The Chief Executive of the Board of Deputies has announced her departure, following her appointment as a Life Peer in the House of Lords by Sir Keir Starmer.
Gillian Merron will leave the communal role on 2 April after six-and-a-half years. Her interim successor will be Michael Wegier, the former Chief Executive of leading Jewish charity, the UJIA.
Announcing her departure, Gillian said: “I have had the great honour of serving our community for six-and-a-half years and whilst I am sad, I am also proud to leave the Board of Deputies in better shape, making greater impact and with more potential than ever before. I have enjoyed working together with so many talented and committed colleagues – Presidents, lay leaders, staff and volunteers. I will look back with great pride, warmth and fondness on everything we have achieved together.
“Bearing in mind that the Board of Deputies is a non-party political organisation, my appointment as a Labour Peer presents a conflict. Therefore I will not be undertaking political work in my remaining time here.
“I look forward to Michael steering the Board of Deputies to greater heights, bringing different skills and ambition to this next chapter for the organisation.
“Our community is quite remarkable and I wish all strength, success and happiness for all of my friends and colleagues who serve our community in so many ways. Thank you for giving me the honour of working with you.”
Michael Wegier said: “The Board of Deputies plays an essential role in steering the relationship between British Jews, wider British government and society as well as the global Jewish community. It is a privilege to have been appointed as the Interim Chief Executive and I look forward to working closely with the Officers, the Professional Team and the Deputies as we all navigate the next phase of our community’s development.”
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “I would like to thank Gillian for her wonderful work as Chief Executive since she took over in 2014. The organisation has been transformed during that period and she can be credited with so many of our achievements. Of course, we are very sorry to see her go but there can be no better reason than her elevation to the peerage.
“I’m delighted to welcome Michael Wegier as her interim successor. He has a great track record over many years as Chief Executive of UJIA and he brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Board of Deputies.”
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