Chief Operating Officer


The Chief Operating Officer is a pivotal role providing key strategic leadership and responsibility for ensuring the continued financial sustainability of the Museum as a member of the Executive Board.

In addition to leading Finance, the role also has senior line management responsibility for the Museum’s technology services and physical infrastructure during an exciting period of ambitious capital projects and strategic change.

The Natural History Museum (NHM) is a world-class visitor attraction not only caring for more than 80 million specimens spanning billions of years, but also welcoming more than five million visitors annually and 17 million online. The Museum hosts a world leading science research centre and uses their unique collections and unrivalled expertise to tackle the biggest challenges facing the world today.

The role will provide excellent leadership to a large team of talented colleagues including Head of Finance, Director of Projects, Estates and Masterplanning, Chief Information Officer, Head of Legal and Head of Procurement. We are looking for someone with passion and enthusiasm to play an important role in a broad range of Museum activities – chairing a number of internal boards and committees including:

  • Technology Governance Board
  • Information Management Group
  • Museum Programme Group
  • Museum Health and Safety Committee
  • Sustainability Board
  • Business Continuity and Crisis Management boards

The COO will work closely with the Museum Director to drive the effectiveness of the Museum by developing strategic systems and processes across the organisation to enhance performance as well as delivering an operating model to secure the Museum’s future. We are looking for someone with the ability to think strategically and with excellent creative problem-solving skills as well as strong attention to detail and an ability to win the trust and confidence of a large range of stakeholders including taking a leading role in managing the relationship with DCMS

Person Specification – Essential

  • Proven track record of successful financial leadership and governance
  • Proven understanding and experience of strategic and financial planning within a complex organisation
  • Extremely strong communication, collaborative and influencing skills with a strong ability to positively engage, partner and collaborate with Board members and colleagues across the Museum
  • Evidence of significant personal achievements in driving and delivering business value in an innovative environment
  • Sound commercial and political judgement demonstrable at a significant leadership level
  • Highly skilled and experienced as a people manager, with success in creating, leading and motivating a high performing, diverse, team.
  • Personal integrity and a personal style that demonstrates fairness, credibility, commitment and consistency
  • A passion for the work of the Museum and its aim to create advocates for the planet

Person Specification – Desirable

  • A qualified accountant with experience of audit and risk oversight
  • Understanding of public sector organisations and experience of government, charity accounting and commercial accounting.

How to Apply:

The recruitment process is being undertaken by Ivy Rock Partners on behalf of the Museum.

Application is by submission of full CV and a covering letter.

  • The closing date for applications is Sunday 19th March 2023.
  • Shortlisting will take place on Wednesday 22nd March, with interviews week commencing 27th March 2023

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