UK Youth announce Ndidi Okezie as new CEO

30 October 2019

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Following an open recruitment process, UK Youth are proud to announce they have appointed Ndidi Okezie as their new CEO.

Ndidi is an influential public advocate, delivering transformational change in a variety of contexts. Currently the Vice President of the Secondary School Portfolio for Pearson PLC, Ndidi was previously a teacher and then School Leader for 10 years. She then spent six years on the executive board for Teach First where she oversaw Youth Access Programmes, Community Action and Alumni Development.

Ndidi is deeply committed to youth work, life skills development, and youth equality. In 2013 she was a member of the Department for Education’s Youth Work in Education Committee and currently sits on the Department for Education’s Character Education Advisory Group. Ndidi is also a board member for youth homelessness charity, Centrepoint UK, the National Citizen Service and The Mulberry Schools Trust.

In August this year, UK Youth announced Anna Smee, CEO of UK Youth since 2014, was moving to head up the Youth Futures Foundation, an independent UK company established in February 2019 in response to the government’s commitment to allocate £90m of dormant asset funding to youth opportunities.

Anna will leave UK Youth on 7th November and Maddie Dinwoodie, Deputy CEO will briefly act as Interim CEO until the 6th January 2020 when Ndidi will officially start.

Chair of UK Youth, Lady Anne Stoneham said, “Ndidi is a remarkable leader with decades of experience in supporting young people. Not only did she excite the Board members on the panel, but she also impressed the UK Youth Voice panellists with her vision and understanding of how to grow UK Youth’s impact, making it the best support to young people and youth workers. On behalf of the whole board and staff team, we are thrilled to be welcoming her to the UK Youth family. She joins at an exciting time as the charity looks to launch its new strategy in 2020.”

Ndidi Okezie said, “Having worked consistently in youth volunteering since I was a teenager myself, I am no stranger to the criticality of this sector. I know how invaluable the support UK Youth provides to youth workers and young people is and so I’m looking forward to progressing the incredible legacy the team has built to date. I’m passionate about social justice, quality access for underserved communities and the amplification of youth voice. I want to be of service; galvanising the UK Youth Movement, championing our young people and removing barriers to ensure they have a valued seat at the table.

I feel fortunate to be joining the charity at a time when its reputation and influence is stronger than ever. I hope to build on the achievements Anna and the team have delivered and I look forward to working together to ensure UK Youth’s ambitious future goes from strength to strength.”

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