After a relatively lengthy search for a new Chair for the board of Trustees of mySociety, we are very excited to announce that Catherine Brown was appointed at our AGM on the 6th of July.
Catherine is a hugely experienced non-executive and executive Director; she was formerly Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency and currently holds a clutch of board posts, including at Hubbub, Natural Resources Wales, the Legal Services Board and the British Science Association.
She joins our charitable board at an exciting time, as like all civil society organisations we are learning how to adapt to a new normal, with new challenges around the pandemic and the climate crisis, and long running questions over how we secure sustainable funding for our work today and the issues we choose to face tomorrow.
Catherine has been inspiring, thoughtful and knowledgeable in all of the meetings she has had with our board and team so far, and I’m very much looking forward to working with her closely over the next few years.
A goodbye and a thank you
The appointment of a new Chair sees our original Chair James Cronin stepping down. It’s a big change, as he has been involved with the organisation since its official inception back in 2003.
James has been the bedrock of the board for this whole period and has skillfully supported the organisation through all the change, tumult and innovation that you might expect from a small, underfunded but wonderfully ambitious charity.
Before mySociety came into being he was involved with FaxYourMP (the earliest version of WriteToThem) and TheyWorkForYou which was later incorporated into mySociety. He is also a founding director of the Open Rights Group and is an advisory board member of the NO2ID campaign – and most importantly helps run a chocolate shop, which will be missed at major holidays.
James has been a great mentor to me personally: he has always been here for anything the organisation needs; has been hugely supportive as we transitioned from my predecessor Tom’s original directorship, and oversaw all the many changes in approach and focus we’ve implemented over the past five years.
So hello to Catherine – it’s going to be great working with you. And heartfelt thanks to James – you’ve been amazing and will be a hard act to follow.
Image: Gaurav Dhwaj Khadka
Whilst election fever grips the UK, we’re seeking some new representatives of our own, to join our two company boards.
We are inviting candidates to put themselves forward to become a Trustee of our parent charity UK Citizens Online Democracy or as an independent Non-Executive Director of our commercial business mySociety Ltd.
This is a unique opportunity to join a very smart group of board members in helping guide the development of the UK’s original civic tech agitator, as we plot out a course over the next few years.
As our work has become increasingly global we would like to expand our charitable board with at least two additional trustees who can bring a combination of experience of international development, campaigning and research. If you’ve helped grow an organisation and have a good head for figures and legal matters, that would be of great benefit as well.
On the commercial side we’re especially looking to expand our service provision to the public sector in the UK, and wish to appoint up to three new directors, who will ideally bring in some mix of experience from government, public sector, digital product development and importantly marketing and commercial skills. Again finance and legal expertise is appreciated, along with an entrepreneurial streak.
There’s no getting past the fact that our current boards are entirely male. So for both roles we’d like to use this as an opportunity to redress the balance on each board, as well as add more diversity to better reflect the users of our services both in the UK and internationally.
We’ll be accepting applications until 10am on Monday 6th June – but don’t leave it until the last minute to apply!
Image courtesy of Shell Vacations Hospitality (please note this is not our real boardroom)