The Royal Horticultural Society

Ref: 5411

The Royal Horticultural Society

Dual base with offices at RHS Wisley, Surrey, and at Vincent Square, London, and an element of travel required, with 5 sites across the UK

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Role Managed by:

Arabella Chichester


t: +44 (0) 20 7340 6227

f: +44 (0) 20 7340 6201


Primary Practice Group: Global Non-Profit and Social Impact Practice

Salary & Benefits: The salary [and other benefits] will be commensurate with the seniority of the role

Closing Date: 10/12/2021

For over 200 years the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) has been the force for gardening in the UK. Today our vision is to enrich everyone’s lives through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. The RHS reaches millions of people through our world class gardens and shows, our gardening advice and scientific research, and our educational and community programmes, inspiring and supporting people of all ages and from all backgrounds to garden and grow, whilst promoting the vital role gardening has for our own wellbeing and the environment. 

We are seeking an ambitious and inspirational Director General (Chief Executive) who will build on the remarkable achievements of the RHS over the past decade, and who will continue to shape and evolve our strategy so that we successfully expand our reach, our influence, and our impact. 

Reporting to the RHS President and Council, the Director General (Chief Executive) has direct responsibility for the effective and efficient day-to-day operation of an organisation with revenues of circa £100m and a team of 1,000 employees and 2,000 volunteers.  Supported by a strong and talented Leadership Team, you will lead with vision, build innovative partnerships, and inspire action for impact. You will be future orientated and advance our work on science, the art and practice of horticulture, environmental and social sustainability and community outreach. You will take on the challenge of growing our membership and expanding our audiences, further raising the profile of the RHS and helping to make it an even more accessible and relevant charity to everyone. You will build and extend our digital capabilities to transform the way in which we interact with our members and the broader public, driving deeper engagement and increased e-commerce opportunities.

The RHS wishes to encourage applications from senior leaders drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds such as the hospitality, consumer goods and services, retail, tourism, horticulture and events industries, as well as charitable and membership organisations. With a genuine passion for gardening and alignment to the RHS values, the ideal candidate will be an experienced, commercially minded leader capable of managing a diverse organisation and engaging with a diverse range of stakeholders. You will be empowering and inspirational, able to develop and motivate high performing teams, with a track record of leading in a dynamic and changing environment. You will bring a good knowledge of successful marketing strategy, the importance of brand building and experience of using digital and e-commerce to expand opportunities and drive outcomes. You will demonstrate excellent communication and ambassadorial skills with the ability and presence to promote the RHS with confidence externally.

If you are motivated to help to us achieve our vision, you can apply or download further information on the required qualifications, skills and experience for the role at quoting reference 5411. The deadline for applications is Friday 10th December 2021.

We are committed to developing a fully diverse and inclusive organisation, which attracts and retains talented employees and volunteers from all sectors of society and is therefore representative of not only the people that we currently engage with, but those with whom we seek to engage in the future.

The Director General (Chief Executive) will have a dual base with offices at RHS Wisley, Surrey, and at Vincent Square, London. However, with sites across the UK there will be an element of travel required. The salary [and other benefits] will be commensurate with the seniority of the role.

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