UK Youth has appointed Ndidi Okezie as its new CEO.
Okezie will replace Anna Smee who has been in post since 2014 and is moving to the Youth Futures Foundation, an independent UK company established in response to the government's commitment to allocate £90m of dormant asset funding to youth opportunities.
Smee will leave UK Youth on 7 November and Maddie Dinwoodie, deputy CEO will briefly act as interim CEO until 6 January 2020 when Okezie will officially start.
Okezie is currently vice president of the secondary school portfolio for Pearson PLC. She was previously a teacher and then school leader for 10 years, after which she spent six years on the executive board for Teach First where she oversaw youth access programmes, community action and alumni development.
In 2013 she was a member of the Department for Education’s Youth Work in Education Committee and currently sits on the Department for Education’s Character Education Advisory Group.
She is also a board member for youth homelessness charity, Centrepoint UK, the National Citizen Service and The Mulberry Schools Trust.
“Ndidi is a remarkable leader with decades of experience in supporting young people. Not only did she excite the board members on the panel, but she also impressed the UK Youth Voice panellists with her vision and understanding of how to grow UK Youth’s impact, making it the best support to young people and youth workers," UK Youth chair, Lady Anne Stoneham said.
Okezie added: “I feel fortunate to be joining the charity at a time when its reputation and influence is stronger than ever. I hope to build on the achievements Anna and the team have delivered and I look forward to working together to ensure UK Youth’s ambitious future goes from strength to strength.”