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LSA Chief Executive Job Description

London School of Architecture is looking for a new Chief Executive Officer. The school is seeking a successor to the LSA’s founding CEO, who is stepping down from the role in July 2021. Completed applications must be received by 12:00pm (midday) on the closing date of Monday 18 January 2021. The Job description can be found in full, below.

The Opportunity

The London School of Architecture’s vision is that the full potential of our students, partners and members is unleashed to shape environments in which humanity will flourish. Founded in 2015, the LSA is the country’s first new independent architecture school for over 150 years.

This is a unique opportunity to be only the second Director of the LSA. Building on substantial early success, the role will lead the school into the next stage of its evolution, with the potential to make a significant and prominent impact in the architectural profession.

The LSA offers a single MArch programme, which currently has 100 students and 127 alumni. Uniting academia and practice, the LSA has established a strong Practice Network including 145 firms, comprising more than 20,000 employees around the globe.

The programme has secured recognition from the Architects Registration Board and the Royal Institute of British Architects at Part 2 level. Registered with the Office for Students, our students have full access to financial support from the Student Loans Company.

The school plans substantial growth over the next five years, with a Part 1 programme set to open September 2022, and sector-leading plans to widen access to and participation in architectural education. Other initiatives, such as Citizen magazine, have potential for further expansion.

The LSA is seeking a truly exceptional leader who can ensure the continued success of the existing programme, deliver ambitious planned growth, and envision further ways for the school to innovate and expand its ability to achieve its mission.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

Responsible for the development, implementation and oversight of the LSA’s vision, strategy and direction, providing outstanding leadership and managing the human, physical and financial resources of the school. The Director assumes a wide range of roles and responsibilities:

  • Visionary ­­­– leads the LSA to continually break new ground in supporting its students, partners and members to shape environments in which humanity will flourish; generating a vision that is unique, progressive and exciting, which staff are aligned with, students are attracted to, and funders will support
  • Chief Executive – ensures the school has excellent standards of governance, presenting strategic plans and budgets to the Board for their approval, and ensuring the Board are well-informed about progress and all appropriate matters
  • Figurehead – galvanises the LSA community to feel connected and motivated by shared purpose, occupying a central role in the school, setting the direction and pace of change, and establishing strong relationships with staff, students, practitioners, members and stakeholders
  • Fundraiser-in-Chief – attracts the funding the school needs to flourish; articulating and delivering a strategy to ensure sufficient resources, developing fundraising plans, writing proposals, leading activities and pitching to funders
  • Academic Innovator – stimulates innovative and high-quality academic programmes at the forefront of their disciplines, participating in the delivery of the architecture programme, and delegating academic leadership and management to programme directors
  • Design LeaderAble to engage with and promote design excellence both within the context of the School’s academic programme and also within the wider industry.
  • Compliance Officer – ensures the school is fully compliant with the external regulatory environment; bearing ultimate responsibility for the relationship with external bodies such as the Office for Students, the Department of Education, the Architect’s Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Charity Commission
  • Resources Manager – accountable for the LSA’s finances being secure and effectively administered; approving budgets as prepared by the Finance Manager, overseeing the management of income and expenditure, developing and implementing an estates strategy, and approving transactions
  • People Leader supports all role-holders to thrive in an agile, engaging and inspiring environment;  recruiting qualified and diverse candidates to deliver the school’s objectives and who reflect our ambitions for widening access and participation; motivating high performance from role-holders to deliver their purpose and objectives
  • Prime Ambassador – establishes recognition and connections within the industry and beyond; being the chief spokesperson for the school; articulating clear public messaging; participating in events to forge connections; raising the school’s profile and attracting students

Experience

  • Experience of leading a small-to-medium size academic institution or entrepreneurial organisation that is lean in structure and high in output
  • An understanding of architectural education, having studied and taught architecture
  • Experience of operating in a regulated environment would be beneficial, particularly in Higher Education
  • Proven success in articulating clear and exciting strategies, enthusing stakeholders and a confident commercial communicator so as to position the school favourably with future funders
  • Professionally and publicly recognised within a large professional network
  • Experience in architectural practice would be an advantage but is not essential
  • The LSA is proud of its diverse and inclusive student base which makes our school culturally rich and inventive. We would hope to replicate this through every aspect of our fabric and are looking for a tenacious individual to champion these matters
  • Prior experience of leading an organisation that is governed by a Trustee/non-executive body

Characteristics

  • Aligned with and committed to the purpose and values of the LSA
  • Committed to increasing access to higher education and transforming architectural education
  • An exceptional communicator, both verbally and visually, who can develop, articulate and sell the school’s strategy in written form and in presentations
  • Passionate about design and able to engage with and promote design excellence
  • A strong and motivating leader
  • Enjoys being stretched in a demanding role, able to manage competing priorities, and must be willing to get involved in delivery as well as providing oversight and leadership
  • An established networker who can bring in new contacts and ways to raise funds
  • Positive, solution-oriented, agile and emotionally resilient
  • Driven to deliver the best academic and pastoral experience for our student body