The chief executive of a Caribbean heritage charity has been appointed as the next chair of the National Lottery Community Fund.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport said Blondel Cluff had taken up the role for the next four years.
Cluff, who recently retired from diplomatic service, is chief executive of the West India Committee, a UK-registered charity that is the custodian of a Unesco-inscribed library and collection on the Caribbean.
She is on the Prime Minister’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities and a member of the Windrush cross-government working group.
The DCMS said Cluff had been chair of the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s London and South Committee for the past six years.
The department said her role will “see her set the long-term strategic direction for the largest funder of community activity in the UK, working with charities to enable people and communities to thrive”.
Cluff is a fellow of King's College, London, and has been a solicitor for more than 35 years, having been head of legal at Lazard Brothers.
She is a member of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee and was appointed CBE in 2018 for services to numismatic design, as well as her work with the Caribbean community in the UK and abroad.
She will be paid £40,000 a year for up to two days a week as chair of the NLCF, and succeeds Tony Burton, who has been interim chair since the departure of Peter Ainsworth at the end of 2019 after eight years in the role.
Cluff could be reappointed for a second four-year term in 2025.
Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, said of Cluff: “Her extensive background in charity and community work means she is ideally placed to ensure lottery funding helps us build back stronger from the pandemic and reflects the needs of people right across the UK."
Cluff said: “Communities are the very lifeblood of a nation and, as such, I am honoured to have the opportunity to support them as chair of the National Lottery Community Fund at such an important time for us all.”
As part of the public appointments process, Cluff was asked to declare any significant political activity in the past five years, such as public speaking or making a recordable donation. She declared no such activity, the DCMS said.