DHI director to retire – applications open for the post

The trustees of the David Hume Institute have announced that Ray Perman, director of the Institute since 2014, is to retire later this year. A search for his successor has been launched, with details below.
Ray Perman said: “It has been an enormous privilege to lead one of Scotland’s oldest and most respected think tanks during a very exciting period which included two referendums, a general election and elections for the Scottish Parliament.
“The Institute has a big role to play in the future, bringing forward evidence to support and challenge public policy. The director’s role puts you at the heart of public life t a time when Scotland is facing big questions about its own future and its place in the wider world.”

Sir John Elvidge, chair of the DHI board of trustees, said: “Ray has strengthened the Institute’s position as an influential and respected channel for the dissemination of authoritative thinking about and debate on the key issues affecting Scotland and its place in the world.  The trustees consider that this is the time to build on that by strengthening the Institute’s role in developing independent public policy thinking.

“Ray’s successor will therefore have the opportunity to build from the foundations this additional dimension of the Institute’s work and to make their mark in contributing to public policy over this important period of debate about Scotland’s future prosperity and wellbeing.”


About us
The central purpose of the David Hume Institute is to promote evidence based development of public policy. The core business of the Institute at present is as a publisher or knowledge broker: commissioning, disseminating and facilitating debate about research and fresh thinking, principally through seminars and publications. Following the success of the present Director, who is retiring this summer, in developing the core business, including the strengthening of our online presence, the trustees wish to add to that a stronger role in developing public policy through direct evidence analysis and research and partnership working with other public policy organisations.

About the role
This is a career-defining opportunity for an exceptional person to lead the organisation through a period of growth and change. The successful candidate will help re-shape an evidence based public policy agenda by building on the strong track record of the Institute to make it one of the most influential think tanks in Scotland. He or she will have the intellectual capacity to influence the nation’s thinking over the next decade, and the skills needed to go head-to-head with competing thinkers in public debate.

Your role and responsibilities will include

• coordinating and overseeing a broad research agenda
• organising programmes of events and publications relevant to the interests of the Institute
• working with external partners in universities and other public policy organizations
• establishing trusted relationships with key opinion leaders, policy makers and politicians of all parties
• continuing to build a strong online presence
• raising funds to support all the Institute’s activities
• being the ‘public face’ of the Institute
• being accountable to the Board for the successful operation of the David Hume Institute:
– managing resources and workflow
– leading a small team of policy professionals
– providing regular reports to the Board and liaising with trustees

You probably have

• an understanding of how ideas, economics and politics interact, including professional public policy experience
• existing networks in public policy and academic circles
• experience of commissioning, managing and disseminating research, including oversight of public events
• management experience, sufficient to manage a small but complex organisation
• strong communications skills, including experience of the electronic media and an ability to write well
• an understanding of the demands of fundraising
• adaptability, flexibility and problem-solving expertise and an entrepreneurial mind-set.

Your remuneration package and working conditions
Salary requirement is not expected to be a bar for the right candidate. A competitive remuneration package for a four day per week commitment will be negotiated on the basis of an initial 3 year contract with a 3-month probationary period. The Institute offers employer contributions of 3% of salary to a nominated external pension scheme or another scheme of the employee’s choice. The Institute does not intend to maintain a fixed office base, so you will be able to work from a location of your choice provided that you are able to participate as necessary in events and meetings which are primarily in Edinburgh..

If you are interested
Expressions of interest should be made to the Chair of Trustees for the David Hume Institute, Sir John Elvidge, through Lucy@carnegieuk.org, by close of business 18 April 2017.