Russell Reynolds Associates Leading CEO Search for World Education Australia

June 24, 2016 – Russell Reynolds Associates has been retained by World Education Australia Limited (WEAL) to lead its search for a chief executive officer. The new CEO will replace the group’s founder Guy Winship, who is retiring from his role. Managing director Heidi Mason is the point person for Russell Reynolds.

The organization’s CEO is responsible for strategy, business development, operations, governance and public affairs. The incumbent will be required to formulate budgets, assess and develop WEAL’s business model, and administer the its assets and finances in a manner consistent with governance obligations and board direction.

Candidates for the position will need to be proven leaders who are able to engage a broad, yet inclusive workforce that includes staff, volunteers, secondees and partners, the majority of whom are offshore. “This is a group that will vote with their feet if the culture is not the best it can be,” the job spec outlines. “The ability to inspire them will be key in the new leader. Equally, he or she will need resilience and judgement to balance a complex range of opportunities and challenges.”

Candidate Profile

In terms of performance and personal competencies required of the position holder, here are some highlights:

  • Proven intellectual leadership, with strong conceptual and analytical skills. A high level of business acumen and judgement, with the ability to understand drivers of value, profitability and brand. The ability to work through complexity and ambiguity. The ability to challenge ‘business as usual’ to identify and unlock hidden opportunity. These skills should be demonstrated both in the development and enunciation of opportunities to broaden, and in the development and implementation of strategic initiatives;
  • Strong execution skills. Candidates should be results orientated, with a sense of purpose, resourcefulness and tenacity to pursue important goals in spite of setbacks and obstacles. They should be able to translate strategy into actionable plans and drive issues to closure;
  • Candidates must have a track record of building highly effective and inclusive teams, working with a diverse group of styles and motivations, to ensure all team members are held to account for results. They should understand how to identify, attract, develop and retain talent from a variety of sources, including experience with volunteerism as well as how to delegate effectively and build an environment where people are highly motivated to accomplish challenging goals without the necessity of direct control;
  • Candidates must be capable of being a highly effective face of the organization. They must have outstanding verbal and written communication skills. They should be distinctive and compelling with the media, donors and partners. They should have the ability to build rapport and relate to a wide range of audiences. They should have an extensive network, be very effective at building and developing professional relationships, and understand how to use relationship networks to accomplish objectives;
  • Candidates must have a reputation of absolute integrity as well as the capability for a high workload, and the personal resilience, energy and enthusiasm to maintain a high level of personal visibility.

Established in 2003, World Education Australia is an independent, not-for-profit agency fully accredited by Australian Aid (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade). Its mission, through responsible microfinance and skills development, is to enable people living in poverty to grow their incomes and change their lives sustainably.

Russell Reynolds Associates has been active serving non-profits in recent months.

The firm has just been selected by Help for Heroes to lead its search for a CEO. In addition, Russell Reynolds has been retained by Save the Children International (SCI) to lead its search for a chief people officer. Concurrent with this assignment, RRA is also leading the CEO search for Save the Children UK. Justin Forsyth, chief executive since 2010, announced that he is leaving the charity. The firm is currently leading a number of other searches charities, including Care Quality Commission, the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust (RBH), and the U.K. Export Finance (UKEF).

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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