Involve, a charity that supports public participation in democracy and decision-making, has appointed Sarah Castell as its chief executive.
She will take up the new role on 6 September, replacing Tim Hughes, currently the director of the organisation.
For the past 17 years, Castell has led public participation and deliberation at polling company Ipsos MORI.
She formed and led the company’s Dialogue Centre from 2009 to 2019.
More recently, as Ipsos MORI's head of futures, Castell has focused her work on bringing together policymakers and business to address issues including the future of the UK’s land use, data governance and arts sectors, and how best to build resilience after Covid-19.
Her appointment to the new chief executive post at Involve is part of the creation of a senior leadership team the charity said would drive forward its mission to develop, support and campaign for new ways of involving people in the decisions that affect their lives, from climate change to pandemic recovery and the crisis in social care.
Castell will be joined on the team by Calum Green, who has been appointed as Involve’s director of advocacy and communications. His most recent role was chief executive of the London Community Land Trust.
Ed Cox, chair of Involve, said: “Sarah brings a wealth of experience not only of the democratic reform landscape but, more broadly, in terms of innovation in public engagement in decision-making, the role of technology and online deliberation and on a wide range of challenging social issues.”
And, he said: “Calum will bring new skills to the team, building the profile of our work and making a fresh case for democratic change.
“As Involve goes from strength to strength, I am really excited that our new senior team will guide the organisation into a new era for democratic reform.”
Castell said she was “delighted and proud to take on the leadership role”, describing the charity as a “respected and influential organisation”.
She said: “I have long admired Involve, which has been a true pathfinder for deliberative democracy.
“I hope to build on Involve’s expertise and credibility to find new ways to bring people, decision-makers and others together – as we move forward into new and exciting times for democracy.”