Portrait of Julia Unwin CBE

Julia Unwin CBE

Chief Executive

Julia Unwin is Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust.

Julia Unwin has been Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust since 2007.

She was a member of the Housing Corporation Board for 10 years and a Charity Commissioner from 1998-2003. Julia was also Deputy Chair of the Food Standards Agency and worked as an independent consultant, for 15 years, operating within government and the voluntary and corporate sectors. She has researched and written extensively on issues relating to philanthropy, the voluntary sector, and its relationship with government and has written several books, the most recent of which is entitled “Why Fight Poverty?” which was published in November 2013.

She previously held a position as chair of the Refugee Council from 1995 until 1998, and is currently a member of the University of York’s Council and a Governor of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.  In 2010 Julia was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award in the Charity Awards and was awarded a Fellowship of the City and Guilds of London Institute in June 2012.  

Julia chairs the Institute for Social Renewal advisory board at the University of Newcastle, is a member of the Council of the University of York, as well as being a member of the Advisory Board for Policy Scotland, at the University of Glasgow. In January 2016 Julia was appointed as an independent Non-Executive Director of Mears Group Plc.

She has Honorary Doctorates from the University of South Wales and from York St John University.

Follow Julia on Twitter @juliaunwin