Mike Penrose will leave Unicef UK in the autumn after three years as chief executive.
He has led the charity since April 2016 and now wants to “pursue a number of personal projects”, the charity said.
Before joining Unicef UK he was chief executive of Action Contre La Faim, a large French aid charity. He has previously held roles at Save the Children International and the Department for International Development.
Douglas Alexander, chair of Unicef UK, said: “The trustees of Unicef UK would like to thank Mike for his leadership and service over recent years. Mike has had a distinguished career in humanitarian work and during his time at Unicef has been a fierce and effective advocate of children’s rights. We wish him well for the future.”
Penrose said: “It has been a tremendous honour to serve as the executive director of such an amazing organisation with such passionate staff. Unicef UK is a dynamic and inspiring organisation and the commitment of all its employees to champion children’s rights never ceases to amaze me. I feel very proud of the work that has been achieved for children both here in the UK and around the world.”
Unicef UK said it plans to begin recruiting for Penrose's successor straight away.
The charity has an income of £100m and its most recent accounts for the year ending December 2018 show that Penrose was paid nearly £125,000 for the year.