Lorraine Heggessey steps down as CEO of The Royal Foundation

24 Jul 2019 News

Lorraine Heggessey will stand down as chief executive of The Royal Foundation this autumn after over two years at the charity.

Jason Knauf will then take over as chief executive on 1 October. Knauf is currently senior adviser to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Kensington Palace, having previously spent four years leading Their Royal Highnesses’ Communications Office. 

Heggessey said: “This was one of the most amazing opportunities of my career. It has been a huge honour to work with Their Royal Highnesses’ to try to change mind-sets on a wide range of issues, from the Heads Together mental health initiatives through the wellbeing of veterans to conservation. 

“I am very proud of what The Royal Foundation has achieved during this exciting period of growth. However, as it enters its next phase, I believe it is the right time for me to step down and to pursue my interests in the media sector.” 

The announcement follows news that The Royal Foundation will become the principle charitable vehicle for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are to leave The Royal Foundation and create a new charity.

At the moment the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are in the process of establishing this new charitable foundation which will have transitional operating support from The Royal Foundation, which was set up in 2009 by the two royal brothers.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said: “Lorraine has played an integral role in our charitable initiatives over the last two and a half years. We are very grateful for her hard work and support, and wish her the very best for the future. We are pleased that Jason has been appointed as CEO and very much look forward to working with him in his new role.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex said:  “It has been a great pleasure to work alongside Lorraine over the past couple of years, to champion the causes that we feel so strongly about, and we wish her well for the next stage of her career.”

Both couples will continue to work together on projects in the future, including on The Royal Foundation’s mental health programme, Heads Together.

Some of the other projects The Royal Foundation established include The Invictus Games and Shout, the first text crisis support service in the UK. 

'Led an outstanding team'

Sir Keith Mills, chair of The Royal Foundation said: “After two and a half years at the helm of The Royal Foundation, Lorraine has successfully led an outstanding team. 

“She has overseen the expansion of the Heads Together mental health programmes, has incubated and financed ‘Shout’ the UK’s first digital mental health service, helped make possible the hugely successful Together cook book supporting the Grenfell Tower communities, and helped the expansion of the Coach Core sports coaching programme. 

“I am delighted to be welcoming Jason to The Foundation, and to work with him to deliver the programmes that Their Royal Highnesses care so passionately about.” 

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