The Chartered Institute of Fundraising has appointed Dhivya O’Connor as its interim chief executive.
O’Connor will start on 10 May and have a two-week handover with current chief executive Peter Lewis before he formally steps down.
Experienced in fundraising and as a leader in both the charity and commercial sectors, she most recently served as CEO of Children with Cancer UK, and is a trustee and chair of the Development Board at Book Aid International. She has also volunteered with NGOs in India, South Africa and Cambodia, and is the founder and executive producer of The Charity CEO Podcast.
Before joining the third sector, she held various strategy, business development and leadership roles in organisations including Lloyds Bank, GE Capital and OctopusTravel (now part of Expedia Group).
Commenting on her appointment, Claire Rowney, Chair of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, said:
“On behalf of the Board, I am thrilled that Dhivya will be joining us and offer her a warm welcome to the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. We are very much looking forward to having her inspiring leadership and insight as a charity chief executive and I am particularly pleased she is a passionate former fundraiser. Dhivya joins us at an important time for the Institute, and the Board and staff team are very much looking forward to working with her.”
O’Connor was selected by a panel of Chartered Institute trustees and her term will run for around six months until a new permanent chief executive is recruited. That recruitment process will begin next month.
As interim CEO, her responsibilities will include providing leadership on the Chartered Institute of Fundraising’s priorities of equality, diversity and inclusion, delivering its Action Plan relating to safeguarding and culture, its flagship events and business plan, and working with members to rebuild fundraising following the pandemic.
Speaking on her new role, O’Connor said:
“I am delighted to be entrusted by the Board to take on the leadership of the Chartered Institute at this pivotal moment. I am tremendously impressed by the dedication and commitment to excellence in fundraising, demonstrated by everyone I’ve met. I look forward to engaging with the team, the membership and the wider community to help deliver some key priorities for the organisation in the coming months.”
Peter Lewis, outgoing chief executive, announced that he was stepping down from the position in March this year, after almost a decade at the helm.
He also commented, saying:
“Heart-felt congratulations to Dhivya on her appointment, and look forward to working with her as part of a formal handover later this month. I wish her all the best for her leadership of the Chartered Institute as it continues to serve its members and the wider fundraising community.”