Charity Commission director to become CEO of Social Mobility Foundation

Sarah Atkinson, a former Charity Commission director, has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Social Mobility Foundation (SMF).

Atkinson joins from the regulator, where she has been executive director of strategy, policy and communications since 2014.

She will take on the role from David Johnston, following his announcement in June that he would stand down at the end of 2019 after 10 years as CEO.

Atkinson's background lies in corporate communications and policy, and before joining the commission as head of corporate affairs she worked in the private sector, including roles with Nationwide Building Society and in public affairs consultancy.

Her non-executive experience includes membership of the Charity Tax Commission and board roles at Endometriosis UK, the Professional Association of Childcare and Early Years, and Womankind Worldwide. She is a leadership fellow at St George’s House, Windsor and a mentor on the Leaders Plus fellowship programme.

SMF chair, Rt Hon Alan Milburn said: “We’re delighted Sarah is joining the SMF as our new CEO. Like her predecessor David Johnston I am sure she will be an outstanding leader of the organisation.

Atksinson added: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the next chief executive of the Social Mobility Foundation. I firmly believe that now, more than ever, working to support young people to realise their potential is critical to build the economy and society the UK needs to be.

"I am personally deeply committed to the SMF’s mission and I have been so excited and inspired by what David and the team have achieved. I look forward to leading the charity through the next stage of development and further increasing our impact.”

Sarah will begin her tenure as CEO on 2nd January 2020.

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