We’re hiring – Chief Executive Officer











Job Title: Chief Executive Officer
Application Closing Date: 15 May 2022
Start Date: Summer 2022
Location: Virtual

The Challenge

The conditions for public interest media are fundamentally challenging, with a huge fall in news revenue and the worrying rise of governments cracking down on robust reporting. This chronic decline has now been overlaid by a new, acute crisis: in many communities, the pandemic will be a “media extinction event.” There is ample evidence that, as media ecosystems weaken, corruption, conflict, violent extremism, and man-made disasters like famines and epidemics are more likely. Now more than ever, public interest media is a key pillar of democracy, good governance, and sustainable development.

A feasibility study conducted by BBC Media Action showed that an international fund for independent media would be an effective vehicle for bolstering public interest media, especially in low- and middle-income regions in the next decade or two, until new business models can be developed. That fund, the International Fund for Public Interest Media (IFPIM or the Fund), has now been established and received seed funding at the December 2021 Summit for Democracy held by President Biden.

IFPIM, fiscally sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, provides a fresh, ambitious, coordinated, and well-resourced strategic international response to this crisis. IFPIM has received seed funding from the U.S. government, foundations and other governments and several other larger donors are expected to finalise their funding commitments before the end of 2022. The Fund will complement existing efforts in the sector and will catalyse new money as a globally coordinated but fully independent vehicle that can activate quickly to provide critical funding and support to hundreds – if not thousands – of public interest media organisations worldwide. The principal role of IFPIM is to enable media to work for democracy. It will do so by sustaining public interest media, while also helping to create the conditions where the Fund will no longer be required.

IFPIM is co-chaired by Maria Ressa, journalist, CEO of Rappler and 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and Mark Thompson, former CEO of New York Times and Director General of the BBC. The Fund has been designed to minimise interference in the internal affairs of the countries it supports. Its governance arrangements and international nature ensure funds are allocated efficiently and in ways that command maximum legitimacy in the eyes of media institutions and other democratic stakeholders.

The Role

IFPIM is now seeking to appoint a permanent Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to lead the Fund through the next stage of implementation. The CEO will drive and oversee IFPIM through its proof of concept phase and beyond, implementing the Board-approved strategic plan; driving overall leadership and structure; leading all fundraising efforts; and managing all functions of the organisation.

The CEO will ensure focus and continuity in the vision for the Fund and will be a role model by exemplifying values of high ethical standards, integrity, and fairness. The CEO will report directly to the IFPIM Board.

The CEO is expected to realise the following outcomes:

  • Firm, multi-year political and financial support for IFPIM at the highest level among development agencies, foundations, technology companies, and others in a position to fund, or encourage the funding of IFPIM
  • Boost support for and legitimacy of IFPIM among key stakeholders from those countries that IFPIM is designed to benefit and from the broader media, media support, international development and diplomatic communities
  • Establishment of the institutional, legal and governance arrangements of IFPIM
  • Development and implementation of programmatic strategy
  • All research, learning and monitoring and evaluation activity of the Fund.

Candidate Profile

In order to meet these objectives, IFPIM seeks a leader of significant vision and breadth. The CEO is expected to lead the IFPIM Secretariat to implement all activities within the proof of concept phase and beyond. In terms of the performance and personal competencies required for the position, we highlight the following skills of the ideal candidate (while recognising that no one candidate is likely to have all of these strengths):


Strategic Acceleration and Leadership
  • Significant leadership experience in funding media organisations and a vision for the future of journalism
  • Outstanding judgment and an independent critical thinker able to make both intelligent decisions about the direction of the Fund from strategic policy, communications, funding, and operational perspectives
  • Proactive leader who can make strategic decisions in a complex environment that are inclusive of diverse opinions
  • Ability to develop, implement, and articulate a clear strategic vision and business plan to steer the direction of a unique and new initiative and ensure both short term viability and long-term impact
  • Capability to develop differentiated approaches so as to ensure the funds raised are additive to and not duplicative of similar or synergistic organisations.


Fundraising Ability
  • Ability to serve as lead ambassador for the Fund, telling the story that has given rise to the critical need for The Fund, the urgent nature of the funding, and ultimately securing the donations from government, corporate, and philanthropic organisations
  • Extensive experience and a proven track record of success in fundraising in a global context from government, philanthropic and corporate sources and/or sufficiently well networked at a senior level to generate top-level relationships capable of attracting substantial attention and resources to the Fund
  • Deep understanding of public and private funding opportunities, of the countries and localities most in need of resources, market drivers, and political factors/environments
  • Understanding of developing and implementing effective strategies for fundraising and resource mobilisation
  • Ability to use influence and insight to form coalitions and engage new partners, leveraging networks strategically to accomplish objectives
  • The ability to engage and communicate effectively at the highest levels with political, donor, and government actors


Cross-Cutting Relations, Credibility, and Expertise
  • Character and background to command credibility, legitimacy and respect across the media, media development, those in the communities in countries the Fund is designed to benefit, and other key parties
  • A deep understanding of journalism, media, media markets, and development context
  • Charismatic, eloquent, and diplomatic talent able to deliver the Fund’s messages internally and externally in a convincing and compelling manner
  • Someone who engages and operates effectively at the highest levels of all relevant constituencies.


Values and Personal Attributes
  • Committed to IFPIM’s mission with the energy to develop it
  • An entrepreneurial mindset, with outstanding experience in media, journalism, media development, technology and/or development or diplomatic fields
  • The character and background to command credibility, legitimacy and respect across the media, media development, those in the communities in countries the Fund is designed to benefit and other key parties
  • An excellent record of accomplishment as a leader and manager in an international environment, preferably in the media sector
  • International experience, preferably in regions the Fund will serve
  • An understanding of regulatory, fiscal, and legal issues relevant to the establishment of the Fund
  • Ability to create, manage, and strengthen a variety of strategic partnerships
  • Strong networks across key strategic geographies in which the Fund will serve
  • A profound commitment to and/or in-depth knowledge of concepts and
    approaches relevant to supporting and sustaining public interest media.

Interested candidates should send their CVs and cover letters to careers@ifpim.org.

See more


World Press Freedom Day

3 May acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics.


Inside the Drive to Create a ‘Global Fund’ for Public Interest Journalism

UN Dispatch, Global Dispatches podcast


A free press is the lifeblood of democracy – journalists must not be silenced

Journalists risk everything to hold power to account, crucial work for which a $1bn global fund should be established

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