonstrates King’s values in action.  

Communications and engagement

•       Build King’s profile internally and externally, ensuring visibility and engagement among students, staff and partners (government, business, third sector) for the work of King’s. This will include working closely with Corporate Communications and Faculties. 

•       Ensure the programme of academic engagement events, workshops and seminars are high quality and delivered effectively by the team. 

•       Work with FSD to explore opportunities to attract substantial philanthropic funding for new environment, climate and sustainability education, research, and impact activity. 

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.  

Essential criteria  

1.      Undergraduate degree or significant relevant experience in this area 

2.      Strategy and/or programme development and execution, at a senior organizational level 

3.      Demonstrable experience of financial management and budgeting (complex and/or high value), with implementation of appropriate controls  

4.      Record of successfully, building, leading and motivating teams  

5.      Highly developed verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to liaise with staff at a range of levels internal and external to the organisation 

6.      Strong analytical and critical reasoning skills, with the capability to effectively problem solve in complex and dynamic situations.  

7.      Highly organized, with the ability to proactively maintain progress of multiple and complex agendas simultaneously 

8.      Demonstrable integrity and values in leadership style 

9.      Ability to work with and through others, with established influencing, and negotiation skills. 

Desirable criteria

1.      Experience of working at a senior level in a Higher Education Setting 

2.      Postgraduate Degree 

3.      Professional training or qualification in change and project management, strategy, operations & leadership.

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