Charity Commission unveils new board members

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude says the appointments will bring new skills and experience to the regulator

Francis Maude
Francis Maude

The Cabinet Office has announced the six people who will make up the Charity Commission’s new board.

The new board members will replace the commission’s existing board in a staggered approach from now until next January.

Announcing the appointments, which are for three years, Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said the new members would "strengthen the commission’s board with a new set of skills, knowledge and experience".

The new appointments are:

- Peter Clarke, a retired senior police officer who was head of the Anti-Terrorist Branch and national coordinator of terrorist investigations at the Metropolitan Police.

- Claire Dove, a social entrepreneur, chair of Social Enterprise UK and chief executive of the training organisation the Blackburne House Group.

- Nazo Moosa, a former director of the asset management firm the Carlyle Group.

- Gwythian Prins, a research professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

- Orlando Fraser, a barrister with experience in trusts and commercial fraud.

- Tony Leifer, a solicitor and member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Fraser and Leifer are the two legally qualified members the commission is required to appoint.

Fraser, who chaired the Voluntary Sector Working Group on Iain Duncan Smith’s Social Justice Commission report Breakthrough Britain, declared during the recruitment process that he had provided assistance to the Conservative Party in developing its policy for the voluntary sector in 2008 and 2009. 

The legal board members replace Simon Wethered, who has already left the board, and John Wood, who will step down in January.

The remaining three board members will step down at different times over the course of this year, said a spokeswoman for the commission. They are John Knight, former director of policy and campaigns at Leonard Cheshire Disability, Sharmila Nebhrajani, former chief operating officer and finance director of BBC Future Media and Technology, and Theo Sowa, an independent adviser who has worked with a range of international and intergovernmental organisations and grant-making foundations.

All the existing board members will have completed their full terms when they step down, although some had their terms extended to allow William Shawcross, chair of the commission, to be involved in the recruitment of the new board members, said the commission spokeswoman.

The board has had five members since the resignation in March 2011 of Irene Khan, former general secretary of Amnesty International.

Maude said it was a "time of great change and opportunity for the charitable sector, with its organisations now rightly involved in many areas of public service delivery. The need for a strong regulator to protect the public’s confidence in that work is vital, so I am pleased to make these new appointments to strengthen the commission’s board with a new set of skills, knowledge and experience."

Shawcross said: "We had some 280 applicants for the vacancies we are filling – such a response is gratifying. It shows how many people are willing to commit themselves to the effective regulation of the charitable sector. I am confident that our new board will be able to do just that."

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