JRF appoints Claire Ainsley as its new Executive Director

8th Jan 2018

The independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has appointed Claire Ainsley as its new Executive Director with immediate effect.

This newly-created post will be responsible for driving forward JRF’s new strategy to inspire action to solve UK poverty, with responsibility for leading the policy, research, analysis, communications and external affairs functions within JRF.

In 2016 JRF launched its ground-breaking ‘We can solve poverty in the UK’ report, which called for governments, businesses, employers and communities to work together to bring about an end to poverty in the UK. This work will form the basis of JRF’s new strategic direction working alongside people with lived experience of poverty and other organisations towards the shared goal of a UK without poverty.

JRF Chief Executive Campbell Robb said:

“This post is key to developing the JRF to become an effective social change organisation and makes a real difference.  To achieve our vision of a prosperous and poverty free UK, large-scale policy change is required across the country, at the national, devolved and local levels, to tackle the underlying causes of poverty. 

“JRF is determined to use evidence from research, lived experience, data and analysis to monitor the effects of poverty and hold governments to account, as well as develop credible policy solutions and actions. But it will also require a significant cultural shift in public and political attitudes towards the issue, and part of JRF’s new strategy will be to build the public and political will to solve poverty in the UK.

“Claire has the right combination of skills, expertise, vision and experience to drive our new strategy. I look forward to working with her as we develop the next stage of our plans.”

Claire Ainsley commented:

“Millions of people are struggling to make ends meet across every nation and region of the UK. This is a really important time for the mission of solving UK poverty, which will only be realised by working alongside people with lived experience and other organisations to build the will and solutions for change.

“I am really looking forward to taking up the new role, and working with the JRF team and our partners to build on our heritage of social reform for one of the biggest challenges of our time.”

Claire was formerly JRF and JRHT’s Director of Communications and External Affairs. The appointment followed an external recruitment campaign led by Green Park and interviews were conducted by Campbelll Robb, CEO, Will Haire CB, Chair of Trustees and Fiona Duncan, CEO of Corra Foundation.