Job title:                   Secretary-General/Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Reporting to:           General Assembly/Executive Committee

Direct Reports:        Director of Operations, Finance Director, Head of Parliamentary Development , Head of Private Office

Responsible for:     Secretariat Staff

                                   HR Consultant

Key Relationships:     Executive Committee, Chairperson, Treasurer and other Members of the Coordinating Committee, Trustees; CPA Branches; Commonwealth Parliamentarians; Commonwealth High Commissions.

Term: Fixed Term Four year Contract

Salary: £100,000-£125,000 (GBP) annually

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA): Statement of Purpose

The CPA exists to connect, develop, promote and support Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance, and implement the enduring values of the Commonwealth.

The CPA collaborates with Parliaments and other organizations, including the inter-governmental community, to achieve its Statement of Purpose.

Commonwealth Heads of Government have recognized the Parliaments and Legislatures of the Commonwealth as essential elements in the exercise of democratic governance and have endorsed the efforts of the Association as the parliamentary partner of the Commonwealth’s governmental and non-governmental sectors.

CPA activities focus on the Commonwealth’s commitment to its fundamental political values, including: just and honest government, the alleviation of poverty, fundamental human rights, international peace and order, global economic development, the rule of law, equal rights and representation of all citizens of both genders, the separation of powers among the three branches of government and the right to participate in free and democratic political processes.

The financial year of the Association is based on the calendar year. The Association has three funds (the CPA Main Fund, CPA Working Capital Fund and CPA Conference Assistance Fund).The Main Fund has an annual turnover of approximately £3m and the two Trust Funds have combined investments value of just over £7m.

Job Description

Purpose of role:

The Secretary-General is accountable for the overall success of the Association by effectively driving, managing, representing and promoting all aspects of the CPA’s aims and objectives.

The Secretary-General is appointed by the General Assembly of the Association on the nomination of the Executive Committee and is responsible to it through the executive Committee.

The Secretary-General will lead and perform a wide range of duties including all of the following:

  • To ensure that the membership of the CPA receive high quality policy, strategy and programmes to support members in promoting and embedding Parliamentary democracy across the commonwealth and beyond.
  • To keep the Association’s services under continuous review and achieve balanced budgets and policy outcomes set by the Executive Committee.
  • To ensure that the Association maximizes opportunities to achieve Parliamentary Democracy for new and existing Parliaments across the Commonwealth, in line with the Association’s Constitution.
  • To lead and manage the Associations staff and resources to achieve the highest possible performance to deliver the CPA’s objectives for members, other service users and stakeholders.
  • Adapt to a continually evolving political and Parliamentary environment; demonstrating both the autonomy and collaboration skills needed to advance the organization’s purpose and the leadership to inspire confidence in all internal and external stakeholders.
  • Maintain close links with Member Branches and provide whatever advice or guidance, as may be appropriate.
  • Serve as a Trustee of the Working Capital Fund, Conference Assistance Fund and of other Funds as may be established.
  • Deliver, through appropriate plans and in accordance with agreed policies and protocols, the vision, mission and objectives of the Association.
  • To represent the Association and promote the best interest of the CPA across all of its activities.
  • Accountable for all duties of the Secretary-General as described in Article 29(3) of the CPA Constitution.

Key Tasks and Accountabilities:

Leading and Managing the Organisation

Ensure the Membership of the CPA receive the highest quality of service and support.

Managing the interface between the policy making role of the Executive Committee to officers in order to ensure the delivery of policies, plans and strategies.

Ensure the translation of the overall objectives of the CPA, as set out in the Constitution, into effective plans to achieve the Association’s statement of Purpose.

Take responsibility for the strategic direction and performance of the Association as a whole, setting challenging and ambitious targets, ensuring the effective implementation and maintenance of agreed policies, programmes and services.

Provide clear and visible leadership to create and foster a working environment for all Secretariat employees which promotes commitment and provides scope for personal development, to enable the Association to recruit, retain and motivate high quality and high performing staff at all levels.

Develop income generation strategies to maintain and enhance the level of funding from existing sources and develop new funding streams.

Have responsibility for day-to-day management of the Association, including preparation of performance reports, that income is maintained, and expenditure is controlled and that potential risks are identified and managed.

Ensure the Association remains responsive to the needs of the membership and Executive Committee and can demonstrate the value of the services provided and the impact of the Association’s work.

Ensure the effective systems operate throughout the CPA to manage performance, risk, health and safety, financial resources and business continuity.

Engagement and Participation 

Ensure that the Association engages and connects well with all Branches, actively seeking and acting on feedback to develop improvements in service and programme related activity.

Represent, negotiate and act as an Ambassador on behalf of the CPA with partners at all levels of Commonwealth Parliamentary, Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations, in order to support shared objectives and achieve collaborative working in matters of common interest and concern.

Encourage, engage and maintain greater participation by Commonwealth Parliamentarians in CPA activities and programmes.

Maintain effective networks with all principal supporters and stakeholders, seeking opportunities to expand and promote the role of the Association.

Ensure the Association and its Officers are presented in an appropriate and professional manner to its stakeholders at all times.

Represents the Association in public forums such as conferences; attending sector policy forums; producing written material for the Association’s own publications/promotional material as well as any appropriate external channels such as trade press etc.

Ensure the provision of venues and that the overall planning, preparation and servicing of the Annual Conference, meetings of the Executive Committee, Seminars and other meetings for the Association are of the highest possible standard.

Enhance the Association’s impact and profile across the Commonwealth.


