Young Foundation seeks new CEO

Date: 19 May 2017


For immediate release

Young Foundation seeks new Chief Executive

Today we are announcing the search for a new CEO of the Young Foundation as Glenys Thornton, our current CEO has decided it is time for her to return to frontline politics. With a formidable track record of confronting inequality we have spearheaded trailblazing work across the UK and internationally creating insight and innovations which put people at the heart of social change.

The Young Foundation came out of the Institute of Community Studies, led by the great sociologist Michael Young. Together we have created and supported over 80 social innovations including Which?, The Open University, Language Line, Social Innovation Exchange, School for Social Entrepreneurs, Uprising, Action for Happiness and the Studio Schools Trust.

Baroness Glenys Thornton became Chief Executive in 2015 and has led the organisation to a position of strength and pivotal influence with a highly successful series of programmes taking place both in the UK and internationally. These combine research with social innovations leading to action based change alongside communities. Current programmes include:

  • Research on MONDRAGON, the largest industrial Co-operative in the world.
  • Testing the effectiveness of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to tackle poverty in Barcelona.
  • Developing our community transformation initiatives working across the UK.
  • Supporting a range of social innovations including Action for Happiness, our Young Academy programme tackling educational disadvantage, and Roots Lab, piloting in Beirut, testing out how to create social change driven by young women activists, with FRIDA the Young Feminist Fund, Global Fund for Women and Oxfam.

 Baroness Thornton our current Chief Executive said:

This is a fantastic opportunity to lead our organisation to its next stage of innovation and growth. There is new leadership at Board level and a highly competent Senior team. The organisation is financially stable and is undertaking innovative and exciting research and project work with a range of partners across the world. I believe it is therefore now time for me to return to frontline politics. This is a very exciting job for someone who really understands inequality and how the Young Foundation’s unique mix of research, work with communities and social innovation can make a massive difference to society.

Dame Julie Mellor, Chair of The Young Foundation said on behalf of the Board:

The Board is very excited at the prospect of working with a new CEO to write the next chapter in the Young Foundation’s distinguished history at a time when our reputation, resources, skills and networks have a huge role to play. We are looking forward to starting the search to find a new visionary leader for this great organisation.

For more information on the role go to


Notes to editors:

  1. For more information please contact: Lucie Russell Head of Communications or call 07931 507873
  1. The Young Foundation is a research and action based institute with a formidable track record of confronting inequalities. Find out more at:
  2. 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.