Advisory Council

Dame Julia Unwin DBE

Former CEO of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and Chair of the Commission on Civil Society, non-executive director of the Mears Group PLC, of Yorkshire Water and of the Financial Reporting Council

Dame Julia Unwin is an experienced non-executive, speaker, consultant and mentor.

She was the Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation from 2007 until the end of 2016. Previously, she ran a consultancy business for 15 years and has served at various times as a Charity Commissioner, member of the Board of the Housing Corporation, Chair of the Refugee Council and Deputy Chair of the Food Standards Agency.

In 2017 she launched and chaired the Independent Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society in England, which reported in November 2018 and held a fellowship with Carnegie UK Trust 2017/18 considering the role of kindness in public policy.

She has written and spoken extensively on issues relating to philanthropy, governance, the voluntary sector and its relationship with government. Her publications include ‘Why Fight Poverty?’, ‘Kindness, Emotions and Relationships’, the ‘Blind Spot in Public Policy Making’ and ‘The Grant Making Tango’.
She is currently a non-executive director of the Mears Group PLC, of Yorkshire Water and of the Financial Reporting Council. In 2018 she was appointed to the Council of Economic Advisers by the First Minister of Scotland.

In 2010 Julia was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award in the Charity Awards and has received honorary doctorates from three universities. In the 2020 New Years Honours she received a DBE.

For more information about Julia please visit her website - www.juliaunwin.com