NUS appoints Ben Kernighan as new chief executive

Written by Andrew Holt

The National Union of Students (NUS) has announced that Ben Kernighan will join as its new chief executive. He will take up the position on July 8 2013.

Kernighan joins NUS from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) where he currently is the deputy chief executive. He will leave NCVO in June.

Kernighan joins the NUS from a successful career in the voluntary sector having worked at the Terence Higgins Trust (THT) before moving to the NCVO in 1998.

Kernighan’s first position at the NCVO was that of business development manager, with Kernighan then taking on a broader remit as head of development and then director of NCVO services development.

Since 2006, he has held the position of deputy chief executive.

Outside of work he also holds a number of Non-Executive Directorships including Business in the Community, Basic Skills Agency and Futurebuilders.

Commenting on his appointment, NUS President Liam Burns, said: “I am delighted that we are able to announce that Ben will be joining NUS in July.

"I believe that he is joining the organisation at an exciting time and that he is the right person to take the organisation forward.

"Under the leadership of the outgoing chief executive Matt Hyde the organisation has gone from strength to strength, and I am confident that Ben has the skills, experience and drive to see the organisation meet head on its future strategic challenges.”

Talking about his appointment Kernighan commented: “I am delighted and excited to be appointed. NUS has a very important role to play in helping the everyday lives of students, supporting students’ unions and helping to shape further and higher education in the UK.”

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said: "In 14 years at NCVO, Ben has made a genuine difference to our whole sector. Behind the scenes his advocacy has had a significant influence on a wide range of government policy.

"In public, he has been a powerful campaigner on issues from charity tax to the work programme.

"Ben’s intelligence, communication skills, and deep commitment to voluntary action have made a pivotal contribution to the development of NCVO as the authoritative voice of the sector.

"NUS are most fortunate to have gained such an outstanding strategic thinker. He leaves NCVO with our warmest wishes for his new role."

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