NEW CHAIR OF THE CHARITY COMMISSION APPOINTED

The new chair of the Charity Commission will be Dame Suzi Leather, who has been chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority since 2002. Third Sector minister Ed Miliband announced today (Thursday 15 June) that she will take over from Geraldine Peacock on August 1.

Dame Suzi has an academic background in political science, has spent the majority of her career in the consumer movement, and has particular interests in public policy, health and regulation. She has been chair of the School Food Trust since last year and will also step down from that role.

Among her personal interests she lists that she is a member of the Labour Party, the Child Poverty Action Group and is chair of the steering committee of Tommy's, the baby charity.

She said she was delighted by her appointment and was looking forward to continuing the work done by Peacock: “Charities are uniquely important to our society and the Commission has a vital role to play in supporting them, both individually and collectively,” she said.

“Ensuring that charities deliver public benefit in exchange for the advantages which comes with charitable status is set to become an increasingly key responsibility of the Commission and the next few years will be particularly significant for the charitable sector and the Commission as it implements the proposed new legislation.”

Miliband said Leather brought invaluable experience and expertise: “This is a tremendously important and exciting time for the Charity Commission and her appointment is great news for the whole third sector. I look forward to working with her on a range of issues, not least the Charities Bill which we have introduced to the House of Commons and aim to pass in this Parliamentary session.”

Andrew Hind, chief executive of the commission, said Leather had wide experience of voluntary sector issues and a track record in innovation and organisational change. “I very much look forward to working with her on the challenges and opportunities ahead,” he said. “I'd also like to thank Geraldine for the invaluable role she has played in bringing the Commission so far forward.”

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