The Children's Society appoints new chief executive

Mark Russell will move in the summer from the same role at the Christian charity Church Army

Mark Russell
Mark Russell

The Children’s Society has appointed Mark Russell as its next chief executive.

Russell, who has been chief executive of the Christian charity Church Army for almost 13 years, will take up his new role in August.

He will succeed Matthew Reed, who joined Marie Curie in February as its chief executive.

Janet Legrand, chair of the Children’s Society, said Russell’s "significant senior leadership experience will help us to drive through our strategy and impact plans".

She said he also had "infectious enthusiasm for the social justice mission of the Children’s Society and a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion".

The Children’s Society said Russell had spent 10 years as a youth worker and had worked with young people from Protestant and Catholic backgrounds in his native Northern Ireland to build understanding in the run-up to the Good Friday Agreement.

"His experience of working with politicians of all parties and social activists from all backgrounds will make him a powerful champion for the cause of the Children’s Society to society, decision-makers, funders and our supporters, new and old," Legrand said. 

Russell said he was determined to strengthen the charity’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

"For years I have been a huge fan of the amazing work the Children’s Society does in transforming lives and advocating change," he said. "I have donated clothes to Children’s Society shops, delivered Christingle services, and read and shared The Good Childhood Report every year."

Russell has been a lay member of the Church of England’s General Synod and is part of the Archbishops’ Council.

The Children's Society said he had also been a governor of a special needs school in Sheffield and was a supporter of Diverse Church, an organisation for LGBT Christians.

A spokesman for the society said he did not have any information on how much Russell would be paid or when those details would be available. 

Reed was paid £121,500 in the year to the end of March 2018, according to the charity's annual report.

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