The children’s communications charity I Can has appointed Jane Harris as its next chief executive.
Harris (pictured), director of external affairs and social change at the National Autistic Society, will succeed sector veteran Bob Reitemeier, who is retiring from full-time employment at the end of March.
Reitemeier spent 13 years as chief executive of The Children’s Society followed by four years as head of the Essex Community Foundation before joining I Can in 2016.
I Can said Harris had “spent her career raising the profile of issues that impact on people’s lives through influencing public policy, building new audiences and increasing income-generation”.
She previously held roles at organisations including the disability charity Leonard Cheshire and Rethink Mental Illness.
Roy Blatchford, chair of I Can, said: “Jane’s appointment is a clear indication of our intention to ensure the voices of some of the most marginalised are heard in the midst of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which has had such a significant impact on their daily lives.”
Harris said it was clear that support for children with communication problems was inadequate.
“I hope I can use my previous experience to secure more support and understanding to improve education and social mobility and reduce the inequalities faced by children with communication problems,” she said.
Harris will join the charity on 1 April.