Major charity role for former Labour minister

Douglas alexander crop

The former Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP lost his seat in 2015

Graham Martin's photo

5th June 2018 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

A former Scottish MP has been appointed to a senior role at Unicef UK.

Douglas Alexander, also former secretary of state for international development and UK governor to the World Bank, has been appointed to the role of chair of the organisation’s Board of Trustees.

The former Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP, who sensationally lost his seat to the SNP’s Mhairi Black during Scottish Labour’s near wipe-out at the 2015 general election, will take over from current Chair Ilse Howling, who will complete her final term on the board this summer.

Unicef UK said Alexander was selected for the post following a rigorous and highly competitive recruitment process.

His appointment has been endorsed by Unicef UK’s Board of Trustees, pending the vote by members at its AGM on 27 June.

Alexander served for eighteen years in the British parliament and nine years in government under prime ministers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair.

He held various cabinet positions including secretary of state at DFID.

Alexander is now a senior fellow at Harvard University, a visiting professor at Kings College London and a trustee for the Royal United Services Institute.

He said: “I am delighted to be joining Unicef UK as chair of an incredibly talented and diverse Board of Trustees.

“Tackling extreme poverty is, for me, both a cause and a calling and having worked alongside and witnessed first-hand the life-saving work Unicef undertakes in developing countries across the world, I am excited to work alongside an exceptional leadership team and dedicated staff to build a world fit for all children.”

Mike Penrose, executive director of Unicef UK, added: “His exceptional experience across business, development, law and politics will add a huge amount to our organisation.

“We welcome Douglas’s ongoing commitment to find sustainable solutions to the biggest challenges of our time, from embracing technological change to partnering with businesses to improve their impact in the developing world.

“His dedication and innovative approach to reducing global poverty will be a great asset in our work to protect the rights of every child. I would also like to thank our outgoing chair Ilse Howling, who has done an outstanding job for the last five years as Chair, having also served as a board member since 2009.”