The NSPCC has appointed Dr Maria Neophytou as its new Director of Strategy and Knowledge.
Maria joins the NSPCC from Impetus, a charity supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, where she was acting CEO, having previously been their Director of Public Affairs for four years.
Maria will bring together the NSPCC’s knowledge across policy, research, practice, child protection advice and an understanding of the charity’s impact, under one Strategy and Knowledge directorate.
She has twenty years of experience in public affairs, research and strategy development and a strong track record of campaigning for social change and influencing government policy and funding.
Some of Maria’s key achievements at Impetus include working with partners in the education sector to launch the National Tutoring Programme and publishing the Youth Jobs Gap; a groundbreaking series of research reports on youth employment. Previously she led policy and research at ARK, spearheading a campaign to end the institutionalisation of children across Europe, and international policy at the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Maria’s appointment is the latest in a series of board-level recruitment at the NSPCC. This year the charity has seen David Hamilton join as the new Director of Communications and Marketing; Claire Johnson take on a new role as Director of Services and the upcoming appointment of a Chief Technology Officer. The charity aims to build on its 130-year history and inspire more people to prevent abuse and neglect.
On her appointment, Maria said: “Children have experienced a year unlike any other, and as it has done for over a hundred years, the NSPCC has been by their side and on their side throughout. It is a vital time to be joining, and also an exciting one as we look at how, in the longer term, we can inspire more people to prevent abuse. It is a huge honour to be leading the new Strategy and Knowledge directorate, and I can’t wait to get to work.”
NSPCC Chief Executive, Peter Wanless said: “I’m looking forward to welcoming Maria as our new Director of Strategy and Knowledge. She has been instrumental in building some of the most recent positive developments for children like the Youth Endowment Fund and the National Tutoring Programme. She brings a huge amount of experience to help us in our fight for every childhood.”