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World Vision UK appoints Fola Komolafe as CEO, & other sector movers

Melanie May | 4 October 2023 | News

Two women shaking hands in a white office

Our latest round up of sector movers includes a new Head of Casework for the Fundraising Regulator, World Vision UK’s first female and first female black CEO, and new CEOs for Causeway, Haven House, Christians Against Poverty, with an interim CEO appointment at Refuge.

Fundraising Regulator appoints new Head of Casework

The Fundraising Regulator has appointed Nikki Renken as its Head of Casework following a public recruitment process. In her new role, Renken will be responsible for leading the growing casework function to regulate charitable fundraising and protect the public.

Throughout her career Renken has been involved with small charities as an employee, volunteer and trustee, most recently working with small churches. Her experience also includes advice work, consumer representation, complaint handling, and statutory regulation in the healthcare and energy sectors. Prior to her appointment as Head of Casework, she was formerly the Fundraising Regulator’s Case Manager for two years during an important time where the casework team expanded as the complaints it received increased. Renken will be taking over the Head of Casework function following the departure of Catherine Orr, who was in the role for six years.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

Fola Komolafe

Fola Komolafe joins World Vision UK as CEO

World Vision UK has announced Fola Komolafe MBE DL as its new Chief Executive. Joining this month, her portfolio includes senior roles for large multinationals including HSBC, IBM, and Mazars, where she was a UK partner and Global Lead for International Development. As CEO of Indisys Business Solutions, she provided strategic direction and philanthropy advice to several large UK Christian charities and directed a portfolio of award-winning development projects across multiple countries located in Africa and South Asia for the Open University. She was also previously Vice-Chair on World Vision’s UK Board of Trustees.

Earlier this year, Komolafe received both the Community Impact Award for Volunteers and the Outstanding Contribution Award at the Women Leaders UK Awards. She is World Vision UK’s first female CEO and also its first black female CEO.

Royal representative takes on foundation role

HM The King’s Shropshire representative has pledged support for an organisation which distributes funding across the county. Lord-Lieutenant Anna Turner has officially become a patron of the Shropshire Community Foundation, set up almost a year ago to channel funds from individuals, businesses and authorities to tackle community problems within the areas of highest need.

Turner has been Lord-Lieutenant since 2019 and is the first female to take up the role in Shropshire, representing the King at events across the county – as well as being responsible for welcoming members of the Royal Family during official visits. Now as patron of the Foundation, she will promote their aims of securing and maximising the impact of funding received, ensuring donations reach the communities where they can make the biggest difference.

Judy Wagner appointed Vice Chair of Salvesen Mindroom Centre

Business leader, educator and entrepreneur Judy Wagner has been appointed Vice Chair of neurodiversity champions Salvesen Mindroom Centre. Wagner has been a trustee of the charity for the past three years and has also helped the charity broaden its scope of service delivery, and attracted new clients and opportunities to extend its services.

An Edinburgh University graduate and Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Wagner has been involved in championing diversity issues since co-founding international executive search business FWB Park Brown in 1993 and has also worked with Scottish Enterprise to establish the Balancing the Boardroom project, the first of its kind in Scotland for women on boards. Last year she was part of an independent review on Women in Entrepreneurship commissioned by the Scottish Government.

Ellen Miller joins Refuge as interim Chief Executive 

Ellen Miller has joined Refuge as interim Chief Executive, replacing Ruth Davison whose resignation was announced earlier in the year.   

Miller brings a wealth of experience in a range of organisations as CEO (interim and permanent) and Services Director providing advocacy and support to survivors (running busy services and influencing policy at a national and local level) and with a focus on those excluded because of their physical and mental health. Her most recent role was as interim CEO at SafeLives. 

Causeway appoints Helen Ball as CEO

Causeway has appointed Helen Ball, former Barnsley Civic Enterprise Trust Chief Executive, as CEO. She takes up her new role at Causeway in November – leaving her current position as Development Director at Leeds Community Foundation, which she has held since 2021. Current CEO, Ed Newton, departs Causeway in November after 11 years with the charity.

Her appointment comes at a time of significant growth for the national modern slavery and crime reduction charity. They now support over 1,000 modern slavery survivors every year across their six anti-slavery services. Meanwhile they have recently doubled their crime reduction services, bringing the total to four.

Mark Smith

Together for Short Lives appoints three new Trustees

Together for Short Lives has appointed three new Trustees to its Board to further strengthen its governance, including Mark Smith, the Chief Executive of Naomi House and Jacksplace hospices for children and young adults in Winchester, where he was previously Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Fundraising. Smith has a strong track record in hospice and fundraising leadership and has governance experience, most recently as a trustee of Winston’s Wish. He was previously a trustee of Children’s Hospices UK, overseeing the merger with ACT which created Together for Short Lives. He is currently a member of the charity’s Advisory Council.  

Together for Short Lives has also appointed Emma Aspinall, a qualified children’s social worker and until recently Director of Care at Acorns Childrens Hospice, and Rob Lightfoot, who is currently Chief Executive of Lifelites.

New CEO for Christians Against Poverty

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) and Christian charity Stewardship have announced that Stewardship CEO, Stewart McCulloch, is to move to CAP. He will join at the start of 2024, taking over from the charity’s interim CEO, Lisa Pearce, who will return to CAP’s board.

Over the last five years, McCulloch has led Stewardship through a time of significant transformation, overseeing the development of its charitable giving services in support of both Christians and its church and charity partners, including the creation of an award-winning philanthropy team. As a result, Stewardship’s annual gifts received have grown by 40% and in 2022, £82.6mn was granted to churches and charities, an increase of 14% year on year. He also led Stewardship through the purchase of Kingdom Bank in 2020 and the establishment of a rapid response fund that raised £4.8mn in 100 days for 99 organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to joining Stewardship, McCulloch led a major initiative for World Vision’s global microfinance lending operations.

Ralph Coulbeck appointed Haven House CEO

Ralph Coulbeck joins Haven House on 9 October as its new Chief Executive Officer. He has a background of over 20 years in healthcare, most recently as CEO of Whipps Cross Hospital where he also led the Waltham Forest Healthcare partnership; bringing together primary care, community service and the voluntary sector to deliver improved services for local residents. He also has significant leadership experience in working across the NHS.

Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence with Caroline Jupe, CEO of the IMRF. Credit: IMRF

Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence appointed International Maritime Rescue Federation Patron

Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, the husband of Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal, has been named the Patron of the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF). He replaces Sir Efthimios Mitropoulos, the Secretary-General Emeritus of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), who stepped down earlier this year, having been in the role since 2012.

Sir Laurence served in the UK’s Royal Navy from the early 1970s before retiring in 2010. He was appointed to the Governing Council of the UK’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution in 2004, then to the Trustee Board and Chairman of the Operations Committee in 2011. He later became Deputy Chairman of the RNLI Board and, on retirement from the Board in 2020, became a Vice President.