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Dr Priya Singh set to be new chair of NCVO

Dr Priya Singh is set to become the new chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, it was announced today.

Dr Singh succeeds Anne Heal, a trustee of NCVO since 2015 who was appointed as chair on an interim basis to allow time for an extensive search and recruitment process. This follows the term served by Peter Kellner, journalist and political commentator, who was chair of NCVO for three years from 2016-2019. Priya joins the organisation as it concludes a year-long listening exercise that will inform its new strategy, which saw just under a thousand people from right across the voluntary sector share their reflections and experiences.  

Dr Singh’s appointment follows a competitive search process led by NCVO’s president, Baroness Jill Pitkeathley and managed by executive search consultancy firm Green Park. Baroness Pitkeathley was joined on a selection panel by NCVO’s co-vice-chairs, Julie Bentley and Vanessa Griffiths, along with governance expert and former NCVO trustee Jules Mason.  

The panel presented a recommendation to the full board in early June, which they accepted. The appointment, for a three-year term, is subject to ratification at NCVO’s annual general meeting in November. 

Commenting, Baroness Pitkeathley said: 

"Priya was the stand-out candidate in a high-quality field. Her background in medicine, risk and healthcare business and charity leadership, means that she brings valuable skills and extensive governance experience."

Dr Priya Singh said: 

This is a challenging time for us all and I am absolutely delighted to be joining the trustees, Karl and the talented NCVO team at a pivotal moment in NCVO’s history. Recent months have brought into sharp focus the vital role that charities and volunteers play in society, doing whatever it takes during the pandemic to support the communities we serve. We need to do all that we can to support them, amplifying voices and maximising impact. I look forward to bringing my experience in leading membership organisations, to give sharp focus to the things that NCVO can do to support its members and the wider sector. 

Anne Heal said: 

I look forward to welcoming Priya to the role as chair of NCVO in November. With NCVO’s new strategy placing a heavy emphasis on deepening its connection to its membership, Priya brings a wealth of highly relevant experience – not only at board level but also from the perspective of running a small charity, supporting volunteering and delivering on a limited budget.   
This has been a challenging time for NCVO – and indeed the rest of the sector. However, I have been so proud of everyone at NCVO and their determination, resilience and commitment over the course of this year. I know that Priya will enjoy working with that very talented group of people to provide the insight and leadership that NCVO needs during the next phase of its evolution.


About NCVO 

NCVO is the largest network for charities and volunteering. With over 15,000 members, we're the biggest source of support for charities, community groups and social enterprises. We’re constantly working to give them the support they need and pushing for a better environment for charities and volunteering. 

Today, Karl Wilding, chief executive of NCVO published a blog feeding back on a year-long process of engagement with its members and the wider voluntary sector and looking at the new strategic direction of the organisation.  

Dr Priya Singh 

Dr Singh has a background in general practice, specialising in medical law, ethics and patient safety.  

Her career at the Medical Protection Society, a mutual membership organisation, spanned more than 20 years and she was responsible for the provision of professional services to 290,000 doctors, dentists, and other health professionals around the world. 

She is executive director of the Society for Assistance of Medical Families, a mutual benevolent fund with charitable status and a member of NCVO, a non-executive director of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, a member of the London Policing Ethics Panel and an associate with Working With Cancer, a social enterprise helping people with cancer to return to and remain in work. 

Appointment process and AGM 

The chair-designate is formally ratified and takes over as chair at NCVO’s AGM on 23 November. 

Following a search process, a panel led by NCVO president Baroness Pitkeathley with NCVO’s co vice-chairs, Julie Bentley and Vanessa Griffiths, along with governance expert and former NCVO trustee Jules Mason interviewed candidates and presented a recommendation to the full board in early June, which they accepted. 

The chair may serve a maximum of two three-year terms of office. 

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