Civil servant Rolande Anderson is handed job as new director general of OTS

New chief at Office of the Third Sector was the only interviewee and is on loan for 12 months

Rolande Anderson
Rolande Anderson

When Campbell Robb was appointed as the first director general of the Office of the Third Sector in 2006, he was well known in voluntary sector circles, having been at the NCVO for eight years as head of campaigns and then director of public policy.

Rolande Anderson, who was named as Robb's successor last week, is a less familiar face. A career civil servant who has never been employed in the voluntary sector, she was appointed last week on a salary in the range of £101,500 to £208,200. The position was not advertised and no other candidates were interviewed.

Robb was appointed on a three-year contract with a salary of about £100,000. He focused solely on the OTS until September this year, when his role was combined with that of director general of the Social Exclusion Task Force.

Anderson, by contrast, is on a one-year loan from the Office for National Statistics, which employs 3,400 staff. She will also do both jobs.

She joined the ONS in March 2008 as director general for transformation and corporate services and became acting director general of the organisation in September, when the roles of national statistician and chief executive were split.

Stephen Penneck was appointed permanent director general last month. An ONS spokesman said Penneck and Anderson had been running the office together since then.

Anderson will leave Newport in Wales, where the ONS is based, for the Cabinet Office in London, which houses the OTS, on 21 December.

A spokesman for the OTS said Cabinet Office staff and ministers were impressed by Anderson's expertise and strong track record. The swift appointment would continue the momentum at the OTS, he said.

An OTS newsletter said when recording the appointment that Anderson had two family members with hearing disabilities and was a member of the RNID.

Jackie Ballard, chief executive of the RNID, welcomed her "strong interest in the issues facing people with disabilities, and hearing loss in particular".

Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, said: "The decision to cancel the campaigning research fund has to be at the top of her in-tray because this has implications for our relationship. This also leads to the need for serious discussions on the future of the Compact."

The OTS spokesman said Anderson, who is a fellow of the RSA and a non-executive director of Genesis Housing Group, was on holiday last week and therefore unavailable for interview.

Adrian Bell, chair of Genesis, described her as a "cool, measured and effective operator". He added: "She is driven by a strong social purpose and a strong voluntary ethic."

ROLANDE ANDERSON CV

2009: Director general, Office of the Third Sector and the Social Exclusion Task Force

2009: Acting director general, Office for National Statistics

2008: Director general for transformation and corporate services, Office for National Statistics

2006: Regional director, Government Office for the South East

2003: Deputy director general, Department of Trade and Industry innovation group

2001: Chief executive, Radiocommunications Agency

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