Chartered Institute of Fundraising appoints interim Chief Executive

04 May 2021
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The Chartered Institute of Fundraising is pleased to announce that Dhivya O’Connor has been appointed interim Chief Executive.

Dhivya will start on 10th May and have a two-week handover with current Chief executive Peter Lewis before he formally steps down.

Dhivya brings a depth and breadth of knowledge of both fundraising and as a leader in both the charity and commercial sectors. Most recently, Dhivya 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.

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).

Dhivya 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. 

She will provide leadership on the important priorities of equality, diversity and inclusion, as well as delivering the Action Plan relating to safeguarding and culture, whilst delivering our flagship events, business plan, and working with members to rebuild fundraising following the pandemic.

Alongside being a passionate advocate for the work of charities, Dhivya is also the founder and executive producer of The Charity CEO Podcast, a podcast that engages in insightful conversations with charity leaders. She has also been a member of the Chartered Institute since 2012, until she went on maternity break in 2019.

Claire Rowney, Chair of the Chartered Institute
Claire Rowney, Chair of the Chartered Institute

"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."

Dhivya O’Connor, Interim Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute
Dhivya O’Connor, Interim Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute

“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
Peter Lewis, outgoing Chief Executive

“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.”

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