Kate Lee will leave CLIC Sargent to join the Alzheimer's Society as chief executive next April.
She has been chief executive at the children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent for four years, where she has overseen a major rebrand and successfully lobbied the government to pay for all funerals of children under 18.
Lee has also been involved in founding the Children and Young People’s Cancer Coalition and has been widely praised in the sector for driving forward a more transparent approach to annual reporting.
She was previously chief executive of Myton Hospice, a large adult palliative care charity, where she worked with many individuals with dementia and their families. Lee also has a personal connection to her new role as her mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2006 and has lived independently until recently with the support of Alzheimer’s Society and many others.
Lee spent sixteen years at British Red Cross leading UK service delivery, before becoming director of UK and international strategy and deputy CEO in 2005.
She said: “I am delighted, but also privileged, to have this incredible opportunity to lead the Alzheimer’s Society in its next chapter. Having had first-hand experience of the devastation that a dementia diagnosis can have on a family, along with the amazing professionalism, warmth and understanding the Alzheimer’s Society team of committed volunteers and staff bring to that heartbreak, growing the impact of this organisation is truly a dream job for me. I can’t wait to meet everyone and get stuck in!”
Stephen Hill, chair, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Kate to the Society and am looking forward very much to working with her. She brings great experience creating a major voice in the fight against cancer, particularly in children.
“Kate also joins us at a very opportune time to make sure that dementia remains high up the agenda of the new government, with an emphasis on social and health care reform, awareness, and research, so that this terrible disease can be given the priority it needs in our society.”
Jeremy Hughes, who has been chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society for ten years, announced plans to stand down earlier in the autumn.
This year the charity put in place an action plan to address poor staff survey results, while its management faced criticism of “bullying” behaviour towards staff by a whistleblowing account on Twitter. At the time the charity said it has a zero tolerance approach to bullying and was working to reach out to concerned members of staff.