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Role

Honorary Treasurer

Job Title: Honorary Treasurer
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: England
Industry:
Salary: Unpaid
Reference: SRMGI-HT-2020
Contact Name: Andy Parker
Contact Email: aparker@srmgi.org
Job Published: June 10, 2020 10:59

Job Description

The SRM Governance Initiative

The SRM Governance Initiative (SRMGI) is an international, non-governmental project based in the UK that is working to transform how the world approaches one of the biggest climate challenges. Its mission is to build the capacity of developing countries to evaluate solar radiation management geoengineering (SRM) and to play a major role in shaping the issue globally. SRM is a controversial proposal for reducing the impacts of climate change by reflecting some sunlight away from the Earth. It could be either very helpful or very harmful, and SRMGI’s aim is to transform the global environment in which it will be considered, by promoting the role of developing countries in reaching equitable and evidence-based decisions.

SRMGI has been doing its pioneering work for the past decade - initially as a project hosted by the Royal Society then subsequently at Environmental Defense Fund, one of America’s largest green charities.  It now seeks to establish itself as an independent UK-based charity, raising funds and expanding ambitiously over the next five years. For additional information about SRM and SRMGI, see Additional Information at the end of this document.

Two trustees for the new NGO are already confirmed, as is the CEO:

  • Prof John Shepherd CBE FRS (chair of trustees). John is Emeritus Professor of Earth System Science at the University of Southampton. He chaired the Royal Society’s seminal 2009 Geoengineering the Climate report and has been a co-chair of SRMGI since 2011.

  • Oliver Morton (trustee). Oliver is the briefings editor at The Economist and is a science writer who has written about SRM for over a decade, including as the author of the 2016 book The Planet Remade.

  • Andy Parker (CEO). Andy has worked on SRM research and policy analysis at the Royal Society and Harvard. In 2018 he left academia to direct SRMGI, and has been its main architect for the past decade.

SRMGI is now seeking a suitably experienced trustee to serve as Honorary Treasurer to help establish and expand the new charity.

 

Treasurer role

The Treasurer’s initial role will be to advise on the set-up of the new NGO, especially on the financial and legal side. Working closely with the Chair, Chief Executive and the board of trustees, they will advise on staffing needs, appropriate financial practices and procedures, international operations and anticipated administration costs.  

Once the charity has secured a level of funding that will allow it to launch (~USD 2M), it will hire staff and/or buy in services to take care of day-to-day financial administration and the Treasurer will move into an advisory and operational role on the board of Trustees (still voluntary and unpaid). It is hoped that the new organisation will be set up over the summer of 2020.

 

Main responsibilities of the Treasurer

Before the new charity is registered:

  • Advising on the financial set-up for the new organisation, including procedures, staffing needs, receiving grants from foreign donors and disbursing funds internationally

Once the charity is registered and launched:

  • Overseeing, approving and presenting budgets, accounts and financial statements
  • Monitoring the financial resources of the organisation to ensure that it meets its present and future needs
  • Ensuring that appropriate accounting procedures and controls are in place
  • Advising on how the charity can most effectively conduct its international work, especially providing grants to organisations in the Global South
  • Advising on the financial implications of the organisation’s strategic plans
  • Ensuring that the charity has an appropriate investment policy, and that there is no conflict between any investment held and the aims and objects of the charity
  • Ensuring that the accounts are prepared and disclosed in the form required by funders and the relevant statutory bodies, for example the Charity Commission and/or the Registrar of Companies 
  • If external scrutiny of accounts is required, ensuring that the accounts are scrutinised in the manner required (independent examination or audit) and any recommendations are implemented
  • Keeping the board informed about its financial duties and responsibilities, including presenting the accounts at the annual general meeting and drawing attention to important points in a coherent and easily understandable way
  • Ensuring that the charity has an appropriate reserves policy
  • Sitting on appraisal, recruitment and disciplinary panels as required

In addition to the person specification for a trustee, the treasurer should have the following qualities.

Essential

  • Appropriate finance/accounting experience
  • Knowledge of charity SORP and impending changes
  • Proven ability to communicate and explain financial information to members of the Board and other stakeholders
  • A willingness to be available to staff for advice and enquiries on an ad hoc basis
  • Dedicated to SRMGI’s cause and objectives

Desirable

  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience of charity fundraising and finance practices
  • Experience working on international financial issues in the charity sector – both receiving grants and disbursing funds
  • Experience establishing and growing new charities
  • Skills and experience in one or more areas of non-executive governance and management e.g. strategic planning, business management, financial/accountancy, understanding of HR issues, experience of Trusts or other grant-giving bodies

 

Time commitment and location

  • The Board is expected to meet at least three times a year, most likely in London, and the Treasurer is expected to attend these meetings.

  • Once the charity is up and running, the Treasurer will not be expected to have a large day-to-day role. It is anticipated that the charity will engage staff or services to manage finances and payroll, with advice from the Treasurer and approval by the board of trustees.

 

Start date

The Honorary Treasurer would be expected to start their duties in July or August 2020.

 

Application

To apply, please send via email (info@srmgi.org) or through this website by 26 June:

  • Full CV
  • Cover letter, in particular, explaining:
    • Why you would like to become SRMGI’s Honorary Treasurer and what would make you a good fit;
    •  What experience you have of setting up an NGO and/or helping to manage one;
    • Why you consider that the topics of capacity building, climate change and novel technologies are important.
  • Declaration: the applicants should confirm their not having any existing or potential conflicts of interest as well as not having been disqualified from acting as Trustee. (Note: can be provided in the CV or letter for applications through this website's form.)
  • Two references (Note: can be provided in the CV or letter for applications through this website's form.)

 

Contact

For further information, please contact Andy Parker: aparker@srmgi.org.

 

Additional information

SRM is a controversial, theoretical proposal for reducing some of the impacts of climate change by reflecting away some sunlight away from the Earth. While leading proposals sound like science fiction - injecting reflective aerosols into the upper atmosphere or spraying seawater into marine clouds to make them whiter and more reflective – it is being taken increasingly serious by scientists and environmentalists. SRM is the only known way to quickly slow, stop or reverse the rise in global temperatures and it therefore has the potential to be extremely helpful in the fight against climate change. However, it would involve intervening in the complex global climate system and could have damaging side effects, plus it raises a host of political, social and ethical challenges. The stakes are high and expanded international research and discussion are needed if the world is to make an informed decision as to whether to implement or reject SRM.

For the last decade, SRMGI (www.srmgi.org) has led the world in building developing country capacity to evaluate SRM. We work by partnering on SRM engagement workshops in developing countries, starting a conversation and making new contacts. We then fund SRM research in the Global South through our DECIMALS Fund (Developing Country Impact Modelling Analysis for SRM). 

DECIMALS is the world’s first international SRM research fund and the first aimed at scientists in the Global South, and through its grants we are supporting research team in Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Jamaica and South Africa. These activities are in services of a broader, more ambitious long-term goal: we seek to change the global environment in which SRM will be considered, making sure that developing countries play a central role in researching and discussing SRM, and ultimately deciding whether to implement or reject it.

SRMGI is now seeking to establish itself as a free-standing NGO and is seeking a board of experienced and high-level Trustees to advise on its set-up and to help build and grow the new charity. Having raised $2.5M in philanthropic funding over the last four years, SRMGI is hoping and expecting to be able raise larger amounts and expand as an independent entity.