Deputy Director: Shareholder Sponsorship

Contract Type
Birmingham, Leeds, London
Expiry Date
The Deputy Director will join the senior leadership of our new DfT Shareholder and Corporate Sponsorship Directorate, responsible for working with the Boards of our major DfT Public Bodies to ensure that they are aligned to Ministers’ objectives.

Job Description


The Deputy Director will join the senior leadership of our new DfT Shareholder and Corporate Sponsorship Directorate, responsible for working with the Boards of our major DfT Public Bodies to ensure that they are aligned to Ministers’ objectives, capable and well governed, performing strongly and working effectively with the Department.

Job description

This Directorate is critical to ensuring that DfT’s key delivery partners, including Network Rail, HS2 Ltd and Highways England, are exceptionally well-run and delivering fully the Government’s objectives around improved experiences for passengers, better connectivity, economic growth, levelling-up and meeting our climate commitments.

The role is built around effective senior relationships with the Boards and Executives of key Public Bodies; close collaboration with Ministers and Senior Department Officials in supporting and holding the bodies to account; and leadership of a high performing team in running successfully a portfolio of sponsored organisations and cross-cutting themes.


This Deputy Director role will comprise three critical elements:

1. Lead Deputy Director shareholder sponsor of at least two Arms Length Bodies, responsible for:

• Creating and utilising effective governance arrangements for the Public Bodies to set up the organisations, their boards and DfT (as sponsor) for success in achieving our policy outcomes;
• Building and leveraging strong relationships - you will be the key Department lead with the Board and Executive of the Public Bodies on their corporate objectives, governance, plans and performance; representing Ministers in their holding the Public Body to account; supporting the Public Body in fully understanding and meeting Ministers’ priorities; and collaborating with the Public Bodies to jointly identify solutions to corporate challenges and opportunities;
• Advising Ministers on the Public Bodies’ corporate objectives, plans and performance including on how these meet wider Department and Government policy objectives;
• Making great appointments – your teams will lead in appointing the Chairs of these bodies and then in working with the Chairs on their appointment of Non-Executive and Executive Board members to build high performing, diverse and capable Boards;
• Securing timely and robust formal Ministerial decisions in the above areas; anchored ineffective collaboration with the Public Bodies in framing robust cases.

2. Lead Deputy Director for our Centre of Excellence advisory service to other Public Body sponsors across the rest of DfT

• For these bodies, lead sponsorship remains embedded in policy teams. Our experienced central team advises these sponsors on effectively fulfilling their responsibilities including through development and sharing of common tools and standard methodology;
• This role also includes responsibility for coordinating reviews of all our Public Bodies.

3. Being an integral part of the Directorate’s senior leadership team working closely with three other shareholder sponsor Deputy Directors to:

• Lead the growth and development of our newly established standalone Shareholdings and Corporate Sponsorship directorate, including embedding a new Shareholdings best practice framework, shaping a distinct new culture, hiring new team members to bring in additional experience and skills, consolidating our diversity and inclusion strategy, and further growing our team’s professional capabilities;
• Lead our Public Body shareholdings as an effective portfolio, joining up issues and opportunities across the different bodies and escalating effectively to Ministers, ExCo and the Department Board.

Person Specification

As a new role, we are open to candidates with a wide range of relevant experiences and perspectives within, with or outside of Government. We are particularly interested in securing applications from people from currently under-represented groups including those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds and people with disabilities. We are looking for outstanding candidates who will drive delivery of Ministers’ priorities through these Bodies, build effective senior relationships between the Bodies and the Department and grow high-performing, diverse and inclusive teams.

The successful candidate must therefore be able to demonstrate evidence of their success in the following essential areas;

• A track record of delivering effectively through others, securing successful outcomes and continuous improvements as sponsor, shareholder or client at large scale/complexity;

• Excellent relationship skills with very senior stakeholders, leveraging personal relationships to realise successfully opportunities and challenges, including in difficult or ambiguous circumstances; and being able to challenge confidently and effectively at the most senior levels;

• Outstanding leadership skills with the ability to recruit, inspire, empower and motivate the best staff; build genuinely diverse and inclusive teams; and grow capability and resilience to deliver outcomes even when working under scrutiny or at a high pace;

• A strategic approach to decision making, using a rich range of tools, evidence and analysis to underpin effective and robust advice to Ministers on complex choices around objectives, strategies, business plans and performance.

• A demonstrable ability to collaborate successfully across organisational boundaries and on sensitive and complex issues, building networks to deliver achieve shared outcomes.