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Trustee Role Description - President

Role title: President
Accountable to: Board of trustees
Responsible for: Leadership and Support of the Board
Term of office: Four years

Scope and purpose

The overall role of the President is to play a key role in the strategic development of the BSI, its core aims and its key objectives.

General responsibilities

  • To ensure that the Society complies with its governing document, charity law, company law, and any other relevant legislation or regulation.
  • To ensure that the Society pursues its objects as defined in the governing document.
  • To ensure that the Society applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects.
  • To contribute actively to the board of trustees' role in giving firm strategic direction to the Society, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets.
  • To safeguard the good name and integrity of the Society.
  • To ensure the effective and efficient administration of the Society.
  • To protect and manage the property of the charity and to ensure the proper investment of the charity's funds.
  • To assist with the appointment of the Chief Executive and to monitor his/her performance through an agreed process.

In addition to the above statutory duties, every trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge, or experience they have to help the board of trustees reach sound decisions. These may involve:

  • Scrutinising board papers
  • Leading discussions
  • Focusing on key issues
  • Providing guidance on new initiatives
  • Other issues in which the trustee has special expertise.
  • All board members must be members of the BSI.

Additional duties of the President

The President often represents the Board of Trustees at meetings and events. S/he might be asked to speak or to write on behalf of the Society. The role has status and kudos and the incumbent often speaks on behalf of British Immunology. The President meets regularly with the Chief Executive.

President person specification

  • Membership of the Society is required under the rules
  • Commitment to the Society
  • Strategic vision
  • Good, independent judgment
  • Ability to think creatively
  • Willingness to speak their mind
  • Ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • Skills to analyse proposals and examine their financial consequences
  • Willingness to be available to staff at short notice and on an ad-hoc basis
  • Ability to represent the BSI in an ambassadorial role
  • Confidence at speaking in public, to the media and to one's peers
  • Superb knowledge of the issues facing people working in the field of Immunology and in academia at large
  • Nolan's seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership

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