Three new Charity Commission board members announced

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has unveiled the names of the trio, who will take up the roles for the next three years

The government has announced the names of the three people who have joined the board of the Charity Commission.

The appointees are Laurie Benson, chief executive of the media consultancy firm Upnexxt, Paul Martin, a security adviser, and Catherine Quinn, chief operating officer and associate dean at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

All three started their three-year terms on 14 November, said a statement from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, bringing the total number of board members to eight.

They will be paid £350 a day for approximately 18 days a year, according to the advert put out by the Office for Civil Society in May.

In a statement released today, Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, said: "This is a period of fast-paced change at the Charity Commission as it completes its transformation programme.

"These appointments will bring new skills, knowledge and experience that will be of real benefit to the Charity Commission’s board."

The three new appointees will replace the former senior police officer Peter Clarke, who left the board earlier this year to become HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, and Claire Dove, chair of Social Enterprise UK, who was not offered a second term when her first one ended on 30 June.

It also adds an additional member to the board because the regulator wanted to recruit an extra person with expertise in IT to help its digital transformation project.

This person is likely to be Benson, who is an industry speaker on digital transformation. 

William Shawcross, chair of the Charity Commission, said Benson, Martin and Quinn brought with them "a wealth of experience from which we will benefit greatly".

He said: "I look forward to working with them in the coming months as we continue to strengthen the commission and develop our work further."

When the Cabinet Office opened recruitment for the three roles, it said candidates would need to have expertise in the charity sector, digital transformation, law enforcement or national security.

Some sector bodies expressed concern about Dove’s departure, because she was the only member of the seven-strong board to have direct experience of working in the charity sector.

Quinn has served as head of grants management at the medical research charity the Wellcome Trust and, according to the OCS, has also been a member of several boards and is a trustee of the Royal British Legion.

She has also previously been chief executive of legal institution the Middle Temple and director of research services at the University of Oxford, and is currently a non-executive director of the National Memorial Arboretum.

Benson is a trustee of the Royal Air Force Museum and non-executive director of the Medical Algorithms Company.

She has previously served as Europe, Middle East and Africa publishing director for Time magazine and Time.com, and Bloomberg Media.

Martin is an adviser and writer on security, risk and behaviour and has previously worked as director of security at the Houses of Parliament.

He is a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies and a distinguished research fellow at Imperial College London. 

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