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Executive Director – Role Description (full time, permanent)

As the Executive Director of the Scottish Space Group (trading as Space Scotland), the selected candidate will be responsible to the Board of Space Scotland. The individual will work in tandem with the elected Chair of Space Scotland to take direction from member organisations across industry, academia and government in order to deliver tangible outcomes for the benefit of the wider sector.

Key Responsibilities: 

  1. To provide day-to-day management of the executive delivery arm for Space Scotland, working with the Chair to ensure the delivery of a series of projects and initiatives that promote, grow and enable Scotland’s space ecosystem. 
  2. To enable the Board to fulfil its duties and responsibilities for the proper governance of the not-for-profit and to ensure that the Board receives timely advice and appropriate information on all relevant matters.

Duties to fulfil the responsibilities:
To provide day-to-day management of the executive delivery arm for Space Scotland, working with the Chair to oversee the delivery of a series of projects and initiatives that promote, grow and enable Scotland’s space ecosystem.


  • To be accountable to the Board for the proper and effective management of the executive delivery arm of Space Scotland
  • To manage a team of delivery personnel efficiently and effectively, ensuring an appropriate management structure and management systems in order to fulfil its strategic objectives and to carry out its work
  • To ensure that all management policies and decisions support the agreed vision, mission, brand values, philosophy and strategic priorities of Space Scotland
  • To ensure that business, operational and annual plans to underpin the strategic plan are developed, agreed and implemented
  • To identify appropriate methods for monitoring the performance of the organisation and to report back to the Board on performance against its strategy, its business, operational and annual plans, and against the budget as approved by the Board
  • To ensure that the recruitment, management, training and development of staff reflect good employment practice and are directed towards achieving the organisation’s objectives
  • To ensure that the organisation is aware of best practice and that it constantly works to achieve this within the constraints laid down by the Board and resources available


  • To listen and gather views, via the Chair of Space Scotland, members and wider sectoral stakeholders
  • To lead, inspire and motivate staff, secondees and volunteers
  • To assist the Board, Chair and any external agencies in developing the brand values, ethos, vision and mission of the organisation
  • To lead the review and development of a medium- to long-term strategy for the organisation within its objects, vision, and mission, and to obtain the approval of the Board and Chair
  • To develop the work of the organisation in order to achieve the agreed strategic plan and its objects, vision and mission and thus to ensure that the Group is focused on achieving the strategic priorities
  • To ensure that the organisation’s values, ethos and policies are relevant, fair and consistently implemented
  • To develop an organisation that is constantly seeking ways to learn and to improve its performance
  • To develop and maintain an environment that attracts and retains the best staff and volunteers, as well as new corporate members for Space Scotland
  • To act as a brand ambassador for Space Scotland and the wider Scottish Space Sector


  • To prioritise and plan activities based on guidance from
    • sectoral stakeholders from private and public organisations within Space Scotland, as well as outwith the group
    • the Scottish and UK national space strategies
    • the Space Scotland Chair and Board members
  • To deliver a series of key activities in the form of actions plans, in a timely and well-executed fashion, in collaboration with team members 
  • To deliver ad hoc initiatives, as and when they are required and deemed necessary for the benefit of the sector, allowing a reactive approach to complement longer-term planning and pro-activity 

Finance and risk

  • To be responsible overall for the financial health of the organisation including developing, overseeing and implementing at pace an effective programme of income generation that moves the organisation steadily towards self-sufficiency. This will include, but is not limited to:
    • developing a pipeline of funding opportunities and leading team members to prepare bids 
    • communicating the benefits of membership fee contributions from public and private organisations within Space Scotland and securing this revenue from as many members as possible
    • identifying opportunities for periodic sponsorship of the group or specific group-led events 
  • To ensure that the major risks to which the organisation is exposed are reviewed regularly by the Board and systems have been established to mitigate these risks, and a risk analysis is automatically carried out when taking on new work or proposing new work to the Board
  • To ensure that there are effective mechanisms to ensure the robustness of external and internal controls (financial and non-financial)

External and internal relations

  • To foster good communications throughout Space Scotland and externally, including but not limited to wider industry stakeholders,  government agencies and academic institutions
  • To develop, as appropriate, the organisation’s public profile and foster good relationships with government, statutory, academic, voluntary and private bodies, and other external stakeholders
  • To set up mechanisms for listening to the views of current and future beneficiaries on the performance of the organisation, as well as on areas for future development
  • To scan the external environment for changes that may affect the organisation, to advise the Board proactively and to take necessary action

Legal and regulatory compliance

  • To ensure that the organisation fulfils all its legal, statutory and regulatory responsibilities
  • To enable the Board to fulfil its duties and responsibilities for the proper governance of the not-for-profit organisation and to ensure that the board receives timely advice and appropriate information on all relevant matters.

Strategy and planning

  • In partnership with the Chair, to ensure that the Board carry out all work in accordance with the brand values, ethos, vision, mission, strategic objectives and strategic priorities for the organisation.

Ensuring high-quality governance

  • Draw the Board’s attention to matters that it should consider and decide
  • To ensure that the Board receives all necessary advice, guidance and information on matters relating to current performance, the short- and long-term future of the organisation, regulatory and legal compliance, and other appropriate issues; and making sure that such advice, guidance and information are timely, honest, balanced and relevant
  • To ensure that the staff understand and support the governance role of the Board and that there is a positive and constructive working relationship between the board, the Chair, the membership and the Executive Delivery Team
  • To ensure that the Board reviews regularly the organisation’s governing instruments and governance structure, and to assist with the Board’s assessment of its own performance
  • In partnership with the chair, to ensure that the Board’s delegated authority is recorded in writing and understood fully by staff, volunteers and members, and that all agreed reporting procedures are followed
  • To work closely with the Board to ensure that the Board has on it the skills it requires to govern the Group well, and that the Board has access to relevant external professional advice and expertise
  • To assist the Board in ensuring that there is a systematic, open, diverse and fair procedure for the recruitment of Space Scotland members, Board members, future Chairs of Space Scotland, future Chairs of the Board and future Executive Directors
  • To ensure that all members of the Board receive appropriate induction, advice, information and training (both individual and collective), thus getting the best thinking and involvement of each member of the Board

Board meetings

  • To ensure that the Board is given the information it needs to perform its duties
  • In partnership with the Chair, to ensure that the right and appropriate items reach Board agendas 
  • To assist the Chair in ensuring that the Board focuses on its governance role by making sure that the Board agenda and papers do not draw the Board away from governance and into unnecessary detail and management issues
  • To report regularly to the Board on the performance of the delivery arm of Space Scotland, progress towards the strategic priorities and the achievement of Board policies. This will also include participation at annual progress meetings with Scottish Enterprise
  • To submit high-level policy proposals for the approval of the Board or assist the board in the development of these policies, and to be responsible for the efficient and effective achievement of these policies
  • To implement Board decisions in accordance with the wishes of Space Scotland members

Relationships with the Chair(s) of Space Scotland

  • To have regular one-to-one meetings with the Chair, at which the Chair and Executive Director can talk openly, discuss progress, opportunities and challenges, agree expectations of each other, plan the organisation’s annual programme together and prepare together for meetings with Space Scotland members, who will always be at the core of decision making, prioritisation and direction
  • In close consultation with the Chair and wider Board, to agree respective roles in representing the organisation and acting as spokesperson at public functions, public meetings and to the press/media


Remuneration for the role will be between £55,000 – £65,000 per annum.

Application deadline has passed.