Media Trust appoints Su-Mei Thompson as chief executive

Thompson, who is currently chief executive of the Hong Kong NGO the Women's Foundation, will take the position in September, replacing founder Caroline Diehl

Su-Mei Thompson
Su-Mei Thompson

The communications charity the Media Trust has appointed Su-Mei Thompson as its next chief executive.

Thompson, who is chief executive of the Women’s Foundation, a Hong Kong-based NGO that works for the advancement of women and girls, will move to the UK to take up the role in September.

She succeeds Caroline Diehl, who founded the charity in 1994 and was its chief executive until she stood down earlier this year.

Diehl will remain involved with the charity as a patron and has become executive chair of the charity’s television channel, the Community Channel.

Thompson, who has been at the Women’s Foundation for eight years, has previously held senior management positions in Asia at the Walt Disney Company, the Financial Times and Christie’s, the auction company.

She has law degrees from Oxford and Cambridge and an MBA from the IMD business school.

Thompson is a member of the Equal Opportunities Commission of Hong Kong, a board member of Opera Hong Kong and a council member of Cheltenham Ladies’ College, which she attended.

In 2013 she founded the 30% Club in Hong Kong, a group of chairmen and chief executives who are committed to bringing more women onto corporate boards.

"I feel very privileged to have been invited by the Media Trust to build on the strong foundations established by Caroline Diehl, the board of trustees and its staff over the past 23 years," she said in a statement.

"I believe there is tremendous potential to expand the Media Trust’s network and sphere of influence, leveraging talent and resources from the media industry to empower even more charities and marginalised communities to get their stories across and have a voice."

Richard Eyre, chair of the Media Trust, said Thompson was the outstanding candidate.

"All of us at the Media Trust are excited by the expertise and energy she will bring," he said.

Frances Lang, chief operating officer at the Media Trust, will continue as interim chief executive until Thompson takes up her new role.

Thompson will be paid £80,000 a year to run the charity, which has 32 staff and had an income of £3.1m in the year to the end of March 2016.

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