RSPCA chief takes helm at RNID

The RNID has named current RSPCA boss Jackie Ballard as its new chief executive. Ballard will replace John Low, who is leaving to head up the Charities Aid Foundation on Wednesday.

Ballard will take over at RNID in October
Ballard will take over at RNID in October
Ballard said she felt that after five years at the RSPCA the time was right for her to move on. “I’ve always said that the right length of time for someone to be in a chief executive position is four to seven years,” she said. “You have to get the balance right between learning your way around and being someone who has seen it all before.”

She said she had been aware of the RNID for a long time because they had lobbied her when she was MP for Taunton between 1997 and 2001. “Along with the RSPCA, I would say they were the best lobbyists around,” she said.

Ballard, who has also worked in local government as a social worker and a further education lecturer, said it didn’t matter that she was not deaf.

“The important issue is that every charity should appoint the best person for the job,” she said. “John Low is not deaf but he is widely recognised as having been a very effective chief executive.”

She called Low and his predecessor, James Strachan, “luminaries”, but said she was ready for the challenge of replacing them.

Strachan, who is now RNID chair, expressed confidence that Ballard’s “exceptional ability and experience” would allow her to build on RNID’s lobbying success.

“As well as being an accomplished leader in the voluntary sector, Jackie brings her huge experience of political affairs and a public service background to the cause of changing the world for deaf and hard of hearing people,” he said.

Ballard will take up her new position on 22 October. RNID’s director of communications, Brian Lamb, will take over as acting chief executive in the meantime.

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