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Big Lottery Fund appoints new CEO

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Release date:
13 5 2013

Dawn Austwick

Big Lottery Fund has announced the appointment of Dawn Austwick as the organisation’s new Chief Executive.

Dawn joins the Big Lottery Fund from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, an organisation she has successfully led as a Chief Executive since 2005. She will be taking over from Peter Wanless who stands down as Chief Executive at the end of May to become Chief Executive of NSPCC.

Big Lottery Fund Chair, Peter Ainsworth, welcomed Dawn to the Fund, which distributes 40 per cent of all National Lottery good cause funding across the UK, rolling out around £700 million in funding each year.

Peter Ainsworth said: “This appointment follows a highly competitive process and I am looking forward to working with Dawn, who will bring a wealth of experience, insight and enthusiasm to the Big Lottery Fund.”
He added: “She joins the Fund at an exciting but also challenging time.  We are operating in a difficult economic climate where the delivery of our mission, to support people and communities most in need, is ever more pressing.”

Peter Ainsworth took the opportunity of the new appointment to thank outgoing CEO Peter Wanless who has led the Big Lottery Fund for five years: “Under Peter’s leadership, the Big Lottery Fund has gone from strength to strength, becoming more efficient and breaking new ground in public involvement, social investment and above all, making a difference to local communities – during Peter’s tenure we have had the privilege of funding over 64,000 projects across the UK to deliver bright ideas, both big and small”

Dawn Austwick said: “The Big Lottery Fund works hard to transform communities and the lives of people in need, often in the most imaginative ways directly involving the people themselves. I am relishing the opportunity to build on the Fund’s impact to date in ways that bring lasting benefits to communities and quality of life throughout the UK.”

She takes up her position in the Autumn 2013. In the interim period, the current Director of Strategy, Performance and Learning, Ceri Doyle will hold the reins as Acting CEO.

Biographical Notes:

Dawn Austwick

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation Chief Executive since 2005. Formerly Deputy Director of the British Museum and Project Director of Tate Modern from 1995 to 2000. Before that, Dawn was a Principal Consultant at KPMG, Theatre Manager of the Half Moon Theatre, London, and Projects Co-coordinator at Arts & Business. She has an MBA from the London Business School and an honorary doctorate from London Metropolitan University. Dawn is also a Trustee at the Historic Royal Palaces, chairs the Foundations Forum and is a Director of Big Society Capital. Dawn is a companion of the Chartered Institute of Management.

Peter Wanless

Peter Wanless joined the Big Lottery Fund in 2008 from the Department for Education where he spent 10 years as a Director.  He had previously worked at HM Treasury and as Principal Private Secretary to three Cabinet Ministers.

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888
Out of hours media contact: 07867 500 572
Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk
Ask BIG a question here: https://ask.biglotteryfund.org.uk
Follow BIG on Twitter: @BigLotteryFund #BIGlf
Find BIG on facebook: www.facebook.com/BigLotteryFund

Notes to Editors

  • The Big Lottery Fund, the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
  • The Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since June 2004 BIG has awarded close to £6 billion.
  • The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £29 billion has now been raised and more than 400,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.