Chartered Institute of Fundraising appoints interim CEO

The Chartered Institute of Fundraising has appointed Dhivya O’Connor as its new interim CEO.

O’Connor, former CEO of Children with Cancer UK, will replace current CEO, Peter Lewis, who handed in his resignation on 4 March 2021.

She will start on 10 May and have a two-week handover with current Lewis before he formally steps down.

O’Connor was selected for the role by a panel of Chartered Institute trustees and her term will run for around six months until a new permanent CEO is recruited. That recruitment process will begin next month.

She joins at a difficult time for the organisation, after it came under fire for its handling of allegations of sexual misconduct.

The organisation launched an action plan relating to safeguarding and culture, which O’Connor will lead on delivering during her time in the role. She will also work to deliver on the Institute’s flagship events and business plan.

Before joining the third sector, O’Connor held various strategy, business development and leadership roles in organisations including Lloyds Bank, GE Capital and OctopusTravel (now part of Expedia Group).

She is also the founder and executive producer of The Charity CEO Podcast and has been a member of the Chartered Institute since 2012, until she went on maternity break in 2019.
Commenting on her appointment, Claire Rowney, chair of the Chartered Institute said: “On behalf of the board, I am thrilled that Dhivya will be joining us and offer her a warm welcome to the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. We are very much looking forward to having her inspiring leadership and insight as a charity chief executive and I am particularly pleased she is a passionate former fundraiser.

“Dhivya joins us at an important time for the Institute, and the Board and staff team are very much looking forward to working with her.”

O’Connor added: “I am delighted to be entrusted by the board to take on the leadership of the Chartered Institute at this pivotal moment. I am tremendously impressed by the dedication and commitment to excellence in fundraising, demonstrated by everyone I’ve met. I look forward to engaging with the team, the membership and the wider community to help deliver some key priorities for the organisation in the coming months.”

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