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Friends of the Earth announce chief executive job share

18 Nov 2020 News

Credit: Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth has appointed joint new chief executives, who will lead the charity in a job share starting next year.

Miriam Turner and Hugh Knowles, who have been working as interim chief executives for most of 2020, will start their roles formally in January.

Both had previously worked as directors of innovation at the charity, and have a combined 40 years’ experience working on environmental issues.

New bosses: Charity is 'an inspiring network'

This is the first time Friends of the Earth has had joint chief executives, and the first time a woman has led the organisation, according to the charity.

In a joint statement, Turner and Knowles said: “Friends of the Earth is, at its heart, an inspiring network of people working tirelessly to build a better future, in towns and cities across the UK and right around the world.

“Friends of the Earth connects people and communities, supporting them to build the fairer, greener world we all want to see. In addressing the climate and ecological crisis we know we can address other crises: polarisation, deep inequality, injustice, and historic failures to provide a better future for all.

“We both passionately believe communities can, and should, be at the heart of the change that is required.

“It is a huge privilege to take on the leadership of this very special organisation as it comes in to its 50th year.”

Complex and urgent issues

Frances Butler, the chair of Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said:

“Friends of the Earth is committed to a green and fair recovery from Covid-19 and to climate and ecological solutions based on climate justice and community empowerment.

“The complexity and urgency of these challenges require innovative leadership and Miriam and Hugh stood out among a strong field of compelling candidates. They have ably shown that chief executive job sharing works, and we are delighted at last to welcome a woman to the post.

“Our collective action in response to the climate, nature and inequality emergencies will be strengthened under their bold and visionary leadership.”

Hugh Knowles was head of innovation at the charity Forum for the Future before joining Friends of the Earth. Miriam Turner was in charge of collaborative innovation at Interface Inc, and is a global fellow and trustee of the League of Intrapreneurs.

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