Karl Wilding appointed chief executive of NCVO

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has announced that its public policy and volunteering director Karl Wilding will be its next chief executive.

2019 JUNE KARL WILDING CHIEF EXEC NCVO 10 2 webKarl will succeed Sir Stuart Etherington, who is retiring after 25 years at NCVO.

NCVO chair Peter Kellner described Karl’s strategy for change at NCVO as ‘compelling’, while Karl said he wanted ‘NCVO and its members to lead the changes we need to remain relevant, important and influential even as society changes’.

He will take up the post in mid-September.

The appointment follows an extensive recruitment process, managed by executive search firm Green Park, which included a robust and lengthy scoping exercise involving consultation with NCVO members, its board and staff. Green Park spoke to over 400 leaders from across the voluntary, private and public sectors, identifying a highly diverse range of over 200 candidates while gathering intelligence on what voluntary sector leaders saw as important qualities for the new post-holder.

Over a period of six months, candidates were then invited to submit a CV and supporting statement, attend three rounds of interviews with Green Park, NCVO board members and two independent interview panel members[1].

Karl joined NCVO in 1998, becoming head of research in 2001, head of policy and research in 2011, director of public policy in 2013, and director of public policy and volunteering in 2016.

He is an advisor to Charity Bank, a trustee of US voluntary organisation Creating the Future, a trustee of Communities 1st, a membership body for the voluntary sector in St Albans, and a regular parkrun volunteer.

Peter Kellner, chair of NCVO, said:

When we embarked on the recruitment process we knew NCVO needed to adapt to big changes in the charity sector and civil society more widely. We set out to find the person who could best meet these challenges and provide a new direction for NCVO. Karl’s awareness of these challenges and his strategy for change were compelling

Karl is a strong communicator with a sharp strategic focus, and he has an instinctive understanding of both the complexities within the voluntary sector and the values that unify it. His experience as a voluntary sector leader, a trustee and a volunteer give him a holistic view of what charities and volunteering need for the future.

As head of research, Karl made NCVO’s research on charity finances the standard for rigour and reliability, and as director of policy and volunteering he has been a high-profile and effective advocate for the voluntary sector and volunteering.

On behalf of NCVO, I’d like to thank the hundreds of people across the sector and beyond who have fed in to this very comprehensive search process by sharing their views on the important qualities for our next chief executive.

Julia Unwin, who was an independent member of the first interview panel, said:

Society is changing rapidly, and so is civil society. There are new expectations of accountability, inclusiveness and responsiveness. Civil society organisations that adapt will thrive in this new environment.

I’m delighted that we’ve been able to appoint someone with a deep understanding of these changes and who can help NCVO support the many people who want to re-energise and renew civil society.

Karl Wilding said:

I’m excited and humbled to have been asked to lead the new NCVO. Charities and volunteering change people’s lives. As the chief executive of a re-purposed NCVO I want to stand up for the charities and millions of people who everyday make a difference to the causes that they believe in.

I want to work alongside NCVO’s members to show what is best about charities and volunteering, and to share that far and wide. If you want to change the world, charities and volunteering are the best way to make a difference.

I’m very clear that we can’t stand still. The world has changed. People have more choices than ever when it comes to getting involved in a cause. I want NCVO and its members to lead the changes we need to remain relevant, important and influential even as society changes.

NCVO’s biggest asset is our members, so I will focus on listening to and learning from the many incredible charities and volunteers that I meet every day. Together, we’ll develop a much sharper focus on what matters to the British public. We’ll move faster for the digital age. And together we’ll reflect the rich diversity that characterises modern Britain. The work of charities and people who volunteer has never been more needed – I can’t wait to help NCVO tell their story.

Notes

1) The selection panel comprised:

Longlisting and shortlisting:

  • Peter Kellner, NCVO chair
  • Paul Breckell, NCVO treasurer, director of strategy and transformation, Ambitious About Autism
  • Tiger de Souza, NCVO trustee, director – volunteering, inclusion and participation, the National Trust
  • Julia Unwin CBE, independent member
  • Dame Julia Cleverdon CBE, independent member

First-round interview panel:

  • Paul Breckell, NCVO treasurer, director of strategy and transformation, Ambitious About Autism
  • Tiger de Souza, NCVO trustee, director – volunteering, inclusion and participation, the National Trust
  • Julia Unwin CBE, independent member
  • Dame Julia Cleverdon CBE, independent member

Second-round interview panel:

  • Peter Kellner, NCVO chair
  • Paul Breckell, NCVO treasurer, director of strategy and transformation, Ambitious About Autism
  • Julie Bentley, NCVO trustee, chief executive, Action for Children
  • Vanessa Griffiths, NCVO trustee, chief executive, the Ramblers
  • The selection panel’s recommendation was approved by NCVO’s board.
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