David Holdsworth has been appointed as the next Chief Executive of the Charity Commission for England and Wales. David, who has been CEO of the Animal and Plant Health Agency since 2022, will take up the role on 1 July 2024, replacing Helen Stephenson, whose term comes to an end this summer after seven years in the role.

David was previously Deputy Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office, and prior to that served at the Charity Commission as Deputy Chief Executive and Registrar. In that role David led a transformation of the Commission’s data handling, digital capability and risk assessment.

He also oversaw the regulator’s response to the Grenfell Tower fire and was instrumental in setting up the National Emergencies Trust, which has since raised and distributed £100m for charities in subsequent UK disasters. Prior to joining the Commission, David held senior roles in the Home Office and the private sector .

His appointment follows a rigorous recruitment process which saw record numbers of applications for the role. It was overseen by a recruitment panel chaired by a Civil Service Commissioner.

David said: “I am delighted to be returning to the Charity Commission and its vital work at such a crucial time. It will be a privilege to once again work with the Commission’s dedicated and talented experts.

“Charities have always played a vital role in our national life, our communities and our ability to move forward together as a society. Never has this been more needed than now. I look forward to working with the sector as they work today to achieve a better, brighter tomorrow for us all.”