“We need to continue to fight for a world in which every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person is safe and free to be themselves.”

Today (14 May), Britain’s leading LGBTQ+ charity announced Nancy Kelley as their incoming Chief Executive. 

Kelly is currently the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of the Policy Research Centre at the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), where she leads a team specialising in social issues such as health, crime and justice and education.

In recent years, she has helped NatCen return to financial health as the lead on revenue growth.

Throughout her 20-year career, Kelly has been a passionate advocate for social justice and equality, while her work at NatCen has focused on public attitudes to LGBTQ+ communities as well as discrimination and social exclusion.

Before joining NatCen, she worked at the Department for Work and Pensions, and previously held various policy and research roles at UK charities such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Refugee Council and Barnardos.

“It is an honour to have the opportunity to lead this groundbreaking organisation,” Kelly said in a statement.

“Over the last 30 years we have made amazing strides towards LGBT equality in the UK, driven by the work of LGBT+ activists and millions of everyday acts of bravery and pride.  Stonewall is rightly proud of its role in creating this change.

“But the benefits of progress haven’t been equally felt by all LGBT+ people. Today, we see the LGBT+ community around us responding to the challenge of this pandemic with solidarity, resilience and creativity. But we can also see deep inequalities.

Cecilie Johnsen

“Across the world, LGBT+ people are trapped in homes where they are unsafe or unwanted. LGBT+ people of colour, and those living in poverty are more exposed not only to the coronavirus, but also the social and economic consequences it brings in its wake. And across our communities people are isolated from the services and support networks they need to survive.

“We cannot let anyone turn back the clock on LGBT+ rights, and we cannot afford to be complacent about making those rights meaningful for all. We need to continue to fight for a world in which every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person is safe and free to be themselves. This is a world that Stonewall and all our allies stand ready to fight for, and I am very excited to be a part of that.”

Sheldon Mills, Chair of Stonewall’s Board of Trustees, said he is “thrilled” to welcome Kelly to Stonewall, calling her an “outstanding leader who is ready to make sure everyone in the LGBTQ+ community gets the support they need.”

“Nancy brings a huge wealth of experience, along with an unwavering passion for Stonewall, our work and the communities we support. I have no doubt that Nancy will be transformational for us,” he continued.

“We are stronger together as an LGBT+ movement and community, and her vision for Stonewall will help bring forward the day when every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person is accepted without exception.”

Nancy will start her new position as CEO at Stonewall on 1 June and takes over from Paul Twocock, who served as interim chief executive following Ruth Hunt’s departure in August 2019. 

Related: Stonewall reveal the top 10 most LGBTQ-inclusive employers.