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Matthew Taylor to leave RSA next year

17 Dec 2020 News

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the RSA

RSA 2018

Matthew Taylor has announced that he is leaving the Royal Society of the Arts after 15 years as chief executive.

Taylor said that in a statement that he will leave the charity next summer to concentrate on work as a writer and broadcaster, but will retain an advisory role at the RSA.

The RSA has 30,000 fellows, who work with the charity to identify and solve social issues.


Taylor joined the RSA as chief executive in 2006, after several years as a senior political adviser to Tony Blair.

He was also director of the Institute for Public Policy Research, an influential left-leaning think tank and charity, between 1999 and 2003.

In 2017 Taylor published a government-commissioned review of modern employment practices, which highlighted the work of some charities and community groups supporting staff with mental health challenges.

Taylor: Role has been a ‘privilege’

Taylor said: “Being chief executive of the RSA has been an incredible privilege. Back in 2006, I never thought I would do the job for over fifteen years, but as the RSA has grown and developed, my role has been constantly challenging, exciting and rewarding.

“I am incredibly grateful to the colleagues and Fellows who have put up with and supported me over the years. 

“I am certain the RSA can go on to even better things, and I look forward to seeing its next stage of development.”

Search for new boss starts next year

Tim Eyles, the chair of trustees at the RSA, said: “We are all incredibly grateful to Matthew for his fifteen years of extraordinary service to the RSA.

“He leaves the RSA having transformed the organisation and with the highest profile and influence since its founding in 1754. I have personally thoroughly enjoyed working with Matthew and pay tribute to his many achievements for the RSA’s benefit.

“Matthew leaves huge shoes to fill, but his departure also comes at an exciting time in the RSA’s history, with our recently relaunched brand and shift away from projects to more focused, longer-term programmatic working which aims to increase our impact in the world.

“Next year we look forward to finding a new leader who can take forward the plans trustees, staff and fellows agreed on as part of our recent strategic review, to harness all our assets together as one RSA including even closer engagement with our Fellows, being more global, increasing our visibility and impact, and deepening our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”

The process of appointing a new chief executive will begin in the new year.

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