Helen Goulden announced as new CEO of The Young Foundation

Date: 16 August 2017

Today (16/08/17) Dame Julie Mellor, Chair of The Young Foundation announced the appointment of new CEO, Helen Goulden, who will take up her post from October.

Helen joins the Young Foundation from Nesta where she has been an Executive Director for the past 4 years.  Helen leads Nesta’s Innovation Lab whose mission is to support and scale innovation for the public good; working with partners to run innovation funds and programmes, open innovation processes and challenge prizes. Helen joined Nesta in April 2009 and is also currently a board member of the Behavioural Insights Team.

Before joining Nesta, Helen worked in the private sector developing digital strategies and solutions for global corporate clients. She spent five years consulting in the Cabinet Office, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Department for Communities and Local Government, developing national innovation programmes for local government and leading research and product development for interactive television services.

Helen Goulden said:

I am thrilled and excited to be offered the opportunity to lead The Young Foundation on the next phase of its journey. The Foundation has such a rich and distinguished history and I believe its work has never been more relevant to many of the profound challenges we face today. I know it will continue to make a vital contribution through providing much needed research and social innovation tools to grow resilience, agency and meaningful change within communities of all kinds across the UK and beyond. I have huge respect for the job the current CEO, Baroness Thornton, has done over the last two years in growing the impact of the organisation and thank her for the generous welcome and support she has given me.

Dame Julie Mellor, Chair of the Young Foundation, said:

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Helen Goulden as the next Chief Executive of The Young Foundation. Helen is currently an Executive Director at Nesta and has a very distinguished track record in the public, private and voluntary sector. Helen will bring rich expertise and experience of social innovation to support communities across the UK to tackle the key issues they face.

It is a credit to our current Chief Executive, Baroness Glenys Thornton, that Helen will have a strong platform on which to build. Having established a highly successful series of programmes taking place in the UK and internationally, Glenys asked the Board earlier this year to find her replacement so that she could return to front line politics and Parliament.

The Board of Trustees, Helen and the whole Young Foundation team look forward to working with current and potential new partners to shape our future strategy and contribution to tackling inequalities in the UK and internationally.”


Notes to editors:

  1. For interviews and more information please contact: Lucie Russell, Head of Communications and Policy on 07931 507873 or lucie.russell@youngfoundation.org.
  2. The Young Foundation is a research and action based institute with a formidable track record of confronting inequalities. We work across the UK and internationally to create insight and innovations which improve people’s lives and put them at the heart of social change. We do this through working alongside communities using the tools of research and social innovation (new ways to meet social needs). Together we have created and supported over 80 organizations including Which?, The Open University, Economic and Social Research Council, Social Innovation Exchange (SIX), School for Social Entrepreneurs, Uprising, Action for Happiness and Studio Schools Trust. Find out more at www.youngfoundation.org.
  3. We were founded by the great social scientist and innovator Michael Young and originally called the Institute for Community Studies. In 2005, we merged with the Mutual Aid Centre and became the Young Foundation, in honour of our founder.