Charity Commission chief exec to step down next year

Helen Stephenson to leave in 2024 after seven-year term
Helen Stephenson. Photo: GOV.UK

By Tevye Markson

07 Sep 2023

The Charity Commission’s chief executive will step down in 2024 after seven years in the role.

Helen Stephenson, who will be the organisation’s longest-serving chief exec when she departs next year, said she is “exceptionally proud” of her spell at the commission.

“I will look back with great satisfaction at the challenges we have overcome, the improvements we have delivered and the expert organisation the commission is becoming,” Stephenson said.

The commission said Stephenson had made it “a better, more professional organisation and ever more effective regulator”, in a press release announcing her departure.

Orlando Fraser, who chairs the department, said Stephenson’s “warm leadership has built a strong and respected Charity Commission and her clear minded approach and deep understanding of the sector has ably steered the commission through successive challenges”.

“She is respected and trusted by our team and has led an organisation that truly reflects its values: being rigorous in our scrutiny but balanced in our support,” he added.

The Charity Commission for England and Wales is a non-ministerial department that regulates registered charities and maintains the central register of charities.

The commission said Stephenson has led the department and charity sector through challenges including safeguarding scandals in 2015-18 that drove public trust in charities to an all-time low, the Covid-19 pandemic, “culture wars” and the cost-of-living crisis.

It said Stephenson has also “overseen a firmer grip on casework, with historic backlogs managed down, hard-hitting inquiries undertaken, and wrongdoing tackled head on”. Stephenson will leave behind a body which has won “cross-government confidence in its ability to deliver value for the public in its regulation of the sector”, the organisation added.


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