NALA Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

July 1, 2020

The National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) is a charity that works to ensure people with low literacy, numeracy and digital skills can fully take part in society and have access to educational opportunities to meet their needs.

Since we were set up in 1980, we have been involved with tutor training, developing teaching materials, education services, policy making, research and campaigns to raise awareness of adult literacy, numeracy and digital skills issues and services in Ireland.

We are now recruiting a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) that will lead NALA into the future and as such, we are looking for an outstanding candidate who can bring a comprehensive range of skills and experience to this exciting position.

Reporting to the NALA Board of Directors, the CEO will provide effective leadership and stewardship so that NALA’s services, supports and activities are effectively planned, developed and delivered in accordance with the organisation’s mission, vision and values.

This role requires a confident and credible influencer with a talent for inspirational leadership. If you have experience working at a senior level managing diverse teams and stakeholders, and you are passionate about human rights and adult education, this could be the role for you.

Closing date for applications is Friday 31 July 2020.

How to Apply:

If you believe that you are the person to fill this role and have the background NALA are looking for, please apply to Roger Duffy at Sigmar Recruitment by emailing an up to date CV to

Roger is available for confidential enquiries at +353 1 4744679.


Candidate Information Booklet

CEO Role Profile

Job title:    Chief Executive Officer

Reports to:   Board

Responsible for: All staff

Contract Duration: This is a fixed term contract until August 2023


Key working relationships within NALA:

Board and Senior Management Team (Communications and Policy Manager, Practice and Innovation Manager, Finance and Internal Support Manager).


Role Outline:    

  1. To manage the organisation, including the Agency’s strategic work programme, promotional strategy and human and financial resources under the direction of the Board.
  2. To assist and advise the Board to enable it to fulfill its function i.e. achieving the Agency’s aims, objectives, the provision of leadership and formulation of policy.
  3. To monitor developments in the external environment which impact on the work of the organisation, ensuring the membership is well informed and briefed.


Key Elements:

1 Leadership and Strategy

  • Draw up operational and implementation plans in line with the Strategic Plan, in accordance with the priorities determined by the Board.
  • Ability to set, monitor and attain demanding targets for the organisation.
  • Act as a spokesperson for the Agency and ensure that our key objectives are voiced consistently.
  • Ensure the organisation’s ethos and policies are consistently practiced throughout the Agency.
  • Lead, delegate, co-ordinate, support and review the work of staff.
  • Ensure the organisation has the necessary resources.
  • Foster good communications and relationships throughout the organisation.
  • Ensure expenditure is in line with the annual budget and be responsible for the overall financial health of the organisation.
  • Report to the Board on the progress of the organisation and sector.
  • Formulate policy proposals for agreement by the Board and respond to policy proposals submitted by the Board.

2 Governance

  • Work with the Chairperson to ensure an effective Board, meeting all its statutory duties.
  • Ensure effective governance by working closely with the Board and its sub committees to ensure they operate effectively and in accordance with their terms of reference.
  • Ensure that the Chair and the Board members receive sufficient and timely information and advice in order to make informed decisions.
  • Have overall responsibility for the effective overview of NALA’s risk management process, escalating and report to the Board as appropriate.

3 Influence and Stakeholder Management

  • Represent NALA and foster good relations with central government, statutory and voluntary agencies and the general public.
  • Ensure NALA works with other agencies on strategic issues of common concern to the membership and the wider sector.
  • Work with the membership and stakeholders to generate policy ideas and initiatives to influence policy, practice and public awareness in adult literacy, numeracy and digital skills.


Knowledge Requirements: 

  • Deep understanding of adult literacy, numeracy and digital skills policy and practice in Ireland and internationally.
  • Understanding of key issues affecting adult literacy, numeracy and digital skills development in Ireland.
  • Significant leadership experience including the management and reporting of state funding.


Personal Qualities:  

  • Excellent leadership, interpersonal, communication and teamwork skills.
  • Ability to influence key decision makers and represent NALA stakeholders.
  • Ability and commitment to working within the aims and values of NALA.
  • Ability to work flexible hours and to travel throughout Ireland and elsewhere at times demanded by the job.


Essential qualifications, skills and experience

  • Masters Degree in Business or Governance and or equivalent in disciplines relevant to the job.
  • A proven record of achievement at senior level, in a position with a similar range of responsibilities that demonstrates the necessary vision and leadership in strategic planning and people management.
  • Strong business acumen, strategic thinking and focus on operational excellence.
  • Competencies in relation to public sector governance, HR and financial management.
  • Proven high level of management and organisational skills.
  • Demonstrable experience of stakeholder engagement and management.
  • Credibility and confidence in decision-making and key influencing.


How to apply

If you believe that you are the person to fill this role and have the background NALA are looking for, please apply to Roger Duffy at Sigmar Recruitment by emailing an up to date CV to

Roger is available for confidential enquiries at +353 1 4744679


Closing date: Friday 31 July 2020

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