Journalist and political commentator Peter Kellner is set to become the new chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). He will succeed Sir Martyn Lewis, who has been chair of the representative body for charities, community groups and volunteering for the last six years.
He has been appointed for a three-year term following a competitive process led by NCVO’s president, Tanni Grey-Thompson. His appointment is subject to ratification at NCVO’s annual general meeting in November.
Commenting, Baroness Grey-Thompson said of Kellner:
“His experience in chairing the boards of high-profile organisations combined with his expertise in politics and the media make him ideally positioned to lead NCVO in what is bound to be an uncertain political environment.”
Kellner has worked at The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Observer and the BBC. He was chair of the online polling company YouGov from 2001 to 2007, and then served as its president until he stepped down earlier this year. He chaired the board of the Royal Commonwealth Society from 2009-2013.
He said that he was excited to succeed Sir Martyn and to join CEO Stuart Etherington “at this challenging time for the voluntary sector”.
“My aim is to support the continuing quest of the sector to be dynamic, innovative and professional, as well as caring, public-spirited and well-respected – and then to help tell that story persuasively to the outside world. In an era when family budgets are tight, and government finances face relentless pressure, that task – and NCVO’s role – is more vital than ever.”
Sir Martyn welcomed his appointment, noting his “truly vast range of experience that embraces the business, media and political worlds as well as the voluntary sector”.
As chair, Kellner may serve a maximum of two three-year terms of office.
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