The Jo Cox Foundation is delighted to announce the appointment of the Rt. Hon Jacqui Smith as its new Chair. Jacqui takes over with immediate effect and replaces Nick Grono, who has served the board with great distinction since the Foundation was established.
Newly appointed Chair Rt Hon Jacqui Smith with CEO Catherine Anderson and Ambassador Kim Leadbeater.
Jacqui said: “I’m enormously excited and honoured to be taking over as Chair of the Jo Cox Foundation at such a challenging and important time. Never has Jo’s message that we have ‘more in common than that which divides us’ been more relevant. Many people feel that this is a divided country with an increasingly toxic level of public debate. Jo wouldn’t have stood for that. She would have reached out and built a movement for positive change – strengthening local communities, leading respectful national debate and advocating for a fairer world. I’m going to use my national experience and the inspiration of having known Jo to support the Foundation in delivering some really exciting plans over the coming years. I’m looking forward to meeting all of those who share Jo’s vision and who want to work with us to make it happen.”
Jacqui’s appointment was welcomed by the Foundation’s CEO, Catherine Anderson:
“We are truly thrilled and very fortunate to have Jacqui Smith join our board as the next Chair of The Jo Cox Foundation. She brings a real depth of experience and connection to Jo – as a mentor to Jo on the Labour Women’s Network, as a woman in public life herself, and through her work both nationally and in communities in the UK. Jacqui will be helping to guide and shape the Foundation’s work at this exciting time, particularly on our work on intimidation in public life and women in public life. I can’t wait to work closely with her on all of the issues that mattered to Jo – and to continue to build a truly positive, transformative legacy for Jo.”
Kim Leadbeater, Jo’s sister, said:
“We are delighted to have Jacqui join as chair of Jo’s Foundation. For my parents and I it means a lot that somebody with such a wealth of experience and enthusiasm is heading our board. Jo knew Jacqui and respected her enormously so she really is the perfect person for the role.”
Jacqui Smith was MP for Redditch from 1997-2010 and was Britain’s first female Home Secretary. She currently works in health, social care and international political development and is regularly appears in the media discussing politics, current affairs and social policy.
The Foundation’s board, team and Jo’s family would like to thank Nick for his inspiring leadership over the past 2 and a half years.