Leesa Harwood has announced that she is set to step down from her role as director of community lifesaving and fundraising at the RNLI, after nine years with the organisation.
Paul Boissier, chief executive of the organisation, announced Harwood’s resignation in a statement published on the RNLI’s website yesterday. He said that Harwood would be working her “full notice period of six months and will continue to fulfil her role until 26 October 2018”.
Harwood joined the RNLI in April 2009 as its head of engagement. She was later made deputy director of fundraising communications until she was made director of community lifesaving and fundraising on a permanent basis in October 2014.
According to the statement, Harwood will be leaving the organisation to “take time to focus more on non-work commitments”.
Prior to joining RNLI, she was the head of fundraising for the Dartington Hall Trust; head of community fundraising for Save the Children and a community involvement manager for Business in the Community.
She began her career in the voluntary sector in 1991 with March of Dimes, an American non-profit, where she was based in Florida.
Boissier said: “I would like to thank Leesa for her dedication and the leadership he has shown over the last nine years. She has been instrumental in driving some brave decisions, such as pushing us to be the first charity to move to opt in and the merger of fundraising and operations into what we now know as community lifesaving.
He also said that: “these decisions have set us up for success in the 21st century.”
Boissier said his focus will be to “bring in a new director who can build on the work that Leesa has started, and who has the expertise, experience and leadership capability to lead this absolutely critical part of the RNLI strongly into the future.
Boissier said the process for finding Harwood’s replacement will begin “shortly and will be a “robust and transparent” process.
Harwood said; “My time here has been rewarding, humbling and fulfilling. It has been an absolute privilege to work with such an incredible team of staff and volunteers here at the RNLI and to have been able to add value to this very special charity.
“Now though, commitments outside work mean that I can no longer give the time and energy that this role demands and after nine years at the RNLI, it is time to move on.”