Lynda Thomas takes temporary charge at Macmillan Cancer Support

The director of fundraising will perform the role of chief executive, left vacant when Ciarán Devane left for the British Council, until the charity makes a permanent appointment

Lynda Thomas
Lynda Thomas

Macmillan Cancer Support has appointed Lynda Thomas, its director of fundraising, as interim chief executive.

Thomas stepped into the role this month after Ciarán Devane left to take the top job at the British Council.

Thomas, who has been director of fundraising at the cancer charity since August 2011, became a trustee of the Institute of Fundraising last year and joined the board of the Fundraising Standards Board earlier this year.

She started her communications career in consumer PR, before moving into communications and marketing at NCH Action for Children and the NSPCC. She joined Macmillan in 2001 as its head of media.

Macmillan said the new chief executive was expected to be in post by early 2015, with applications for the role having closed on 28 October.

Thomas said she was honoured to lead Macmillan on a temporary basis and that she relished the opportunity to ensure it remained true to its vision and achieved all its objectives during this time.

"My priorities will very much be to maintain the momentum around delivering first-class services to our beneficiaries, driving forward the agreed growth in fundraising and supporting a very able workforce to be the best we can be," she said in a statement. "When the new chief executive takes over next year, I’m confident he or she will join a charity working at the very highest level."

Simon Phillips – who is officially director of fundraising strategy, customer care and performance at Macmillan – has been appointed to cover Thomas in the director of fundraising role. He will lead a team of more than 400 fundraisers that raised more than £187m in 2013.

Phillips worked at the cancer policy team at the Department of Health before joining Macmillan in 2005. Previously he was deputy director of UK services for the National Deaf Children’s Society.

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