Dr Shabna Begum appointed as permanent CEO of the Runnymede Trust


Dr Shabna Begum appointed as permanent CEO of the Runnymede Trust

Headshot of Dr Shabna Begum

The Runnymede Trust is proud to announce that Dr Shabna Begum has been appointed as its CEO. Shabna will take up the role immediately, after acting as Interim CEO for the organisation over the past year.

Shabna joined the Runnymede Trust in 2021 as a Senior Researcher and worked her way up to become Director of Research before taking on the Interim CEO position. 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, the experiences of women of colour in the workplace, and racism in migration debates

Shabna has a PhD from Queen Mary University on the institutional and popular racism faced by Bengali migrant communities in 1970s East London. Her research centred around themes of home and belonging, connecting post-colonial struggles in Bangladesh to anti-racist organising in Britain. 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 taught Politics and was Head of Social Science. Her career in education also saw her lead on anti-racist practice, including work on curriculum and school systems.  

Dr Shabna Begum says:
“There is an urgency to racial justice work in the UK right now that requires the Runnymede Trust to be at its strongest. Whether it is the deteriorating material conditions that impact wealth and health, the increasingly authoritarian legal landscape that restricts civil liberties, or toxic debates that dehumanise migrants and asylum seekers - racial justice priorities must sit at the heart of wider social justice movements.  It is a true honour to lead the organisation at this critical juncture - to go beyond patching up wounds inflicted by an unjust system, and instead work to create the transformed environment that enables all communities of colour to prosper.”

Professor Dame Donna Kinnair, Chair of the Runnymede Trust Board of Trustees, says:
“I am truly delighted that the board has appointed Shabna as our CEO. She has proved to be a talented and supportive leader that will guide the Runnymede Trust through this critical and challenging time for equity and social justice. We conducted an extensive recruitment search over the past few months, which gave us a field of experienced candidates; Shabna’s vision and commitment to the organisation’s future is compelling and inspiring. I am delighted she has accepted the role, and look forward to where she will take the organisation in the coming months and years.”

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