Job Opportunity – Chief Executive Officer (Maternity Cover contract)

Position: Chief Executive Officer (Maternity Cover contract) 

Hours: Full -time (37 hours per week) 

Start date: September 2024 

Duration: 9 months 

Reports to: Mental Health Reform Board 

Location: Hybrid / Coleraine House, Coleraine Street, Dublin 7.

  1. Position summary 

The Board of Mental Health Reform is seeking a passionate, focused, and  experienced leader to cover maternity leave for the role of Chief Executive Officer. This is a unique opportunity to join the Mental Health Reform team at a critical juncture. The demand for mental health services in Ireland has reached unprecedented levels, outpacing the capacity of our current system to respond effectively. With mental health being a key topic in national policy discourse and an upcoming general election, the next decade holds the potential to be transformative for mental health. 

This role offers a chance to address the shortcomings of our current health system, collaborate across sectors, and build a system that affords parity to mental health. Mental Health Reform is ideally positioned to provide expertise and critical insights from both service users and providers in building a mental health system that is coherent, integrated, agile, and responsive to users’ needs. 

The CEO will work closely with the Board and lead a talented team, ensuring the delivery of MHR’s overall strategic plan. Responsibilities include overseeing organisational resourcing and fostering the development, engagement, and growth of the network. 

If you are an experienced leader ready to make a significant impact on Mental Health Reform at a pivotal time, we encourage you to apply for this role. 

  1. About Mental Health Reform 

Mental Health Reform is Ireland’s leading national coalition on mental health. Our vision is of an Ireland with accessible, effective and inclusive mental health services and supports.

In line with this vision, we drive the progressive reform of mental health services and supports, through coordination and policy development, research and innovation, accountability and collective advocacy. With over 85 member organisations and thousands of individual supporters, MHR provides a unified voice to Government, its agencies, the Oireachtas and the general public on mental health issues. 

See more on our About Us webpage. 

  1. Main responsibilities 

a) Leadership 

  • Work with the Board to grow and sustain Mental Health Reform as a national coalition on mental health.
  • In conjunction with the Board, lead on the implementation of MHRs strategic plan.
  • Sustain and grow MHR’s membership base and supporter network, and oversee MHR’s membership structure.
  • Oversee and advance the development and implementation of effective lobbying and campaign programmes to achieve the objectives of MHR.
  • Provide commentary on mental health issues and build MHR’s public profile.
  • Establish and maintain influencing relationships with key targets and allies. 

b) Management and financial oversight  

  • Develop and oversee the implementation of annual operational plans and budget.
  • Ensure adequate measurement systems are in place so that MHR’s operational plan can be monitored and reported on accurately on a timely basis at Board meetings.
  • Be responsible for the prudent fiscal management of MHR’s operational budget and fulfilment of the organisation’s accounting policies (the Financial Procedures Manual).
  • Support the preparation of the agenda and board papers for Board meetings.
  • Oversee procedures to fulfil regulatory and funder contractual requirements, including fulfilment of the Charities Regulator’s governance code.
  • Manage the recruitment and performance of staff and support their professional development.
  • Oversee externally contracted resources in line with good practice and legal requirements.
  • Communicate, motivate and develop staff through regular performance reviews including annual reviews and involvement in target setting.
  • Ensuring that adequate policies, procedures and training are in place throughout MHR in relation to Health and Safety. The CEO is responsible for ensuring that all employees adhere to these standards/procedures.

c) Fundraising  

  • Lead the organisation in the implementing its fundraising strategy.
  • Grow and maintain relationships with major donors and funders.
  • Grow unrestricted funding, in line with fundraising strategy, to enhance the organisation’s communications, fundraising activities, and build strong reserves.
  • Foster a collaborative and consultative approach to fundraising, involving staff and board members in grants, corporate charity partnerships, public fundraising campaigns, and other earned income activities. 

d) Developing and strengthening partnerships 

  • Develop and maintain a network of contacts to inform and increase the impact of MHR’s work.
  • Ensure MHR consults regularly with members, people with lived experiences, peer organisations, allies and other relevant actors in order to stay current with trends and to ensure that MHR’s research, policy and advocacy agendas are responsive to these trends.
  • Represent MHR in cross-departmental consultative forums and at public events. 
  1. The person 

Skills, knowledge and experience required: 

  • Track record of successful leadership and management including programmes, people, resources and financial management.
  • Proven record of implementing and delivering on strategic vision and goals of an organisation.
  • Strategic planning experience preferably in a decision making or influential capacity.
  • Proven leadership, decision making, and advocacy skills.
  • Proven ability to engage with a range of audiences and to build effective relationships with political, public sector, media, funder, service user and professional groups.
  • Proven experience of working with the media to deliver key messages and commentary to the public.
  • Proven capacity for innovation, strategic thinking and decision making.
  • Strong analytical skills, sound judgement and the capacity to operate in a complex and challenging legal environment.
  • Commitment to the vision and values of MHR with the passion and ability to mobilise members and supporters at local and national level to influence mental health reform. 


  • Knowledge of the policy environment in health, social change or related areas.
  • Experience in and familiarity with the community and voluntary sector in Ireland.
  • Familiarity with mental health issues in Ireland. 


The salary will be commensurate with skills & experience. 

Mental Health Reform operates the following benefits for its employees:

  • Annual leave 24 days, exclusive of public holidays, 1 company day and 1 wellbeing day per year
  • Access to an Employee Assistance Programme 

Additional notes: 

  • Mental Health Reform is open to an individual being seconded to this role from the staff of its member organisations.
  • This job description is not a definitive list of tasks; rather it is designed to give an overview of the job. It is envisaged that the post-holder will use their own initiative and develop the job under guidance so that the organisation’s aims are achieved. It should be noted that the organisation is dynamic and fast paced and it may be necessary to step beyond the areas outlined above to support others from time to time.
  • This is a 9-month position. Flexibility is required regarding hours as some weekend and evening work will be necessary for board meeting and other engagements. Travel and out of office work will also be a feature of the role.
  • Mental Health Reform is an Equal Opportunities Employer.
  • All documentation received by Mental Health Reform will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Acts, 1988 and 2003 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR; 2018). The information will only be used by Mental Health Reform in the processing of job applications and for ongoing administrative purposes with job candidates. 

Selection process:  

The selection process will include: 

  • Shortlisting of candidates based on the information contained in their application.
  • First competitive interview.
  • Final interview.
  • Reference check.

Interview process: 

  • It is expected that interviews will take place the week commencing 22nd July and 29th July.
  • Interviews will be held in-person.
  • The interview format will require candidates to provide examples of the competencies for the role as outlined above.  

Application process: 


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