Alex Reid has stepped down as a trustee to become chief executive of Comic Relief next year.
She is currently head of global campaigns at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle and is moving back to the UK to take up the role.
Reid became a trustee of Comic Relief in November 2017 and stepped down this month after accepting the CEO post.
Liz Warner, the current chief executive, is leaving at the end of this month to work in social enterprise. Reid will take up the role in March 2020 and until then Comic Relief’s impact and investment executive director, Ruth Davison will be interim CEO.
Reid said: “I am thrilled to be joining Comic Relief at this exciting moment for the charity and the sector as they reflect on and refresh their role in shaping public opinion. In my mind, there could not be a more important time to redefine the narrative of giving in the UK and shape British engagement with the world.
“I can’t wait to take the organisation forward, finding new ways to engage the public to support their communities and make a difference in the world. That’s what’s inspired my whole career – connecting with the world and helping others.”
Jacqueline Onalo, trustee and chair of Comic Relief’s remuneration and nominations committee said: “Comic Relief is at the crossroads of really exciting times in terms of how we engage our different audiences, partners and communities in our commitment to mitigate poverty. Liz Warner has paved the way for real transformative change and Alex will steward this with her enthusiasm, expertise and commitment. The best leaders are those who believe in learning, sharing and growing together, and Alex presents this mix. We look forward to working with her to fulfil our shared vision.”
Reid joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2010. During this time, she launched the Gates Foundation’s Goalkeepers initiative, an annual event, data report and campaign designed to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. Before that was deputy director of Weber Shandwick’s Global Health practice, managing clients across the private, public and charitable sectors.
Last year Comic Relief faced renewed criticism about promoting a "white saviour" narrative. It has also seen its income come under pressure, with the 2018 Sport Relief raising less than two thirds of what was raised in 2016.