David Harker, former chief executive of Citizens Advice, dies aged 64

Harker led the charity for 13 years, having previously worked as a senior manager at Sense, the charity for deaf-blind people

David Harker
David Harker

David Harker, former chief executive of Citizens Advice, has died after a short illness, aged 64.

Harker, who died on his birthday yesterday, led Citizens Advice for thirteen years until 2010. He had previously been a senior manager at the deaf-blind charity Sense between 1989 and 1997.

In recent years, he held a number of non-executive roles in regulators, including the Financial Conduct Authority, Ofgem and the Advertising Standards Authority, and was chair of the Pensions Advisory Service.

In 2011, he helped to found the think tank Civil Exchange.

Caroline Slocock, director of Civil Exchange, said: "Quiet and unassuming, David was also intensely energetic in helping others both professionally and as a friend – and he enjoyed his life with a similar energy. He was genuinely a kind and wise man and will be greatly missed."

Slocock said that in his time at Citizens Advice Harker helped to improve performance by securing funding to create an electronic national database, which allowed information to be shared more easily.

She said that while he was at Sense, he helped to transform it from a self-help group into the leading organisation offering services for people who are both deaf and blind.

Harker was appointed OBE in 2003 and CBE in 2010.

Gill Morbey, chief executive of the national disability charity Sense, said: "Everyone at Sense is saddened to hear of the death of David Harker. David was deputy chief executive under Rodney Clark and played a key role in developing Sense services, particularly in the Barnet area. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this sad time."

Harker is survived by his wife and one son.

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