Following his personal suffering with concussion, The Concussion Legacy Foundation was
established in 2006 in the United States by WWE Wrestler, Chris Nowinski. The Concussion
Legacy Foundation’s mission is to support athletes, veterans, and all affected by concussion
and CTE; achieve smarter sports and safer athletes through education, advocacy,
innovation and research.
The effects of repetitive head injuries and concussions on athletes’ lives are severe. Yet,
there is little information and support available for athletes and their families on the issue of
concussion, therefore they are currently unable to make informed decisions and protect their
brains. As such, our vision is a world without CTE, and concussion safety without
Since 2006, the Concussion Legacy Foundation has a global reputation for being the worldleader in Concussion safety and CTE research. Through its formal partnership with Boston
University, and the establishment of the VA-BU-CLF brain bank, they have the largest
repository of brain tissue in the world focused on CTE. They have studied the brains of
hundreds of ex-professional athletes, including NFL stars; and in 2017, the New York times
reported that 110 of 111 ex-NFL players studied at Boston University had CTE.
Subsequently, the team from Boston University and the CLF have featured in many
documentaries, including the recent Netflix original on the Life of Aaron Hernandez.
Our organisation is built upon extremely strong values. Therefore, we will:
- maintain a reputation of transparency, independence and integrity;
- ensure the highest standards of ethics that puts the participant at the centre of our
- use evidence responsibly and effectively for all of our campaigns, initiatives and
- challenge the status-quo by being direct in championing for participants brain health.
A Global Problem
While the focus to date has been focused on American Football and Ice Hockey, other sports, including those that are common in the UK, also have a concussion issue. Rugby union is reported to have an 8-fold risk of concussion compared to American Football and recent studies have identified the risks of dementia (possibly CTE) in ex-professional soccer players.
This is an extraordinary opportunity for suitably qualified individuals located anywhere in the UK. In this instance, we are looking to recruit a trustee / board member who with particular experience and expertise in the law and governance to ensure we maintain complaint with UK law in all our business activities.
A trustee is non-executive. Their responsibilities are:
- To serve on the board of trustees of the Concussion Legacy Foundation (CLF).
Trustees have ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of the CLF and ensuring
that it is solvent, well run and delivering the charitable outcomes for the benefit of the
public for which it has been set up.
- To adhere to the specific statutory duties of a trustee (as spelt out in the Companies
Act and by the Charities Commission) as set out below. A trustee may also be known
as a director or board member, since CLF is a charity.
- To use their skills, knowledge and experience to help shape the development of CLF
and to reach sound decisions including:
- Acting as an ambassador for the CLF and using their networks to promote the
work of CLF and, where appropriate, to seek funding
- Giving strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals
and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets
- Scrutinising board papers, leading discussions and focusing on key issues
- Providing guidance on new initiatives
- Participating in board sub-groups, working in partnership with other trustees and
where appropriate members of CLF’s staff
- Safeguarding the good name and values of CLF
- Monitoring the performance of the Executive Director and, where appropriate, the
Compliance – trustees must:
- Ensure that CLF complies with charity law, and with the requirements of the Charity
Commission as regulator; in particular to ensure that CLF prepares reports on what it
has achieved and Annual Returns and accounts as required by law.
- Ensure that CLF does not breach any of the requirements or rules set out in its
governing document and that it remains true to the charitable purpose and objects
set out there.
- Comply with the requirements of other legislation (eg Companies Act) and other regulators (if any) and act within the Company’s powers.
- Act with integrity, and avoid any personal conflicts of interest or misuse of charity funds or assets and declare an interest in proposed transactions and arrangements
- Not accept benefits from third parties in relation to their role as a trustee.
Duty of prudence – trustees must:
- Ensure that the CLF is and will remain solvent.
- Use charitable funds and assets reasonably, and only in furtherance of the CLF’s
- Avoid undertaking activities that might place CLF’s endowment, funds, assets or
reputation at undue risk.
- Take special care when investing the funds of the CLF.
Duty of care – trustees must:
- Use reasonable care and skill in their work as trustees, using their personal skills,
independent judgement and experience as needed to ensure that the CLF is well run
- Act in good faith in the way most likely to achieve the CLF’s charitable purposes
- Consider getting external professional advice on all matters where there may be
material risk to CLF or where the trustees may be in breach of their duties.
- An understanding of charity sector
- Integrity, strategic vision, good independent judgement and a willingness to speak
- Commitment to CLF and an empathy with, and commitment to, its vision and values.
- An understanding of concussion in sport.
- The board meets at least five times per year, inclusive of its Annual General Meeting. Meetings generally last no more than three hours
- The trustees normally hold an annual “Corporate Strategy Day” and would be asked to participate in.
- Sub committees: Education; Advocacy; Research; Brain Bank, Support; and, Finance & Governance, meet in accordance with their terms of reference.
- Board papers are usually issued one week in advance of a board meeting and are taken as read at the meeting itself.
- The time commitment is not less than five hours per month.
Remuneration and Tenure
- This is a voluntary position however reasonable travel and subsistence expenses will be reimbursed.
- The length of the appointment is three years with the possibility of extension to a second term of three years.
How to Apply
Applications should be made by submitting a letter explaining in no more than two pages of
A4 what you could contribute to the Concussion Legacy Foundation UK as a Trustee. In
addition, please include a CV.
Applications should be emailed to Executive Director, Dr Adam J White on AWhite@concussionfoundation.org or by clicking the apply button at the top of the page.