Clare Viney has been appointed as Chief Executive to CRAC (the Career Development Organisation).

CRAC (formerly known at the Careers Research and Advisory Centre) is a registered charity dedicated to supporting the career-related learning of people of all ages. Established in 1964, CRAC passionately believes that individuals have the ability to achieve their career goals if they are equipped with the skills and information to do so. The Vitae programme, owned and run by CRAC, is the UK’s most recognised and reputable support service for researchers and has worldwide recognition.

Today, the majority of CRAC’s activity is under the Vitae brand, and dedicated to helping realise the potential of researchers through transforming their professional and career development. In the coming years, however, CRAC looks to continue to expand beyond this programme and offer support in different areas. CRAC is at a crucial juncture in its history with a range of opportunities ahead. Having transitioned from government funding to a model of self-financing including the Vitae membership programme, CRAC has significant opportunity to expand the scope and scale of its activity on an international level through research, innovation, consultancy and training services.

The Chief Executive will be responsible for leading the organisation over this next phase of development. Tasked with ensuring the high quality of CRAC’s existing work is maintained alongside identifying and securing new opportunities within the UK and internationally, the CEO will be expected to motivate and develop a core team of dedicated professionals as well as leverage their own networks and position to further the organization.

Candidates for this post were expected to demonstrate a strong understanding of the research environment, and of developing highly skilled researchers within higher education. Society therefore directed the search towards individuals with senior leadership experience gained from working in Higher Education Institutions or related environments, such as Learned Societies and Research Councils.

Following a BSc and MPhil in Chemistry from the University of Sheffield, Clare joined the Royal Society of Chemistry, where she has been working in a number of senior leadership roles across the organization. Most recently Clare has been Director of Membership and External Affairs, responsible for the direction, delivery and implementation of science, membership, higher education, industry and public affairs activity. Clare is a Chartered Scientist, Chemist and (unsurprisingly!) Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Of the process, Clare said:

“I wasn't actively looking for a new role, but I had been thinking about my future direction and next challenge. Geraldine contacted me initially to explain the opportunity. We chatted through the role and the aims and aspirations of the charity, and discussed how my skills and experience were relevant. As I went through the application and selection process I got more and more excited by the opportunity to lead and drive the organization. I was delighted when I was offered the job!

Throughout and subsequently I have been extremely impressed by the way Geraldine and Society really get to know the candidate.”