Introducing our new Chair and Trustees

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We are delighted to today announce the appointment of Carolyn Wilkins OBE as our new Chair of Trustees. Carolyn will be joined on the board by two new Trustees, Rebecca Deegan and Huw Thomas.

Carolyn takes over from outgoing Chair, Gill Steward, who led the organisation from 2017. She brings with her extensive experience and a strong track record as a senior leadership practitioner in local government, the NHS and central government. In 2016 she received an OBE for her contribution to local government and public service reform. She is currently a professor at Birmingham Leadership Institute at the University of Birmingham.

Joining Carolyn on the Board, Rebecca Deegan is the founder of I have a voice, a social enterprise designed to empower people from under-represented groups to engage with politics, and Huw Thomas, Director of Finance for Hywel Dda University Health Board and Chair of the NHS Wales Director of Finance peer group.

Commenting on her appointment, Carolyn, said:

“I have been a supporter of the work of CLES for many years and value their focus, work and impact supporting different approaches to local economic development in ways that support communities and places to thrive.”

Sarah Longlands, our Chief Executive, commented:

“We are absolutely thrilled that Carolyn, Rebecca and Huw have agreed to join the CLES board. Carolyn’s knowledge of local economies and her experience working with local and national governments make her the right person to help lead the work of the CLES Board. Coupled with this, her academic insight into the leadership required to make progress on the most pressing contemporary challenges will enable CLES to continue our work supporting local people and places as they face the biggest economic upheaval for a generation.

I’d also like to sincerely thank Gill Steward who has been an excellent Chair and colleague over the last four years, and has helped to make CLES, the  the successful organisation it is today.”