Work with the Executive Committee to ensure that a long-term strategy is in place, which can guide the organization in achieving objectives and meet the needs of the membership.

Work with the Executive Committee to ensure that it formulates and regularly reviews the Association’s vision, mission and strategic objectives.

Ensure that the Executive Committee has as its disposal sufficient resources, guidance and professional advice on matters concerning compliance with its governing instrument, the law and the CPA Constitution, to ensure that the Association is well administered and meets all of its governance responsibilities.

Serve as a Trustee of the Working Capital Fund, Conference Assistance Fund and other Funds as may be established.

Ensure appropriate presentation and reporting on the progress of the Association and on all matters relevant to the discharge of the Executive Committee’s discussion and decision.

Provide, in a timely and appropriate manner, information that will assist the Executive Committee in carrying out its responsibilities.

Support the Coordinating Committee in ensuring the continued engagement/involvement of all members of the Executive Committee.

As appropriate, monitor and advise on the composition of the Executive Committee, its sub-committees and the process of self-assessment and development.

Ensure an annual calendar of meetings of the Executive Committee and its principal sub-committees is in place.

Ensure the CPA’s commitment to equality and diversity is delivered through its policies and actions.

The role profile is not exhaustive and is subject to review in conjunction with the post holder and according to future changes/developments in the Association.

Person Specification E=Essential D=Desirable



Understanding and commitment to the values of the Commonwealth.


Evidence of building a high-performing team and leading the activities of staff to achieve policy outcomes.


Evidence of policy and strategy formulation and implementation for a large diverse organisation.


A high level of political awareness and demonstrable skills of working in a politically sensitive environment.


Working with people from geographical regions, backgrounds and cultures.


Working in membership based organisations that focus upon advancing principles of good governance.


Evidence of proactively seeking out examples of best practice, raising and maintaining the quality of service provision.


Significant and demonstrable prominence in a Parliamentary or Governmental position or a Parliamentary Governance/Administration.

Skills and Abilities


Ability to think strategically, understand and communicate strategic intent to Executive Committee, Trustees and staff at a range of different levels and backgrounds.


Excellent management and analytical skills, including the capacity to communicate complex information clearly.


Ability to maintain strong working relationships with government and non-government stakeholders.


Ability to comply with, and demonstrate, inclusive working practices.


Ability to manage multiple and competing priorities/demands and in difficult and challenging circumstances.


Ability to lead a diverse staff base particularly whilst responding to change and maintaining their morale.


Ability to deliver at peace, whilst working under pressure


Able to work positively to develop and maintain open working relationships with the Executive Committee.


Willingness and ability to travel for up to 8 weeks a year (separate trips). During periods spent abroad, the post-holder may be expected to work unsocial hours from time to time.


Ability to monitor and evaluate organizational practice and techniques.


Excellent working knowledge of Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint.


Ability to represent the Association in external fora.

Education and Qualifications


PhD or MBA or first-degree level education in any discipline; or first-degree level education with significant experience as parliamentarian, including Parliamentary Administration.


Knowledge or ability to become familiar with relevant legislation on Botswana Charities, Employment law, and Occupational Health and Safety.

Behavioral Competencies

The Secretary-General, and all other Secretariat staff, are required to demonstrate and evidence competency, appropriate to their role, in the following:

  1. Self-Motivation: A level of timeliness and accuracy in their role, with personal energy, enthusiasm and willingness for professional development.
  2. Organise: The ability to review own workload, set priorities, develop a work schedule, monitor progress towards set goals and develop solutions to any and all anticipated difficulties. 
  3. Drive for results: the level of responsibility and accountability demonstrated by the individual in meeting or exceeding objectives, seeking better ways of doing things, looking to improve on status quo and willingness to deal with difficult situations that affect output. 
  4. Decision making: Assessing situations and determining the importance, urgency, risks and timeliness actions. There is a balance of consultation with action. Will always have the interest of the Association at the core of their decision making.
  5. Teamwork: An ability and willingness to work co-operatively with others. Will recognize the value of sharing ideas, knowledge and information with others and take personal responsibility for doing so.Work for a win-win outcome when resolving differences.
  6. Behave ethically: An understanding of ethical behavior and business practices. Ensuring own behavior is consistent with the standards set in the staff handbook and aligned with the principles of the CPA constitution.
  7. Influencing: Ability in selecting the appropriate approach for any situation in order to influence and motivate others to achieve results.
  8. Building and managing relationships
  1. Work effectively with people from all backgrounds, with dignity and respect;
  2. Establish and develop productive, positive working relationships with others, both internally and externally;
  3. Be sensitive to cultural differences and respond appropriately;
  4. Show respect and understanding of diverse points of views and demonstrate understanding in daily work; and
  5. Examine own biases and behaviours to avoid stereotypical responses.
  1. Lead: Show good listening skills, presenting own view in a constructive manner, whilst acknowledging different perspectives, feelings and concerns. Demonstrating decisive, inclusive and motivational skills in the leadership of others.

Mode and terms of application

Applications must be made through the Member Parliament of the country of which the candidate is a citizen. For Botswana Citizens, applications must be addressed to: Parliament of Botswana, P O Box 240, Gaborone, 

OR hand delivered to 

Main Registry – Office GF 6,     (Records Management Unit) at the Parliament Main Building.

 Applicants must submit:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Curriculum Vitae detailing the requisite qualifications and experience, and demonstrate suitability for the job
  3. Certificates 
  4. At least 3 referees with contact details;


The closing date for the submission of applications is 15th December, 2019