Applications are invited for a Chief Operating Officer, to enable Tristan to become more self-sustaining, deliver change, and manage vital projects.

Vacancy Notice: Chief Operating Officer

Tristan da Cunha crestTristan da Cunha is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. It is the world's remotest inhabited island, and lies 1500 miles west of Cape Town. The island has no airport and is only accessible by ship from Cape Town nine times a year. Opportunities to work in this unique environment and community are rare, and this particular role will offer the chance to develop a range of skills.

Purpose of Job

To enable Tristan to become more self-sustaining, deliver change, managing vital projects and ensuring the island has the capabilities to meet the objectives of the island's strategic goals and to confront the challenges facing it.

To implement practical initiatives and reforms to increase long term Community/Government effectiveness, working closely with the Administrator and the Island Council. The island is hampered by its remote location and lack of resources, and it will be vital to work with the community and identify realistic and sensible plans.

The Chief Operating Officer will need to build the skills and capabilities of Tristan officials, enabling them to take responsibility for the projects, tasks and challenges that lie within their areas of responsibility. The person will be expected to identify and encourage initiatives which could enhance the economy, reduce waste, improve productivity and to take strategic oversight of the various funding streams to which the island could apply.

It will be necessary to personally take ownership of some difficult issues to ensure successful resolution. This will include refining and implementing a wide package of Government reforms, some of which will be locally sensitive. The person will need to work closely with the Administrator, Finance Officer, the Island Council and other stakeholders to ensure that reforms are suitable to Tristan and gain the acceptance of the community.

To deputise for the Administrator as required including during absences overseas.

This job profile is not an exhaustive list of duties and responsibilities. There may be other ad hoc duties that fall within the remit of the role that the job holder may need to complete. In addition, the job holder will be required to carry out any other reasonable duties as requested by the Administrator.

Outputs and Deliverables

Strategic Development:

  • Assist in strategic planning and prioritisation within Tristan Government.
  • Help Heads of Department link their ideas to high-level strategic objectives.
  • Oversee coordination of funding streams and projects from HMG and other donors, to ensure a coherent structure
  • Heads of Department have been successfully supported to identify development initiatives within TdC Government which will lead to increased efficiency.
  • Support the Administrator by taking on ad hoc tasks and projects as required. Assist in any crisis management.
  • Liaise with UK/SA Government and other International external stakeholders, including NGOs as required.

Hands on Management:

  • Improve the governance procedures within the Government of Tristan da Cunha (GoTdC).
  • Working with an FTC HR expert, review and reform HR and performance management procedures on TDC and implement recommendations of the March 2023 pay and grading review.
  • Working closely with the Finance Officer and team to oversee all procurement by GoTdC, providing guidance and support as necessary.
  • Working with all heads of department, improve the government's management of assets including a rolling programme of preventative maintenance.
  • Lead on recruitment of expatriate staff, including Technical Cooperation Officers.


  • Provide training (either formal or 'on the job' as appropriate) on project management and developmental initiatives
  • Impart project management skills through 'hands on' mentoring on specific tasks.
  • Assist each Government Department to develop a training plan for each member of staff to ensure they have the right skills and knowledge to support the island


Candidates must have a proven background in administration and management with a strong background in the public sector. Experience of working overseas would also be an advantage.

The successful candidate will be a highly motivated team player, who is an effective and confident communicator able to build effective relationships in unusual and complex circumstances. You will need to establish these relationships with a range of Government, international and local stakeholders. Resilience, an ability to work at pace and an aptitude to solving problems with limited resources will be essential. As well as being a self-motivator, a 'can do' attitude is paramount to living and working on Tristan. You will enjoy the outdoors and be up for a true adventure.

An attractive benefits package, which includes free housing, travel and medical cover will be offered. Salary £60,000 tax free.

Initial one-year contract with an option to extend. If extended, there will be a paid journey to country of origin after one year.

Job Closing Date and Time

The closing date for applications is Friday 17th March 2023 at 4pm (UK time).

Start date

As soon as possible but ideally no later than June/July 2023.

Further Information

If you would like further details on how you can help with Tristan da Cunha's future success and sustainability, please contact, and for more detail on this unique island and community, please visit