Co-directors to lead the Runnymede Trust in the interim
The Runnymede Trust is pleased to announce that Dr Shabna Begum and Laurence Jay, our respective Directors of Research and Operations, will lead the organisation in the interim period following the announcement that our current CEO, Dr Halima Begum, will be stepping down to join ActionAid UK this summer.
Between them, Shabna and Laurence have helped enable the Runnymede Trust’s most dynamic projects and advocacy work, ranging from climate justice to police strip searching children. Their respective and complementary expertise will continue to keep the Runnymede Trust at the forefront of key policy dialogues on racial justice, and provide important continuity for the organisation during this interim period.
Dr Shabna Begum joined the Runnymede Trust in 2021 as a Senior Researcher and has since worked her way up to become our Director of Research. Her work has been at the heart of all the Runnymede Trust’s recent projects, including our research on police in schools, the cost-of-living crisis, and the experiences of women of colour in the workplace, and she continues to represent the organisation externally in media and other public forums. Shabna has a PhD from Queen Mary University on the institutional and popular racism faced by Bengali migrant communities in 1970s London, centred around themes of home and belonging. She recently published her first book, From Sylhet to Spitalfields, on the topic. Prior to joining the Runnymede Trust, Shabna was a teacher for over 20 years, most of that at a school in Hackney, east London where she was head of department and previously led on building an anti-racist school.
Laurence Jay joined the Runnymede Trust in 2022 as our Director of Operations and has played an integral role in the successful delivery of our core projects, day-to-day operations, resourcing and building the organisation’s future resilience. Laurence has ensured the steady increase of the Runnymede Trust’s growth and impact and we look forward to the continuation of this trajectory under his ongoing leadership. Prior to joining the Runnymede Trust, Laurence held senior leadership positions at the British Asian Trust and Unlocked Graduates, and has over 10 years experience in a range of operational and programme management roles in the charity and youth work sectors.
The Runnymede Trust’s Board of Trustees will now begin the recruitment process for the organisation’s next CEO.
Sir Clive Jones CBE, Chair of the Runnymede Trust’s Board of Trustees, said:
“The Board are delighted to announce that Shabna and Laurence will lead the Runnymede Trust through this interim period, we have no doubt that their combined expertise will continue to enable the organisation to go from strength to strength. The leadership they have both demonstrated in their respective roles has been remarkable, and we look forward to seeing the new heights the Runnymede Trust will reach under their continued leadership.
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