The founder of Mitzvah Day has been appointed as the new chair of trustee of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

Laura Marks will succeed Cathy Ashley as the chair of the HMDT Board of Trustees, alongside interfaith activist Dilwar Hussain, who is vice chair.

Marks founded Mitzvah day in 2005, a day of Jewish-led social action, and started Nisa-Nashim, dedicated to bringing Jewish and Muslim women together to build stronger relations.

She said: ‘I’m delighted to be appointed as Chair of HMDT as commemorating both the Holocaust and the subsequent genocides is a duty for all of us, regardless of race, religion or background. In a dangerous world, learning the lessons from these catastrophes of the past is essential.’

Laura takes over from Ashley, who spent two terms as chair. During her time in the role, the  number of commemorative events rose from 758 to 5.590, and she oversaw the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Laura Marks, paid tribute to her “unstinting work”. She said “she has steered the charity with skill and care, has professionalised it and embedded it in the national psyche. She leaves a fantastic legacy with Holocaust Memorial Day continuing to increase in scale”