Save the Children UK appoints new chief executive

Gwen Hines succeeds Kevin Watkins, who has stepped down after five years in the role

Gwen Hines
Gwen Hines

Gwen Hines, executive director of global programmes at Save the Children UK, has been promoted to chief executive.

Hines, who has been with the charity since 2018, succeeds Kevin Watkins, who announced in March that he planned to step down after five years in the role.

Before joining Save the Children Hines had two stints working for the Department for International Development, first overseeing its operations in Malawi and Bangladesh and latterly as the department’s director of international relations. In the interim between those roles, he spent three years as UK executive director at the World Bank.

Hines, who takes up her new post with immediate effect, said her priorities in the UK would include cross-sector campaigns on the overseas aid budget and child poverty.

She said she wanted to focus on developing a “culture of kindness” among Save the Children UK staff and increasing diversity and inclusion across its almost 1,000-strong workforce.

The charity pledged last year that people of colour would make up at least one-quarter of its senior management team by the end of 2021 as part of a drive to make it an anti-racist organisation.

Save the Children UK, which has an annual budget of more than £250m, said Hines would be paid £143,000 a year, the same as Watkins.

“I’m determined to ensure that every pound raised for our programmes in the UK and around the world is spent on making maximum impact for children,” she said.

“We’ll be consulting children as never before to make sure we’re respecting their wishes in our work alongside them.”

Tsitsi Chawatama-Kwambana, chair of Save the Children UK, said: “Gwen has an outstanding track record in supporting the development of staff, building effective teams and delivering results.

“I’m thrilled to have her as chief executive and the board is confident she will bring a strong focus on impact and people-centred leadership to Save the Children UK and our global movement.”

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