28 July 2014

Stonewall announces new Chief Executive

Ruth Hunt is to be the new Chief Executive of Stonewall, the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity, it was announced today (28 July 2014). 

Ruth has been Acting CEO of the charity since February this year and before that, was Deputy Chief Executive.  She joined the charity in 2005 as a Senior Policy Officer, having begun her career at the Equality Challenge Unit.  Her appointment concludes a comprehensive and transparent search, throwing up a strong set of candidates from which Ruth emerged as the clear winner. 

During her time at Stonewall, Ruth has been instrumental in developing Stonewall’s work to change hearts and minds – beyond legislative change - helping to establish a strong evidence base for activity and developing pioneering campaigns including Stonewall’s Education for All campaign. As Acting Chief Executive, Ruth has demonstrated her strong commitment to ensuring all LGBT communities, both here and abroad, are included and involved in Stonewall’s work going forward.

Jan Gooding, Stonewall’s Chair of Trustees, said:  'Ruth is an outstanding choice for Stonewall – a bold leader with a naturally collaborative approach and a clear vision.  Stonewall is 25 this year and at an exciting time in its evolution.  We are justifiably proud of our achievements in equal rights for lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the UK and now the charity is ready to begin a new chapter.  Ruth has amply demonstrated that she has the right skills and experience to take us forward, helping us achieve real and lasting social change.'

Ruth Hunt said: 'I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead Stonewall, a highly-respected organisation that is synonymous with achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.  It is full of committed, intelligent and creative people and I am very pleased to be heading up such a talented team.

'There are so many opportunities ahead, as well - of course - as challenges.  I look forward to working with Stonewall’s many partners to develop what the team and my predecessors have already achieved, to advance equality and challenge discrimination both throughout the UK and abroad.  These goals we share with the lesbian, gay and bisexual community and it’s fundamental that we work together to achieve them.'

Ruth will take over as Chief Executive immediately and succeeds Ben Summerskill, who stepped down from the post at the end of January 2014. 

Stonewall was set up in 1989 as a lobbying group to fight discrimination against lesbians, gay men and bisexual people. Since then, Stonewall has secured the most comprehensive legal rights in the world including marriage and adoption, as well as developing comprehensive programmes of work to achieve social change in spheres including education, health, employment, the criminal justice system and international equality.

ends

Notes:

Personal information about Ruth:

Age: 34.

Lives: London and grew up in Wales and Birmingham.

Family: Civil partner, Kirsty.

Faith: Practising Catholic.

Education: New College School, Cardiff. King Edward VII Camp Hill School for Girls, Birmingham. St Hilda’s College, Oxford.

Career: President of Oxford University Student Union, Equality Challenge Unit, Stonewall. Named number five most influential LGBT person in Independent Pink List 2013.

Enquiries: Richard Lane, Media Manager, on 020 7593 3469 or 07525 359960


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