Stonewall appoints Nancy Kelley as new CEO

Nancy Kelley will join the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality charity next month from NatCen, where she also holds the title director of the policy research centre.

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Stonewall has appointed the deputy chief executive of the National Centre for Social Research as its next chief executive.

Nancy Kelley will join the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality charity next month from NatCen, where she also holds the title director of the policy research centre.

She succeeds Ruth Hunt, who stepped down from Stonewall in August after 14 years with the charity, including five as chief executive.

Kelley previously worked at the Department for Work and Pensions and before that held policy and research roles at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Refugee Council and Barnardo’s.

Speaking with Diversity Dashboard, Nancy said ‘It is an honour to have the opportunity to lead this groundbreaking organisation.  Over the last 30 years we have made amazing strides towards LGBT equality in the UK, driven by the work of LGBT+ activists and millions of everyday acts of bravery and pride. Stonewall is rightly proud of its role in creating this change. But the benefits of progress haven’t been equally felt by all LGBT+ people.

Today, we see the LGBT+ community around us responding to the challenge of this pandemic with solidarity, resilience and creativity. But we can also see deep inequalities. Across the UK and around the world, LGBT+ people are trapped in homes where they are unsafe or unwanted. LGBT+ people of colour, and those living in poverty are more exposed not only to the coronavirus, but also the social and economic consequences it brings in its wake. And across our communities people are isolated from the services and support networks they need to survive.

We cannot let anyone turn back the clock on LGBT+ rights, and we cannot afford to be complacent about making those rights meaningful for all. We need to continue to fight for a world in which every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person is safe and free to be themselves. This is a world that Stonewall and all our allies stand ready to fight for, and I am very excited to be a part of that work.’

Sheldon Mills, Chair of Stonewall’s Board of Trustees, said: ‘We’re thrilled to welcome Nancy Kelley to the Stonewall family. Nancy is an outstanding leader who is ready to make sure everyone in the LGBT+ community gets the support they need from Stonewall as we find our way through this difficult time together.

‘Nancy brings a huge wealth of experience, along with an unwavering passion for Stonewall, our work and the communities we support. I have no doubt that Nancy will be transformational for us.   We are stronger together as an LGBT+ movement and community, and her vision for Stonewall will help bring forward the day when every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person is accepted without exception.’

Paul Twocock, who has been interim chief executive of Stonewall since Hunt’s departure, will return to his substantive position of director of campaigns, policy and research when Kelley joins the charity on 1 June.

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