Unicef UK appoints new chief executive

Sacha Deshmukh, chief executive of Smart Energy GB, will join the charity in April

Sacha Deshmukh
Sacha Deshmukh

Unicef UK has appointed Sacha Deshmukh as its next chief executive.

Deshmukh has been chief executive of Smart Energy GB, which helps people in Britain understand smart meters, since 2013.

He has also been chair of the international aid and development charity War Child UK since 2014 and is a board member of the Fundraising Regulator.

Before joining Smart Energy GB, Deshmukh was executive director (strategy) at the UK Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman, and worked in marketing and communications for more than 10 years before that.

He was director of campaigns at the equality charity Stonewall in the early 2000s.

Deshmukh has also been deputy chair of Citizens Advice and in 2013 was a panel member for the National Council for Voluntary Organisations inquiry into executive pay. He will take up his new role in April.

Unicef UK announced in August that former chief executive Mike Penrose would step down after three and a half years in the role "to pursue a number of personal projects".

Nick Roseveare has been interim chief executive since Penrose left the charity.

Douglas Alexander, chair of Unicef UK, said in a statement that Deshmukh shared the charity’s passion for supporting vulnerable children and young people.

"Sacha has an impressive record of achievement in the public, private and non-profit sectors, and we have been excited by his successful executive leadership in complex organisations and by his deep experience in advocacy, campaigning, marketing and children’s rights," he said.

Deshmukh said: "After many years of admiring Unicef UK, it is an amazing privilege to be joining its team and become a part of the Unicef family.

"Unicef’s work supporting children, worldwide and in the UK, is more important than ever before.

"Globally, one in four children is affected by war, and Unicef’s engagement with generous supporters in the UK is critical to providing vital support to children around the world."

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