Director of External Affairs - CLA

Job Title: Director of External Affairs - CLA
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: London
Salary: c £80,000 plus benefits
Reference: DEACLA
Contact Name: Caroline Ivory
Contact Email:
Job Published: January 25, 2019 17:17

Job Description

Director of External Affairs

c£80,000 plus benefits

As the membership organisation for owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales, the CLA speaks for everyone who believes in a living and working countryside, promoting members’ interests and influencing decision-makers to ensure the positive development of the rural economy.


Presently covered by an interim appointment, the role, reporting to the recently appointed Director General, is a senior management position, leading a high performing team that promotes the Association’s key messages to public, political, industry and member audiences in order to further the objectives of the Association.


With responsibility for developing external affairs strategy in collaboration with Officers, wider membership, senior managers and other colleagues, primary responsibilities will include:

  • developing, defining and delivering the public affairs and media strategy;
  • providing political and media counsel across the organisation;
  • working with policy and membership colleagues to prioritise and define policy messaging;
  • identifying and delivering effective campaigns;
  • building and maintaining relations with diverse stakeholders in England, Wales and Europe, including Parliamentarians, Ministers and Special Advisers across all political parties, national and trade journalists, and other interested organisations;
  • supporting the Wales Regional team in engagement with the Welsh Government and Assembly;
  • overseeing attendance at party conferences and events;
  • providing briefings to senior spokespeople and preparing speeches for the President, Officer team and Director General;
  • overseeing the effective use of social and digital media, the production and publication of all CLA publications and managing website content;
  • leading and mentoring the external affairs team in London and overseeing the effective delivery of national initiatives at regional level;
  • protecting the Association's reputation and providing effective crisis/risk management communications as required;
  • effective, two-way internal communications within CLA.


Educated to degree level or with equivalent experience, the successful candidate will bring:

  • substantial experience in developing and delivering high level public affairs and media strategies and campaigns;
  • experience of working in an in-house external affairs role, preferably in a membership organisation;  
  • strong media relations’ experience and a keen understanding of the political system in Westminster, Cardiff and the EU;
  • established networks across media and all political parties;
  • experience of working on legislation, particularly securing amendments through parliamentarians;
  • a history of influencing and engaging with diverse stakeholders including members;
  • proven leadership skills and a track record in managing and motivating teams

While sector experience is not essential, you will demonstrate a keen understanding of the key issues affecting rural businesses and communities, and an appreciation of CLA member needs.

Peter Childs Ltd is acting as an employment agency adviser to the CLA on this appointment.  To apply or for further information, please contact Caroline Ivory on 020 3892 3220 or

Applications should be received by 12pm on Thursday 14th February 2019.