Chair - Board of Trustees

Marine Stewardship Council

Marine Stewardship Council

This job is no longer accepting applications

See open jobs at Marine Stewardship Council.
London, UK
Posted on Wednesday, September 6, 2023

The Vacancy

MSC expanding its reach and engagement

The Marine Stewardship Council’s vision is for the world’s oceans to be teeming with life, and seafood supplies safeguarded for this and future generations. Through our internationally recognised certification and ecolabeling program well-managed sustainable fisheries are recognised and rewarded in the marketplace, through the leadership of our partners. Critically, other fisheries are incentivised to improve their performance to meet the growing demand for certified sustainable and traceable seafood choice. Over 400 fisheries around the world, almost 20% of the annual global marine catch, are now engaged in the MSC program and over 1,700 documented improvements to the way our oceans are being fished have been recorded. MSC certified and labelled seafood products are now available in over 100 countries.

MSC contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Within the wider ocean landscape, MSC plays an important role in contributing to the delivery of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Set out in our new Integrated Strategic Plan, which is currently being finalised, our strategic priorities are underpinned by ambitious goals aligned to SDG 14 – Life Below Water: we are aiming to engage one-third of the world’s fisheries in our program by 2030.

Strong governance for our sustainable fisheries standard

Fundamental to MSC’s success and strategic evolution over the past 25 years has been our multi-stakeholder governance model, led by its Board of Trustees. The Board sets MSC’s strategic direction, guiding and overseeing delivery of the organisation’s strategic priorities. In doing so, the Board and Executive are supported by advice from the Technical Advisory Board, which is responsible for providing the MSC with scientific and technical advice, and the Stakeholder Advisory Council which, through its multi-stakeholder membership, provides stakeholder advice and perspectives to the MSC. The Board’s own composition reflects the range of appropriate strategic skills and experience required to lead a complex international organisation, including knowledge of the seafood industry and supply chain, conservation sector, and applied fisheries science.

Appointment of a new Chair for the MSC

In 2021/2022, the Board undertook an independent review of its effectiveness and governance arrangements and based on the findings of that review, has begun to evolve the way MSC’s governance is organised.

In early 2023, we made a number of appointments to our Board, including that of Dr Hartwig (Hart) Schafer as Chair-Elect. It was with great sadness that we learnt of Hart's sudden death in May 2023, before he was able to take up his role. We are now beginning the search to appoint a new Chair, who will succeed our current Chair, Dr Werner Kiene, in January 2024.

We are looking for an individual with outstanding experience to chair the MSC, preferably as Chair of a major organisation or charity, or as Chief Executive of a sufficiently complex and large organisation, ideally within an international context. To be successful in the role of Chair, applicants will bring proven experience and understanding of complex, multi-stakeholder engagement in a governance context, of charity governance at a senior level, a demonstrable track record in building partnerships and alliances across sectors, and experience of acting as an ambassador for an organisation and of engaging with external audiences.

Applicants for the role of Chair should also have an up-to-date appreciation of the strategic context in which MSC operates, and in particular, an understanding of commercial drivers and how they can be used to reduce the environmental and social impacts of production.

Most importantly, we are seeking applicants who share an enthusiasm for and commitment to the MSC’s mission of ensuring the world’s oceans are harvested in a sustainable way.

Person specification

Candidates will demonstrate strong leadership skills and strategic vision, which will enable them to guide the MSC through the next phase of its development. They should also have sophisticated communication and interpersonal skills, and a track record in chairing boards or committees, with the ability to draw out a range of views, synthesise and reach decisions in an acceptable way, bringing different perspectives to a position of consensus. They will also bring the experience and gravitas required to be an ambassador for MSC. The Chair of the MSC must be independent and have a lack of direct affiliation from any of the stakeholder sectors interested in the MSC: this is a critical facet of MSC’s governance arrangements.

The Chair is appointed for a term of three years and, at the discretion of the Board, may serve up to a maximum of three terms. The time commitment averages one day per week.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate high levels of integrity, objectivity and fairness, excellent intellectual and analytical skills, and an ability to look forward and see the bigger picture. The capacity to work effectively in a team and to engage in a constructive and open manner is essential, as is an understanding and acceptance of the duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship in a UK legal context. Good spoken and written English skills are essential.

We value and promote diversity within our Board of Trustees. It is vital that our Board Members are drawn from the widest possible talent pool, bringing with them different experiences, ideas and perspectives to inform our discussions and decisions. We therefore welcome and strongly encourage applications from a diverse range of candidates for these roles, from all demographic groups, communities and geographies, especially those currently under-represented on the Board.

Detailed candidate brochure can be found here :

How to apply

To apply, please submit a CV and covering letter, detailing how you fulfil the role description and personal specification via quoting reference 0073.

The deadline for applications is 9am BST Monday 11th September 2023.

We are committed to the principles of equality and fairness and do not discriminate on the grounds of age, ethnicity, race, colour, religion or belief, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. If you consider yourself to have a disability and need reasonable adjustments made during the recruitment and selection process, please let us know how we can help you.

Perrett Laver will conduct an executive search process in parallel with the public advertisement of the role.

Longlisted candidates will be invited to an interview with Perrett Laver in mid-late September and shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview with MSC via video conference throughout mid-October to early November.

Accessibility Statement

For a conversation in confidence regarding the role, please contact Max Levinson-Obank, Senior Research Associate via

Should you require access to these documents in alternative formats, please contact Mandy Wedgwood, Principal Project Manager via

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This job is no longer accepting applications

See open jobs at Marine Stewardship Council.