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Head of Design

Ref: 77032

  • Competitive
  • 23 May 2022
  • Retained

Job Title

Head of Design

About the Company

  • The Design and Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) is the national agency for designers and makers in Ireland. We currently have 66 member organisations and over 3,500 registered clients.
  • We are funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and promote the commercial development of the design and craft sectors in Ireland. We support makers to develop and market their products.
  • Our vision is that the craft and design sectors increase their contribution to Ireland, economically, socially, and culturally by 2030.
  • Our mission is to support designers and makers to develop their businesses in a sustainable way, and advocate for the societal benefits of craft and design.
  • We work to develop a team-oriented workplace where individual contribution is highly valued. We are looking for a like-minded, motivated person who wants to achieve and demonstrate their full potential for the benefit of our agency and community – someone who is interested and passionate about craft and design and helping equally passionate businesses grow.
  • We have a preference for people with the talent, creativity and ambition to align their personal career growth with DCCI’s goals. Our organisation is a place where the right people can make a real difference and see their efforts rewarded.

About the Position

**Brightwater Executive is retained exclusively for this Head of Design role**

The Head of Design role suits a driven and organised candidate with industry and market knowledge to lead the department and promote and grow the design offering in Ireland and to promote Irish design internationally. The role sits in the Executive Leadership Team and reports directly to the CEO.

Key Responsibilities 

  • Lead and Manage the Design department of DCCI on a day-to-day basis.
  • Develop an annual operating plan that supports DCCI’s short-, medium- and long-term design-oriented goals with the support and collaboration of the CEO.
  • Execute the strategic planning, budgeting, and decision-making process of the Design department through close collaboration with other members of the DCCI Executive.
  • Plan, promote and execute the “Designer in Residence” programme.
  • Responsible with other members of the DCCI Executive to oversee the governance of the Council.
  • Promote design nationally through a secondary school design programme roll out (Design CIRCLE 2021/2022 (TY Programme)).
  • Plan, promote and execute the “Irish Business Design Challenge” initiative.
  • Procure and finalise a feasibility study on the blockchain development initiative “Origin Ireland”.
  • Monitor and deliver interim and key performance indicators for the design team.
  • Build and maintain key strategic relationships.
  • Foster links with the design sector nationally and internationally to build relationships and identify best practice.
  • Scope and deliver National Design Week in November 2022.
  • Develop an annual PHD Design Programme with GMIT.
  • Ensure adherence to the principles of equality, diversity, and inclusion across all aspects of the Design teams’ work.
  • Maintain high staff motivation and output levels across the team, including active implementation of the Performance Development process.
  • Ensure that continuous learning and development is undertaken through informal and formal learning and participation in the Performance Management and Development Review Process.
  • Cultivate good working relationships with other DCCI Executive members and contribute to the leadership and development of DCCI at a corporate level.
  • Monitor and deliver interim and key performance indicators for the design team.
  • Conduct market research to identify business opportunities.
This role is responsible for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) within DCCI. The Head of Design will be responsible for monitoring and delivering performance against KPIs including the following:
  • Deliver a feasibility study for Portfolio Client Development Programme by year end.
  • Target a set number of new design clients per year
  • Number of clients with potential to employ > 9 staff
  • Delivery 3 successful PHD Design Programmes over the course of the DCCI
  • Strategy 2022/2026
  • Deliver Design Week annually


  • Recognised as a champion for DCCI’s vision, mission, and values.
  • Proven ability to implement cross-sector specific strategies with defined KPIs, with five years minimum experience leading and growing an executive department with a sector development mandate.
  • Proven track record of delivering on set annual targets.
  • Proven ability to provide effective leadership and management to motivate and develop people to achieve high performance through providing constructive feedback and monitoring success.
  • Recognised ability to effectively lead and manage change to keep all internal and external stakeholder engaged and involved with the strategic implementation.
  • Excellent people manager, with skills in developing and motivating a team.
  • Appreciation of the value of creativity in the workplace to deliver goals.
  • Highly commercial and committed to the financial and operational realities of a national agency, where provision of sector supports are critically important.
  • Have an inquisitive mind and passion for excellence and innovation in the pursuit of business and cross-sectoral growth.
  • Communicate effectively with stakeholders to promote the goals of DCCI..
  • Knowledge of the Irish design sector, including industry players, economic and business affairs, as well as political, social, and cultural matters.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) is required.
  • Degree in Design or other related degree.
  • Travel will be required on occasion across Ireland and international.
  • Full drivers’ licence

Remuneration Package

Competitive Base and Benefits package


For a confidential discussion on this role please contact: Alan Finnegan or email or click the apply button below