Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO, CBE
Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO, CBE is a passionate and practical campaigner who has gained an international reputation for ‘connecting the unconnected’, inspiring individuals and organisations to work together for the common good.
Having been Chief Executive of Business in the Community from 1991 to 2008 where she worked closely with the President HRH The Prince of Wales in building a movement of 850 member companies, she is now Vice President of Business in the Community working particularly on encouraging responsible business practice in disadvantaged communities. After stepping down as Chief Executive of BITC, Julia served as Special Adviser to The Prince’s Charities and, in particular, focused efforts on disadvantaged communities such as Burnley, Tottenham, Redcar and Burslem. Her objective, through all her work, is to build a more robust civil society by promoting collaboration among senior leaders from business, government, education and communities.
Julia also plays senior leadership roles in charities aiming to transform education and opportunities for young people. As Chair of Teach First from 2006 to 2014, and now Vice Patron, Julia has pioneered efforts to address educational disadvantage by transforming exceptional graduates into effective, inspirational teachers in low-income communities across the UK. In addition, Julia is Vice Chair of the Fair Education Alliance – an association of education and business organisations to drive action at local and national level to make education and life chances fair for all young people. She also serves on the Board of Teach for All, the international partnership with Teach for America that seeks to spread the experience and mission to other interested social entrepreneurs across the world.
Julia was appointed to chair the National Literacy Trust in 2013 and chairs Read on. Get on., the national campaign to ensure all children are reading well be the age of 11 so that by 2025 all children in the UK will start secondary school as confident readers.
Following her 2012 government review on increasing young people’s engagement in social action Julia co-founded Step Up To Serve (formerly known as the Campaign for Youth Social Action), which was convened by HRH The Prince of Wales and launched with the support of three party leaders in November 2013. She is now a trustee of Step Up To Serve, which aims to get 60 percent of young people involved in practical action in the service of others by 2020. Julia is also a Board member of National Citizen Service, the Careers and Enterprise Company and the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation.
She is an external adviser to Carillion’s Sustainability Advisory Committee and, until recently, chaired the Advisory Board of the Newnham College Campaign.