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Chair of the Board

  • Management Board
  • Unpaid
  • Edinburgh
  • Closing 1st May 2020

  • Advertised from 30th March 2020


We are seeking to appoint a new Chair of the Board of Directors. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is both a registered charity and a registered company and benefits from the strategic leadership of a board that comprises up to 17 individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, three quarters of whom are elected from the Society’s membership. This represents a unique opportunity for an exceptional individual to guide the organisation that supports the world’s greatest platform for freedom of expression.

The Fringe Society is committed to ensuring the Fringe is open, accessible, diverse, equitable, inclusive and affordable for everyone. We are encouraging people from all backgrounds to apply as we really want the Fringe Society – and the wider Fringe – to reflect these values.

Basis of appointment

The Chair of the Board is appointed by the board of directors, on the recommendation of the appointments committee. Appointment will be made at the Fringe Society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in August 2020, for an initial period of four years. The current Chair is Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, who has chaired the organisation since 2012.

The role

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is a registered charity and is governed by its constitution and the board of directors. All potential directors should read the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) guidance on being a trustee – this sets out the legal duties of a charity director in Scotland. The guidance from OSCR provides clear and detailed insight into the liabilities, responsibilities and best practice for all charity directors.

Roles and responsibilities

It is the responsibility of all Fringe Society directors to:

  • Ensure the mission statement of the Fringe Society is upheld.
  • Establish the strategic vision of the Fringe Society.
  • Set the medium and long-term strategy and structure of the Fringe Society.
  • Appoint the Chief Executive of the Fringe Society.
  • Effectively delegate operation of the Fringe Society to the executive.
  • Exercise financial accountability to stakeholders and constituents.
  • Exercise accountability for the actions of the Fringe Society to the public.
  • Uphold the core values of the Fringe Society and reflect the Fringe in a positive way.
  • Advocate for the Fringe Society and the Fringe in an impartial manner on a local, national and international platform.

Please see our website for more details:

Application notes

An open and public recruitment campaign will be undertaken to ensure the Fringe Society reaches the widest range of potential candidates. This will also be circulated through board and stakeholder networks. Informal conversations with the Chief Executive and / or outgoing Chair will be available for interested candidates, as well as an opportunity to meet the board and executive team at the review of the year reception, on the evening of 27 February 2020.

Applicants should submit a CV and a two-page covering letter to, outlining their interest in the role and the suitability of their experience.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview to discuss their application in May 2020. The committee will recommend its preferred candidate to the board in May 2020 and a formal appointment will take place at the meeting of the board prior to the 2020 AGM.


  • 27 February – review of the year 2019 reception.
  • 01 May – application process closes.
  • Week commencing 04 May – shortlisting and communication to candidates.
  • Week commencing 11 May – interviews.
  • 21 May – Fringe Society board meeting – recommendation from appointments committee.
  • June to August – proposed new Chair observes board meetings and meets with board members, executive and outgoing Chair.
  • August – new Chair formally appointed at board meeting followed by announcement at AGM to members and press.