Jackie Ballard is to leave Action on Hearing Loss, where she has been chief executive for five years, and take up a new role as CEO of the much smaller charity Womankind Worldwide.
Ballard joined Action on Hearing Loss, then called RNID, in 2007 from the RSPCA, where she also held the top job for five years.
Womankind is an international women’s human rights and development charity which works in partnership with women-led organisations in Africa, Asia and Latin America to help women escape violence and have an influence over decisions that affect their lives.
Its most recent accounts show that it had annual income of £2.6m and 21 staff in the year to March 2011, a fraction of the £41m income and 760 employees recorded by Action on Hearing Loss.
Passionate about women's rights
Ballard said: “I am really excited about working for Womankind Worldwide as women’s rights is an issue I care passionately about and I have long hoped to be able to make a contribution to international development."
'Massive impact' at Action on Hearing Loss
At RNID she led the implementation of a new strategic approach to make the organisation more inclusive, expanded its biomedical research work and restructured the services side of the business to enable more personal care and support. She also led the rebranding from RNID to Action on Hearing Loss.
Gerald Corbett, chair of Action on Hearing Loss, said Ballard had had a “massive impact” on the charity in her time there and that the trustees would be “very sorry to lose her”.
Ballard said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working at Action on Hearing Loss, as deafness and hearing loss is such a worthwhile cause and there is still so much to do to get people to take it seriously. I have had the privilege of working with a brilliant board of trustees and high performing staff.
“I am certain, though, that this is the right time for me to move on, as my successor will be able to shape the next five years of our work through a new strategy and will have the continuity of working with our current chairman, whose term of office ends in November 2013.”
Ballard had previously been a Liberal Democrat MP for Taunton, a county and district councillor for Somerset, and a further education lecturer and adult basic education organiser.
She will start her new job in September.