Stonewall, Britain’s leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality, today (Wednesday 13 May) has announced Nancy Kelley as its incoming Chief Executive. 

Nancy is currently the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of the Policy Research Centre at the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen). At NatCen, she led a team of over 80 researchers specialising in social issues like health, crime and justice, education, work and income, and has been the lead on revenue growth as NatCen has returned to financial health over recent years.

Nancy is a passionate advocate for social justice and equality, and while at NatCen has worked on public attitudes to LGBT communities, as well as experiences of discrimination and social exclusion across LGBT communities and other disadvantaged groups.

Throughout her 20-year career, Nancy has built up a diverse record of policy and leadership experience working across the third sector and in Government. Prior to joining NatCen, she worked at the Department for Work and Pensions. She has also held various policy and research roles at UK charities including the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Refugee Council and Barnardos.

Nancy joins Stonewall after a transformational period for the charity which saw it become fully trans inclusive, develop ground-breaking partnerships with the likes of UK Black Pride and The Premier League, and release a series of in-depth research reports, describing the state of the nation for LGBT people in Britain.

Nancy will start at Stonewall on 1 June and takes over from Paul Twocock, who served as interim chief executive, following Ruth Hunt’s departure in August 2019.

Nancy Kelley, incoming Chief Executive, Stonewall said: ‘It is an honour to have the opportunity to lead this groundbreaking organisation.  Over the last 30 years we have made amazing strides towards LGBT equality in the UK, driven by the work of LGBT+ activists and millions of everyday acts of bravery and pride.  Stonewall is rightly proud of its role in creating this change.  But the benefits of progress haven’t been equally felt by all LGBT+ people.

Today, we see the LGBT+ community around us responding to the challenge of this pandemic with solidarity, resilience and creativity. But we can also see deep inequalities. Across the UK and around the world, LGBT+ people are trapped in homes where they are unsafe or unwanted.  LGBT+ people of colour, and those living in poverty are more exposed not only to the coronavirus, but also the social and economic consequences it brings in its wake. And across our communities people are isolated from the services and support networks they need to survive.

We cannot let anyone turn back the clock on LGBT+ rights, and we cannot afford to be complacent about making those rights meaningful for all. We need to continue to fight for a world in which every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person is safe and free to be themselves. This is a world that Stonewall and all our allies stand ready to fight for, and I am very excited to be a part of that work.’

Sheldon Mills, Chair of Stonewall’s Board of Trustees, said: ‘We’re thrilled to welcome Nancy Kelley to the Stonewall family. Nancy is an outstanding leader who is ready to make sure everyone in the LGBT+ community gets the support they need from Stonewall as we find our way through this difficult time together.

‘Nancy brings a huge wealth of experience, along with an unwavering passion for Stonewall, our work and the communities we support. I have no doubt that Nancy will be transformational for us.   We are stronger together as an LGBT+ movement and community, and her vision for Stonewall will help bring forward the day when every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person is accepted without exception.’

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