Ciarán Devane has been appointed the new chief executive of the British Council one of the UK’s largest charities. He will be taking over in January from Sir Martin Davidson’s seven year tenure as CEO, Davidson is standing down in December after 30 years with the British Council.
The British Council said that Devane’s appointment had been approved by Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary. The Foreign Office is the charity’s sponsoring department and the secretary of state is answerable to parliament for its performance.
Davidson will leave the British Council at a time when it now strengthens the UK’s relationships with over 22 million people a year and is on a firm financial footing with a turnover of over £800m yet less than 20% of this coming as a government grant. Martin’s work leaves a firm foundation for Ciarán Devane to build on and an organisation that is confident and ambitious for the future”.
Sir Vernon said: “I am delighted that Ciarán will be our new Chief Executive. He brings with him a passion for the charitable sector and for public service and combines this with a broad range of international experience of leading change and growth. His knowledge of building partnerships between the private, public and charity sectors will be hugely valuable to the British Council as we extend our international cultural relations work for the UK.”
The Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, commented: “I am delighted to welcome the appointment of Ciarán Devane as the new Chief Executive of the British Council. The British Council does great work promoting British language, education and culture around the world. Ciarán has the experience to help the British Council do even more for Britain and I look forward to working with him as he takes on his new role. I would like to thank Sir Martin Davidson for his tremendous contribution to the British Council over many years.”
Ciarán Devane will be paid £185,000 per year. He started his career as an engineer before becoming a manager for ICI working across Europe, Latin America and East Asia. He then applied that experience to management consultancy and he led multi-country change programmes for companies such as AstraZeneca and Rolls Royce. Ciarán went on to study for a Master’s degree in International Policy & Practice at the George Washington University in Washington DC before becoming Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, a leading UK charity.